Sunburnt patrons, damp swimsuits, sandy floors, and—seared Indiana duck breast atop potato pancakes and sauteed kale, finished with spiced duck au jus and roasted apple-cranberry chutney? Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill & Tavern may look humble, perpetually crowded with tourists and locals gritty from their day on the shores of Lake Michigan. But the surprisingly elegant dishes are anything but. Grilled cheese gets dressed up with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and smoked local bacon. Crisp pork belly and pickled mustard seeds top the deviled eggs. And andouille-sausage corndogs feature spicy-sweet links fried in creamy corn batter, accompanied by a honey mustard–and–ale dipping sauce. Wash it down with one of the regional craft beers on offer. If you prefer a good, old-fashioned burger after a day on the beach, no worries. Bartlett’s also cooks up some mean basics. Juicy patties on pretzel buns, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs, and savory five-hour pot roast are all perfect selections for the diner as casual as his cargo shorts. 131 E. Dunes Hwy., Beverly Shores, 219-879-3081
Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (open one hour later Memorial Day through Labor Day)
2 hours 45 minutes
Know Before You Go
Reservations not accepted.
What’s Your Hurry?
Drive by the five homes built for the 1933 Chicago “Century of Progress” World’s Fair, later purchased by real estate developer Robert Bartlett and delivered to the Indiana Dunes shore via barge. 1100 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter, 219-395-1882