Terrell restaurant offers dock and dine experience
by Staff Writer
by Cathy Swiney
The dining focus shifts from interstate convenience to proximity to Lake Norman with Memorial Day weekend signaling the unofficial start to summer.
Boaters looking to extend their day on the water can dock on the shores of Midway Boathouse Grill to dine.
Owned by brothers Freddie, Jeff and Mark Lancaster, this waterfront restaurant is the first venture the longtime restaurateurs and businessmen have run together. Freddie runs Big Daddy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Jeff owns Lancaster’s BBQ and Jeffrey’s, and Mark owns Lancaster Custom Dock and Lift Systems Inc., all well-recognized Mooresville businesses.
“We’re trying to be something different than what we were already doing,” Freddie Lancaster said. “We wanted something fun on the lake where you could bring your family and have a good time.”
While landlubbers can easily find the restaurant just across the Highway 150 East bridge from Mooresville in Terrell, its sees quite a bit of traffic off the water at its location near marker 17A. Its 20 boats slips, just a short walk away from the door, fill quickly at breakfast, lunch and dinner times.
“People enjoy riding up here,” Freddie Lancaster said. “It’s a great view – the best view on the lake.”
The menu takes a no-frills approach to food with simple fare like nachos, burgers and sandwiches, but shrimp and fettucini as well. Blue plate lunches and blackboard features at dinner also are celebrated here, with Friday night catfish dinners a popular draw.
“People don’t mind waiting because they know they are going to get a good meal,” Freddie Lancaster said. “But we try to get them in and out because they don’t want to wait too long to get out on their jet-ski or pontoon.”
A quintessential dining atmosphere with charm and laid-back style greets diners. The back wall features large windows overlooking the lake while wood plank walls finish the remaining sides. Outboard motors are mounted on the walls along with an old wooden boat and nautical artwork, keeping with a water theme. A bar just inside the front door is the perfect place to grab a cold drink and enjoy the view.
Boat-in or drive-in traffic is busy at breakfast most every day of the week, but especially on weekends. For that first meal of the day, the menu offers eggs prepared in several ways, buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles, biscuit sandwiches and breakfast sandwiches.
Being on the lake can work up an appetite, making an appetizer a must. Fried pickles are a good way to start taking the edge off those hunger pangs. Pickle chips, battered and fried, are served with ranch dressing. Boathouse Nachos, which can include ground beef, chicken or shrimp, are a satisfying option of freshly made tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, onions, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and jalapenos.
The lunch and dinner menu is heavy on sandwiches and wraps, ranging from shrimp po’boy and pork chop sandwiches to mahi mahi and chicken wraps. Fans of barbecue will enjoy seeing that the smoked pork from Lancaster’s BBQ also is served.
An after-5 p.m. dinner menu steps away from traditional lake fare and adds a little more polish. Fettucini Alfredo is available with chicken or shrimp. Carolina Chicken Saute brings together sautéed chicken breast, mushrooms, tomatoes and Parmesan jack cheese in a white wine sauce atop fettucini.
Or try the Shrimp and Grits, which earn rave reviews. The entrée combines grits, peppers, shrimp and andouille sausage in a spicy Cajun cream sauce.
“The Shrimp and Grits are the best I’ve ever had,” a diner recently told Freddie Lancaster. “Better than in Charleston.”
Whether you arrive by boat or car, Midway Boathouse Grill is a good place for a meal that will extend your time on the water or simply enable you to enjoy the view.