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Wisconsin Northwoods (far north) Eating - (Vilas Co.)

Wisconsin Northwoods (far north) Eating - (Vilas Co.)
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  • Post #91 - August 10th, 2013, 3:48 pm
    Post #91 - August 10th, 2013, 3:48 pm Post #91 - August 10th, 2013, 3:48 pm
    During a recent visit to the Northwoods, we didn't eat out too often but the best restaurant meal we had was breakfast at Leif's Cafe in Eagle River . . .

    Image
    Leif's Cafe - 800 N Railroad St, Eagle River, WI


    Image
    Though they are famous for their Chicken & Dumplings, we didn't try them on this breakfast trip


    Image
    The Daily Special
    Tempting as it was, we were here for breakfast.


    Image
    The Mug
    Our friends really liked the practical design of these branded mugs -- they hold a lot, keep the coffee warm and have adequately-sized handles, too.


    Image
    Ham & Cheese Omelet, hash browns, rye toast
    My standard breakfast order.


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    Ham & Cheese Omelet
    This omelet was one of the best ones I can remember having in a restaurant. It was fluffy and completely yellow, with zero brown. Inside, every piece of smokey, tender ham had been browned perfectly and the cheese was melted optimally.


    Image
    Hash Browns
    Outstanding execution, wonderfully crispy.


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    Biscuits & Sausage Gravy (half order)
    The gravy was great, made with sausage that had a nice thyme note. The 5 of us shared this.


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    Pancakes
    These were delicious; just my ideal pancake. I hear the blueberry version (ordered by one of my tablemates) was great too but I didn't try them.


    Image
    Corned Beef Hash & Scrambled Eggs
    I loved the hash, which was crispy, appetizingly greasy, and had a nice onion note.

    I thought the execution of these dishes was stellar across the board. So often, these types of dishes are prepared sloppily and without much care. But at Leif's the breakfast was immensely satisfying. I haven't had this style of breakfast food this good since Patty's closed. Unfortunately, 7+ hours is a long way to drive for an omelet. But next time I'm up in the area, I'll definitely be having breakfast at Leif's again. In fact, I look forward to it.

    =R=

    Leif's Cafe
    800 N Railroad St
    Eagle River, WI 54521
    (715) 479-2766
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #92 - August 10th, 2013, 5:29 pm
    Post #92 - August 10th, 2013, 5:29 pm Post #92 - August 10th, 2013, 5:29 pm
    Went last night to Gateway Lodge in Land O Lakes, which is 18 miles north of Eagle River. Gateway has been around for 75 years, an amazing lodge, you can see pics on their website www.gateway-lodge.com we didn't have dinner here, only drinks. If you are in the area, well worth a stop.

    Ended up having dinner at Lanny's Fireside on US45, 1 mile north of Conover. Each of the 4 of us had a terrific meal, this place was hitting on all 8 cylinders.

    Soup was New England clam chowder with Lots of clam meat.

    Homemade salad dressings were a knockout. Lemon vinagrette and the raspberry vinagrette hits.

    Mains were veal Marsala, grilled 8oz lamb loin chops, beef tenderloin tips with mushrooms and gnocchi, and I had the beef roulades which was the best German meal I've had outside Germany. There were plenty of other menu items that looked great, we will be back soon as every item was spot on.

    Lanny's Fireside
    5315 Us-45
    Conover, WI 54519
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #93 - August 11th, 2013, 8:12 pm
    Post #93 - August 11th, 2013, 8:12 pm Post #93 - August 11th, 2013, 8:12 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:Went last night to Gateway Lodge in Land O Lakes, which is 18 miles north of Eagle River. Gateway has been around for 75 years, an amazing lodge, you can see pics on their website http://www.gateway-lodge.com we didn't have dinner here, only drinks. If you are in the area, well worth a stop.

    We did the same last Wednesday evening, having a round of drinks at the Gateway Lodge before dinner at The Red Man Supper Club. The Gateway Lodge is a great space and a fun place. When we drove up, folks were shooting skeet right outside the front door. I'm also told that when you tee off on the first hole of their golf course, you're in Wisconsin but if you hit that shot reasonably well, you'll be taking your second shot from Michigan.

    As much as I loved the lodge itself, the cocktail I ordered in the bar -- a Brandy Old Fashioned (when in Rome . . .) -- was quite possibly the worst cocktail I've ever had in my life. It's renditions like this that have given Old Fashioneds a bad name . . .

    Image
    Brandy Old Fashioned at Gateway Lodge

    This was a super-sweet mixture of brandy, sprite or 7-up, bitters, maraschino cherries and an orange slice. It was positively disgusting. Perhaps I could have saved it if I'd added 3 ounces of bourbon to it. :wink:

    I also hated how the spirit was doled out with one of those devices that goes on top of the bottle that pre-measures the pour. In a place this venerable, that really was a bummer. It took almost all the soul out of the experience. Still, I'd go back to the Gateway Lodge. I'd just order a beer or a shot of whiskey in the future. But I had to try at least one Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned on this trip. Now, I know better.

