It’s hard to keep your eye on the food with huge windows, loaded bird feeders and lovely views of the Platte River Valley at Mahoney State Park. And if that’s not pulling at your attention, there’s a roar from the bar each time the Cornhuskers score. In other words, don't rush a meal at this spacious restaurant seating 200 people in a 40-room lodge. (Come for fall colors in mid-October or to watch the birds during spring migration.)
Food is generally casual; you'll find homemade soups such as loaded potato, and a variety of salads and sandwiches. We tried the tasty burger with aged cheddar and brisket from Parker’s Smokehouse ($10.99). The brisket was a clash of texture with the burger, but it was smoky and tangy with a sweet barbecue sauce and a toasted bun. Our side salad of greens had buttery croutons, bacon, cheese and chopped tomatoes. Other options for sides include bacon-speckled fresh-cooked green beans, garlic mashed potatoes or twice-baked potatoes.
Other menu options included smoked salmon with grilled flatbread, meal-size salads such as spinach with candied pecans and dried cranberries and sandwiches such as a portobello mushroom burger or fish tacos. For entrees, look for wood-fired salmon, pan-seared walleye, pork chop and a Kansas City strip steak. If you have room—we unfortunately didn’t—you can try the doughnut holes they toss with cinnamon and sugar and serve with chocolate dipping sauce. Dishes run from $6 to $16.