Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland

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buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 08:24:53 (permalink)
Now THAT is a kringle!!!  Is that banana cream?
JRPfeff
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 09:17:19 (permalink)
Sorry, vanilla custard and whipped cream filling.

O&H had a mountain of these Napoleons yesterday.  We couldn't pass it up.
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 11:14:02 (permalink)
After doing some sightseeing around Madison (the Wisconsin state capitol is huge and is well worth a couple hour visit), I was ready to eat again.  Far on the outskirts of town, I found Quivey's Grove,

which appeared in one of the old Roadfood books.  I have wanted to eat here ever since reading their motto, "Other restaurants are in Wisconsin, Quivey's Grove IS Wisconsin"!
 
There are two buildings here that they use to serve meals.  If you are here for lunch like I am, you will be seated in the Stable Grill. 

The building goes all the way back to 1855!  The more formal dinner dining room is called the Stone House.  When you enter the Stable Grill, the first thing you see is the very cool looking bar,

done nicely with all that wood.  I was led to a table on the second floor

and it sure does have the feel of an old barn.
 
Here is the paper menu

I was handed, with the house motto written on the bottom.  The Lodi Sausage Sampler was mighty tempting, but since walleye is so hard to find at home, I went with that.  But first, was a cup of fine turkey noodle soup. 

Just what was needed on such a blustery day.  The walleye

comes with a pretzel crust, which I didn't think I would like, but was pleasantly surprised.  The meat itself was very fresh tasting and made me think I picked the best thing off the menu.  Which I rarely do!  Excellent golden fries and homemade tartar sauce completed this first-rate meal.
 
My waitress took great care of me and answered all my questions about the history of the place.  Before I left, she gave me a little handout with some background and told me to go check out the tunnel between the buildings and how to get there.

Hmmmm, not many restaurants have something like that!
 
Quivey's Grove
6261 Nesbitt Road
Madison, WI
608-273-4900
 
http://www.quiveysgrove.com/
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 11:40:59 (permalink)
Before I left on my trip, I contacted one of Roadfood's funniest posters, Brad_Olson to let him know I would be in the area.  And luckily, he was willing to drive up to Madison through the bad weather to meet for a burger at Plaza Tavern
 
The designated meeting time was 5:30, but when I walked in at 5:15, Brad was already elbows deep into a bowl of chili.  I'll let him say how it was, but it sure looked good!  The friendly waitress gave us menus, but that is kind of unnecessary since they have several menu boards

scattered throughout the large room.  For appetizers, Brad had a small order of fries, which seemed pretty ordinary.  Being a novice to the local foods, I was very happy to see cheese curds on the menu. 

I have only had these once before and it was not a good experience.  These were much, much better.  They were nice and gooey and reminded me of tater tots filled with cheese.  I don't know if these are typical cheese curds or not, but they sure get a thumbs up from me.  Ranch dressing came on the side.
 
The draw here at Plaza Tavern are the burgers and they are unique.  And quite good. 


On the small side, they use obviously very fresh tasting beef and what I think is a wheat bun.  The patty itself is on the slim side and covered with the famous secret sauce.  On the menu,

they do admit to using sour cream and mayo, but the rest of the ingredients of this zippy sauce is closely guarded.  We both were very happy with our burgers and if I didn't have plans for a big, late night meal, I could have easily eaten a couple more of these.
 
Located right in the middle of downtown and popular with the university students, the Plaza Tavern is a bar first, with a busy pool table.  I will definitely come back.  Though it was too bad I missed seeing his wife Kathy, who was working, it was great to Brad.  Thanks again for the company!
 
Plaza Tavern
319 North Henry Street
Madison, WI
608-255-6592
 
[link=http://www.theplazatavern.com/%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E%3C/a%3E]http://www.theplazatavern...%3E%3C/font%3E%3C/a%3E[/link]
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/12/31 12:47:07
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 12:41:52 (permalink)
It's almost lunchtime right now and I could go for an order of those curds!

