Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Category: Comfort Foods (page 1 of 15)

Supper Club Scoring

Supper Club Score – Wisconsin’s Best

Ishnala

You’ve seen those lists.  The 10 Best ______________ fill in the blank.   I have a number of them I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.  But let’s try to find some of your favorites and why.  The Supper Club is a Wisconsin tradition.

Do you like the Wisconsin’s Supper Club tradition?  Do you have a favorite?  Do you go to more than one?  Can you rate them and score them for careful recommendations to others?  We’re here to help!

How does your favorite supper club measure up?  Is it truly a Wisconsin classic, or just a family friendly neighborhood gathering spot with satisfying food?  We love them all, but the title of “recommended Supper Club” is elusive, particular and only available to the true classics that attract loyal customers year around.  Lots of places call themselves a “Supper Club.”  But what is that?  And why do we care?

Well it is part nostalgia and part appreciation for a winning combination of food, atmosphere and service at have made this particular type of restaurant a favorite over multiple generations.  Wisconsin Supper Clubs offer an experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

Donny’s Glidden Lodge

Wisconsin has over 350 dining places that call themselves  a “Supper Club.”  Your favorite is probably included.  But how does it rate verses all the others?  Is the one in Kenosha better than the one in Superior?  Door County vs, LaCrosse?  How will we decide?

Fear not – we have developed an evaluation tool that can help you see where you favorite stacks up next to the perennial favorites.  On a scale from one to 200 you can score your favorite against the spots recommended by Edible Antics in our 72 county tours.  We offered for your consideration 10 Supper Clubs from across the state and their “Star Rating” based upon an evaluation using our scorecard. .  And then here is the scorecard for you to evaluate your favorite.  Based upon your evaluation how does it measure up?

Ten Madison Area Supper Clubs

Supper Club Score
1 Otto’s 4 Stars
2 Dorf House 4 Stars
3 Toby’s 4 Stars
4 Old Fashioned 3.5 Stars
5 Wonder Bar 4 Stars
6 Mariner’s 3.25 Stars
7 Delany’s 3.5 Stars
8 Tornado Steak House 4.2 Stars
9 Maple Tree 3.8 Stars
10 Fitzgerald’s 3.5 Stars

Your Scorecard

Does your favorite Supper club have these? Score your favorites and compare to see which is the winner.

Category Available Points My Favorite
Food items
Is there a relish try on your table? 3
– With carrots, celery
Is there a basket with cellophane 3
– Wrapped crackers
Is there a soft spreadable cheese included 3
Warm bread or rolls 5
– Cold store bought or stale -5
Are there individual wrapped butter patties 3
Is there a Friday night fried fish special 10
Is there a Saturday night prime rib special 10
Is there a salad bar 10
– with beets (extra points) 3
– with Blue cheese dressing (extra) 3
– with fresh mixed greens (extra) 3
Is there a featured steak available always 10
Ambiance items
Is there a wood burning fireplace 10
– Is there a fire going (extra) 5
Are the chairs at the tables comfy 5
Is there wood paneling inside 5
Is there adequate parking close by 5
Are there cloth tablecloths and napkins 5
Do you get a steak knife with your steak 5
Refreshments
How many beers on tap are available
– 1 to 10 5
– 10 to 20 8
– more than 20 12
How many wines on the wine list
– 1 to 10 3
– 10 to 20 5
– more than 20 10
Do they serve real Wisconsin made
– Beers 5
– Brandies 5
– Wines 5
– Vodka 5
Are they known for their Brandy Manhattens or Old Fashioned 5
Are they known for their Bloody Marys 5
Do they offer after dinner ice cream drinks 5
Other items
Are there more than one friendly bartenders 5
Is the wait staff helpful, friendly 3
Do they take reservations
– Weekdays 3
– Weekends 10
Total points 200

Wisconsin Plate

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Grilled Brats

It turns out that we are not the only ones having fun with Wisconsin foods.  Taylor Hicks is hosting a new series this fall called State Plate.  The winner of season five on “American Idol” is traveling to states to find specific foods for which each state is known.  He has recently visited Wisconsin looking for classic Wisconsin foods that represent our heritage and our iconic food items.  On his tour he had great fun meeting our state’s producers of five of our delightful edibles.  He has specifically explored our:

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Danish Kringle

  • Cheese curds
  • Sheboygan Bratwurst
  • German Sauerkraut
  • BooYah in Green Bay
  • Danish Kringle from Racine

As he travels around the states he plans to visit I am sure the Wisconsin treats will be his favorite.  We thank Taylor and the folks at State Plate for visiting our state and for presenting our special treats to their audience. Make sure to tune in this Friday at 8pm CT!

Happy Birthday Wisconsin! Brats for everyone!

