--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)
with 2009 NFL Preview
Is it Sunday night yet? leave it to the NFL to get it right and open their 2009 Primetime Sunday Night football on NBC season with the Bears vs the Packers. When Jay Cutler was traded to da Chicago Bears on 4/3/09 I think everyone can still remember where they were. I was having lunch with some popo over at Freddy's Pizza in Cicero and I didn't believe it despite the fact it was being reported on the Score and ESPN radio stations every other second. It wasn't until I saw the press conference that it totally sunk in. It was shortly after that, the NFL put the Bears on display in Primetime night games a total of five times this season. You can forget about the Sexy Rexy's, Henry Burriss', Craig Krenzel's, Jonathon Quinn's, Rick Mirer's, Chad Hutchinson's, Kordell Stewart's and goodbye to the Moses Morenos of the world! You don't need to remember Cade McNown anymore. Now that you know what a real QB is, don't ever say Jim Miller was alright. I don't remember a buzz greater than the one Jay has brought to the city since #23 who happens to be getting his dues later today when he goes into the NBA Hall of Fame, could you see that one coming? If Jay gets his way, which he usually does, he'll be a first ballot into Canton, Ohio when his time comes and have a few rings of his own to wear for the occasion.
The NFL's best selling jersey since the trade was made
Now as far as the upcoming season goes its a tough call on the NFC North. The old black and blue division has turned into an aerial assault camp but here is what the others are saying. Sports Illustrated has the Bears winning the NFC North in the NFL season preview issue (with Aaron Rodgers on the cover) However they also moved Green Bay from 16 to 3 in their NFL power rankings because of the teams preseason performance. What? b/c of how they played in the preseason they moved up thirteen slots? sounds like crazy talk to me putting the Packers as the 3rd best team in the NFL. It seems like everyone has jumped off old man Favre's bandwagon despite the fact the Vikings have a better team overall than the Packers by my estimations and have added Percy Harvin to the mix on special teams along with #4 as QB. The way I see it is the Bears, Packers and Vikings will all split their games against each other and sweep the Lions. This leaves all three teams at 4-2 with ten games to decide the division. While I have Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre (yep the old guy) on my short list of MVP picks, I don't see the Packers being better than da Bears or Vikings but I do see 2 of the 3 teams going into the playoffs and the Vikings winning the division easily. I like the Chargers over the Steelers in the AFC Championship and the Saints over the Vikings in the NFC. So for Super Bowl XLIV I have the Chargers over the Saints. I pick it like this because everyone else has New England or Pittsburgh winning it all but it never goes the way its supposed to in the NFL and that's why its so great.
Its time to check the engine and fill up the tank on the Old Halas Hauler and head up North.
Next on Sunday Night football.
Tailgating Recipes and Ideas
If your not going to the game then there's only one thing to do leading up to this exciting week one matchup-drink and grill. I have a few suggestions on what can be done to make it a very successful extravaganza.
1st up- Get over to the Vienna Beef Factory store on Damen ave in Chicago to load up on Hot Dogs and Polish's. The Vienna beef all beef natural casing hot dogs are the best in the world and you can also grab buns and all your "new" Chicago style topping needs. If your a minimalist man then you can also grab the hot peppers you'll need.
Isn't it safe to say...legends are made this way?
2nd thing to do-If you can head over the border and into Kenosha to grab some groceries from Woodman's and meats and other delights from the area then I highly recommend you do. On top of all the other spots I'll give you at the end of this and have given you the past year on this site I would strongly urge you to get over to Lake Geneva Country Meats in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The heavily over populated vacation destination actually has a spot worth going to and its about 15 minutes up the road opposite way of Kenosha off I-94 from the main Kenosha exit-so its not even downtown.
Stop at this guys joint en route to Country meats for a pie and other goodies
Although I had passed by country meats many of times they were always closed since it was later in the day. I made it a point to get over there and pick up some of their award winning meats along with great canned goods and deli salads, twice stuffed potato's with 'sconsin cheese smoked meats, bacon etc... You know all the good stuff. I also made sure to grab some of their world famous brats which I had heard much about. Well the brats were some of the best I have ever had from the state which means they are best in country thus far on my search.
