I just wanted to say thanks again to everyone!
The first of our group is leaving today (Monday).
I tried to suggest some of the places to go to but they are more inclined to stay at the chain restaurants than venture out somewhere new.
Anyhow, I’m really looking forward to when it’s my turn in March.
I haven’t looked this forward to a trip in quite a while.
Now I have to put all of this info to good use and make a list of where I want to go.
If I get a chance I’ll post it and let everyone have a look.
Big Ugly Mich
Ain’t that the truth? Nothing in this area is funner than CHURCH on Packer-Bear Sunday. Except going through the Packer-Bear maze on 50 in Walworth County (JUST west of the Kenosha county line, maybe five miles north of the state line). Too bad you’ll miss that on your trip. http://www.fairwynfarms.com/corn_maze.htm
Big Ugly Mich
Say it ain’t so, because it ain’t.
Horlich’s Malted Milk balls in Racine and Jelly Belly (the beans Reagan scarfed) in Kenosha. Hopefully, you’ll be there when Jelly Belly sell Belly Flops, which are misshapen, but still good to eat. My wife scored points with the family by bringing some belly flops over one Christmas.
My big tip: GET OFF THE EXPRESSWAY!!!
Two final tips:
If somebody can suggest a place to get a Cedar Crest ice cream cone, it’s well worth a try. We just buy it at the grocery and take it home. Guess you could just get a pint at Woodman’s if nothing else. After Dinner Mint is my favorite.
If you find lots of foods to bring home, there’s a guy just west of Kenosha near Bristol who sells dry ice out of his garage. Can’t recall his name, but he’s in the Yellow Pages under dry ice. Real pleasant guy.
Hey, thanks everyone!
I’m really looking forward to my trip to Gurnee now more than ever!
I’m going to a class out there and hoping that I get some "free" time
to sample all the places everyone has mentioned.
I’m not exactly sure where I’m staying at right now other than a place in Gurnee.
I’ll have to get up early and try Frank’s Diner definetly.
My mouth is watering already![:D]
See, I told ya chicagostyledog would come through! Hey, CSD, did I hear you and tsores talking about a ‘Que joint in North Chicago called Hillary’s. Is that worth sending this boy(I’m assuming)to?
I’m the Chicago boy who lives in the Kenosha/Racine area. The only food I’ll eat in Gurnee is the "Birthday Cake" flavored ice cream at the Marble Slab Creamery located at 5404 Grand Avenue. For the best Roadfood in Gurnee, immediately leave and head north to Wisconsin.
Here’s the best of the best in Kenosha:
1. Tenuta’s Deli-3203 52nd Street, best Italian Deli in the midwest, http://www.tenutasdeli.com
2. The Spot Drive-In, 2117 75th Street, One of the two best double cheeseburgers in Wisconsin since 1946 served by car hops. Great home made root beer.
3. Andrea’s Gifts-2401 60th Street, Old fashioned ice cream parlor, gift shop, and cigar store. Best chocolate malt in Wisconsin. Good home made soups and sandwiches. http://www.andreasgifts.com
4. Frank’s Diner-508 58th Street, a team of horses hauled this real dining car to it’s location in 1925. Go there for breakfast and split a "Garbage Plate" with with home made toast. If you want a coffee refill, go behind the counter and serve yourself. A great place to "people watch" the characters of Kenosha.
5. Mangia Trattoria-5717 Sheridan Road, Four star Italian restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The owner’s brother is the head chef and owner of Spiaggia’s in downtown Chicago. Nuff said!
6. Mars Cheese Castle-2800 120th Street off I94, If you’re in Wisconsin, a stop at the Mars Cheese Castle is mandatory. Selling cheese since 1947, the place is a Wisconsin landmark. Try the fresh cheese curds and enjoy the many free cheese samples. http://www.marscheese.com
I’m happy as a clam
Right where I am
Cause I’m a cheesehead
Head north on Sheridan Road and visit Racine.
1. Kewpee Sandwich Shop-520 Wisconsin Avenue, Another great greasy double cheeseburger not to be missed. I live 5 minutes from Kewpee’s and will be happy to meet you there if you e-mail me a few days ahead. http://www.kewpee.com
2. Bendtsen’s Bakery-3200 Washington Ave, You can’t leave Racine without eating a kringle. My favorite is the turtle. This is Racine’s longest family owned business(over 40 years), serving the #1 rated kringle in Racine and the world. http://www.bendtsensbakery.com
3. Sebastian’s-6025 Douglas, A four star restaurant serving dinners Tues-Sat. One of the best filet’s in Wisconsin. Everything’s absolutely great in this place. A favorite of the Johnson Wax execs.
All these places have an established family history dating back over 40 years of serving the finest quality roadfood in southeastern Wisconsin. Sebastian’s and Mangia’s came on the scene in the 80’s and 90’s None are chains or franchises. Nothing like this exists in Gurnee or the surrounding area. They’re lots more in Milwaukee. Drop me an e-mail.
Born in Chicago
Raised in Chicago
Moved to Wisconsin
Selling Vienna Beef hot dogs, Polish, Italian Beef
Closed for the winter until 7/02
Kenosha is definitely close to Gurnee – if you want to take back a pile of Wisconsin cheese and maybe some local brews, stop in at Woodman’s, the giant grocery just off I94. They have very reasonable prices on cheese and it’s as good as most of the "cheese house" places nearby. Unfortunately there isn’t a real cheese factory nearby where you can get fresh curds.
