Mall of America & US-61/WI-35 south?

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ScreamingChicken
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2012/04/10 15:06:25 (permalink)

Mall of America & US-61/WI-35 south?

As I mentioned in a different thread, we (me, wife, daughter) are headed to Minneapolis in September to see a baseball game.  Mrs. SC has expressed an interest in visiting the Mall of America so we're thinking that we'll stay out that way and take the train to and from the ballpark.
 
Are there any decent dining options in the Bloomington-Burnsville-Eagan area?  The MoA has something like 50 restaurants in and around it but most appear to be chains and I'd really prefer something local.  Jensen's Supper Club looks interesting; are there any other possibilities?  Thanks!
 
Brad
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2012/04/13 10:38:18
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    rumaki
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 15:14:35 (permalink)
    I haven't been there for a while, but I really liked Wally's Roast Beef the last time I was there.  It's as far south as MOA, but about 4.5 miles west of it.  Open only for morning coffee and for lunch. 
    http://wallysroastbeef.com/
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 15:23:22 (permalink)
    Thanks, Rumaki.  Wally's is praised on both Yelp and Urbanspoon so it looks like a worthwhile place but if the hours are 10:30-3:00 it might be a little difficult to fit in a visit.  I'll certainly keep it in mind, though!
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    aloysius50
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 15:28:37 (permalink)
    If you need to eat at MOA, Twin City Grill and Tucci Benucch are both good "not sorta" chain choices. My number 1 in Minneapolis is Hells Kitchen 
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 15:32:51 (permalink)
    I see that Tucci Bennuch offers small plates, too...that's a big selling point with me.  Thanks!
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2012/04/10 15:34:04
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    rumaki
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 15:37:00 (permalink)
    Both Tucci Benucch and Twin City Grill are Lettuce Entertain You properties -- not local.  I think they also own the crepe bar in MOA, too.
     
    I'm old enough to remember when their sole restaurant was RJ Grunts in Chicago. 
    post edited by rumaki - 2012/04/10 15:42:02
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    saps
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 16:00:38 (permalink)
    I'm a fan of Wally's roast beef as well.  It's not life-changing, but it's a throwback place and I enjoy it.
    You're only 10-15 minutes from St. Paul and could hit places like Tavern on Grand or the Nook, and then swing over to Izzy's on Marshall, which is some of the best ice cream that I've ever had.
     
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    mhill95
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 16:59:25 (permalink)
    Prime Rib is Great at Jensens ....Twin City Grill is good for
    Walleye. Wallys was alright the last time there.
    Downtown Minneapolis is loaded with great eating.
     
    Mike
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 21:16:28 (permalink)
    Thanks for the comments so far.  I'm glad to read something positive about Jensen's as I think it might be a good choice for that Friday night.
     
    Unfortunately it might not be very practical for us to eat downtown.  The baseball game starts at 12:10 so we'll be eating ballpark food for lunch but when the game ends around 2:45-3:15 it's going to be far too early for dinner, and I suspect my daughter isn't going to want to give up any potential MoA time.
     
    Rumaki, that's an interesting point about TB and TCG both being Lettuce Entertain You restaurants.  Where do places like this fit in?  They're not locally or individually owned but at the same time each apparently is only a single location that makes an effort to use some local resources so does the fact that the owner is a corporation and not an individual make that much of a difference (any recent politically-related court rulings aside) as long as there's a strong local connection?
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/10 21:42:19 (permalink)
    Cool.  If you get lucky the Packers will be playing the Vikings that weekend.
     
    Be sure to stop at Dick's Bar in Hudson. Supposedly the oldest bar in Wisconsin.  Decent burgers & bar food.  Also, RJ's Meats in Hudson for a variety of brats & sausages.
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 00:35:33 (permalink)
    I'll second the motion for the burgers at Dick's Bar!
     
    I'll need to check through my files for eats in the south suburbs there.  I'll get back to you on that one.
     
    Buddy
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    ALLGOOD
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 07:26:30 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    I'll second the motion for the burgers at Dick's Bar!

    I'll need to check through my files for eats in the south suburbs there.  I'll get back to you on that one.

    Buddy

    If you have any ideas on anything in the Red Wing area, that would be interesting to me....hate to jump into someone else's show here, but I'm in Red Wing for a training session until Friday afternoon and looking for some good ideas.  Sick of walking through the hotel parking lot to the one close-by restaurant. 
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 09:50:56 (permalink)
    Allgood, no problem asking about Red Wing.  If time and weather permit we might take US-61 south to La Crosse on our way home, so Red Wing's certainly a possible stop for Sunday breakfast or lunch.
    JRPfeff

    Be sure to stop at Dick's Bar in Hudson. Supposedly the oldest bar in Wisconsin.  Decent burgers & bar food.  Also, RJ's Meats in Hudson for a variety of brats & sausages.

