Friday, July 3, 2015

Wisconsin Eats

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

- Five More Wisconsin Style Eats

I apologize but there are no grilling and or Smokin' recipes this year. I recently moved and am still getting my yard sorted out. So instead I thought I'd share five more Wisconsin style eats figuring many a Chicagoan are in Wisconsin for the holiday. No one does Wisconsin stops better than me.

Juice's Ghost Town Tavern

Grafton, WI

This 100+ year old tavern has gone through a few names and its current one comes from the fact this town was once a thriving place. Its where the first paved road in Wisconsin (from Ulao to Grafton) was built in 1849 and also where the man who shot & killed President James A. Garfield in July 1881 was from. The killers boyhood home still stands today.

Old Fashioned

"During the late 1800′s and early 1900′s a Tavern, Dance Hall, Grain Mill and Elevator, and a Railroad Station were built along side the Chicago & Northwestern railroad tracks" When coal replaced wood the town started dying down, though not during prohibition when this building the tavern sits in was rocking, eventually it became a ghost town. Cool vibe inside these days. I tried their popular "Prime Bites" aka deep fried pieces of prime rib. Pure Wisconsin.

Prime Rib Bites

Brat Shack

Lomira, WI

I found this literal shack when pulling off of Interstate 41 to get some gas. It sits right near the Exxon station in the tiny town of Lomira. I'm not sure the brats were anything more than grocery store bought but the fact they're grilling them in a little shack on the side of the road made for a great snack. I forget what it was for but profits were going to a cause so I was happy to help.

Grilled brats from the Brat Shack

Hamburger Haus

Campbellsport, WI

I found myself in the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive area of Southeast Wisconsin last summer and rode by a cute little seasonal operation sitting alongside a riverstream right on the route. How do I not stop? With the handful of other great walk-up burger shacks previously featured I was excited to see how this place stacked up against the rest. We're not far from Sheboygan County so it was no surprise to see their style of burger on offer. I don't think the grill was a real charcoal apparatus but the patties were freshly supplied from a butcher as mentioned on the front of the hut. I went with a double cheeseburger everything. That means Wisconsin cheddar, sliced raw onion, pickles and in Hamburger Haus' case a horseradish mustard that worked wonderfully. Add in the toasted Sheboygan hard roll with a smear of melted butter and we got a real deal Wisconsin style hamburger. If you're out camping or biking in this beautiful area than this spot is your fuel stop.

Double Cheddar Burger

Village Inn

New Holstein, WI

Also in the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive area is this popular pizza parlor specializing in a monster restaurant steak sandwich. The restaurant steak is a popular regional eat of Sheboygan county and the areas around it. In these parts a steak sandwich is more like a burger but not quite one thus almost a hybrid of the two. Popular in meat markets around town they're really good used for the likes of Swiss and Salisbury steak and can also make a great sandwich. Village Inn serves theirs with a similar meat to bun ratio as an Iowa breaded pork tenderloin. Also standard for a Sheboygan style steak sandwich is the hard roll boasting the same name, toasted with butter and also the fact it's grilled over charcoal. I'm not sure if they were using real charcoal here but this was a satisfying sandwich that had good taste to go with the substance. Another nice fuel stop in the area.

Restaurant Steak Sandwich

Fitz's on the Lake 

Lodi, WI

Here's a stop that was grabbed from deep down in my food folder. I believe I stopped into Fitz's last summer but it might've been the summer before. Either way this old school bar and restaurant is still the same. Its the spot to go to for some food and drink during the summer months as it sits on a lake about an hour Northwest of Madison. 

Outdoor Dining 

Having stopped in on a Friday you know what that means in Wisconsin. It was Fish Fry day and they were offering up a nice selection of lake caught species. I would roll with the lesser seen blue gills and be very happy with my plate. Lightly dusted, well fried filets to go with beer and sun. That's a winner in my book. Happy Fourth of July to all. Don't go blowing your fingers off.

Bluegill Fish Fry

Juice's Ghost Town
990 Ulao Rd.
Grafton, Wisconsin 53024
(262) 376-9003

Brat Shack
Exit for Lomira, WI on 41 North
Go towards Exxon station.

Hamburger Haus
N3059 Wisconsin 67
Campbellsport, WI 53010
(920) 533-5046

Village Inn
1706 Wisconsin Ave
New Holstein, WI 53061
(920) 898-4045

Fitz's on the Lake
W11602 Co Rd V
Lodi, WI 53555
(608) 592-3302

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