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Sep. 20, 2017
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Get ready to chow down this season at Lanier’s top eateries

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
Summer’s not officially here until the restaurants on Lake Lanier are open. While Twisted Oar at Holiday Marina, Coastal Breeze on Lanier Islands Parkway, Big Creek Tavern and Fish Tales at Hideaway Bay stay open throughout the year, they’re joined by a handful of other eateries that signal summertime. 
 
Here’s Lakeside’s annual roundup of fun food choices for the boating season. 
 
  • Port Royale’s Pelican Pete’s, Lake Lanier’s only floating eatery, opened in mid-April with a kitchen remodel. “We’ve enhanced the kitchen and brought it to a commercial level with a new flat-top grill that’s bigger than at Waffle House, another fryer and a 16-foot hood,” said Brian Grill, who’s beginning his third season as manager at Pelican Pete’s. “We’ve added some fun burger options, including Pelican Wings, jumbo chicken wings with three different tastes, plus the Propeller Black Angus burger with gorgonzola spread and house-made bacon jam and the Fire Extinguisher Black Angus burger with peppers, onions, provolone, jalapenos and spicy chipotle mayonnaise.” Pelican Pete’s has a pet-friendly patio and offers casual dining with lake views. It’s open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., then seven days a week after Memorial Day weekend. Guests coming by boat can park at the courtesy slips. More info: 770-877-5717, ext. 5, or www.bestinboating.com.
  • Twisted Oar at Holiday Marina is expanding its menu with made-from-scratch pizzas in three sizes: individual, 12- and 18-inch. They join popular entrees including peel-and-eat shrimp, salmon BLT, fish and chips and coconut shrimp. From deep-fried baskets to plated entrees with sides, Twisted Oar also serves pulled pork, salads and sandwiches. It has a full bar and serves more than a dozen beers on tap. Special events this season feature Trivia Mondays, Taco/Tequila Tuesdays, and prime rib on Friday nights. The restaurant has live music on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More info: 678-714-7572 or www.facebook.com/twistedoar
  • Hideaway Bay’s Fish Tales, owned by Dale Ozaki, is open year-round, but he kicks it up a couple of notches for the summer season. “We’ll have live music every night from Memorial Day until Labor Day,” he said. “And we’ve added some new items or the summer, including made-from-scratch crab cakes and coconut shrimp.” The eatery’s signature conch fritters, fish tales (grouper fingers), fish tacos and groups sandwiches remain on the menu as long-standing and very popular items. More info: 770-967-3775 or www.fishtaleslakelanier.com.
  • At Ozaki’s other restaurant, Pig Tales at Aqualand, opening day was May 1 for daily operation. In addition to its burgers, wings, barbecue and brisket, the menu has been expanded by adding several seafood entrees. “We’re bringing over some of our more popular items from Fish Tales this summer,” Ozaki said. Pig Tales will have live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More info: 678-828-7676 or www.pigtaleslakelanier.com.
  • Skogie’s at Gainesville Marina underwent a remodel earlier this year, adding a beer garden and changing the restaurant’s décor. Owner Tony Jonovitch still serves up his famous weekend brunch featuring eggs benedict nearly a half-dozen ways, plus hand-crafted entrees, sides and cat-head biscuits. Jonovitch has applied for a beer and wine license, which will mean no more BYOB, but he’s offering some Sunday holiday weekend specials, including an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet on Memorial Day Sunday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the Sunday of July 4 weekend and Labor Day. Guests can come by car or park their boats at the courtesy slips at Gainesville Marina. More info: 678-450-1310 or www.skogies.net.
  • Big Creek Tavern just off Lanier Islands Parkway is known for its fall-off-the-bone baby-back ribs. The menu also offers hand-cut steaks, a half-dozen salads, plus sandwiches, seafood, chicken and pork chops. Home-cooked vegetables like collards and creamed spinach are complimented by steak fries, tater tots, sweet potato fries, fried okra and onion rings. Big Creek has live music every weekend. More info: 678-482-1662 or www.bigcreektavern.com
  • Coastal Breeze Seafood Grill on Lanier Islands Parkway serves up 15 different appetizers, pasta, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Known for its house-made sauces – seafood, mango salsa, bur blanc, scampi, pan Asian and citrus glaze – Coastal Breeze is known for its fresh seafood, from steamed mussels to crab cakes and Gulf shrimp. In addition to Mahi Mahi, Grouper, tilapia, salmon and flounder, it offers a fresh seasonal catch of the day. The chef at the restaurant also crafts house-made salad dressings. More info: 770-945-9181 or www.coastalbreezega.com
  • Downtown Flowery Branch’s new Lakeside Market offers gourmet provisions, fresh-baked breads and cakes, soups, cheeses, specialty jams and spreads and sweets for take-home or take-to-the-lake enjoyment. Owned by Antebellum’s chef Nick St. Clair and Liberty Candy’s Karen Ching, Lakeside Market can make gift or food baskets. It’s located across Main Street from Antebellum. More info: 470-577-4890 or www.lakesidemarketga.com.

Posted online 5/1/17
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