We are taking a Holiday weekend pause from our Wisconsin Counties tour to celebrate a couple of things;  Birthdays and Brats.

Happy Birthday Wisconsin – the state. Wisconsin joined the United States 168 years ago on May 29th 1848 as the 30th state of the union. Known as the Badger state the robin is the state bird, White Tailed Deer is the state wild animal, the Muskellunge is the state fish and the wood violet is the state flower.

Wisconsin State Flag

Wisconsin State Flag

Wisconsin was settled by immigrants from many parts of the World. Polish, German, Norwegian, Swiss, Danish, Hispanic and Asian visitors joined the Native Americans who were already here.

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Milwaukee Edible Antics

Wisconsinmade.com blog Edible Antics is on tour in Wisconsin posting virtual culinary tour entries from Wisconsin counties in alphabetical order. Scroll down for some of the Wisconsin counties we were touring in previous weeks. The prior counties visited are available in the archived links on the blog. We are finding special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think visitors might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post some background information on each county followed by specific links to our Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners and to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county.

This week we continue our Wisconsin counties virtual culinary tour in Milwaukee County looking for edibles and adventures.

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Lincoln and Manitowoc Edibles

Edible Antics is currently posting virtual culinary tour entries from Wisconsin counties in alphabetical order. Scroll down for some of the Wisconsin counties we visited in previous weeks. The prior counties visited are available in the archived links on the right side of your screen. We are finding special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think visitors might enjoy in each county we visit.  Some background information on each county is followed with specific links to our Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners and to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county.

This week we continue our Wisconsin counties virtual culinary tour in Lincoln and Manitowoc counties looking for edibles and adventures.

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Kewaunee and LaCrosse Edibles

Edible Antics is currently posting virtual culinary tour entries from Wisconsin counties in alphabetical order. Scroll down for some of the Wisconsin counties we visited in previous weeks. The prior counties visited are available in the archived links on the right side of your screen. We are finding special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think visitors might enjoy in each county we visit.  Some background information on each county is followed with specific links to our Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners and to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county.

This week our Wisconsin county virtual culinary tour takes us to Kewaunee and LaCrosse Counties looking for Wisconsinmade edibles and fun places to visit.

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Juneau and Kenosha County Edibles

Edible Antics is currently posting virtual culinary tour entries from Wisconsin counties in alphabetical order. Scroll down for some of the Wisconsin counties we visited in previous weeks or these prior counties visited are available in the archived links on the right side of your screen. We are finding special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think visitors might enjoy in each county we visit.  Some background information on each county is followed with specific links to our Wisconsinmade artisan partners and to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county.  The archives cover these counties:

This week we visit Juneau County and Kenosha County looking for Edible delights and adventures.

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Iowa and Iron County Edibles

We are continuing our Wisconsin County culinary tour in Iowa County and Iron County Wisconsin.  At opposite ends of the state these two counties are about a five hour drive apart.  Northwoods wilderness and lakes are reviewed alongside rolling rich agricultural lands.

Iowa County

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Iowa County by David Benbennick

Iowa County is 762 square miles and has a population of 23,700 with the County seat in Dodgeville.   Other cities and villages include:

  • Mineral Point
  • Avoca
  • Barneveld
  • Cobb
  • Highland
  • Hollandale
  • Linden
  • Rewey
  • Ridgeway

The current agriculturally based farming economy supports many of the jobs here.  The earlier history is preserved in Mineral Point.  The Wisconsin State Historical Society has preserved the Cornish mining history in the Pendarvis historical site.  This part of the state was a major commercial center before Wisconsin became a state.  The mining of lead and zinc were large industries in the early 1800’s.  Cornish pasties were popular lunch meals for the miners.  A folded pastry around a beefy stew center provided mid-day nourishment.  The county is home to three Wisconsin State Parks; Blue Mounds, Governor Dodge and Tower Hill State Park.  Tower Hill contains an 1831 “shot tower” off the edge of a cliff where molten lead was dropped from the top of the tower and it formed a round globular shape on the way down and fell in a vat of cold water at the bottom.  These lead balls were then used as shot for early rifles.  The Military Ridge State Trail also traverses the county. The west end of the trail is at Governor Dodge State Park.

Wisconsinmade Artisan partners in Iowa County include:

  • Little Creek Press is the Mineral Point publisher of a number of books for children and adults.
  • Walnut Hollow in Dodgeville has developed InGrained Art as a new line of wall décor using a revolutionary new process that allows wood surfaces to be enhanced with
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    Wisconsin Capitol Lake View photo on wood

    high-resolution imagery. This process allows all of the natural grain and texture of the wood to show through while maintaining the quality, detail and resolution of the original image.