    RJ's probably wouldn't work because it doesn't open until 11am on Sundays and we'll be long gone by then, but Dick's might be a possible stop since it apparently has a dining room as well as the bar.
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2012/04/11 10:09:26
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 10:37:42 (permalink)
    Brad-
    If you do drive down along the Mississippi River, can I convince you to drive along the Wisconsin side?  The reason is to visit the Stockholm Pie Company, which very well may be my favorite pie shop in the country.
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    rumaki
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 10:43:25 (permalink)
    If you do stick with US-61 for your southbound trip, you might want to read this book first: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tales-of-the-road-cathy-wurzer/1100196297
     
    It's the companion book to a terrific documentary produced by Twin Cities Public Television, written by one of our local media hosts/commentators, Cathy Wurzer. (Full disclosure -- I've been interviewed many times by Cathy, both on TPT's weekly Almanac TV show and on MPR's Morning Edition.) 
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 10:51:13 (permalink)
    Brad
      
    Since everyone  else is making suggestions for places in areas that you didn't request
    I'll throw in my suggestions too
    Carol's Restaurant a classic Roadfood  Restaurant that was in the pre-website  Roadfood Book. I had a superb hot meatloaf sandwich and their hot turkey looked amazing too.
    http://www.myspace.com/blainecarols
     
     
     
    Allgood
     
    does anyone ever read my trip reports?
     
    A true worthy stop in Red Wing is Bev's Cafe
    http://www.bevscafe.com/

    I had Tater Tot Hotdish the last time I was there- it just happenned to be their daily special and it was good
    however I had their Hot Pork Sandwich the time before that was really good.
     
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    Jim2903
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 11:13:59 (permalink)
    The 5-8 Club is near the mall and airport -- go get a Juicy Lucy: http://www.5-8club.com/
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    rumaki
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 11:14:38 (permalink)
    I have nothing against Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises -- I went to college at Northwestern, and ate at their Chicago-area restaurants (many of which no longer exist) and enjoyed them.
     
    My point was that they are no longer "local" by any definition.  It's a Chicago-based outfit with about 80 restaurants around the country, including Maggiano's Little Italy.
    http://www.leye.com/about-us    http://www.leye.com/files/LEYE_Restaurants.pdf
     
    Not saying it's bad, or that they can't replicate local/regional cuisine.  But would you call it Roadfood?
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    aloysius50
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 11:39:11 (permalink)
    Agreed, not roadfood by how I would define it either. But as the father of 2 daughters with a "shopping gene" I can see getting stuck at MOA with few dinner options (and I have several times on business trips with co-workers who could not resist the siren song of the Mall!) Compared to other chain options in MOA, neither of the LEY places are that bad - but certainly not compared with the Minneapolis / St Paul area at large.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 12:32:01 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    Brad-
    If you do drive down along the Mississippi River, can I convince you to drive along the Wisconsin side?  The reason is to visit the Stockholm Pie Company, which very well may be my favorite pie shop in the country.


    Let's see...we could hit Bev's in Red Wing, cross the river on 63, and drive down 35 on the Wisconsin side so that's certainly possible.  I see that SPC sells frozen homemade chicken pot pies so I could pick up a couple to have for supper when we get home that night.  That just might be a plan!
     
    And speaking of Red Wing, I see there's a restaurant called The Smokin' Oak that features a wood-fired rotisserie.  Allgood, maybe this is a place you could check out.
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 14:07:36 (permalink)
    I have had the walleye at the Twin Cities Grill in the MOA several times.  It was always good and the bread is outstanding.  I am certain that the other posters are correct about many good places around the MOA but if you are there and it is handy, it is a great stop.
     
    http://twincitygrill.net/index.php?pg=our_menus
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 14:52:25 (permalink)
    Oh ChickenMan, have I got a place for you!  When I opened my Mpls/StP folder, the Lions Tap menu practically leaped out at me, roaring, "Brad and family need to go here!"  Because the Jucy Lucy is the burger that gets all the attention in the Twin Cities, I always forget about Lions Tap.  And it's too bad, because they have some of the best Hamburgers I have ever eaten.  These are on a par with Fred's, Tessaro's, and Country House!  Thick and juicy, and perfectly cooked to order (medium rare for Dad and me).
     
    Dad and I have made Lions Tap a semi-regular stop when visiting the Twins, one time joined by Davydd and wife Nancy pictured here:
    DaddyRoadhouse, BuddyRoadhouse, Nancy, Davydd


    This is the Double California Burger

     
    Need I say more?
     
