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Idler Riverboat & Dockside

June 8, 2018

  • 515 Williams Street #10
  • South Haven, MI 49090
  • (269) 637-8435
  • Website
  • Menu

Sunday was another day we wanted to get out of the house.  It wasn’t a great day weather wise, but it was nice enough.

We started talking about lunch and J reminded me she had a gift card for the Millennium Restaurant Group.  We talked about going to one of the usual Millennium restaurants when I came up with an idea.  Let’s go to South Haven and play at the beach.  Millennium has a restaurant there too.

Idler Riverboat & Dockside is South Haven’s Millennium Restaurant.  The riverboat is docked on the Black River at Old Harbor Village.   The 100+ year old boat underwent an extensive renovation back in 2001 before Millennium bought it.

We knew the riverboat was there but actually had a hard time finding it.  We parked across the street on the street from the shopping center then walked down the stairs to find a number of shops and a sign pointing us back to the boat.  We’ve been in South West Michigan for nine years…have taken many trips to South Haven…and neither of us knew this was there.

We eventually made our way back to the boat which is a two level Mississippi scow.  Interesting piece of history here.  According to a previous owner, the boat was built without power.  It was pulled by a tug and legend has it it was also owned by Vincent Price’s grandfather in the 1920’s.

There’s a small host area just before you get on the boat.  There was a woman standing there but she told us we could sit anywhere we like.  There is seating on both levels of the riverboat and there is both inside and outside seating on the top level.  We were hoping we could find a spot in the sun but there were no open tables big enough for the four of us.

We took a table underneath the awning near the cabin area of the boat.  It was still a nice enough day to sit outside although the kids did complain a little bit about being cold.  We were close enough to sun that once we got situated and ordered, we let them look out over the rail at the ducks in the channel.

J and I both started with drinks.  They don’t have a huge draft list but they did have one of my favorites, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

J went a little fancier with Foxy’s Rum Punch.  This drink is dark rum, mango rum, pineapple, guava, orange, and pomegranate juice.

The menu at Idler is pretty heavy on fish and we’re not big fish eaters.  J was a little hesitant at first but after getting there and eating dinner, she was sold on this place.

I ordered the “BBC” Bacon/Bleu/Cajun Burger.  This sandwich is a Cajun seasoned burger patty with bruleed bleu and Parmesan cheese spread, bacon, red onion, lettuce, and tomato.  It’s served on a soft Kaiser roll.  The cheese spread was very thin.  J thought it was mayo and was surprised that I was eating it until I told her it was bleu cheese.  There was a lot of that cheese spread but it was really good.  It sort of mixed with the juices from the meat to make a tasty sandwich.  The sandwich was served with salt and pepper kettle chips.  There was no option for fries.

J opted for a salad.  She picked the South Haven Summer Berry salad.  Fresh blueberries, strawberries, spiced pecans, candied bacon, and crumbled feta sit on top of “garden greens.”  It’s served with a balsamic vinaigrette.  J really liked this salad.  Like I said a few paragraphs ago, she was hesitant on this place due to the abundance of fish and seafood dishes, but this salad totally turned her.

We didn’t see a kids menu online, but we figured it was a Millennium Restaurant so they’d have one.  Turns out, they did.

We got both ids the Mac N Cheese which comes with potato chips.  The mac n cheese is rotini pasta and in rich, cheesy sauce.   B, as his protocol lately, ate about two bites.  L ate almost her whole bowl.  I kept reaching over and stealing their forks because this mac n cheese was so good.  We ended up using the extra cheese sauce, and there was a lot of it, in the bottom of the bowl to dip the chips in.

B was much more into the large basket of chips that came with the meal.  They were the same salt and pepper kettle chips that I got.  We finally just let him eat the chips to keep him quiet and took the rest of his noodles home.

Our bill was right around $60.  We had a $25 gift card so after tip, we were still over $45 for the meal.

The Idler Riverboat and Dockside….I didn’t even get in to the “Dockside” part of the restaurant.  It’s a small bar area connected to the boat via the boardwalk inside the main building of the shopping complex……

As I was saying, Idler Riverboat and Dockside is another great offering from Millennium.  We don’t sit down and eat all that often in South Haven.  We’re usually leaving the beach and the kids just aren’t going to sit after we drag them away from the water.  We were big fans of this place.  It’s one of those places that has been around for quite a while in South Haven and survives ownership changes.  There are not a lot of dining options along the water in South Haven but even if there was, it would be hard to top the atmosphere on the Idler Riverboat.

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