It's known for many things; the dam, the lake, boating, fishing and other water sports. This brings visitors from all over, but people who live here have their own, lesser-known spot to visit: the Longbranch Grill.
Right off the bat, I noticed everyone in the restaurant seemed to be having a really good time. Well, a really good time and lunch. That "homey" feeling is a reflection of the owner's personality.
"She is kind of like another mom. She really cares for us, she really takes care of us, and is concerned with us."
As you would expect, the Longbranch Grill has a lot of repeat, regular customers.
"We do have a lot of regulars and it's really neat, because then we get to know them."
"I hope they come back because everyone is really nice and they think the food is good and the service is good."
You'll also find some repeat employees.
"This is the second time I've worked here. I worked here before I had kids and came back after having two kids."
With the exception of grilled salmon, there is nothing really "special" about the choices on the lunch menu, but they take lunchtime staples and make them special. There are some differences of opinion about the best item on the lunch menu.
"I would take the burger."
"We sell a lot of ribs. We sell a lot of the Sally burgers."
"Now, on the lunch menu at Longbranch, there are 3-4 burgers named after somebody named Sally. There is a Sally burger, an Alpine Sally, etc. I just had to meet Sally, and I got to. She doesn't say much, but she's got really good taste."
When a burger is named after someone with good taste, like Sally, I have to try it, made better with bacon and cheese, please. I also had to sample the triple-cheese roast beef sandwich. And yes, it is every bit as decadent and delicious as it sounds. Mmmm.
I don't shoot these stories alone you know, and photographer, Dave Olson, has to eat, too. He opted for the walleye sandwich. I think he enjoyed it. This shoot took 6-takes for him to get it the way he liked it. The scene, not the sandwich.
As far as other diners were concerned, they were busy eating and having a good time to talk to me about how good the food was and how good a time they were having. So, I guess you'll just have to trust me when I say the Longbranch Grill is the kind of place you can come to enjoy good food, and the kind of place where you are likely to make a new friend before you leave.
They close for a few hours every afternoon, but the Longbranch is also open for dinner and features a variety of steaks.