IF YOU GO
Where: Eddie’s Grill
Address: 5377 Lake Road East, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio
Menu: Two burgers ($4.35 and $4.65)
Schedule: Open peak season, Memorial Day through Labor Day
IF YOU GO
Where: Old Mill Winery
Address: 403 S. Broadway, Geneva, Ohio
Menu: Three burgers ($9.99 to $10.99)
Schedule: Open year-round
By: Anthony Fuda
It’s that time of year again, when you forget the 40-hour work week, kick back, soak in the sun, take that much needed vacation — and enjoy a great burger or two.
My family and I have been spending the past 20-some years going to Geneva-on-the-Lake, enjoying the Lake Erie wineries and partaking in the grilled delights. We usually try to find a new place to check out, but we also have to go to two of our old favorites.
The two I am referring to are Eddie’s Grill and the Old Mill Winery.
Eddie’s Grill is right in the middle of Geneva-on-the-Lake, and you can see a crowd at this eatery every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The menu is simple: a hamburger or a cheeseburger. Eddie’s is also known for its foot-long hot dogs, but that’s a different group’s specialty.
Like always, I ordered a cheeseburger. One feature that cannot be overlooked is the condiment bar, where you can doctor up your burger any way you want, with pickles (sliced stackers or chips), hot peppers, mild peppers, horseradish, hot pepper seeds, and the standard mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise.
I always load my burger with pickles, more pickles, and even more pickles, then add some horseradish and a squirt of stadium mustard. Not the traditional burger, but something that always enhances the Eddie’s experience for me. You can think of this burger as fast food with flair.
Place your order and get your orange number and wait to be called.
My wife and daughter also look forward to our Eddie’s trip. Cheeseburger for the wife and a plain burger (nothing at all on it) for our daughter. You can call it fast food, but we like to call it our yearly Geneva-on-the-Lake craving. It might be the ’50s open air diner and the jukeboxes at every table, plus the long tradition of this much anticipated yearly burger that keep us coming back again and again. But we wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Our next burger is one of my all-time favorites, and it comes from the Old Mill Winery. You walk into an old hardwood-floored mill. You can eat inside or at a nice patio where you can enjoy a breeze and sip on a glass of wine.
Again, two burgers are offered on the menu. This time each patty is a half-pound of perfectly seasoned tender beef: a Wine Burger and a Loaded Wine Burger (with your choice of American, provolone, pepper jack or Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and two slices of bacon). There’s also a Burger of the Month. For July it was the Backyard Burger (pulled pork, melted American cheese, onion tanglers). You can get lettuce, tomato or onions, which I always do, especially when they are pulled-from-the-garden fresh. The burgers come with potato chips and a pickle. You can get waffle fries or sweet potato fries for an additional $3.99.
We went twice this year, and I had the Loaded Wine Burger, then a couple days later, the Backyard Burger.
I ordered my burgers medium, they came out perfectly cooked, and both were delicious. The beef was tender, well seasoned and full of flavor.
The Loaded Wine Burger has a flavor I would just call delicious. Fresh toppings and blanketed in cheese, the burger is juicy and begs you to take another bite. Each bite kept you wanting more and more, so much that I didn’t want to put the burgers down. The kaiser roll soaks in those juices and adds even more flavor. A savory meal from the first to the last morsel.
When I had the Backyard Burger, I wanted to try something a little different. I usually don’t go for the two meats on a burger, but knowing how the Old Mill cooks all its food, I had to give it a try. I was impressed. The pulled pork was just as tender as the burger.
The onion tanglers added that fried greasiness that brought the pork and beef together. When you sink your teeth into this monster, you are hit with the fresh lettuce and tomato, followed by the barbecue pulled pork, and then rounding out the bite with that ever-so-tender beef. Multiple flavors go well together, yet they stand out when they need to.
We had another couple join us for the second go round, and they split the Backyard Burger because it is so big. They also remarked how tender the beef was and asked when we were going back.
I am already anticipating next year’s trip and might even have to make a run up to the Old Mill, because it’s open all year, and get a bottle of wine and one of the amazing burgers.
These two burgers are a definite on my “must have” list each year when we make our Geneva vacation trip. And I am pretty sure after you try them, you’ll be making return trips for an Eddie’s burger and the delectable Old Mill burger. After some time on the beach or a walk through town, stop by either of these Geneva favorites.
If you are looking for a day trip, or a local weekend getaway anytime throughout the year, then make the trip to Geneva and the Old Mill and get one of its great burgers, a bottle of wine — or two. I like the sweet Grindstone Red paired with these burgers. I’m sure someone in the group will be the designated driver if you promise next time it’s their turn.
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