Restaurant

The restaurant at Gates Lodge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual setting beside the Au Sable River. Our extensive menus are prepared almost entirely in house and from scratch. Our take-out window and huge sandwich menu is unlike anything for miles and allows anglers to get a quick bite to eat…or take their food to the river.

Chef Matt and pastry chef Emily take great pride in everything they make, from out-of-this-world desserts to hash and eggs in the morning. We are open to the public seven days a week from the weekend before trout opener thru the middle of October.

We are a small but popular restaurant, so reservations are required for dinner, or for larger parties at any time.

Breakfast: 7 am – 2 pm

Lunch: 11:30 am – 2 pm

Take-out: 10 am – 8 pm

Dinner: 5 pm – 8 pm

Please call us at (989) 348–8462 for reservations.

From the Kitchen

Morels

Morels

The trout themed calendar hanging by our point of sale system says that spring began on March 20th.  Those of us that that have been anywhere near Michigan during that time know this is total bulls***.

We’ve seen snow in May.  We’ve had icy puddles in June.  We know the truth.  March 20th may mark spring south of the Mason-Dixon line somewhere.  It’s probably where they shoot Budweiser commercials and somebody’s grandma invented iced-tea.  In the Au Sable river valley, we still had plenty of snow pack and frozen pipes.  If a commercial was filmed here, it would be for cheap, desperate whisky.  At least in March.

So when does Grayling spring begin?  Dry flies, especially the Hendricksons, mark the start of spring for many of us at the lodge.  The thawing and subsequent occupation of trout camps on opener certainly count for something too; but for me, spring starts when Chad Fath shows up at the Lodge with a bounty of morels so fresh they seem to shimmer, awash in living tastiness.

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Really great ingredients should be treated as simply as possible.  For morels it means carefully washing them at least 5 times by submerging them in water, gently agitating them, and pulling them out of the water like a child from a bathtub, leaving the dirt and sand behind (this is also ideal for lettuce, leeks, etc.).  Do this until you would drink the remaining liquid with confidence while recognizing the detritus isn’t dirt, it’s small flecks of mushroom flesh.

After they’re clean, they are very gently simmered in water and a little salt.  They are strained and the remaining liquid is reduced until I can’t stand it anymore, about 85%.  The cooked morels are reheated in this liquid with enough butter to make Paula Dean blush.  Chives and a tiny dash of sherry vinegar and you will have one of the most delicious things a person can eat.

Happy spring.