mentioned River Valley Ranch earlier in this thread so that's where my day started, in the booming metropolis of Slades Corners. And after seeing the sign for Slades Corners it took hours to get Run Runaway
out of my head...
But before River Valley I stopped at Local Folks
for a snack. It's your typical small-town combination bar and restaurant.
I arrived just as the breakfast-lunch changeover was occurring and the kitchen was running behind, so I had to wait awhile for my BPT to arrive. It was pretty good and I think it was hand-breaded, as I could taste a hint of what I thought was flour.
From there it was off to River Valley Ranch.
River Valley's reputation was built on mushrooms but that's not the only thing grown. While I was there several people purchased some of these tomatoes.
Other artisanal products are also available...
...including portobello-and-Swiss brats from Wilson Farm Meats
of Elkhorn. River Valley was offering them for lunch while I was there so I coughed up the cash for one. After all, Fred's was still a good 10-15 minutes away and I couldn't risk hunger-induced fatigue before I got there.
This was a very good brat and I wound up buying some to take home. They're made with pasteurized process Swiss cheese instead of the real thing that I'd prefer, but in this case it's a good choice for melting and consistency purposes.
From there it was off to Fred's
, where we started with appetizers of fried pickle spears and cheese curds.
I hadn't had the Cajun burger for a couple of years so I ordered the 1/4-pound version, which was nicely seasoned and not too spicy. Cjucoder
each had the cheeseburger with what I believe was cheddar.
And the BuddyRoadhouses
split a horseradish burger.
Sure seems like we didn't order very much, doesn't it. Well, there was a reason... Buddy
had noticed a sign in the window of John's Main Event
proclaiming that Burlington's best burgers could be found inside, so before we ordered at Fred's we decided to turn the day into a burger tasteoff.
Instead of sitting inside we chose to dine al fresco
in the beer garden behind the building. It was a cozy setting with ivy on the walls and the fence, which thankfully didn't attract any Cubs fans while we were there.
Our hero has arrived! Cjucoder
and I split a double cheeseburger, which contains the same amount of beef (1/2 pound) but more cheese than the single-patty version.
That's one of John's very good homemade potato chips underneath the burger. X1
chose the hangover burger, which is topped with a fried egg and some bacon.
split a patty melt, which for some reason I ignored.
John's burgers are good in their own right, but they're different from Fred's in that they have a sort of grilled flavor, as if they might've been cooked over a gas flame instead of on a flattop. Next year we should hit John's first and then Fred's, to see if that changes opinions.