After I picked Kathy up on the way home we wound up stopping for pizza.  I really wasn't all that hungry after chili, fries, curds, a burger, and pickles but I still managed to choke down 4 slices.  Eating all those pickle chips that you didn't want didn't exactly help things.  I think she'd like the burger so I'll be going there again sometime...maybe when the weather's a bit better.
 
The Plaza's chili reminds me of my dad's as it's thinner and more soup-like with good flavor, but without being watery.  Sorry for starting early but I'd deliberately eaten very little during the day and just couldn't hold out any longer!

I'm not saying that BB's meticulous or anything but by the time he'd finished documenting his burger I think half of mine was gone!  OK...maybe I am saying that.

Brad
post edited by Brad_Olson - 2009/12/31 12:43:40
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 12:48:41 (permalink)
Brad-
You would think as meticulous as I am, the photos would be better!  And sorry for misspelling your name.  It has been corrected.

 
I wonder how the plaza sauce would taste on that Fishwich?
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 13:08:51 (permalink)
I think your photos are just fine.  The only complaint I have is that the curds weren't that big in real life! 
 
The sauce is probably pretty good on fish, and I'll bet it complements chicken fairly well, too.   Definitely works with the burger.

You're not the first and definitely won't be the last person to put that "e" where the "o" should be.  Maybe I should just change my name to Brad Olsen-Olson so that everybody's right.

Glad you enjoyed your visit.  Thanks to this segment of the report I'm sure that thousands have learned that the Twin Cities don't start at the western edge of Milwaukee.

As an aside to anyone who might be wondering about Madison, the restaurants went smoke-free a number of years ago and the bars did so more recently, so the thought of visiting the Plaza or any other bar shouldn't trigger any questions about how smoky it might be.

Brad
post edited by Brad_Olson - 2009/12/31 13:14:06
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2009/12/31 20:21:09 (permalink)
Mmmmm, warm soup, walleye, cheese curds and a great looking burger, plus ice cream!  I think you picked well for your weekend!
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/01/02 21:05:05 (permalink)
Proof that the Plaza's chili really exists.  It's below zero outside tonight and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was selling by the bucketful!



Brad
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/01/04 08:09:15 (permalink)
Brad-
That is some good looking chili.  No wonder you tried to get it all eaten before I showed up!
Big Ugly Mich
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/01/16 14:26:06 (permalink)
nocarolina  I meant what I said; when I grow up, I wanna be Buffetbuster!!
You don't have to grow up to do that!


buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/19 14:47:43 (permalink)
Okay, trying to get this wrapped up while I still remember where I went.
 
After relaxing at the hotel for a few hours, I went back out for a late dinner at Smoky's Club. On the drive there, I had a bit of a scare as my car slid on the ice right through an intersection.  Lucky, there were so few people out, I didn't hit anyone.
 
When I arrived at Smoky's Club, I stood at the hostess stand for about a minute or so until one of the three women asked if they could help me.  When I asked for a table for one, they replied in not the nicest way, that they were closing.  When I told them that their website says they are open until 10:00PM, the one women replied that they were closing early for a Christmas party.  Damn!  After a little talking back and forth between them, they did seat me, which I appreciated.  But, I did feel a little bit of pressure to order and eat quickly.
 
This place feels like the classic Midwest supper club.  They also have a really nice neon sign out front.

Your meal starts with a mundane bread basket

and an interesting vertical chilled relish tray.

 
Meals here include a bowl of their homemade soup and on this night it was the savory cream of mushroom.

You also get a salad and I went with the French roquefort. 

This combination reminded me of the "red & blue" salad dressing they serve at The Pine Club in Dayton.  All the salad dressings here are homemade and this was the standout of my meal.
 
Since Smoky's Club is best known for steaks, but I wasn't particularly famished, I ordered the 8 oz. filet.

The steak was rather ordinary, but the hash browns on the side were a nice combination of crunchy and soft.  No room for dessert, I quickly paid and just went back to my hotel for the rest of the night.
 