Also in Racine or Kenosha, try "kringle", a pastry sort of like a giant racetrack-shaped danish. Personally, I like the Crestwood/Grebe’s brand, sold at Sentry supermarkets, altho the Kringle Factory ones at Woodman’s were good too.
Thanks B&S… Forwarded that link to my brother who moved to Madison a couple months ago!
find csd for an italian beef or a portillos and try a taste of chicago legend
Kerch, I must profess total ignorance of I-76. I-80 I can help you with, at least a little.
My main source is a book called The Interstate Gourmet, published in 1986. A lot of the places listed are long gone, but quite a few remain. I’ve only stopped at a couple of the places listed on I-80 because it’s a toll road through both Ohio and Indiana (and Illinois for that matter, but you won’t be on it very long in Illinois). Because we’re usually trying to make good time, if we stop at all between Chicago and Cleveland, we will frequently bite the bullet and stop at one of the dreaded oases.
One exception is for The Rib Shack in Granger, Indiana, about 10 miles east of South Bend. I don’t know how long this place would be in business in Kansas City, North Carolina or Texas, but in Indiana it’s pretty darn good. From I-80, get off at exit 83, turn right at the end of the ramp and then soon turn right again onto Route 23. It’s a little more than 2.5 miles on Route 23, passing over the RR tracks. The store is on your left.
As for your time in Gurnee, the more I think about it, the more I realize your almost as close to Milwaukee as you are to Chicago. On top of which, the traffic going to Milwaukee will (normally) be a lot easier than the traffic going towards Chicago. Milwaukee is a highly underappreciated Roadfood town.
If you like Mexican, get to the corner of 5th and National. There are at least four very-good to excellent Mexican places within hopping distance of each other. Our favorites are La Perla and La Fuente, both north of National on 5th. We were at La Fuente just this past week and there was a new Cuban place, Hemingway’s Habana Vieja, right across the street. We would have eaten there but my taste buds were already locked onto La Fuente. Hemingway’s looks very cool, lot’s of dark wood fixtures including a huge bar that looks like it is going to come alive (you’ll see when you get there). Good menu, reasonable prices.
There is of course Solly’s home of the Wisconsin butter burger, discussed on many threads here a Roadfood. Do a search for details. In fact there are numerous threads on Milwaukee here. I’ve read most of them and there is enough information there to keep you eating for the whole week.
Have good trip,
The Brat Stop also has a deli that sells an assortment of fresh brats and other meats along with cheese curds, "for the road" and a funky gift shop.I love that place![8D]
Hey Thanks Buddy!
This is fantastic! I’ll be traveling on I-76 then I-80 until we hit I-94 on up to Gurnee.
I heard of the cheese curds but totally forgot about them until you mentioned it. Definetly a must have while I’m there.
Again,Thanks for all your suggestions.
What’s your route from Harrisburg to Gurnee? You might get more suggestions with those specifics. As for dining in Gurnee, it’s a bit of a joke. The two big attractions in town are Six Flags Great America (if you like lemon chills and overpriced pizza by the slice you’re in luck) and Gurnee Mills, a gigantic outlet mall with an abundance of cliched food court offerings.
That said, you are within easy driving distance of some pretty good grub. The first thing that popped into my head was The Shanty. You’ll need to look up an exact address but, they’re located up north there on Route 41, also known as Skokie Highway. The Shanty is a warm little roadhouse operation, well known around here for its burgers. Every table starts off with a complimentary basket of breadsticks and a crock of Merkt’s cheddar cheese spread. As I recall they are also renowned for their French Onion Soup. Very casual, very friendly, this is a good stop.
In North Chicago (the town, not the north side of the city of Chicago) I believe there is a barbecue joint called Hillary’s that is well liked by some of our fellow Roadfooders (chicagostyledog, tsores, am I getting this right?)
Also, you are just down the road from that magical place we flatlanders (people from Illinois) call Wisconsin! From Gurnee, taking I-94, you’re probably less than 20 minutes from Kenosha. Get off at the Highway 50 exit and head about 1/4 mile west to The Brat Stop. As for the cuisine, the name says it all. They’ve got a full menu, but why? The Bratwurst are very good. Get an order of fried cheese curds for an appetizer. This is a big, loud sports oriented place with more TV screens per square inch than a Best Buy store. Because it’s so close to the state border, it get’s real interesting in there when the Bears play the Packers.
Just a little further up I-94 is Racine, home of one the strangest little chains you’ll ever see, Kewpie Burgers. They have a total of four locations. One in Racine, Wisconsin, the other three in Lima, Ohio! These are very tasty burgers served in a classic art deco diner atmosphere. Their motto alone will hook you:
Hamburger, onion, pickle on top
Makes your heart go flippity-flop
Someone once told me you could ask to have your burger "de-greased". Thinking this was some complex technical process, turns out they press the patty, after cooking, between a couple of paper towels before depositing it on the bun.
Like I say, if you don’t mind a few minutes drive, southeast Wisconsin holds all kinds of culinary thrills. If you’re lucky, chicagostyledog will jump in with a wealth of information.
As more occurs to me I’ll chirp in. Have a good trip, welcome to northeast Illinois.
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