Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland

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Ort. Carlton.
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/25 22:01:09 (permalink)
Buffetbuster,
   Many thanks for another excellent trip report!
   You making me HONGRY!!
      Unfrienziedly, Eat-'Em-Up Ort. Carlton in Culinarily Groovy Athens, Georgia.
#31
MilwFoodlovers
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/25 22:13:03 (permalink)
To be fair, while City bakery is my favorite place for Semmel rolls aka butt rolls aka brat rolls, these are also made by the Highway Bakery and are sold inside of Miesfelds Triangle Meat Market, argably the city's, and therefore the state's premier brat producer. A traveler probably couldn't do this justice, but a good sub would be either bakery's "hard roll bread" which is fantastic when toasted. I hope you stopped at Miesfelds on your trip. No visit to Sheboygan  is complete without it. http://www.miesfelds.com/ The links on the left are clickable.
 
Just a bit north of Manitowoc, in the one blink hamlet of Fontenoy which is near Denmark, sits a tavern named Basils II which serves my favorite sandwiches in all of Wisconsin.
I can also recommend summer sausages from Whitelaw and Newton along with Miesfelds in that general area. Wisconsin is blessed with great summers such as Milwaukee's Usingers and Madison's Bavarian but the entire state has fantastic summers, some flavored with cranberry and maple syrup.
And Louis I see a face in that middle cookie too and no one can look at this site too long.
#32
Louis
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/25 22:20:55 (permalink)
Well, good!  I was beginning to doubt my sanity!
#33
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 00:18:06 (permalink)
City Bakery is where my great grandmother worked after my great grandfather died very unexpectedly. A longtime family friend works there now. :) They have good bread & Fuzzy's buns. They are awesome for hamburgers & double brat sandwiches.
#34
MilwFoodlovers
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 06:36:42 (permalink)
Miesfelds & City Bakery combine for the double brat experience!
 

#35
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 08:28:03 (permalink)
MFL-
Ahhh, I remember that brat from the Charcoal Inn fondly.  Too bad I didn't have time to fit that place in this past weekend. 
#36
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 13:00:37 (permalink)
Saturday February 21, 2009 cont.
 
While driving into Manitowoc, I was wondering what became of the late great Penguin Drive-In.  A staple of older JMS books, the last time I was here in 2007, it had closed and they were selling fireworks in the parking lot.
 
I spied the great overhead sign and pulled in to take a photo.  Hey, the sign is lit up!  And there are people inside! 

Noting this for later, I continued to my destination, Beernsten's, right in downtown.
 
Beernsten's

has been open since 1932 and makes wonderful candy and ice cream.  I know these photos aren't the best, but you will get a feel for the huge variety of soda fountain classics that are available here.



The waitress told me that the chili was homemade and on such a cold day, that sounded wonderful.  So, I got a half egg salad sandwich and bowl of the white bean chicken chili.

I was hoping just for something to warm me up, but the chili proved to be quite good.  To wash it down with, I had the cherry lemonade.

 
On to the main event!  There are so many great sounding sundaes to choose from and you know they are all going to be good.  But, I finally settled on something called a Sub Deb.  This consists of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, cherry and butterscotch syrup, marshmallow and almonds.

So did I choose wisely?
 
The building itself is as much a standout as the food.  The black walnut booths

and the arch

leading to the back dining area are all original.  Here are some more photos from the front of the store, where the candy sits


and the sundaes are made.

 
The candy they are best known for is called fairy food.  I forgot the name and told the girl I was looking for sponge candy.  She corrected me on what it is properly called here.  Chocolate candy, with molasses on the inside, it just melts right in your mouth.

I got a 3/4 lb. box and headed out the door.
 
Beernsten's
108 N. 8th Street
Manitowoc, WI
920-684-9616
 
http://beerntsens.com/default.asp
 
Just across the street from Beernsten's is the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

A terrific museum, I spent a good two hours here.  Many of the WWII submarines were made here in Manitowoc and that was the primary focus.  They do have a WWII submarine sitting on the river outside that you can tour.

With how cold that looked, I thought another time.  How about this view down the Manitowoc River?

Doesn't that look inviting?
 
It was here I made the decision not to go further north on to Green Bay.  I had been pressing my luck with the road conditions already.  I got back in the car and headed for one more stop before I left town.
 
Much more to come.....

post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 12:43:43
#37
CajunKing
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 13:55:39 (permalink)
DUDE

I would hate to see what your blood sugar level was after that sundae.

Just kidding, what a great place Beernstens is, I love finding that type of place hidden away.  It is great to see a place like that.

The Penguin Drive In looked like a great place, glad to see they werent selling fireworks anymore and have got back into the food business.