Smoky's Club
3005 University Avenue
Madison, WI
608-233-2120
 
[link=http://www.smokysclub.com/%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E%3C/a%3E]http://www.smokysclub.com...%3E%3C/font%3E%3C/a%3E[/link]
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/02/19 14:57:54
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/19 15:59:15 (permalink)
I know you don't drink (yet somehow you remain a Pirates fan...amazing!!) but for those of you that do, Smoky's is the home of the legendary "Martini Bob".

Brad
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/19 16:01:28 (permalink)
Martini Bob?  I thought that was nocarolina's new screename!
carolina bob
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/19 17:34:00 (permalink)
I don't think so... 
post edited by nocarolina aka Carolina Bob - 2010/02/19 17:35:23
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/19 19:50:21 (permalink)
I like the new moniker Bob.  I assume it will eventually simplify to Carolina Bob?

Oh yeah, good trip report bb.

Buddy
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/19 20:09:19 (permalink)
Yep, Buddy, the "nocarolina" screename has reached the end of its career. It's taking its retirement and going to recieve a gold watch very soon. No pension though; that was wiped out by our current economic situation. 
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/20 00:05:04 (permalink)
On Sunday morning, I headed east to the small city of Watertown to find a restaurant famous for their pies, Upper Krust Pies & More.  Considering the shopping center it is located in is new and the address wouldn't register in my GPS, I had a bear of a time finding it.  Still, I was one of the first inside the door

when I arrived shortly after 9:00AM.  This

was the impressive sight greeting me as I waited for the hostess to seat me.
 
I have to admit that I was initially disappointed to find out that you can't order off the menu on Sunday morning.  Your only dining option was the buffet set up in the back room.  But this was no ordinary breakfast buffet.



The name cards might be hard to read, but besides the typical eggs, sausage and bacon, they had such items as shepherd's pie, corn casserole, Amish egg bake, egg souffle and raspberry stuffed french toast.  And everything I sampled was hot, fresh and quite good. 
 
But, the real reason I was here was for the pie.  And on the buffet, they had nine different types of pies, ready to be tried.

Those pies were: cherry, sugar free apple, peach, luscious lime, apple, coconut, tollhouse, caramel apple peach crumb and strawberry rhubarb.  The pies were sliced into half pieces, allowing more sampling.  Here is my plate,

with tollhouse, luscious lime and cherry.  The luscious lime tasted like nothing more than lime flavored whipped cream and wasn't very good.  But the other two were very good, especially the ultra-dense tollhouse.
 
Upper Krust has over 100 different pies listed on their website, but only have about a dozen or so avaialable at any one time.  But if you call ahead, they will be happy to make something for you.
 
Upper Krust
1300 Memorial Drive
Watertown, WI
920-206-9202
 
[link=http://www.upperkrustpieshop.com/index.htm%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E]http://www.upperkrustpies...htm%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E[/link]
 
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/02/20 00:12:13
joerogo
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/20 12:00:55 (permalink)
buffetbuster
 
  
 
But, the real reason I was here was for the pie.  And on the buffet, they had nine different types of pies, ready to be tried.

Those pies were: cherry, sugar free apple, peach, luscious lime, apple, coconut, tollhouse, caramel apple peach crumb and strawberry rhubarb.  The pies were sliced into half pieces, allowing more sampling.  Here is my plate,

with tollhouse, luscious lime and cherry.  The luscious lime tasted like nothing more than lime flavored whipped cream and wasn't very good.  But the other two were very good, especially the ultra-dense tollhouse.
 
 
 


buffetbuster Died and went to heaven!


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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/21 09:15:05 (permalink)
I didn't have any concrete plans until later that night, so I had some time to kill.  After shopping at the outlets in Johnson Creek, I decided to see a movie at the local Cineplex.  2012 was the movie of choice, but I had about 45 minutes until it started.  With a Culver's next door, there was no doubt what I should do.

Believe it or not, this was the very first time I tried a Culver's.  I got the regular butter burger, which came with some krinkle cut fries.

