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Lakes Area Dining: Options abound at Classic Grill

EAST GULL LAKE — It’s good to have options.

Especially when all the options are flavor filled.

The Classic Grill menu at Madden’s Resort in East Gull Lake has options and it starts right away with the appetizers.

The standards are there with walleye fingers and quesadillas. The standards with a twist like calamari alla romana, pineapple chicken wings, Maryland blue crab cakes and coconut shrimp are also available. Then there is the portobello crostinis and the ahi tuna.

The tuna won out on this Friday night dinner date. The medium rare, seared tuna was served on a crispy, roasted garlic rice cake on top of a snow pea salad and teriyaki sauce.

Crab cakes are like a magnet for this writer, but my second option would have been the pineapple chicken wings tossed with a sweet hot pineapple sauce and garnished with cilantro.

One overlooked option at The Classic Grill is where to sit: outside or inside. The weather, while sunny, wasn’t warm enough for outdoor dining. But either option provides patrons a great view of The Classic golf course, which is annually selected as one of the top golf courses in Minnesota by national golf publications like Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.

It’s a little talked about benefit when speaking of all the golf courses in the lakes area, but most are paired with a restaurant. Views of lakes or golf courses create a nice ambiance to dining out in the area.

The next option comes with the entree and this is the most difficult decision of the night. The expected steaks are there along with different fish options from walleye and salmon to a fresh fish of the week special. Veal, pork medallions, a shrimp stir-fry and scallops are there. A penne pasta dish was the original choice, but a new menu item created competition. Chicken curry arrived at the table.

The sauteed chicken breast was served on a green apple, pear and cucumber salad with a garlic curry yogurt. The chicken was juicy and the salad more so. The flavors of spring along with the presentation were enough to kill off any cabin fever still lingering.

A pineapple upside-down cheesecake was boxed to go and the bill paid to end a delicious and relaxing dining experience in the lakes area.

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
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