I enjoyed reading this report again!
Me, too. Very enjoyable to see again, and get hungry all over again. WJ,
last time you made it to Balltown Iowa. If you are in that direction again, Prairie du Chien WI is not much farther away, and the home of Pete's Hamburgers,
family owned for over a hundred years, and in the same location.
They are only open weekends (Fri-Sat-Sun) during the summer months, and have only one item, hamburgers, with onions. No cheese or pickles, but you can buy chips, and they do supply ketchup and mustard. No inside seating, and no decent outside seating, but two blocks away just down the street is a nice park on the Mississippi with picnic tables. And it's real close to a local tourist attraction, Villa Louis, link attached.
Local tip, learned by standing in line (you will more than likely stand in line), is ask for both cooked and raw onions, a combination. They are happy to oblige, and the combination is good. The cooked onions are more stewed than sauteed, but they work -- and have worked for a century.
After that, my town of La Crosse WI is 60 miles north, on a very lovely drive up the beautiful Mississippi. We could probably find you a good meal or two, I'd be happy to try. (Although we are, in many ways, still a "white bread" kind of place.
And, you like craft beer, well, Balltown is not far from Potosi WI, and their local creations. http://peteshamburgers.com/ http://prairieduchien.chambermaster.com/list/member/villa-louis-654 http://www.potosibrewery.com/museums.cfm
You would be quite welcome here.