    Lions Tap is located in Eden Prairie, one suburb west of Bloomington.
     
    Enjoy!
     
    Buddy
     
    Lions Tap
    16180 Flying Cloud Drive
    Eden Prairie  MN  55347
    (952) 934-5299
    http://www.lionstap.com/
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 15:50:29 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    Oh ChickenMan, have I got a place for you!  When I opened my Mpls/StP folder, the Lions Tap menu practically leaped out at me, roaring, "Brad and family need to go here!"  Because the Jucy Lucy is the burger that gets all the attention in the Twin Cities, I always forget about Lions Tap.  And it's too bad, because they have some of the best Hamburgers I have ever eaten.  These are on a par with Fred's, Tessaro's, and Country House!  Thick and juicy, and perfectly cooked to order (medium rare for Dad and me).

    Dad and I have made Lions Tap a semi-regular stop when visiting the Twins, one time joined by Davydd and wife Nancy pictured here:
    DaddyRoadhouse, BuddyRoadhouse, Nancy, Davydd


    This is the Double California Burger


    Need I say more?

    Lions Tap is located in Eden Prairie, one suburb west of Bloomington.

    Enjoy!

    Buddy

    Lions Tap
    16180 Flying Cloud Drive
    Eden Prairie  MN  55347
    (952) 934-5299
    http://www.lionstap.com/

    The funny thing about the juicy lucy is the concept itself (aka a stuffed cheeseburger) wasn't invented in the Twin Cities, but the term "Juicy Lucy" was coined here. I had one, it was a fine burger but there was nothing about it that stood out and made me think "wow! this is so unique!"
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    Tedsrfs
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 17:03:00 (permalink)
    There are some interesting  and local  food concessions available at the Twins stadium.   Avoid the florescent yellow cheese.  
     
    Jensen's Supper Club has Popovers !!
     
    There is a newer place across the street from MOA,  Redrossa's Italian Grille located in a Best Western Motel across from the Bloomingdales side.  It's a chain "wannabee".  This is their first venture outside of Sioux Falls, and the prices are much better than inside the MOA.   
     darn website doesn't want to display -- it's RedRossa dot com
    
     
    
     
     
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    Tedsrfs
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 17:03:13 (permalink)
    There are some interesting  and local  food concessions available at the Twins stadium.   Avoid the florescent yellow cheese.  
     
    Jensen's Supper Club has Popovers !!
     
    There is a newer place across the street from MOA,  Redrossa's Italian Grille located in a Best Western Motel across from the Bloomingdales side.  It's a chain "wannabee".  This is their first venture outside of Sioux Falls, and the prices are much better than inside the MOA.   
     darn website doesn't want to display -- it's RedRossa dot com
    
     
    
     
     
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    Davydd
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 19:15:21 (permalink)
    The "Jucy Lucy" was coined by Matt's Bar. Everyone else calls it "Juicy Lucy". It is nothing more than a cheese stuffed hamburger and until the food network shows started proliferating and coming to the Twin Cities it was pretty much confined to Matt's Bar, The 5-8 Club and the Nook. Now every restaurant wants to get in on the action and it has exploded in and around the Twin Cities probably more so than other cities.
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    ALLGOOD
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 23:16:07 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken

    buffetbuster

    Brad-
    If you do drive down along the Mississippi River, can I convince you to drive along the Wisconsin side?  The reason is to visit the Stockholm Pie Company, which very well may be my favorite pie shop in the country.


    Let's see...we could hit Bev's in Red Wing, cross the river on 63, and drive down 35 on the Wisconsin side so that's certainly possible.  I see that SPC sells frozen homemade chicken pot pies so I could pick up a couple to have for supper when we get home that night.  That just might be a plan!

    And speaking of Red Wing, I see there's a restaurant called The Smokin' Oak that features a wood-fired rotisserie.  Allgood, maybe this is a place you could check out.


    Dude-It's in the parking lot of my hotel... but, really good food, no kidding.  Anytime you're around Red Wing it would be worth the trip.  Real WISCONSIN fried curds.  Feels like home!  Soups are great too. 
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    ALLGOOD
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/11 23:19:27 (permalink)
    wanderingjew

    Brad
      
    Since everyone  else is making suggestions for places in areas that you didn't request
    I'll throw in my suggestions too
    Carol's Restaurant a classic Roadfood  Restaurant that was in the pre-website  Roadfood Book. I had a superb hot meatloaf sandwich and their hot turkey looked amazing too.
    http://www.myspace.com/blainecarols



    Allgood
     
    does anyone ever read my trip reports?

