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“Nice place, but disappointing food”
Review of Seabiscuit Cafe

Seabiscuit Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast
Description: This fabulous Mackinac Island eatery features an appropriate horse theme from the 1938 true life story of the famous horse, Seabiscuit. A great deal of care was taken to restore the original brick surfaces, hardwood floors and new furnishings have transformed the 1800’s bank building into a cozy, comfortable restaurant. An excellent casual menu appropriately fits this charming place. Seabiscuit fans rave about the Lobster Roll, Deep Fried Macaroni Balls, Guinness Cheese Crock, Whitefish Chowder And Warm Apple Carrot Cake. Top it off with a Manmosa, a mango infused vodka with champagne. A fine wine selection is available along with a full bar so stop in for an afternoon cocktail or stay for the evening sipping your favorite martini.
United States
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Nice place, but disappointing food”
Reviewed April 17, 2011

I like this place - honestly. And a three-star rating might be more justified, but I've got to give it two stars, however reluctantly.

The Seabiscuit is a tony, attractive bar/restaurant in the center of downtown Mackinac Island, and when I was there (three very cold days in April) it was one of only two restaurants open for business in a town where everything shuts down until roughly May 1.

I was eager to dine at the Seabiscuit, which is very inviting and visually warm. I ordered fish and chips after being assured by the waitress that the fillets are very generous and that the whitefish are caught locally.

But what I got was one very thin fillet, about 8 inches long, 4 inches wide at the widest, and perhaps a quarter inch of thickness. Now, that's not a lot of fish. And even the waitress admitted that it was "scrawny." Yes, that's the perfect word. And it wasn't really very flavorful, despite the fact that I told the waitress that the flavor was "OK." So I spent $16 on a mountain of French Fries accompanied by a thin, flexible roof tile.

Well, maybe they just were having an off night. So two nights later, I returned and ordered a chicken salad sandwich. You're thinking that's a rather bland choice for dinner, right? Yes, but the way they describe it in the menu makes it sound very appealing, with a blend of spices and other ingredients, and it seemed like something I owed it to myself to try.

Wrong again. The "sandwich" was two mini-sandwiches (think Tapas, but perhaps a bit larger) with cute, bulbous buns separated by a mound of potato chips. And it was not just measly, but bland.

That's zero for two. So I must urge caution. They need a complete re-think of their food menu, and should immediately cease offering fish and chips until they can get it right.

On the plus side, I had some outstanding IPA there, but they don't brew the beer at the Seabiscuit, do they?

Overall, an attractive place, and if they can improve the food offerings, it will be a winner.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Isoruku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,033 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Can't wait to get back”
Reviewed October 17, 2010

Cannot say enough about this eatery. Would suspect if some had problems here, it would involve an attitude problem (not the restaurants). Yes, it's busy at the peak lunch and dinner hours. Hmmm! The food was EXCELLENT, the service better than expected and GRACIOUS. Our waiter Ryan was personable, attentive, and professional. If he works there next year when we go back I hope this helps him. Top shelf all around

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Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandy, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“We walked into the cafe hoping for a nice...”
Reviewed October 16, 2010

We walked into the cafe hoping for a nice dinner to end the day. As we were looking at the menu we realized there wasn't much for vegetarians. So we ended up getting a couple of the appetizers which were very good.

The waitress was very cordial and friendly and made our dinner very relaxing and enjoyable. One suggestion: get the deep fried macaroni balls. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but oh so good!

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1 Thank njones4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and excellent food”
Reviewed September 28, 2010

We just stopped in for a bowl of soup, but had good service and delicious food. I liked the shrimp corn chowder better than the tomato basil, but would enjoy either!

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    • Food
Thank seafoodfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Two thumbs down”
Reviewed September 19, 2010

My husband and I chose to eat at this location due to the good reviews. We were on the island Sept 14th which was a Tuesday and we stopped by post lunch rush. Things were fairly quiet and the restaurant was half full. We had our two year old son with us. (Note to parents, this establishment is not prepared for children.) Long story short my husband ordered the mini burgers and I ordered a chicken sandwich. I started eating my food only to find out that the chicken was raw in the middle. I waited for the server to check on us but she was too busy having a conversation with other waitstaff in the corner. My husband proceded to finish his meal before she returned. When I showed her the chicken she did not apologize but rather asked if I wanted it put back on the grill. Since my husband was finished with his meal (and I had for some reason lost my appetite) I said that was not necessary. Saying nothing she took my plate away and came back with the bill. Again saying nothing. So in summary, bad food, bad service, not good for children. I guess they don't worry about giving guests salmonella.

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    • Food
1 Thank avirnig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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