BY: RACHEL SMITH
**originally written and published in the Clear Lake Visitor Guide**
Truth be told, whether you’re spending a week in paradise or live here full time, meal-time can become a bit monotonous. Day in and day out, we seem to eat the same meals over and over and over. Summertime does give us a bit of a break, being able to fire up the grill and all.
Even so, it’s sometimes fun to let someone else do the cooking and clean-up for a change, and in Clear Lake, there are a handful of exceptional eating joints who can do just that!
First up… Starboard Market. If you haven’t been to this sandwich shop extraordinaire, you are missing out! It might be a bit overwhelming at first glance of their ginormous sandwich board, but have no fear, you cannot go wrong with anything from Starboard Market. Fresh ingredients, generous helpings, homemade salads galore. And for the piece de resistance, complete your meal with a drool-worthy item from the dessert case. You won’t regret it.
Next on the docket is the OP Deck. Now, everyone around North Iowa knows The Other Place is famous for their ooey-gooey pizza delightfulness. But did you know that when the weather is favorable, they open up the outdoor deck, complete with fabulous drink specials and a separate, extraordinary deck menu?! It’s a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere than the busy hustle and bustle you’ll find all day, every day inside the restaurant. The deck menu is served Monday thru Saturday starting at 5pm – only in season. Look for them to open sometime around Memorial Day!
Maybe you’d prefer the full-on outdoor eating experience. Well, you have that option when dining at the fabulous PM Park on South Shore. Heck, you can even pull your boat up to the dock and tie up while you feast on their delicious fare. But if you’ve had your fill of sun for the day, never fear, as you can eat indoors as well. Take your pick and enjoy the gorgeous lake view and incredible atmosphere when they open for the season Mother's Day weekend! And for those who enjoy the night life – you can slide up to the Tiki Bar for a cold drink and some live musical entertainment.
Now, there’s not much of anything better in this world than donuts… but donuts from South Shore Donut Company are actually out of this world!!!! And these aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill donuts either. Each is concocted to complete, unique perfection. What makes this tiny treasure on the South side even better, is their lunch menu! I suggest you try a Mixwich because, not even kidding, it’s like the bread came down from Heaven; so soft, so warm, so incredibly delicious.
If you’re looking for a meal with a bit of musical culture, then the Surf District Rock ‘n Roll Grill is the place for you! Created to offer patrons a unique dining experience in Clear Lake that truly rocks, the Surf District is both family friendly, and perfect for an intimate date night. Not only are the walls littered with amazing music memorabilia, but the food is definitely something you’ll want to sing and dance about. Oh, and did I mention their center stage? Musicians, comedians, and dueling pianos are just a few of the highlighted acts you can enjoy.
And last, but certainly not least, is the ever-special and unique K&B Emporium. A pure treasure in Clear Lake, they boast an exclusive and exceptional menu and atmosphere. You can get homemade goodies or candy in the Sweet Shop, or head on up to Anna’s Ballroom for a fabulous steak. During the seasonable weather months, a rooftop patio is open for your enjoyment. It’s the perfect place for a ladies lunch or to enjoy one of their famous, signature cocktails. With so many options in the Emporium, you really just need to stop in and check them out. Maybe even bring some friends to check out the uber-classy wine cellar and share a charcuterie board.
With all these unique options, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds when you’re at the Lake!