Picture the perfect little town, where people are out walking with their strollers and their dogs. Where flowers bloom in hanging baskets and the air is still and sweet. Where birds chirp, and a sense of calm permeates as you walk through the columned porch and into the earthly scents of hot meals.
Welcome to The White Gull Inn of Fish Creek, part of Door County, WI.
This is the longest continuously operating inn in the county, run by two generations of Coulsons. Meredith Coulson-Kanter and her husband Chris are currently in charge and take every detail into consideration when preparing for their guests.
It Runs In The Family
“I grew up here,” says Meredith, “and spent most of my childhood running around the kitchen.” Now, while the challenge is often maintenance, she wants to make sure guests know the history of Door County and how the local produce fits into the hospitality at The White Gull Inn.
“I learned early that if you want to sell something, just put a cherry on it,” jokes Meredith. She talks about their legendary Door County Cherry Stuffed French Toast, recalling, “I think our general manager at the time came across a recipe for something with pineapple and coconut. My father said, ‘It’s Door County; let’s do cherries.’”
She continues, “It was a hit right away. While it was always popular, in 2010 it won the Good Morning America best breakfast challenge and it just exploded. We had to put in a whole new flat top griddle just for French Toast!” Now they serve more than 100 orders per day during the peak summer months, and have prep cooks who “spend half their day just making French Toast,” she says. She estimates that at least one person at every table orders the dish every time the doors open.
The attention to detail shows in the recipe, which includes tart Montmorency cherries mixed right into the cream cheese-based filling—not just used as a topping. The dish is served with local Door County maple syrup, and is just one of the cherry dishes prominent on the menu. Depending on the time of year, you can also get cherry pancakes, oatmeal with cherries, cherry coffeecake, and duck with Door County cherry port wine sauce. Breakfast is included with a stay in one of the 17 units at the inn, but the restaurant is open to the general public as well. Oh, and if you happen to visit in the fall, outside of cherry season, try the Pecan Caramel Apple French Toast!
The White Gull Inn is also known for its fish boils, cooked by a Master Boiler and served with, of course, cherry pie.
It’s a delightful stop and a Door County attraction you won’t want to miss, and close to other seasonal activities as well. Walk one way and you’ll find the harbor, complete with sailing in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Walk another direction and find the shopping district of Fish Creek, and yet another to meander through Cottage Row, where you’ll find turn of the century summer homes on the waterfront.
Just imagine, the perfect little town, where people are out walking with their children and their dogs. Where flowers bloom and the air is still and sweet. Where birds chirp, and a sense of calm permeates as you walk . . .
This is part of The Food Channel‘s coverage of Door County, Wisconsin, from a recent tour hosted by the Door County Visitor’s Bureau. Find all the stories in the series here.
Travel accommodations and tour arrangements in Door County were provided by the Door County Visitors Bureau in conjunction with Geiger & Associates Public Relations.
Photos by Paul K. Logsdon.