Antlers Family Dining is a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Sault Ste Marie. Before we travel to an area, I like to do my research. One of the things I check out is special restaurants listed on TripAdvisor. When I researched Sault Ste Marie, one restaurant that kept coming up was Antlers Family Dining. It also had the benefit of being just across the street from our campground.
After our Original Soo Locks Boat Tour, we headed to Antlers for lunch. From the outside, Antlers looks more like a lodge building than a restaurant. It was a Sunday around noon, so we thought there might be a crowd. Even though there were plenty of people, we were able to be seated right away. As we wound our way to our table, we could easily see why the place is named Antlers.
Antlers Family Restaurant is full of animal mounts: antlers, horns, and taxidermy. No matter where we looked, animals peered back at us. I thought it might be a little creepy, but it was just fun. There were several murals on the walls with stuffed animals incorporated. For instance, there was one mountain stream mural with all kinds of fish mounted on the wall. I saw swans, lions, mountain goats, antelope, and a fox lamp. I think you could eat there many times before you stopped seeing new animals.
With this unusual a décor, sometimes the food can be substandard. But the food at Antlers was excellent. Their web page says that Antlers is “Northern Michigan Cuisine in a rustic atmosphere.” It was like being in a mountain hunting cabin on steroids, so that would qualify as rustic.
Poutine was on the menu and the Shaws had never tried it, so we ordered some for everyone to taste. I forgot to take a picture of it when it first came to the table, and it looked like this after a couple of minutes:
Not something I would want at every meal, but a warm and hearty dish when it is cold out. I can understand why it is a favorite in Canada!
I ordered chili and everyone else ordered some kind of fish. Ordering fish is what you should do when you are on the shore of a great lake. But I just wanted a bowl of chili because I had seen something on the menu that really caught my eye: fresh, hot apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. I thought about skipping the chili but decided I might get hungry later in the afternoon. All the food was delicious. The chili was hearty and warm, and everyone said their fish was very good. The apple cobbler was especially good with the melted ice cream running down into the slightly crunchy cobbler.
The Antlers definitely played up the family atmosphere. They had a separate ice cream counter in the restaurant with Antlers t-shirts for sale. We enjoyed watching the children looking at all the animals. It was fun to spot things that no one else had seen.
We enjoyed eating at Antlers very much. If we had been in Sault Ste Marie a few more days, I might have wanted to eat there again. As it is, I just have another thing to look forward to if we go there again.