A welcome surprise awaits at Ernie's | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

A welcome surprise awaits at Ernie's

Lakes Area Dining

Posted: May 30, 2012 - 6:12pm
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Jeremy Millsop The Shrimp, clam and mussel linguine provides a pleasant surprise at Erine's on Gull Lake.
Jeremy Millsop The Shrimp, clam and mussel linguine provides a pleasant surprise at Erine's on Gull Lake.

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EAST GULL LAKE — The art of improvising was on display at Ernie’s on Gull Lake.

There is a bit of menu research done via the World Wide Web before each dining experience as was the case May 22 before a visit to Ernie’s on Gull Lake on Squaw Point Road.

A look at the online menu had this patron craving the lobster ravioli, but after picking a prime location on the back deck, an almost completely different menu was presented.

Lobster Ravioli was nowhere on the menu so a quick change of direction led to skipping an appetizer in favor of a cup of the featured Lobster bisque. A cup, however, was not enough of this cream-based soup. Large pieces of lobster made for a delicious beginning to the dining experience and helped fill the void of a lobsterless entree.

Seafood remained the target for the main course and a shrimp, clam and mussels linguine, which wasn’t on the online menu, captured the attention of this diner. Accompanied with large chunks of red, yellow and green peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, one thing quickly caught this consumer’s eye — there was no shortage of seafood.

It seems to be a common practice in other restaurants to place all the seafood on top for a great visual impact. But it leaves nothing but noodles near the end of the meal.

A more than pleasant surprise kept occurring after each fork-filled bite left the plate. More seafood, the highlight of the dish, was waiting. The last bite taken was one of the many large shrimp. Once done, mussel shells and shrimp tails told the story of a recommendable main course.

The only problem with the experience was the fork was too small, but that offered more time to enjoy the beautiful Gull Lake views longer.

Rare is it to see desserts on online menus and so it’s always a wait-and-see scenario when ordering dessert. The wait was worth it. Red velvet cake, the holder of the dessert championship belt in this writer’s opinion, was front and center.

On a side note, I’ve already enjoyed the best red velvet cake ever made and it wasn’t in a restaurant. It was made by a high school classmate’s mother. So far no one has come close to mimicking the recipe.

Ernie’s attempt was close and it was worth the purchase, but Mrs. Williams still holds the title.

The meal was worth the drive, twisty and curvy as it may be. If the weather outside is even slightly bearable then sitting outside is recommended. A great view of the lake creates the atmosphere and watching the boats is sure to fill the silent moments in any dinner party.

Customers will find whatever their taste buds desire as the menu is large and extensive from seafood to steaks to creative sandwiches and burgers. It was overheard at the next table that the prime rib sandwich was the highlight of the day.

Changing game plans and still getting a memorable meal was the highlight of this dining experience.

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop