Ohio Lakefront Restaurant Review: Howie’s on the Lake
One of the major attractions of living at a public lake, compared to a private lake, is the amount of restaurants and bars that you can go to with relative ease while visiting your lakehouse; or that you can go to on a regular basis if you are a full time resident. The question is, which places are worth the visit? Which places have the best food? The best music? The best crowd? Well this week we are aiming to make life a little easier for anyone thinking about, or already living at, Portage Lakes. This week we will be doing a restaurant review on Howie’s on the Lake, a lakefront bar and grill located on Turkeyfoot Lake, part of the Portage Lakes main chain.
A little background, Howie’s has been a well known place in the area since 1927 when it was a grocery store and bait shop. it expanded to other attractions during the prohibition era, and then added on a restaurant and bar in the the early 50’s and became known as Howie’s on the Lake. It has known few owners, each one in the past keeping the business for decades at a time, with the most recent change of hands back in 2012 to a local Portage Lakes resident who lived in the area his entire life.
As far as the physical aspects of the bar, the location is great, being right on Turkeyfoot brings in a lot of boaters as Turkeyfoot has one of the two ski zones on the Portage lake chain. The parking lot (as seen in the photo) has tons of space, and there at least half a dozen docks to tie boats up for boaters to come in straight from the lake. The large amount of parking space, for boat and cars, is a major plus. I can tell you from personal experience that a restaurant with limited parking can sometimes be a pain to get to. As far as the actual bar itself the inside is on the smaller side and you can tell it was built in the fairly decent past with short ceilings and limited space. That being said the bar in the middle of the room has plenty of stools and the outside has approximately eight pavilions and with a patio that’s probably bigger than the inside of the actual bar. All a good thing. Howie’s is known to get busy in the warm months and most residents will want to spend their time outside. One of the best parts about the place is it’s location, as you can see below hanging out at Howie’s comes along with a great view.
Now to get down to the food and drinks. Honestly, Howie’s impressed me with a few items on the menu, for starters was the Anchor Burger, which to be frank I am not a big fan of peanut butter on my hamburger, however it was recommended and I can honestly say it was good enough that I would second guess my standing on peanut butter as a hamburger topping. The tacos were also delicious, with a wide variety of choices, and tacos that when were served didn’t skimp out on the meat. When talking to patrons who were there with me, how ironic that they said the best things were the burgers, tacos and wings (which I did not get the chance to try that day) Of course we ordered a few other items, such as appetizers and salads, that were just as good as any I’ve had at other restaurants. The main issue I had was the wait time on the food. Which I am a pretty patient person when it comes to dining in, but on a day when it wasn’t that busy, I would have liked a little more urgency and waiting time to be a little less. However, it was worth the wait considering the food was good and the environment and view was one that I enjoyed. Sad to say I didn’t get a chance to try any alcoholic beverages either (unforeseen circumstances) but I am sure that they would receive a passing grade at least, based on what the other patrons said about the place. The menu itself was good size with plenty of other options, and apparently they have some decent talent in the kitchen making the food. The pricing was affordable, and combined with the quality it hits the target market of your average individual living the lake lifestyle who just wants a good drink and a nice hot plate of food.
To cap it off Howie’s on the Lake is a great little community restaurant and bar with a great view and environment. They have live music and other entertainment such as trivia night that will keep residents entertained. In the warm months, the place can get crowded, but with extra parking you should still be able to find a place. All the food was good and reasonably priced, and is conveniently located on one of the most desirable lakes at Portage. So after you purchase your new lake home out at Portage Lakes, give Howie’s on the Lake a try!
Written By Justin Shelton Lakefront Consultant – The Lake Team