There was no doubt that this was a big step better than the typical fast food burger,

but there wasn't anything particularly buttery about it.  Maybe I expect every butter burger to be like what they serve at Solly's.  Unfortunately, I ran out of time and wasn't able to get any frozen custard before the movie started.

2012 wasn't the best movie in the world, but the special effects were kind of cool.  But it was time to drive back to Milwaukee and hit one of my favorites, McBob's

They do have a fairly large menu at this family tavern, but corned beef is definitely the star. 

In fact, on my one previous visit, I ate the best corned beef hash I have ever had.  There was no doubt that on this visit, I would be having the reuben.  Soon, this


was delivered.  Similar to the hash, the corned beef on the reuben is cut up in healthy sized chunks.  It worked perfectly with the melted swiss cheese and sauerkraut into a great sandwich.  You want to know what Roadfood bliss is?  It is sitting at McBob's, eating this sandwich, drinking Sprecher root beer and watching the Steelers vs. the Packers on a big screen tv.  Life is good!!!

While I was eating, a man came over to check on me and to tell me a joke.  We struck up a conversation and it turned out he was the owner.  Our chat lasted a good 45 minutes, in which he told me about how the restaurant got it's unusual name, (the last name is McRoberts) and how they came to serve such great corned beef. Make sure you ask the next time you are here.  It really is a great story.

McBob's
4919 W. North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI
414-871-5050

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/2569-2561/mcbobs

At halftime, I decided it was time to move on, since I still needed to make one more stop before I met Roadfooder JRPfeff and his family for dinner.  And since we are in Milwaukee, that stop had to be for frozen custard.  So I made my way to the Glendale location of Kopp's.  Since I checked ahead of time and knew their flavors of the day, I chose here instead of Leon's.

First up was a large cone of mint chip,

my favorite flavor.  Smooth mint custard, loaded with large dark chocolate chunks, it was fantastic!  You would think that would be enough, but since the other flavor of the day was Sprecher root beer, I was soon right back in line.

The taste of this was a little more subtle than I would have preferred, but it was still delicious.

Kopp's
5373 N. Port Washington Road
Glendale, WI
414-961-3288

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/310-310/kopps-custard

One more stop before my flight home.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/02/23 13:31:49
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/21 11:36:54 (permalink)
Oh wow, so how close to the root beer was the custard?  And I had Joe's thought exactly once I saw the picture of the pie buffet.  :)
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/21 14:31:44 (permalink)
bb, the "butter" in a Culver's Butter Burger is limited strictly to a light coating to crisp up the toasted bun.

We first encountered Culver's nearly twenty years ago as we took a mini-vacation touring south central Wisconsin around Spring Green and Baraboo.  They weren't anywhere near as well known as they are now, and back then I had never heard of Solly's, so the idea of a butter burger was both intriguing and slightly off putting at the same time.

We would pass a Culver's every couple of towns or so and each time I would call out in a tone that was both mocking and more than a little curious, "Ooh, butter burgers, we must stop in and try one!"  Mrs. Roadhouse refused to allow me to stop, picturing me taking one bite and dropping dead from cholesterol overload.

It wasn't until many years later, and then only with the promise of frozen custard, that we finally checked out the dreaded butter burger and discovered that butter was not the predominant ingredient and that it was actually the best dang fast food burger we'd ever tasted (take that, all you In N Out fans).  Since then, Culver's is the only corporate chain burger I will eat while not under duress.

The good/bad news is, they are soon opening one up about two minutes from my home.  Good news; hello Wisconsin grade frozen custard and yummy butter burgers on demand.  Bad news; is that an inner tube around your waist, or have you just been to Culver's...again?

Buddy
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/21 15:20:36 (permalink)
It's tough Buddy, I know. We have one but two minutes from our house. Right now Culver's is verboten in my diet.
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/22 08:27:29 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Oh wow, so how close to the root beer was the custard?  
It did have that creaminess that seperates Sprecher root beer from the standard brands. 
 
