Memorable | One of the Best
Bogey’s Bar & Grill
Review by: Jess Dawson
For decades, Bogey’s Bar & Grill has convinced diners that golf is not the only thing worth stopping for at Willow Ridge Golf Club. This family-owned gem is run by Doug and Sue Papinaw, who bought it in 1981 from Doug’s parents (who started it in 1962). Since then, they’ve poured their heart and soul into the establishment and run it as an extension of their family.
We came for lunch on Tuesday, when a few regulars already were at the bar and the dining room was busy but not full. We chatted with Sue, who admitted Bogey’s off-the-beaten-path location makes it less likely diners will just stumble upon it. But if you read this, do make a point of going. The staff is friendly and welcoming, maintaining a simple charm that is the best of the Midwest.
Though not on the menu, the fried basa fish sandwich is a must. Our waitress said one regular comes in for it four times a week. I get that! First, the portion is huge. So if you’re not starving, I’d say it’s worth a share, or a pretty grand leftover situation. The two “halves” are really each one sandwich. The soft hoagie-style bread isn’t too thick and is so generously laden with fish that it almost functions as a taco shell. Be sure and slather the thick, sweet pickle tartar sauce all over, and reapply as necessary. Basa, a southeast Asian catfish, is lighter than cod and almost buttery under the crisp crunch of its thin breading. For a side, I recommend beer-battered French fries, which are a beautiful golden color and gloriously crunchy.
Doug smokes meats in house, so we also got a pulled pork sandwich. An exercise in simplicity, the tender pork is salty and a great consistency, served with a sweet BBQ sauce on the side. No frills, just good. We get it with “chippers,” which are a hand-made potato chip served with gooey nacho cheese sauce for dipping.
Salmon patties are a slightly healthier option, deep pink in color and about half an inch thick, served with a deliciously light dill caper sauce. Again, fairly simple, but done with great care and love.
We chatted with Sue for a while, and she was as genuine as they come, proud of taking the eatery from a “golf course restaurant” to a restaurant in its own right, including picturesque views of the nine-hole course. Sue and Doug try different things all the time, so depending on when you go, there might be a special wine tasting (in the winter), meatballs, even oysters Rockefeller. They’re open to new things, but they know what they do right — and so do the locals.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner, Dessert|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|