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Maggie's

257 Manypenny Ave., Bayfield, WI - (715) 779-5641
Posted By Michael Stern on 8/12/2009 12:41:00 PM
A few days each year Maggie's does not serve whitefish because the kitchen cannot get it fresh from the boats that work within 30 miles of town. During October and November, when Wisconsin prohibits angling for whitefish, Maggie's reaches out all of 40 miles to fishermen who ply Michigan waters, which do not close for the season. If they cannot get fish caught that morning, it will not be on the menu.

Whitefish fillets, which also are available broiled without the plank and sautéed in butter, are supremely easy to eat. On most Friday evenings, you can get a special of headless but otherwise whole whitefish with all its bones, skin and fins. It is sautéed in a pan full of butter, and even if you've never faced a whole fish like this, getting all the meat is a snap. The waitstaff will show you how to peel back the skin then start at the top and easily separate moist forkfuls from off the bone. The flavor of whole whitefish is not significantly different from those that are filleted and broiled or sautéed, but the presentation adds fish-camp fun to the dining experience.

You'll not likely find whitefish livers on the menu of a restaurant anywhere other than around the shore of Lake Superior. Because it takes a lot of fish to gather a small amount of livers – they're about the size of a quarter and a dinner of them might include 15 or 20 – mongers who sell to local restaurants and markets traditionally have thrown them away. But old-time fishermen have long considered them a delicacy; and in recent years as Bayfield has gone from quiet fishing village to popular tourist destination, livers have begun to appear on menus of a handful of plain and fancy restaurants in the area. Like the flesh of the whitefish, the livers' most distinguishing characteristic is their pure, inland water taste, more mellow than chicken livers or any mammal organ meat we know. Maggie's rolls them in spiced flour and sautés them with peppers, onions and mushrooms until their outsides have a bit of crunch and the inside of each turns melting soft.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Whitefish
Apple Cake
Whitefish Livers
Sweet Potato Fries
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Milk-white, dense and juicy with a clean, freshwater taste, whitefish is the pride of Lake Superior. It is nowhere fresher than at Maggie's.
"Milk-white, dense and juicy with a clean, freshwater taste, whitefish is the pride of Lake Superior. It is nowhere fresher than at Maggie's."
Michael Stern





Although I prefer my chili to be warmer and spicier, it was still a real rib sticker.
"Although I prefer my chili to be warmer and spicier, it was still a real rib sticker."
Cliff Strutz


Sweet potato fries are a delicious yin-yang of yammy sweetness and sea-saltiness. They come with tarragon fry sauce for dipping.
"Sweet potato fries are a delicious yin-yang of yammy sweetness and sea-saltiness. They come with tarragon fry sauce for dipping."
Michael Stern


Apples thrive in the climate of the northern Midwest. Caramel-drizzled apple cake makes the most of them; and a scoop of made-here ice cream doesn't hurt.
"Apples thrive in the climate of the northern Midwest. Caramel-drizzled apple cake makes the most of them; and a scoop of made-here ice cream doesn't hurt."
Michael Stern


The menu lists this appetizer as 'Wisconsin Fromage a Trois.' It is three kinds of locally-made cheese surrounding a dollop of sweet apple chutney. In the far right corner of the photo is a plate of Bayfield-baked bread.
"The menu lists this appetizer as 'Wisconsin Fromage a Trois.' It is three kinds of locally-made cheese surrounding a dollop of sweet apple chutney. In the far right corner of the photo is a plate of Bayfield-baked bread."
Michael Stern


We did like the crunchy outside of the whitefish livers; within is an unmistakable organ meat flavor.  Still, we were happy to have tried this unusual Great Lakes dish.
"We did like the crunchy outside of the whitefish livers; within is an unmistakable organ meat flavor. Still, we were happy to have tried this unusual Great Lakes dish."
Cliff Strutz


The cherry pie features lots of tart cherries and a rugged, crumble top.  This is a good slice of pie!
"The cherry pie features lots of tart cherries and a rugged, crumble top. This is a good slice of pie!"
Cliff Strutz


The pink flamingo inside decor is eye catching, to say the least.
"The pink flamingo inside decor is eye catching, to say the least."
Cliff Strutz


The company that runs Maggie's is called Flamingos Up North, hence the eye-aching paint job.
"The company that runs Maggie's is called Flamingos Up North, hence the eye-aching paint job."
Michael Stern


September 2011: After reading the reviews of Maggie's on Roadfood.com we had to stop, and we were immediately befriended by Mary (the owner in the middle). What a great place, and the hospitality was terrific.  The stories just kept getting better, a great addition to the food.  Thanks Mary!
"September 2011: After reading the reviews of Maggie's on Roadfood.com we had to stop, and we were immediately befriended by Mary (the owner in the middle). What a great place, and the hospitality was terrific. The stories just kept getting better, a great addition to the food. Thanks Mary!"
Nancy Korber



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