Bites Nearby: Hubbard Park Lodge is a Trek to Find, and a Trip to Visit
A little polka and a fish fry anyone?
Usually Shorewood is known for its upscale, moderately priced restaurants featuring chic cuisine, and usually some peppy pop music in the background.
But what about tradition and culture?
Hubbard Park Lodge brings some of those traditional customs back to the North Shore with a very family-friendly atmosphere and some good, hearty food.
This restaurant is everything within the definition of unique, beginning with the entrance. The Lodge is located right on the river, but to get to it, you have to drive to a parking lot at 3565 N Morris Blvd., and then continue through a very colossal tunnel that looks to end in the middle of a forest.
The expedition continues along a lengthy, curvy trail where you'll then begin to approach the Lodge.
Up a few steps, and you're transported to what looks like a scene from "The Sound of Music."
An elderly man decked out in a lederhosen plays the accordion in the corner, occasionally turning on his bubble machine when kids come up to do the Chicken Dance. It's like being at a big family reunion, as many of the tables comfortably seat seven or eight people, and young kids run around making new friends and dancing to polka music.
But the Lodge is not open daily like most restaurants. These polka-dancing, beer-battered-fish events are only on Friday nights. The Lodge also has a Sunday brunch. Any other day, the Lodge is used as a rental facility for banquets, weddings and parties.
The red brick interior has very high, vaulted ceilings, offering a second-story, loft-style seating. A lengthy table runs along three of the walls, facing inside the Lodge so patrons can eat and be entertained by the cheery children.
A large fireplace in the middle of the east wall keeps the "grandma's house" theme going, along with two-story windows, decked in naturey drapes.
For fish, the menu features a few options: Beer-battered cod, lightly breaded perch, breaded shrimp, baked tilapia, and a combo platter ($10 to $14). Each comes with a side, but keeping with my attempt at trying new things, I went with the potato pancakes.
I still can't figure out if the applesauce was supposed to go on top of them or not, but they seemed best with just butter. Crispy and buttery, they reminded me of hash browns, but with more "crunchies" than starchy potato.
The beer-battered cod was my choice of entree and the portions were monumental. Crispy as well, each of the three monster pieces on my plate were very tasty. The Lodge also offers burgers, veggie burgers, soups and desserts, along with a 12 and under menu. Kids meals are only $4.95.
With a very family friendly atmosphere, hearty food choices, polka music and a bar, Hubbard Park Lodge takes things back to some more traditional roots, and will keep your belly full.
Friday: Fish Fry from 5 to 9 p.m.
Sunday: Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.