Buddy-
Thanks for the info on Culver's butter burgers.  I will forever compare all butter burgers against Solly's and that doesn't really seem fair.

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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/22 14:06:01 (permalink)
Awesome pics, BuffetBuster!!!! Don't lament at missing Culver's custard. Kopp's has a far superior custard, IMHO. I like Culver's food way better than their custard.

However, for anyone who likes unsweetened iced tea, Culver's is your place. One morning before work I waited in their drive thru for about 10 minutes before the manager came out & told me they weren't opening yet for half an hour. I said I knew McDonald's & the other guys were open, but Culver's iced tea is the superior product, and I didn't mind waiting. He said, "Oh, now that we CAN do! Pull up & I'll have one of the employees take care of you."

They use actual brewed tea, McD's uses a mix you add water to. Just be careful because Culver's has AWESOME fish dinners & they sell a LOT of it, with lemon on the side. Don't get lemon in your iced tea, just in case.
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/22 14:06:19 (permalink)
I gotta tell ya, I'm not a big fan of Solly's.  IMHO Solly's butter burger is the embodiment of the phrase, "Too Much of a Good Thing."

I tried 'em once and was just overwhelmed with the amount of butter on that burger-a slab almost a thick as the burger itself!  As the burger/butter combination slid down my throat I could actually feel my heart pause for a moment as if saying to me, "Just how exactly do you expect me to deal with this?"  And mind you, I didn't even have a cheeseburger!

Solly's has lots of charm, serves good food and a great milk shake, and should be experienced by all serious Roadfooders at least once.  But the idea of making a regular diet of those things (as many locals do; some of them several times a week!) makes me shudder and quake.

I'm glad you've found so many of Wisconsin's other worthy Roadfood stops.  Hope you get to Saxe's Lone Star sometime.

Buddy
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/23 16:06:26 (permalink)
Before leaving for Milwaukee, I contacted fellow Roadfooder JRPfeff (Jim) and asked if he would be interested in meeting Sunday night for a burger at Sobelman's.   Jim agreed and he, his wife Bobbi and son Martin, met me right inside the door.  After a short wait, we were seated on some raised chairs in the bar area.  Not the most comfortable seats in the world, but the good food and great company more than made up for it.
 
Sobelman's

is another of what should be called family taverns.  Like McBob's, it is most definitely a drinking establishment and in fact, used to be a Schlitz tavern.  But I would feel very comfortable taking the entire family here.
 
Jim got us started by ordering an appetizer,

that I thought was some kind of jalapenos.  Those do sort of look like onion rings, but I really don't think they were.  Maybe Jim or Bobbi can chime in and tell us exactly what those were.  Since I was at the point of having limited appetite and I wanted to save room for the substantial burger to come, I barely touched it.
 
The burger was delivered with a generous side of very good fries. 

The burger

itself comes on a nice soft roll, is topped with three different cheeses, in varying states of meltedness, plus bacon and chopped jalapenos.  And the meat patty is plenty juicy, with a nice char to the outside.  A fine, fine burger!  I only wish I hadn't eaten so much earlier, so I could have enjoyed it more.
 
Sobelman's
1900 W. St. Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI
414-931-1919  
   
http://www.milwaukeesbestburgers.com/

As if the pleasure of their company wasn't enough, Bobbi, a world class baker, brought me some dessert.

The pie is banana cream, while the smaller item is sticky toffee pudding!  As good as the pie was, the pudding was even better.  Much thanks to Bobbi for thinking of me.
 
From there, it was straight to the airport and home.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/02/23 16:10:55
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/23 17:52:39 (permalink)
Nice shots from Sobelman's!  I'm guessing those fried apps were a mix of veggies, including what looks like green beans.  I'm surprised they were open on a Sunday.  I've made several unsuccessful Sunday visits to Sobelman's while on my summer travels promoting BBQ Sauce.

Hmmm...maybe Sobelman's is my Nite Owl...

Buddy
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland 2010/02/24 21:22:07 (permalink)
Those are gorgeous burgers, and beautiful desserts Bobbi!
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