In anticipation of the long Memorial Day weekend, I pulled up the May issue of BikerSpot Magazine online to find some eating destinations requiring longer rides. Viola — just across from my article was a full-page ad for The Gunsmoke Grill in Cedar Point.
Well, technically, it’s not in Cedar Point.
It was a picture perfect Sunday. Bright blue sky dotted with puffs of fluffy white clouds promised a smooth day ahead. We rolled down the road, hugging the river, reveling in the freedom of the ride. Looking at the water, I remembered we had once considered buying a boat, and while the idea was tempting once upon a time, I wouldn’t trade the bike for anything.
Cruising along a quiet two-lane highway, Wally noted that we were about to hit 10,000 miles on the Victory — definitely a Kodak moment!
We were closing in on our summer motorcycle vacation to Minnesota, and it felt great to be out, next to my man, anticipating another week wrapped around him.
Lost in my thoughts about the trip to come, I was surprised when I realized we were almost to our destination. Having planned our day around lunch, we were ready to eat when we arrived in Cedar Point. We slowed through town keeping an eye out for our place. After circling the “business district,” we pulled over to check a map — ah, it was just outside town.
Seriously, just outside town. About the time we got going at full highway speed, we spotted the sign … as we passed it. After a short detour, we parked and headed in. Although I was drawn to the large outdoor seating area, we decided to go inside to catch some Indy 500.
Seated at the bar, I started reading: Mozzarella Sticks, Mac-n-Cheese Bites, Onion Rings, Hot Pepper Jack Cheese Cubes, Fried Pickles. I instantly knew I liked the place.
In addition to an eclectic appetizer variety, the menu featured chicken five ways, pork three and beef 15. Oh, and a couple meatless, as well. I ordered the Billy “The Kid” Philly with no green peppers and a side of Hand Cut Fries. He went with the Gunslinger Sandwich and homemade Coleslaw.
The Philly was juicy and hearty, and cheesy — real cheesy. I enjoyed every bit of the ooey-gooey-ness. The meat was plentiful and served on a hoagie roll that was soft inside but toasty crisp on the outside. The fries were cooked well and had a nice crunch.
As good as my sandwich was, his made me jealous the moment I saw it. The ribeye steak was cooked exactly to our liking, and the Cajun seasoning added a pleasant kick that merged well with the pepper jack cheese and portabella mushrooms. He said only three words: “Tender. Flavorful. Awesome!” I have to agree.
The coleslaw intrigued me, as it had corn in it. I tried a couple bites and loved how everything worked together. It was creamier than tangy with a hint of sweetness from the corn — mmmm.
Another fantastic ride to eat experience was in the books, and we were ready to get back on the bike for the adventure home.
Not too far down the road, we pulled over for a photo op at the Moews Seed Co. headquarters in Granville. It’s such a cool farm building, it made for an intriguing backdrop.
Back on the highway, we agreed on one more pitstop before home. Thinking a place on the water would be a nice option, we headed to The Landings at Henry Harbor. Just off the Illinois River bridge in Henry, the bar and restaurant offers a large deck with a view of the local marina.
We enjoyed a cold beer on the deck while watching the boaters and fisherpeople. Although the scene was enjoyable, we were ready to get out of the sun. With two more days off ahead of us, we opted to head out and pulled out of the lot just as about a dozen bikes rolled in, as had been happening the whole time we were there.
I smiled as we made the last turn toward home. It really had been a perfect day to ride.
Note: The Gunsmoke Grill is located at 249 E. Illinois Rt. 71 in Cedar Point and opens at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Be sure to check out their Friday night fires with acoustic music.