Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come"
Wed, 07/18/12 2:07 PM
Sorry about the delay. Been a bad week. Saturday June 30, 2012 (cont.) It was at this point a decision had to be made. There were several stops in northeast Iowa I wanted to make, but did I want to include the Stockholm Pie Company in Wisconsin as part of my trip? As much I love their pies, it would greatly increase the amount of miles on the this trip. While thinking about what to do, I heard a voice, which sounded unmistakably like ChiTownDiner's, saying "Go the Distance!" How could I say no to the voice? So, I continued on north along the Mississippi River and was treated to some beautiful views. The hotel for the night was all the way in Winona, Minnesota, so I couldn't stop very often to take photos, but it made the scenery made the drive much better. Once reaching Marquette, Iowa, I crossed over the river into the city of Prairie de Chien, Wisconsin. Here would be my last food stop of the day. Pete's Hamburgers is so small, that I went right past it the first time while driving up Blackhawk Avenue. Realizing I wasn't looking for a building, but something smaller like a stand, I spotted Pete's the next time through. What a great looking little burger joint! Pete's dates back to 1909 and the menu consists of burgers, chips and drinks to wash it down with. That's it! The menu even has most every possible order combination figured out ahead of time for you. When I ordered two hamburgers (they do not offer cheese here), they asked if I wanted onions. Of course, the answer was yes. I have to tell you up front that the method of cooking that goes on here turned me off at first. They have a griddle here several inches deep and the beef, along with the onions are cooked in this. My first impression was that this is really unappetizing and that the burgers are going to be serious grease bombs. Then it struck me that this isn't grease, but water and the burgers are boiled. Still not an ideal way to make a burger IMHO, but I was willing to keep an open mind. They wrapped up my burgers, put them in a plastic sack and I headed to my car. Just as I was finishing up taking some photos, my girlfriend called. We hadn't talked all day and had some catching up to do. Since I had a long drive ahead (the GPS said I was not getting to my hotel until 10:30PM), I left Prairie du Chien without having tried the burgers. BTW, I should point out that Pete's is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and in warm weather months only. Pete's Hamburgers 118 W.Blackhawk Avenue Prairie du Chien, WI Now on the east side of the Mississippi, I would get the view of the sun setting on the other side of the river. There was some truly spectacular scenery, but since I was talking with Mariton as I was driving, I decided against pulling over to take a photo. Finally, we got to area where the sun was just about to set and it gave off such a stunning orange/purple glow across the water, I couldn't take it anymore and told her I would need to call her back. Just as I parked, grabbed my camera, ran across the street and put the camera on the proper settings, a train decided to roll by. And the tracks were between the river and I and completely blocked the view. It was so ridiculous, all I could do was laugh. Here is a view with the train. By the time the train was completely by, the sun had now set. While this is still a pretty view, you should have seen it a few moments before. In Roadfood lexicon, I was just Travelin Manned by a train! Once arriving at the hotel in Winona, I was tired after a long day. My mood was not helped by the fact that the hotel did not have an elevator, so I had to drag two suitcases up a set of stairs and the fact that there was no internet the entire stay here. I tried hard not to take it out on the front desk clerk, who was a real nice young guy from Rogers, Arkansas. Once in the room, it was finally time to eat the hamburgers from Pete's. Although no longer warm (through no fault of theirs, of course), this was a surprisingly flavorful burger. The beef was loosely packed and very moist. If it was this good hours later, imagine how good it would have been before? Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 07/18/12 2:18 PM>