Worth the drive for some of their Brats
If your headed to green bay for the game then this little 30 minute detour (there and back to the highway) is well worth it. Make sure to pick up some brats for your grill if your going to be doing some tailgating. Even if your not headed to the game then I would still head across the border and pick these up for your Sunday night football party.
If your going to head to Country Meats then there's no reason to not stop in at River Valley Ranch and grab some of the world famous five cheese garlic spread but also some fresh mushrooms for burgers, stuffing them or whatever.
River Valley Ranch Mushroom Farm in Burlington, WI
Five cheese garlic spread is also available around Chicagoland
Chicago Style Dogs and Wisconsin Brats
I started by using the five cheese garlic spread and stuffing some white mushrooms from RVR with half of the spread and half bread crumbs and put those aside for the grill.
Before the grill
after the grill...ready to eat
The only thing I did different than normal was I just soaked the Country Meat brats in beer and onions. After about a 45 minute bath I threw them and some Vienna dogs on the grill and the only thing missing from this was NFL football. Luckily that is now a part of our fall grilling days.
Ready to go
Bears vs. Packers...Hot Dogs vs. Brats
of course if were doing Chicago style we do the original Chicago style too
Do not forget to grill up some Bill Swerski Polish Sausages as well. Click the link below the pic for more on them and other tubed meats.
Bill Swerski Polish with Recipe
Of course if your having both Bears and Packers fans over for the Sunday night game then we can all agree that we like Char Cheddar Bacon Dogs loaded with grilled onions. Click the link below the pic for more on them and other tubed meats.
Char Cheddar Bacon Cheese Dogs with Recipe
Going to Green Bay for the game? Then you might want to stop at one of the famous stops in Wisconsin along 43 en route to Milwaukee and Green Bay. You can pick up all your tailgating needs at both the Brat Stop and Mars Cheese Castle. I would say the Brat Stop is better for brats and drinks at the bar for lunch while Mars is better to pick up cheeses, beer and other fun food things for tailgating. Make sure to get a loaf of their famous cheddar bread, its da bomb.
Kenosha's Brat Stop is known world wide
as is Mar's Cheese castle located not too far down also in Kenosha
Brat Stop has the best brats in the state that are made to order
Mar's has a good brat but not quite up to par with the BS's but this is WI, its good
Then of course there is the legend that is Bobby Nelson and his cheese and sausage country store. Its here where you want to stop for all your bacon and beef jerky needs and of course they got cheese too. Its just a small little store compared to the other two but its filled to the walls up and down with encased and smoked meats. Bobby isn't around anymore but I can promise y'all a detailed report of him, his shop that lives on and that oh so chronic bacon they slang later on in the year. In the meantime stop in for yourself and you'll see whats up.
A Bacon Driving Destination
Other Possible Foods Stops en route to Green Bay
Sarkis (grease food)
Captain Porky's (fried shrimp & BBQ)
Franks Diner (classic American diner)
Oliver's Bakery (donuts and kringle)
Kewpee's (classic burger joint)
Big Star Drive In (burgers and drive in foods)
Fred's Bar (Burgers)
McBob's (corned beef and fish fry)
Zaffiro's (tavern style pizza)
Kopp's (burgers & custard)
Koppa's (deli sandwiches)
Jack Pandl's (German)
Charcoal Inn (Brats and WI tavern steak sandwiches)
5907 State Road 50 east
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Vienna Beef Factory Store & Café
2501 N. Damen Ave.
open til 4p weekday's-3p wkd's
Mar's Cheese Castle
2800 120th Ave
Kenosha, WI 53144-7599
Brat Stop Entertainment
12304 75th St
Kenosha, WI 53142-7323
Bobby Nelson's Cheese Shop
2924 120th Ave
Kenosha, WI 53144-7531