    A true worthy stop in Red Wing is Bev's Cafe
    http://www.bevscafe.com/

    I had Tater Tot Hotdish the last time I was there- it just happenned to be their daily special and it was good
    however I had their Hot Pork Sandwich the time before that was really good.



    Wandering,  trying to check out Bev's tomorrow.  With a group of unruly men so trying to convince them!!!  Thanks for the tip.  Here until Fri.  Any other suggestions will be appreciated.  !!!  Try to read all posts, just busy with corporate edicts.  Maybe I should just build a doomsday bunker near the best foodie locale.  Any suggestions ??
    Might start a good new string ....
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    joerogo
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/12 08:20:38 (permalink)
    Hey Brad, I usually come up with this formula in your situation:
     
    Daughter + Wife + Shopping Mall

     


    post edited by joerogo - 2012/04/12 08:21:50
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    easydoesit
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    Re:Mall of America? 2012/04/12 14:41:12 (permalink)
    Brad, if you do come down the Wisconsin side, and if you do indeed get to La Crosse, here are a few suggestions you might like:
     
    In the small town of Fountain City is the Golden Frog, a restaurant and bar that has been around for many decades.  I grew up in the area, and remember going to that place in the late 1950's with my folks.  Very good food, and it's really more like a supper club, except they are open for lunch too. 
     
    Motorcyclists in the Twin Cities area have a yearly thing they call the Flood Run, where hundreds of bikers, of all kinds, real outlaws and regular riders, ride up and down the river from Twin Cities to Winona and back.  The Golden Frog is a regular stop, and is a real hoot when all those rowdies are there.  But no one is looking for trouble, they are all out for fun.   
     
    www.thegoldenfrog.com
     
    Immediately across the street (Hwy 35) from the Frog is a lefse place, homemade right there.  Can't get it any fresher.  Don't remember the name.  But really nice people...well, of course they are.  They're Norwegian.
     
    Ten miles south on Hwy 35 is the Hillside Fish House, a very good supper club (not open until 5 PM), but they have been there for well over a century, and the menu explains trading with the Indians for fresh fish.  This place I remember with my folks since the early 50's, always been good, and looks just like it always did.  But it would be an hour stop for your family if you were to eat there.
     
    www.hillsidefishhouse.com
     
    You will probably be going through Trempealeau on your way south.  If you feel like making a stop, there is the Hungry Point, a combination boat dock, bait shop, and bar and grill.  I have not been there for a couple years now, but they had great burgers and fries and onion rings, and it is a true Roadfood place, filled with local color and characters.  Great view of the Mississippi and the local lock and dam from their bar area.
     
    But it sounds like you are interested in making time to get home.  Instead of chicken pot pie to take home for dinner that night, how about barbeque?  We have a very good place in La Crosse, Train Station Barbecue.  It's very well done by an accomplished chef, and leaves Famous Dave's way back in the dust.  
     
    The name is probably too much to explain right now, but they are a drive-thru place and very fast. And reasonably priced.
     
    They serve their meat dry, with sauce on the side, the perfect way.  They have great sauce, but the food is so good you don't need much.   I've always liked Bone Sucking Sauce for it's thinner, vinegary flavor and texture.  This place goes in that direction, but in a much better way.  When I have their sauce, Bone Sucking suddenly seems too sweet.
     
    Besides the sauce, their beans are incredible.  Get a pint for sure.  The corn bread is also good, but the cole slaw is kind of large chunks and flavorless, and the potato salad is pretty good, but no eggs in it, which I like.  I will usually add some at home.
     
    But they are made for takeout, and everything they do travels well.  I do love their rack of ribs, and pulled pork.
     
    www.thetrainstationbbq.com
     
    But La Crosse also has the famous chains Maidrite and Happy Joe's pizza.  The Maidrite store in La Crosse is a great throwback to older times, not at all the plastic kind of places they are now producing.  Talking Roadfood style, you'd love it.  Old style local building, local neighborhood, local people, no one else even seems to know about it.  But they have all the Maidrite menu, and more.  Great breakfasts, and steaks too!
     
    Happy Joe's is the home of their well known taco pizza, and mighty good.  Where Train Station and Maidrite will require you to go into town a little,  Happy Joes is right close to I-90, and you will see it (on your left) in the suburb of Onalaska if you are coming down Hwy 35.  Then it's just a half mile or so to I-90.
     
    Depends on what your family feels like eating, and your schedule, but I would really recommend Train Station Barbecue.  I can't go near there without getting a half-rack and some cornbread.  My wife is a big fan of their pulled pork.
     
    Good luck!  I hope these links work, if not they are all just a google away.
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