The first time I drove past Jolly Roger Seafood House, I dismissed it immediately. Maybe the name struck me as too corporate sounding. Or maybe it was the location, surrounded by hotels in a tourist driven town. Fortunately, I was set straight by trustworthy Roadfooders Michael Hoffman and lleechef, who informed me that they happily drive a couple hours each way just to eat here. That zoomed Jolly Roger to the top of the "must visit" list.
We stopped in between typical lunch and dinner hours during the off season and they were still doing a brisk business. There is a big menu board next to the ordering window. Once you decide what you want and pay, they give you a number to help them find you. Seating includes plenty of booths and two outdoor patios. We appreciated the fact that it took a good 20 minutes for the food to arrive and you can actually watch it being made to order through a window into the kitchen.
While there are non-seafood options, the location (Lake Erie is only a few hundred yards behind the restaurant) tells you fish is what you want and, in this part of the world, that means lake perch or walleye. Four beautiful, long fillets come with the lake perch dinner. The fish tastes fresh and sweet, with a flaky texture and a crunchy outside that is not the least bit oily. Despite coming in irregular shapes and sizes with a sandier exterior, we enjoyed the mild, clean flavor of the walleye even more. Plenty of tartar sauce comes with the meals. Among the sides we tried, we liked the weighty, rugged onion rings and the creamy coleslaw that had a hint of spicy zing.