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Maggie's

257 Manypenny Ave., Bayfield, WI - (715) 779-5641
Posted By Michael Stern on August 12, 2009 12:41 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.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Whitefish
Whitefish Livers
Apple Cake
Sweet Potato Fries

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Posted By Mr Saul J on September 20, 2013 6:59 AM
Visiting the, Apostle Islands, our hotel recommended, Maggies. What more can I say: we went there every day for lunch and dinner!
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Whitefish
Whitefish Livers
Sweet Potato Fries
Pie

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Posted By Annette on November 16, 2012 4:02 AM
I have been to Maggie's many times and each time it was hit or miss. This experience was a miss. One of the issues is they have no competition in the off-season. When they are good they are good and when they are not... well you get the idea.

Tonight I thought I would keep it simple and have "crispy crab cakes" and a large salad, like one that is a meal. The crab cakes were pretty small for $9.50, in my opinion, and rested on a bed of wet soggy greens. They were served with aioli and, rather than being beautifully adorned, it looked to be dumped on. The aioli also made the crab cake soggy. I scraped most all of it off.

As for the Mediterranean salad, it was also quite small for $9.50, with few greens (approximately what you might expect of a small dinner salad) but a lot of cucumber chunks and a small chunked tomato, and five kalamata olives. I was surprised at the size mostly because I saw the table next to me get a huge dinner salad with their meal, almost twice the amount of the salad I was paying for.

This is sad because Maggie's used to be a must-go-to place. I think it still is, for the pink flamingos decor, but if I had a choice I would go elsewhere. The food can be a crap shoot. I used to love this place.
2 star rating
Overall Rating
Sweet Potato Fries
Crab Cakes
Mediterranean Salad

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