We hit a great little joint in LaCrosse for breakfast yesterday and I thought I’d give it a shout. The Nutbush City Limits bar (off exit 3 on I-90, under the interstate, on the left) is a cute little tavern that serves food all day. I had a half ‘Southern benedict’ replacing white sausage gravy for the hollandaise with a really good size slice of Canadian bacon, and a yummy cinnamon roll. Great service and great coffee. I’m sorry I’m not around for the Friday night fish fry.
Green County Wisconsin bills itself as the cheese capital. I think there are 7 or 8 cheesemakers in the area, there is a "cheese trail" map availible so you can take the tour and enjoy. Also nearby is Mount Horeb Wisconsin, home of the Mustard Museum where you can sample many of the thousands of mustards in their collection.
There is (used to be) a little hamburger stand in Prairie du Chien across the street from Stark’s sporting goods that served great burgers with grilled onions. We would buy a bunch and head for the Sawmill(?) Bar down the street for a couple of cold Lienie’s to go with them.
In the dairy state, you don’t want to miss out on cheese.
A travel note: Take WI 35 north from Prairie du Chien, WI to LaCrosse instead of US 61. It goes along the river (61 doesn’t, altho it is mighty scenic) and bald eagles are often seen. Plus, you can stop at Rocky’s Supper Club in Stoddard just south of LaCrosse for fried cheese curds. You might also try Piggy’s instead of Freighthouse – it’s northern style smoked barbecue and is pretty fine.
Then, take US 14 from LaCrosse to Madison and stop at a few cheese factories. Westby and Arena both have ’em right on 14. Also excellent is Springdale, about 10 miles west of Richland Center off 14 on county E. They have the new Juustelopia baked cheese. Also, great ice cream at the Viroqua Dairy Bar in downtown Viroqua just north of 14. And the UW Dairy Store on the campus is worth a try, too.
When in Hannibal, Lula Belle’s is great, but the food is mediocre. Around the corner there is a diner with a Pepsi sign and 6 booths – great food and dirt cheap; the name escapes me (sorry) but it is on a street that runs East and West and the front of the building is brick red/maroon…[:I
Freighthouse in LaCrosse is very good. Reason for the suits and ties is that it is THE place in La Crosse to celebrate special events, for a special treat or to impress for a business meal. Very good food, good service in a restored historic building.
Galena: Eldorado Cafe (I think that’s it); don’t know if it’s still there, I visited last about 8 years ago, but it was an amazing oasis of serious food in an otherwise trendy touristy town. Not really roadfood–our meal (2 of us) was probably $100 with drinks, but they have absolutely awesome margaritas and some really incredible wild game selections, including (when I visited) antelope. Not to be missed if it’s still around.
Pepin (in Wisconsin): Harbor View Cafe. Had a great luch there about 3 years ago with my Mom. Also a bookstore. Great view, great ambience, I miss it as much as anything in the midwest.
La Crosse: Freighthouse. Old railway station converted into (LaCrosse version of) yuppie steakhouse. Don’t be put off by the suits you’ll find, this is quality meat at affordable prices.
Burlington, IA: there’s a great surf-n-turf place almost under the bridge from Illinois that I can’t for the life of me remember. Huge place, right on the Mississippi.
Thanks, Hawkeye, Guttenburg is entered into the travel log as a potential stop !!
If you are in the vicinity of Guttenburg, Iowa, there is (at least I hope it is still there) a place right across from the fish hatchery and locks downtown that serves an awesome burger called Dougs. The burger is the "Belly Buster". Worth the stop.
You bet! He’s even got a cookbook published by Hill Street Press here in Athens entitled (you guessed it) "Automatic For The People." It’s at 1016 East Broad Street, if I remember right.
Haven’t been there in awhile, but the quality is just as good as ever.
Michael: when can I expect you and Jane to wander down to check this out? The lady at the Gateway Cafe can’t last forever, either: that’s some scrumptuous chicken mull of a Thursday!
There’s a restaurant in Galena with an old neon sign that predates all their of the city’s cutesying ordinancery. It’s been right on the main drag since the likes of 1937; it’s untouristy and worth a trip to Galena for it alone.It might even be on this website. The food is better than the sign.
Unscoutingly, Ort. Carlton in Athens, Georgia.
Another side trip not to be missed is not terribly far from the House on the Rock. In keeping in line with a roadfood mentality, go visit the Dickeysville Shrine in Dickeysville. Kitsch not to be believed. I never ever miss it. Not be blasphemous (I AM Catholic), it was built by a slightly mad priest and has shrines made with semi-precious stones, broken teacups, etc. I sincerely love it.
But I’m slightly mad myself.
Sounds like my kind of job. Food location is always the first thing on my list.
We have one of our business’s there. It is almost on the lake on the south part of town. Beautiful place. We are just a few blocks from their convention center that was built about 50 years after it was designed by "The famous architect"
Paul E. Smith
Yeah, Daughter #2 works for the State Social Services in Madison. She will be in charge of food location in the Badger state.
I recall it was pricey, but I paid it. I don’t like getting ripped off, but this place was definately worth it. They have mechanical bands that are huge and working. How they get them to play all the instruments, I will never figure out. Huge interesting museum and very strange. If you are ever there again, splurge and do it.
Have you ever been to Madison. Their capital is almost as large as the one in DC. Great restaurants around that area.
Paul E. Smith
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