There are fish sandwiches, and then there is the fish and chips sandwich at the Boathouse, an all-day counter service spot tucked into an actual former boathouse at the Suttle Lodge, a magisterial 1930s-era property located in central Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest. A brawny trout filet is encrusted in pulverized Kettle brand potato chips, fried golden brown, and crammed into a squishy potato bun like a linebacker into a tutu. Accompanied by tartar sauce, pickles and iceberg lettuce, it’s less a sandwich than a piping-hot mess of pleasure.
Perched on the edge of Suttle Lake, a 20-minute drive from the tiny town of Sisters, the lodge was renovated last year by some of the team behind the Ace Hotel in Portland; the result, which reopened late last summer, emanates a sort of Wes Anderson Goes Glamping vibe.
The Boathouse also sports a cool-kid pedigree: its menu was designed by Joshua McFadden, the executive chef at and co-owner of Ava Gene’s and a founding partner at Tusk, two of Portland’s buzziest restaurants. “It would be so easy to put a world-class restaurant in that location, but for me it would feel like such an injustice,” Mr. McFadden said of the Suttle Lodge. Instead, he continued, his guiding principle was “let’s do the basics and do them really, really well.”
That translates to a compendium of expertly executed grown-up camp food: burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and a Left Coast chowder stocked with chunks of trout and salmon. Indeed, the Boathouse is a haven for trout enthusiasts: you can also add it to the aptly named simple leaf salad or, at breakfast, to a pleasingly gooey egg sandwich.