On the waterfront of South Bass Island in Put in Bay, Ohio, Wharfside is actually primarily a carryout and convenience store with some food and souveniers, but it has added a simple menu of bagels and sandwiches and a small front porch eatery. There are a lot of restaurants in Put In Bay, most of them bars and nightspots. Wharfside, on the other hand, offers a little more relaxing of an experience, a place for breakfast by the sea.
Wharfside has a very small menu comprised mostly of sandwiches and coffee for the early morning types. The top item on the menu is undoubtebly the best, the “Cuban” sandwich, stuffed with pork, eggs, salami and a very tasty “cuban” dressing with a little bit of spice. It’s the perfect thing for breakfast or lunch, though it’s a heavy sandwich, it’s got that perfect bite and a mixture of sweetness and savory. I can’t describe it exactly, but it’s the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Outstanding.
The other sandwiches are mostly bagels, which are good. One has ham, cheese and egg for a relatively simple start to the day. Another has bacon. The bagels are good, I suspect they’re the only bagel sandwiches on the island, but nonetheless, they could do without the cheese whiz, or with a different kind of cheese. It does no favors and makes them a little messy. The coffee is pretty simple and to the point. It’s nothing special, but it’s plenty convenient if you want a quick cup. It’s also a $1 refill. I suspect it’s the kind of thing the locals prefer to get things started in the morning without a lot of sugar and cream.
The atmosphere is pretty good; the food comes on a small wooden porch which is pretty relaxing, but unfortunately the dining area is on the opposite side of the building from the sea, and so it’s a missed opportunity for some prime real estate. Atypical of the other businesses in this town, Wharfside really has the feel of a small-town local dive, not a resort establishment where better service and higher prices are elevated. In fact, for an island town where much of the food is boated in or flown in from the mainland, the prices are just fine. The service is great to go along with that, with the servers and staff being very friendly, approachable and talkative. If you’re like me, and you want to hear from the locals the best places to go, this is the right kind of feel for you. It’s a nice change-up from the rest of town.
- Definitely try the Cuban sandwich before anything else. Easily the best item on the menu.
- The seating is apparently outdoors only, and can be limited, so take the weather into account when considering coming here.
- The coffee has free refills for $1 if it’s the type of day that you’ll need a lot.