The Burgers of Wisconsin
Last year around this time I went on a food ride. I was in Kenosha and said screw it and decided to check out a place in Fort Atkinson on my "burgers of WI" to try list. The drive from Kenosha to the Fort is pretty simple. Take the Lake Geneva exit from 94 and take Route 50 to Route 12 which takes you right up to Scotties Eat Mor after about 25 minutes. I first heard of Scotties by rec from a friend at my local bar who's mom is from around that way. After a little online search at some point (theres not much on Scotties) I found this dudes flickr account and his pics put it on my "must hit in Wisconsin" list.
Fort Atkinson, WI
Scotties isn't the first burger found along US 12 in my 'Burgers of WI' series (It's also in Jefferson County like many others) and the ride into Fort Atkinson was pretty nice on the sunny day. We went thru Whitewater, which has a classic Wisconsin Main street and also passed quite a few supper clubs, bakeries and taverns en route. This is the middle of dairyland and Fort Atkinson is the home to the National Dairy Shrine. Huh? How do you worship dairy? Is there a sacred cow or something? It shares a visitor center with the Hoard Historical Museum, which was William D. Hoard's house. Hoard I learned was the 16th Governor of the state and the founder of Dairyman's Magazine.
Scotties is a classic old style diner. It's small, like smaller than Frank's in Kenosha, it sits 16 and more times than not has a full house. It's been around in the same spot, same building since the original diner tenant opened up shop in 1935. Of course it sits on Main street.
This was my first time up around this way and it was classic Wisconsin. Scottie, the namesake, controls the grill and he does it like a world class pro. Not to mention the grill is smaller than alot of peoples HD TV's these days. Scotties sister, Jackie, handles all the waitressing duties and together they make up the staff and everyone in town knows them. One local stopped in for lunch and brought them...a peacock feather? The menu has many of your typical breakfast joint items including omelets, skillets, biscuits and gravy, BLT's and quite a few other things including more usual sandwich suspects and burgers. They also have a specials board and I don't know why I forgot but I missed out on the fish fry. Scottie hand batters his fresh cut fish and doesn't take many short cuts with the rest of his menu either. It's just good home cookin'.
It was me and a friend and he let me do the ordering. So after my mind went blank I settled on a Denver omelet, an order of biscuits and gravy and a bacon, mushroom, Swiss burger with home fries. On my visit we had regulars sitting next to us and the old timer was shocked with what we ordered. He said I wouldn't be able to finish the burger let alone the rest of the food. He'd been going there since 1954 he told me. By the time we left Scottie had a full house and they were all regulars, all chit chattin' it up with each other. I'm not a breakfast expert but I liked both the omelet and the biscuits and gravy. I thought the sausage gravy was pretty damn good and my favorite part of the duo.
an omelet and some biscuits and gravy from Scotties...eat mor!
So I hear some people asking, "how 'bout the burger?" Well it was damn good too. Scottie starts off with a 16 oz hand patted patty that when cooked goes down to about 14 oz so this isn't no slider. I opted for the mushroom and Swiss with bacon added on and that was the right choice as this was the best bacon I have ever had on a burger. So thick and full of flavor it comes from a local butcher. The burger was cooked to a perfect medium (my friend wanted it that way and we were splitting) but they cook it how you want it. I passed Lake Country Market on the way to Scotties and just like there, Scotties had extra beefy flavor in their burgers.
Bacon, Mushroom and Swiss burger from Scotties Eat Mor
They hand cut their fries in house. We had a little bit of confusion since this was my first visit and I thought the fries were the home fries, but what I got seen with the burger were the home fries, the regular fries looked great. The home fries were no slouch neither, cooked with onions and complemented with hot sauce they paired well with the burger. At $7.95 this might be the best bang for your buck burger deal in America. All the food and two drinks set me back $20.61 before tip. You know farmers gotta eat well and in Wisconsin it seems they do. Scotties is a breakfast/lunch joint only and they shut down early and are closed on Sundays so call ahead. There's alot of locally loved stops like this around the state, heck I've been to many. So do stay tuned, more to come.
Eat More is a motto I've long lived by
Scottie's Eat Mor
124 North Main Street
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538