Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Category: food tourism (page 1 of 4)

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!

10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours

What are the 10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours?  Edible Antics has been on tour for over 9 months searching Wisconsin highways and byways for people places and adventures that are examples of our moto “Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin”.  Supper Clubs, bakeries, butcher shops, brew pubs, wineries, Bed and Breakfasts, parks and attractions, bike, hike and snowmobile trails and anything fun, beautiful, delicious or special.  Just so you can enjoy all the beauty that is Wisconsin.  Our archives link above can help you find our recommendations in all 72 counties.

Wisconsin’s Best

Over the next few weeks we will be featuring “Top Ten” listings from our 72 Wisconsin county research efforts.  These will be the best of the best.  Multiple examples of Wisconsin artisans that weekly put forth their best efforts that are Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.  This week we sort down our research to a specific category.  10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours.  Where are the Wisconsin forests fall foliage best observed in the fall season?  And it would be helpful to identify a few lodging and dining spots to compliment the tours.  We are looking for quality food, outstanding service and an atmosphere worthy of a drive to each destination.

10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours

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“Wi Made” Miata on Hwy 70

It is fall in Wisconsin.  Days are shorter, nights are cooler and Mother Nature has broken out her paint brushes to add beautiful colors to the landscape.  Far Northern Wisconsin has already begun the display and the rest of the state will follow over the next few weeks.  Apples, cherries, cranberries and pumpkins are being harvested along with our traditional crops of corn, soybeans, potatoes, peas, carrots and green beans. Wisconsin provides a large contribution to the nation’s food pantry.

So if you have the time to take a short tour to enjoy this fall beauty, where would you go?  Here are our favorites: Continue reading

Top Ten Wisconsin Waterfront Dining

Edible Antics has been on tour for over 9 months searching Wisconsin highways and byways for people places and adventures that are examples of our moto “Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin”.  Supper Clubs, bakeries, butcher shops, brew pubs, wineries, Bed and Breakfasts, parks and attractions, bike, hike and snowmobile trails and anything fun, beautiful, delicious or special.  Just so you can enjoy all the beauty that is Wisconsin.  Our archives can help you find our recommendations in all 72 counties.

Wisconsin’s Best

Over the next few weeks we will be featuring “Top Ten” listings from our 72 Wisconsin county research efforts.  These will be the best of the best.  Multiple examples of Wisconsin artisans that weekly put forth their best efforts that are Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.  This week we sort down our research to a specific category.  Wisconsin Waterfront Dining.  It can either be outdoors on a patio or deck overlooking a lovely Wisconsin lake or stream, or indoors with views of our state’s liquid assets.   We have about a seven month window for outdoor dining, but the Wisconsin beauty is visible from indoors all year round.  We are looking for quality food, outstanding service and an atmosphere worthy of a drive to each destination.

There are many qualifying entries located on Lake Michigan, the Wisconsin River, the Mississippi River, the Fox River, The Wolf River and others.  It was difficult to narrow it down to just 10, but here goes: Continue reading

Wood County, number 72!

Wisconsin’s 5.7 million people (2010 census) are spread out over 54 thousand square miles or an average of about 105 folks per square mile.  We are organized into 72 counties.  Over the last 9 months we have carefully visited each or those counties to search for special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visited.  Wisconsin is rich in ethnic traditional food artisans from many origins, newly emerging microbreweries and wineries, restored historic bed and breakfast lodgings, vast areas of forests and park lands preserved for public use, a growing network of bike, hike and snowmobile trails and a long list of our beloved Wisconsin supper clubs.  This week we visit Wood County, the last of our 72 county tours.  Over the coming weeks we will compile listings of the “Best of the Best” from our research around the state.

If you had the time, the funds and a nice touring vehicle which 20 supper clubs would you have on your “Got to get there!” list?  We’ll share with you our list.  And ask for your input too.  But first let’s close out this effort with Wood County. Continue reading

Waushara and Winnebago counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Oshkosh and other Wisconsin communities in Waushara and Winnebago counties in Wisconsin.  Not only are they linked alphabetically but they are right next to each other.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county. Continue reading

Historic Waukesha and Waupaca counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to historic Wisconsin communities of Waukesha and Waupaca counties in Wisconsin.  One is Northwoods forest tourism and recreation area, the other is a tourism playground for urban visitors.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county. Continue reading

Tourism in Washburn and Washington counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Washburn and Washington counties in Wisconsin.  One is Northwoods forest tourism and recreation area, the other is a tourism playground for urban visitors.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county. Continue reading

Tourism in Vilas and Walworth counties

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Vilas County by David Benbennick

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Vilas and Walworth counties in Wisconsin.  One is a Northwoods forest tourism and recreation area, the other is a tourism playground for urban visitors.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county.

Continue reading

Wine in Trempealeau and Vernon Counties

Trempealeau County

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Trempealeau and Vernon counties in Wisconsin.  Both counties are home to good wine producers.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county.

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Trempealeau County by David Benbennick

Whitehall is the county seat of this 734 square miles county.  28,800 people live here.  The Trempealeau River joins the Mississippi close to a nearby mountain.  The French fur traders named this location for “Mountain steeped in water.”  Other cities in the county include:

Continue reading

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