First you need a reservation, and you have to find it.
When you drive in to Christy’s Lakeview Catering Center on Lake Tobiason near Hatton, N.D., you have arrived. The time to come, with a reservation in summer, is the third Sunday of the month – at noon. No reservations are required later on for dinners served beginning on the third Sunday of September.
People who live around Hatton will know how to find Christy’s. For others, it takes a map showing Highway 45 to locate the beautiful, airy lodge. There they find the breakfast buffets once a month in summer and Sunday dinners during the winter.
Last Sunday, brunch guests could choose biscuits and gravy, cheesy hash browns, American fries, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon and sausage. There was an egg bake and a pizza bake along with French toast. For good measure, there was a Mexican breakfast tortilla. Also homemade rolls and breads.
Sometimes, there are donuts for people while they are waiting in line.
The large, airy lodge for dining sits on a gentle slope above the lake. Meals are prepared in a big, efficient kitchen and served with leadership of Christine Holweger. She’s well known as a long time caterer who started cooking at the age of 18 at a restaurant in Hatton.
Sometimes people ask how many meatballs she has made. And she says one year she counted 9,200. Her recipe is no secret. She uses oatmeal, salt, pepper, onion, egg, milk ….
She calls it just a basic recipe.
After first cooking in the restaurant, she began cooking in the school at Hatton. Then she moved on to catering weddings and special events. And she has the help of workers from Bethany WELCA Church between Hatton and Mayville.
“There are about 14 of them,” she said. “They volunteer their work as fundraising for the church.”
At Lake Tobiason, the spacious and inviting dining area has rows of tables covered this summer with blue and white checked cloths. There are long tables, big windows and a massive stone fireplace. Beyond the large dining area, there is an adjacent smaller dining room. On a Sunday in summer, there are fans gently moving the air.
When she is not cooking, Christine Holweger has for the last year been enjoying a new family home near the lake. It is near the Lakeview catering lodge that was built earlier by her son David and her husband Jim. He formerly was with Fritz Building Co. of Grand Forks.
There is a friendly, cheery ambiance around the lodge.
About the lake location, Christie Holweger says, “The big thing is just enjoying the people.’’
Then too she says, “It’s so peaceful here in the mornings – just looking out over the lake.”
Golden Lake Acres
Golden Lake, N.D.
Not far from Christy’s on Lake Tobiason, summer visitors find a place to eat on the shores of Golden Lake. It is south of Northwood off Highway 18. This almost round lake is ringed with homes – some seasonal and some occupied year round.
As a gathering place, Golden Lake Acres has a large deck overlooking the water. It provides a pleasant setting to snack or eat. While the menu shows mostly a variety of burgers, manager Jake Dickson says walleye and ribeye steaks are featured on Friday and Saturday nights.
There is seating inside for 60 in the dining area and eight at the bar. The place is clean and uncluttered with windows providing a lookout over the lake. Dickson said many homes are occupied all year around Golden Lake. Fifteen are homes of snowbirds who spend their summers at the lake. There is a large area for trailer homes.
He said the restaurant will be open until Labor Day and on weekends of November and December.
Christy’s Lakeview Catering
Near Hatton, N.D.
Seating for 60 at tables, 8 at bar
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on one Sunday a month
Report card: A wide array of Sunday brunch foods served once a month during summer in a friendly, airy lakeside dining room. Reservations required.