Must-Stop Lakeside Spots

Published in the September 2011 Issue September 2011 Feature

I was flipping channels the other night when I came across a dog food commercial that for whatever reason made me paws, ahem, I mean pause. The claim this company was making is that dogs prefer their brand to any other brand of dog food. Seriously? Do we need any more proof that we have way too many choices in the marketplace these days? Earlier I had watched a show about a Peruvian soccer team that ate their dead friends in the mountains of Argentina after a plane crash in 1974, so I'm guessing Fido will eat just about anything you plop onto a piece of cardboard in the garage. Finicky? No, just not hungry right now is all.

I guess dogs could make the same argument for a big guy like me. Plop that big dude down at his local Denny's and watch him order page 3 on the menu. Well, despite what the dogs in my neighborhood might be thinking, it's not true. I do have an appreciation for food and that's why I seek for great places to eat as I travel this country. And by far the best way to experience dinning at its absolute best is to visit those places that can be accessed by water.

I love to travel to food hotspots by boat. Forgive me, but I feel like a rock star if I can tie up and stroll into the restaurant past those poor saps that had to use the highway to get their lunch-suckers. I'm always in search of a great place to eat, so for fun I created my top five list of places that I've eaten after traveling by boat to get there.

5. Green Turtle Bay Marina
One of the first trips I ever took for this job was to Green Turtle Bay Marina on Lake Barkley in Kentucky. I remember how great the Turtle Burger was and when I returned to the area this past summer I just had to look the place up again. After all of these years, it's still one of the best marinas to grab a burger.

4. The Country Line Bar-B-Q
Just north of Houston, Texas, is a great pontoon lake that has it figured out. Those who boat on Lake Conroe have access to several great restaurants including this barbeque hot spot. What's better than eating ribs? Picking them up at the dock and eating them while on your boat!

3. Sunset Bar & Grill Restaurant
There are a lot of great stops on the California Deltas for food. From great burger places to Taco Tuesdays, you have plenty to choose from. But the deep fried asparagus at the Sunset Bar at Tower Park is worth the trip

The next time you're on Center Hill Lake in Tennessee, boat over to the quieter end of the lake for a lunch that is well worth your time. The owners of the Pates Ford Marina happen to also own Tootsie's in downtown Nashville so they know a thing or two about the business. Great food, a fun atmosphere and worthy of a spot on this list.

1. Naked Pirate Grill
This is my new favorite spot that I just discovered this spring when I was visiting Lake Havasu City in Arizona at the Pirate Cove Resort on the Colorado River. Yeah, it's a little ways up the river from Havasu, but it was well worth the boat trip. At this first-class facility I had maybe the best lunch I've ever tasted. It was refreshing to know that establishments like this do exist in other places than just the movies. The food, atmosphere and the paradise feeling to this restaurant are simply amazing. It's a new resort and I'm guessing not too many people know about it just yet. Well, besides the locals who boat on this lake every year.

I understand that there are other great places out there, so feel free to post your list on the PDB Forum this month. Go to and on the forum page you'll find a link in the PDB Editor's category called "Best Places to Eat."

Brady L. Kay
PDB Editor

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