  • Wagging Tail Bakery  features a Sampler Gift Bag that is an assortment of homemade dog snacks

In addition to our Wisconsinmade artisan partners Edible Antics Iowa County recommendations include:

  • Taliesin was the home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He first designed the home for himself in 1911. From that time until his death in 1959, Wright continuously changed the home and the surrounding landscape, which included buildings that he had designed for his family.  At the time of Frank Lloyd Wright’s death, “Taliesin” referred to the home, the surrounding 600-acre estate, and 4 other Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures.
  • Hook’s Cheese Company in Mineral Point has won numerous awards for their Parmesan cheese (try it with a nice Merlot), Cheddar cheese (with a glass of Syrah), Colby cheese (with a Malbec) and their Blue cheese (with a glass of Cabernet)
  • Uplands Cheese Company is the maker of award winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve. It is the most-awarded cheese in American history, having won Best of Show in the American Cheese Society’s annual competition three times (2001, 2005 and 2010), and having also won the US Cheese Championships in 2003. It is the only cheese to have won Best of Show three times, and the only cheese to have ever won both of the major, national cheese competitions.
  • Botham Vineyards is an original Wisconsin winery and one of only a handful with estate vineyards producing authentic Wisconsin wine.
  • Lake Louie Brewing in Arena provides quality beers including Tommy’s Porter, one of my favorites.
  • The Quality Bakery in Dodgeville provides sweets for all.
  • Brewery Creek brewpub in Mineral Point for good beers and historic lodging.
  • The Mineral Point Opera House began in 1915 as a vaudeville house. Over the years, it has been used as a movie theater and a venue for a variety of live performances.  After extensive recent restoration, it is open again.
  • Mineral Point Gallery night happens four times a year; the first for 2016 is April 2. Local galleries open for tours and visitors can see the artists at work.

Iron County

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Iron County by David Benbennick

Iron County population is 5,900 people living on 757 square miles.  It is the third least populated county in Wisconsin.  The County seat is Hurley with other cities and villages of:

  • Montreal
  • Mercer
  • Manitowish

The northern border of the county includes some Lake Superior shoreline and the state border with the upper peninsula of Michigan.  The Gogebic Range of mountains is in the northern portion of the county and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage covers most of the southern portion of the county.  Here is another map of Iron County showing the extensive undeveloped land.

iron county details

Iron County Wisconsin

Edible Antics Iron County recommendations include:

  • In Mercer Claire d Loon weighs 2,000 pounds, stands 16 feet tall, and lends credibility to the town’s claim to be the “Loon Capital.”
  • The Plummer Mine Headframe is part of an iron mine that opened in 1904, the Plummer Mine shaft angles downward from the headframe following a vein of ore into the earth to a depth of 2,367 feet. The Plummer Mine closed in 1924 and is the last such headframe standing in Wisconsin. From an engine house, cables ran up over the wheels at the top of the headframe and were attached to elevator cars, lowering miners and equipment underground and pulling ore cars back to the surface.

Edible Antics continues our tour next week in Jackson County and Jefferson County where we are looking for people, places or edibles that are all Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Forest and Grant County Edibles

This week we extend our Wisconsin county culinary tour to Forest and Grant Counties.  They are on opposite sides of Wisconsin – far northeast and far southwest.

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Forest County by David Benbennick

Forest County

This county is named after the dense forest that shares the territory. 9,300 people live on the 1,014 square miles with Crandon as the county seat.  Other towns include

  • Argonne
  • Laona
  • Moll Lake
  • Newald
  • Wabeno

Much of the northern portion of Wisconsin is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest  and it includes most of Forest County.  The county also includes the home of the Forest County Potawatomi Indians, who are the Keeper of the Fire.  There are many lakes and wildlife areas in Forest County.

 Edible Antics Forest County recommendations include:

TRAILS Pow-wow Mole Lake in Crandon March 12 – March 13 features dancers, drummers with a feast provided both days plus Native American craft vendors.

The Lumberjack Steam Train Cowboy Reenactment in Laona July 16 steps back in time where you come take part in a Wild West train robbery the authentic Cowboy Reenactment and robbery of the Lumberjack Steam Train. You are invited to come and ride the train.  At other times the Lumberjack Steam Train takes you out to “Camp 5”, the site of an old logging camp. Later it became the site of the Lumber Company Farm. When you arrive, you find some of the old buildings which were a part of the Lumber Company Farm.

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Grant County by David Benbennick

Grant County

This county in southwestern Wisconsin shares state boarders with both Illinois and Iowa.  The county seat is in Lancaster.  The county occupies 1,148 square miles and hosts 51,200 people.  Other cities in the county include:

  • Boscobel
  • Cuba City
  • Fennimore
  • Platteville

Villages include

  • Bagley
  • Bloomington
  • Blue River
  • Cassville
  • Dickeyville
  • Mount Hope
  • Patch Grove
  • Potosi
  • Tennyson
  • Woodman

Boscobel hosts the Boscobel Hotel  and Central House generally regarded as the home of the first Gideon Bible.

