"Come for a quiet Sunday drive. Enjoy the early blossoms and nesting birds." This poetic phrase welcomes visitors to the website of the Golden Eagle Ferry, one of the two river routes that transport guests to Calhoun County's historic Wittmond Hotel. This is sage advice, as nothing's more pleasant than traversing the back-country roads by car, languidly gazing at the passing river, trying to catch glimpses of eagles out the window. No dining destination better captures the nostalgia of a drive along the Great River Road than the Wittmond Hotel. Its family-style, home-cooked classics and general-store vibe transport guests to a time when the chicken was fried in lard, fresh-made sausage meant the family was missing a pet pig and no one had ever heard of GMO corn. This is not complicated haute cuisine, but stick-to-your-ribs home cooking like Grandma would've made. While rustic farm-to-table cooking is all the rage in the trendiest urban restaurants, little gems like the Wittmond Hotel have been offering this cuisine for years in its original setting. It's worth the trip to experience an original.
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