I must say, YOU DA MAN!
#38
ann peeples
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 17:48:45 (permalink)
I am enamored that you went to Jos cafe.That place has been around forever( possibly under different names)I frequented that place in the 70s-always good food( side note to WJ-make sure it is whole wheat toast when ordering, other wise regular wheat toast has MORE sugar than white)Anyway, as a food buyer for Kohlers Woodlake Market, I carried Beernsteins chocolate and candy exclusively.At Christmas, they have the cherry ornaments(two cherry candies held together by a a wire, meant to be hung on the Christmas tree.) I met the owner many times, and he is a great guy.Back when I was the specialty food  supervisor-he would come visit often-and I signed an exclusive contract with him.Besides his wonderful fare, he made specialty things with Kohlers name on it.
#39
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/26 23:18:00 (permalink)
Buffetbuster -

I'm eager to see how many of my Manty-Trivers Top 10 that you found. 

I hope you stopped for a big Penny and also hope I don't have to tell you about a Pie Palace that you missed.

See you next time,

Jim
#40
leethebard
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 02:18:54 (permalink)
What a great old-time ice cream parlor that is. I'd order a large sundae and just sit for an hour or so and soak in the atmosphere!!!!!
#41
mamaduck43
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 04:58:29 (permalink)
BB, my daughter and her family live in New Denmark - - about 1 mile from the Rt. 43 exit....  She has been there for about 5 years and has never told me about Beernstens!!!!!  I just might disown her!!!!!   But she has taken me to Seroogys in DePere - - great chocolates and other candies - - and fun gifts..... 
#42
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 07:21:56 (permalink)
JRPfeff
also hope I don't have to tell you about a Pie Palace that you missed.
Are you trying to make me cry first thing in the morning?!?!?  Please share the details, because I obviously didn't make it there.
 
Sorry I missed you on this trip, but it was a pleasure to meet your wife and son.
#43
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 08:03:22 (permalink)
Saturday, February 21, 2009 cont.
 
Since I now no longer had Green Bay on the agenda, I could squeeze in a couple of unplanned stops.  With no beforehand knowledge that The Penguin had reopened, it became one of those stops.  Doesn't it just seem fitting that a visit to a place called The Penguin should happen in this kind of weather?

Those are some great signs on top of the building and their street sign isn't too bad, either.

 
There was a very lonely, bored car hop on duty.  While I felt sorry for him and would have loved to have thrown some business his way, I wanted to see the inside.  The interior looks like a retro 50s diner,

complete with a juke box.  No surprise that they have some penguin decorations, too.


 
As soon as I saw the classic U-shaped counter,

I knew that is where I had to sit.  The woman who waited on me was the owner and identified herself as Trish.  The special was chicken cordon bleu, but if this place bills itself as the Home of the Big Penny, then that is what I am ordering.  There is a nice roster of shakes and malts available.  My mint malt

was thinner than I would have preferred, but still had great mint flavor.
 
10 - 12 minutes later, Trish came over and apologized for how long it was taking (I was the only customer at the moment) and said it would be a few more minutes.  Hey, I appreciate the fact that the burger is made to order and not just sitting around, waiting for someone to order it.  Had my burger shown up in three minutes, then you should apologize!  And this burger was well worth the perfectly acceptable wait.


The Big Penny is a 1/2 lb. burger and all the burgers here are charbroiled over an open flame.  Great beefy flavor in this burger.  The buttered and toasted Johnston's roll was also another touch that was much appreciated.  I was not asked what toppings come on the burger and ketchup, onions, pickles and mustard come automatic, unless specified otherwise.  Those toppings are fine with me.  Although the burger was fairly big, it was still quite manageable.

I really, really enjoyed this burger!  My fries were also skin on and fresh. 
 
Since things were slow, Trish had plenty of time to chat.  Her parents owned a similar drive-in while she was growing up in Iowa.  She told me owning a place like this was something she has always wanted to do and it was in her blood.  And she calls her dad frequently for advice.  The Penguin was closed from October 2006 to January 2008.  After Trish bought it, it took her two months of cleaning to get ready to reopen.  As you can see from the photos, the inside is immaculate.  On the day they reopened, a longtime regular of the old place walked in and started singing, "Happy Days are Here Again"!
 
Welcome back Penguin Drive-in!
 
Penguin Drive-in
3900 Calumet Avenue
Manitowoc, WI

 
http://www.thepenguindrivein.com/
 
I got back on I-43S and checked into my hotel in Sheboygan.
 
Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 08:11:03
#44
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 08:12:42 (permalink)
Louis

Is it my imagination, or does that middle cookie that you got at City Bakery look like it has a face in it?

Maybe I've been looking a this site too long!


It took me a few seconds, but I see it, too.  I'm just glad I didn't see it while I was eating it!