The lower portion of the Wisconsin River widens and joins the Mississippi River here.  Wyalusing State Park is high on a bluff overlooking the confluence of these two rivers.

Stonefield Village is a historic restoration of an early Wisconsin settlement near Cassville.

Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners in Grant County include:

Martha’s Hot Mustard is a honey mustard producer in rural Grant County that has developed a fan base for her sweet-hot mustard nation-wide.  It’s great on crackers and cheese, ham, turkey, hot dogs, hamburgers – even popcorn! Everyone who tastes Martha’s Hot Mustard is sure to love it!

Edible Antics Grant County recommendations include:

In Potosi The Potosi Brewery and National Brewery Museum offers visitors a tour of a restored regional brewery, the National Brewery Museum, fine locally produced adult beverages, a beautifully restored back bar, a restaurant with good pub food, outdoor seating in the summer and welcoming Wisconsin hospitality year round.

Weber Meats in Cuba City offers a wide variety of meat products for their customers in south western Wisconsin and north western Illinois.

The Dickeyville Grotto on Holy Ghost Parish grounds are the works of Father Mathias Wernerus, pastor from 1918 – 1931. His handiwork, built from 1925 – 1930, is dedicated to the unity of two American ideals-love of God and love of country. It is a creation in stone, mortar, and bright colored objects collected from all over the world

Meister Cheese Company in Muscoda makes specialty cheeses in the old world fashion but with modern technology.

The Fenway House Hotel in Fennimore was built in 1918 and offers endless old world charm from the creek that runs thru the dining room to the original terrazzo floors.

The Cream Pitcher bed and breakfast in Blue River blends modern amenities with old-fashioned quality and comfort. The home is embellished with a large collection of antiques, including pitchers from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is the Burst O’ Lemon Muffin recipe from The Cream Pitcher B&B as listed in the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook:

Burst O’ Lemon Muffins (makes 1 dozen)

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup lemon yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

TOPPING:

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  In a separate bowl beat together the yogurt, egg, butter, lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the coconut and fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and muffins test done.  Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For the topping:  I a saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar.  Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the toasted coconut.  Using a toothpick poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.  Spoon the lemon coconut mixture over the muffins.  Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

More culinary treats next week as we visit Green County and Green Lake County in search of people, places and things that are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

 

 

 

Florence and Fond du Lac County edibles

Our Wisconsin county culinary tour this week moves to Florence and Fond du Lac counties.

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Florence County by David Benbennick

Florence County

Florence is in the northeast portion of Wisconsin.  With 4,400 people spread over 488 square miles it is one of the sparsest populated counties in Wisconsin.  The county seat is the city of Florence.  Located along the Wisconsin Michigan boarder this county is mostly forested wilderness with many rivers and lakes for recreational activities.

Edible Antics Florence County recommendations include:

Maxsells Supper Club is on the National Historic Register and features casual fine dining on Florence’s Fisher Lake.  It was originally an 1899 Prairie School home built by lumberman Mr. David Fulmer in 1904.

Wisconsin Wild Rivers is a new 100 mile loop that features 15 access points to enjoy the Pine and Popple Wild Rivers in Florence County, Wisconsin.   The public owned lands along these rivers are managed to show as little human intervention as possible

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Fond du Lac County by David Benbennick

Fond du Lac County

The city of Fond du Lac is the county seat of Fond du Lac County.  101,600 people live here and the county covers 722 square miles.  Fond du Lac is French for bottom of the lake, and the city is located on the southern shores of Lake Winnebago.  Other cities in the county include Ripon and a portion of Waupun. Villages include:

  • Brandon
  • Campbellsport
  • Eden
  • Fairwater
  • Mount Calvary
  • North Fond du Lac
  • Oakfield
  • Rosendale
  • St. Cloud

Part of the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and the Eldorado State Wildlife area are both located in the county.

Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners in Fond du Lac County include:

  • Firl Industries features high quality log carriers that provide a clean and easy way to carry wood for the fireplace or wood burner
  • Kreative Kraftwerks  specializes in handcrafted soy candles, soaps and lotions
  • Chrome Domz creates some of the most unique metal embossed wall art  including officially licensed University of Wisconsin Badger wall hangings

In addition to our artisan partners Edible Antics Fond du Lac county recommendations for you:

We hope you have time to enjoy these delightful Wisconsin treasures.  They all feature folks that focused to provide you experiences that are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Join us next week for our culinary tour of Forest and Grant  counties.

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