Twas a fine, fine day all in all (except for all those Illinois-ing drivers clogging up the tollway-dang Flatlanders)! We got to Fred's an hour late because of the traffic, but were happy to see everyone there, even though most of them ate before we arrived ("What?!? You cut the turkey without us???" Sorry, that's an obscure reference for all you fans of Barry Levinson's films).
While I have been a creature of habit on my last few visits to Fred's, sticking with the amazing garlic burger, today I strayed into new territory with a horseradish burger. I was not disappointed! Cooked as always to an exquisite medium rare, the rich beefy flavor of the burger stood up to the pungent but not overpowering horseradish sauce and grilled onions that topped it. The lightly toasted, bakery fresh bun could have been served at any fancy restaurant in town as a pre-dinner appetite whetter, and was an outstanding compliment to the burger it nestled.
Tater Teezers (kinda like Tater Tots spiked with jalapeno), fresh house made potato chips, and fried macaroni & cheese(!) were all excellent accompaniments to our burgers. A frosty pitcher of Sprecher's root beer washed it all down.
Mr. & Mrs. JRPfeff rejoined the group just as we were finishing our meal, carrying dessert from Gooseberries Gourmet Market; a pair of maple frosted longjohns studded with crisp, salty, smoky bits of crumbled bacon! Wow! Jim and Bobbi, we can't thank you enough.
After lunch we all went our separate ways, Mrs. Roadhouse and I continuing up to Milwaukee for our (almost) annual visit to Irish Fest. We saw some outstanding groups including fiddler supreme, Natalie McMaster, a Chicago band called Tantrum (made up of some former members of The Drovers), and a pair of local groups, Steel Bonnets and The Gleasons. Unfortunately, these last two groups were scheduled to perform at the same time in two different venues on the fair grounds, so we only got to see half a show from each in order to see them both. On a happy note, we ran into ChuckL50 while looking for a seat at the Steel Bonnets show, and spent the rest of the evening wandering together from stage to stage as we enjoyed performers from Milwaukee, Nova Scotia, and Ireland.
The ride home at 1:00am was considerably easier than the drive up at midday, and gas in Kenosha was at least $.10 a gallon cheaper than back home. Not a bad way to wrap things up. I'm counting the days until next year's rendezvous!
P.S. I forgot to ask nocarolina, how did you like Fred's burger compared to Hackney's? C'mon now, be honest. I can take it, I'm a big boy.
<message edited by BuddyRoadhouse on Sun, 08/16/09 3:30 AM>