#45
wanderingjew
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 08:41:06 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Louis

Is it my imagination, or does that middle cookie that you got at City Bakery look like it has a face in it?

Maybe I've been looking a this site too long!


It took me a few seconds, but I see it, too.  I'm just glad I didn't see it while I was eating it!



Like This???
 

 
Imagine the poor "smiley" cookie from Eat n Park screaming in agony while you were eating it!
#46
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 08:55:09 (permalink)
WJ-
And I have eaten plenty of Smiley cookies in my time!
#47
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 09:07:26 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Are you trying to make me cry first thing in the morning?!?!?  Please share the details, because I obviously didn't make it there.
 
Sorry I missed you on this trip, but it was a pleasure to meet your wife and son.


Break out the Kleenex Buffetbuster.  The Covered Wagon is only 3 miles north of The Penguin on Rapids Road.  They have a prolific selection of homemade pies on display near the register. 

I mentioned them in My Triple D, plus 7 post.  As I said there, you could make a Roadfood weekend without ever leaving the Manitowoc-Two Rivers area, and I didn't even bring up Konops Sausage and Whitelaw Cheese.  I have never been to Beernsten's in all my years working in the area, so they missed my list.

Grab another Kleenex, you missed this, too.



I'll do my best to see you next time, and you are certainly invited to this year's International Smoke Day barbecue bash on May 23.  Bobbi informed me this morning that she is making pies and tarts for dessert this year.  There will be a Savannah Banana Pie waiting for you and a Turtle Pie ready in the event Mr. Stern shows up.  Other pie possibilities are on this list, folks.  Get your requests in early.

Jim
post edited by JRPfeff - 2009/02/27 09:29:49
#48
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 09:41:24 (permalink)
Cherry - Almond, please!
#49
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 09:57:50 (permalink)
JRPfeff-
Thank you very much for the generous invite to the party.  Unfortunately, I already have a trip planned elsewhere that weekend.  (And I make fun of wanderingjew about planning so far ahead)!  I will gladly read all about it from CTD and BuddyRoadhouse.

The sundae place in Two Rivers was a place I planned on visiting, but the road conditions prevented me from making it there.  As for the Covered Wagon, no excuse!  And that one hurts!!!

I looked over that previous thread of yours and all those places in Manitowoc-Two Rivers sound really good. 

post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 09:59:04
#50
mr chips
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 10:16:44 (permalink)
Wow! The photos are fantastic.
#51
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 11:09:40 (permalink)
Saturday February 21, 2009 cont.
 
Armed with JMS' Eat Your Way Across the USA, my first visit to Sheboygan was during Memorial Day weekend in 2000.  I tried to eat at Gosse's Drive-thru, which was located in a shopping center parking lot and was not much bigger than a phone booth.  Unfortunately, they were closed for the holiday.  That location closed, so I thought I had missed my chance.
 
While I was in City Bakery, earlier that morning, I asked the ladies if Gosse's was still around.  They said yes, but it is now no longer a drive-thru, but a full service restaurant.  After settling in my hotel room and getting the address out of the phone book, I made the short drive over.  This place is today known as Gosse's at the Northwestern House

I have no idea what that really means, as long as they still serve brats.
 
Once seated, the menu

is on a little stand right on the table.  Of course, I had to go for the double brat, which came wrapped in wax paper.

The nice waitress asked what I want on it and I asked what the locals usually get.  She told me ketchup, pickle, onion and mustard was standard.  Sound familiar?  Here is my double brat with the lid off.

I can't say for sure that it was cooked over charcoal, but it gives that appearance.  Mildly seasoned, with wonderful porky flavor, it was delicious!  The side of cole slaw was a little too creamy and mayoey (is that a word?) for me.  To wash it down, a glass of Sprecher root beer,

of course.
 
The dessert of choice in these parts are tortes.  Near my table, hanging on the wall, was the long list of available tortes.

Being a lover of all things mint, I went with the grasshopper.

Soft, smooth, creamy without being rich, this was a terrific dessert.
 
What was odd to me was that I seemed to be the only one in the place enjoying brats.  Everyone and I mean everyone else, was ordering the chicken.  There was a young couple at the table next to me, so I asked if I could take a photo of their chicken.

They didn't even blink an eye and said sure.  Are you proud of me cecif?  When I was paying, I made the comment to the woman that the chicken must really be good.  She told me that it was tradition around these parts that Friday nights were for fish fries and Saturdays were for chicken dinners.  Next time I come here, it will be to try the chicken.
 
Gosse's at the Northwestern House
1909 Union Avenue
Sheboygan, WI
920-457-8696
 
I went back to the hotel and caught a nap.  Around 9:00, I headed back into Sheboygan and my dinner destination, Rupp's

I believe it used to be called Rupp's Lodge, but now bills itself as Rupp's Downtown.  By the way, I will go ahead and apologize for the photos now.  They most definitely are not my best.
 
