La Crosse (North La X, actually) has an old style Maid-Rite that does not resemble the chains in any way. It’s an older building off the beaten path, and it’s mostly all locals all the time, I don’t think visitors know about it. A great old room with stools and booths, filled with local railroad ambiance, from the nearby yards. They have a much wider menu, breakfast from 600 AM, and many people get their Maid-Rite mixed with hash browns. It’s very good food.
In Trempealeau WI are two places — The Hungry Point, a combination restaurant, boat landing and bait shop. They used to have great burgers and fried fish, but they changed hands, and I haven’t tried them, but I’ve heard they may even be better.
Also is the Trempealeau Hotel, famous for its locally known Walnut Burger. It’s a veggie burger, and it’s good for what it is, I guess. I prefer their appetizer Walnut Balls, as they have more crust.
A few miles north is the Hillside Supper Club (only open 4 or 5 pm), a long time place that used to buy fresh fish from the Indians in the 1800’s.
In Fountain City is another historic place right on the main drag — The Golden Frog, with a long history around here. They’re open for lunch.
Both the Hillside and the Frog are very familiar to me — started going there with my parents over sixty years ago.
They are both very good.
Immediately across Hwy 35 from the Golden Frog is a lefse maker, forget the name, but it’s RIGHT across the small street. You can see them making it in the back room. Couldn’t be fresher!