Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rich's Muskie Lounge in Ventura Iowa

I always associated Muskies with Muscatine in Eastern Iowa. I guess this fish is everywhere. Ventura is a small town right next to Clear Lake. Its population swells in the summer as visitors from the area move into tightly packed houses next to the lake. Please note, Muskie Lounge and many others in town are open only seasonally. Driving through in winter will only find a CLOSED sign and an empty dock.

Location: 702 E Lake St. in Ventura, on Clear Lake in Cerro Gordo County in Northern Iowa.

Directions: Lake St rings around Clear Lake and is reached by taking Highway 18 past the city of Clear Lake into Ventura. Look for the giant carved Muskie fish in the parking area.

The Tenderloin: The rich, buttery, toasted french bread is what sets the tenderloin here apart. There is something about a soft and fine white bread that makes is a good bun for breaded pork tenderloin. Its right up there with the classic corn-dusted Kaiser bun or the flour-dusted Rotella buns in Central Iowa.  I would not be surprised if the same breading was used in the fried fish the Muskie Lounge cranks out. The meat here felt like untenderized but well trimmed portion of the darker side of pork loin. This was juicy and chewy in texture. Overall 7.8 out of ten.

Price: $7.50
Also on the menu: the specialty is the nightly fish fry including all you can eat Alaskan Walleye, but there is a large menu including the usual fried stuff, the Muskie Burger, and Torsk.

Service: Its local old ladies running the show, not especially fast but nobody is in a hurry at these lakeside places. They get really busy during the summer season and don't always do carryout.
Ambiance: There is a dining area inside with mounted muskie fish and angling themed decorations and large booth seats with views of Clear Lake, or you can eat outside or even on a boat during the season.

Final Thoughts: The Clear Lake area always seems to have a good vibe in the season. People from the area come here to have a good time and relax, and I've enjoyed eating my way through the tenderloins in the area. I found an alright sandwich at The Other Place down the road.  I have had PM Park, on the other side of the lake, on my list for years now. I just never seem to get there when its open, but maybe I can make it there next season.
Muskie Lounge on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I Love the Muskie ! being from clear lake I have been to the muskie many times ! marilyn !!