When I walked in, I was asked if I wanted a table or booth.  Since a booth usually offers more privacy for picture taking, I asked for one of those.  Unfortunately, they sat me at a booth right next to a table with six people.  Six drunk people.  Six obnoxious drunk people.  There were three couples and the men were all visibly intoxicated.  Since they were in the process of getting their food wrapped up and paying, I stayed patient.  My dinner came with a visit to the salad bar.

I ate my salad and these people were still here.  My broccoli cheese soup

arrived and the people were still not leaving.
 
I am not easily offended or a genteel soul.  It takes a lot to rile me up.  I could put up with the singing.  I could put up with the swearing.  I could put up with the stupid funny voices, in an attempt to be funny.  But when they started burping loudly, I had had it.  Though not necessarily a fancy place, this is still supposed to be a classy downtown supper club and I was paying upwards of $20.00 per entree.  Their behavior was not acceptable anywhere, let alone at a place like this.
 
Just as my entree arrived, they were finally physically getting up and walking out the door.  I sure feel sorry for anyone who had to be out on the streets with these morons driving.  Hopefully, the women drove.
 
If I had it to do over again, I would have walked over to the hostess stand at the first sign of trouble and asked to be moved.  So part of this is my fault for trying to be patient.  Some might think that I should have confronted the drunks and told them to be quiet, but I learned a long time ago that there is no reasonable way to reason with drunks.
 
My entree was veal schnitzel with spaetzle on the side. 

The veal was certainly tender enough, but the brown gravy was way too salty for my taste.  Truthfully, I was in no mood to sit down and enjoy a meal.  I did get it wrapped up to go and picked out the mushrooms back in my hotel before chucking it.
 
I am not going to totally write this place off.  I really liked the look (here is the glass divider between the kitchen and the dining room, where you can watch the chefs working)

and feel of the place.
 
Rupp's
925 N. 8th Street
Sheboygan, WI
920-459-8426
 
http://www.foodspot.com/rupps/
 
Back to the hotel for the rest of the night.
 
More to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 13:12:58
#52
NebGuy
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 13:18:55 (permalink)
The brats and broasted chicken both look great.
#53
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/27 14:34:58 (permalink)
Wow, that custard looks great. Great trip report by the way
#54
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/28 06:41:29 (permalink)
Buffetbuster, Yes indeed another great report.  For what it's worth, the name Northwestern House most likely is the name for an old railroad hotel.  You were close to the railroad tracks there, and the railroad used to be named Chicago and Northwestern, or Northwestern for short.  A lot of hotels were built close to where the depots used to be to cater to railroad travelers or employees.  They used to run the '400' passenger trains, and once in a while we can still find an old tavern or restaurant named 'The 400 Club."

I wish I could have told you about Schwarz's in tiny St Anna WI, a longtime supper club with great food.  Next trip.
#55
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/28 07:57:44 (permalink)
buffetbuster -

Any idea what Drumstick Torte is?  Poppyseed sounds really good!

JRPfeff -

That is some pie list!  How many are typically available at any time?  I have re-read that list a half dozen times and still keep going ooooh & aaaah!
#56
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/28 08:41:34 (permalink)


ChiTownDiner
JRPfeff -

That is some pie list!  How many are typically available at any time?  I have re-read that list a half dozen times and still keep going ooooh & aaaah!


CTD
,

I asked Bobbi for her estimate of how many pies and she told me to look at the monthly list.  Doh!  That looks like 21 to me - 12 everyday varieties, and 9 seasonals.

I love breakfast there, especially the eggs & chorizo omelette that was a special on one visit.  I have never had anything short of excellent for any meal at the Hubbard Avenue Diner, even their "healthy/vegetarian" stuff is good. 

Jim


post edited by JRPfeff - 2009/02/28 09:06:24
#57
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/28 08:52:12 (permalink)
WOW - 21 pies would keep buffetbuster busy the better part of an afternoon!  Thanks for the update!
#58
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/28 09:21:36 (permalink)
CTD,

A better option for you and other flatlanders may be the Market Street Diner in Sun Prairie.  It is part of the same chain local restaurant group, but much easier to reach from I-90/94. 

Alas, they only offer 20 pie choices on their list for March.  Is this a diner, or what?



More images are here.

Jim
#59
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/02/28 11:26:31 (permalink)
Wonderful trip report! I almost feel like I've visited Wisconsin in the winter - without the cold temps and snow. I'm another one who would want to order a sundae in Beernsten's and linger just soaking up the ambiance and history. Thanks for a great visit!

Teresa
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