    =R=

    The Gateway Lodge
    4103 County Road B
    Land O' Lakes, WI 54540
    (715) 547-3321

    Red Man Supper Club
    6366 U.S. 45
    Land O' Lakes, WI 54540
    (715) 547-3344
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #94 - August 12th, 2013, 8:38 am
    Post #94 - August 12th, 2013, 8:38 am Post #94 - August 12th, 2013, 8:38 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As much as I loved the lodge itself, the cocktail I ordered in the bar -- a Brandy Old Fashioned (when in Rome . . .) -- was quite possibly the worst cocktail I've ever had in my life. It's renditions like this that have given Old Fashioneds a bad name . . .


    I like Wisconsin Old Fashioneds in the same way that everyone loves their mom's casseroles. I like them for what they are and in the right context. But they can sure be disappointing, so I have a method to order them. First, avoid ordering in any place that uses an Old Fashioned mix. These are terrible. Second, have it made with a splash of club soda (though if you like a little sweetness, ask for a splash it sweet, but specify 'a splash').

    Eat any good fish on the trip?
  • Post #95 - August 12th, 2013, 11:47 am
    Post #95 - August 12th, 2013, 11:47 am Post #95 - August 12th, 2013, 11:47 am
    Darren72 wrote:Eat any good fish on the trip?

    Indeed, I did. We were fishing on Big Sand Lake in Phelps, where I caught some bass, bluegill and perch. Our hosts also caught some crappie and some northern. On day 2 of the trip, we caught close to our limit, cleaned them all up and had ourselves a fish fry . . .

    Image
    Our own Wisconsin Fish Fry: Bluegill, Perch, Crappie and Bass

    I love my friend Dave's rig. He puts his large, cast iron skillet right on the Weber kettle, adds some canola oil and cooks the fish just as the oil comes to temperature. We used a standard dry-wet-dry dip on the fish: seasoned flour, egg wash and panko bread crumbs. Some of these fish were swimming no more than an hour before we ate them. Great stuff!

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #96 - August 12th, 2013, 11:58 am
    Post #96 - August 12th, 2013, 11:58 am Post #96 - August 12th, 2013, 11:58 am
    Looks awesome!

    Your friend is doubling down on (I think) Cathy2's admonition against wearing sandals while grilling! Unfortunately, once someone remembers this advice, it's usually too late.
  • Post #97 - August 12th, 2013, 12:08 pm
    Post #97 - August 12th, 2013, 12:08 pm Post #97 - August 12th, 2013, 12:08 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Your friend is doubling down on (I think) Cathy2's admonition against wearing sandals while grilling! Unfortunately, once someone remembers this advice, it's usually too late.

    LOL, I know. It freaked me out seeing that footware but he's always done it this way (for decades) and I don't think he's going to change it up any time soon.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #98 - August 13th, 2013, 8:36 am
    Post #98 - August 13th, 2013, 8:36 am Post #98 - August 13th, 2013, 8:36 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Sweet Willie wrote:Went last night to Gateway Lodge in Land O Lakes, which is 18 miles north of Eagle River. Gateway has been around for 75 years, an amazing lodge, you can see pics on their website http://www.gateway-lodge.com we didn't have dinner here, only drinks. If you are in the area, well worth a stop.

    We did the same last Wednesday evening, having a round of drinks at the Gateway Lodge before dinner at The Red Man Supper Club. The Gateway Lodge is a great space and a fun place.

    As much as I loved the lodge itself, the cocktail I ordered in the bar -- a Brandy Old Fashioned (when in Rome . . .) -- was quite possibly the worst cocktail I've ever had in my life. It's renditions like this that have given Old Fashioneds a bad name . . .

    This was a super-sweet mixture of brandy, sprite or 7-up, bitters, maraschino cherries and an orange slice. It was positively disgusting. Perhaps I could have saved it if I'd added 3 ounces of bourbon to it. :wink:

    I also hated how the spirit was doled out with one of those devices that goes on top of the bottle that pre-measures the pour. In a place this venerable, that really was a bummer. It took almost all the soul out of the experience. Still, I'd go back to the Gateway Lodge. I'd just order a beer or a shot of whiskey in the future. But I had to try at least one Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned on this trip. Now, I know better.

    sorry to hear of the mixed drink downer, we ordered a bottle of 14 Hands chardonnay, so didn't try any mixed drinks.

    The other couple we met had been an attorney for years in the area (as well as growing up in vicinity) and he said that the lodge is now condo units and isn't kept up the way it should be, there was much remorse in his voice when he was telling us stories of the lodge's heyday times.

    How was Red Man? http://www.redmansupperclub.com
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #99 - October 24th, 2013, 10:10 pm
    Post #99 - October 24th, 2013, 10:10 pm Post #99 - October 24th, 2013, 10:10 pm
    So I finally had a meal at Marty's. The roast duck w/cherry currant sauce on side was the highlight, followed by the prime rib. Both were executed well but just were not fully satisfying.

    I was disappointed in the limited menu choices, especially after having such a wide variety of items at Lanny's Fireside (mentioned upstream in this thread). Probably my bad for not checking Marty's menu before going to manage my expectations.

    Marty's delivers on the supper club atmosphere but I probably won't go out of my way to go again unless on a night where one of the specials catches my attention.

    Very nice craft beer selection both bottles & on tap.

    Marty's Place North
    2721 US Hwy. 51 N
    Arbor Vitae, WI 54568
    715.356.4335
    www.martysplacenorth.com
    -
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #100 - December 29th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Post #100 - December 29th, 2013, 12:19 pm Post #100 - December 29th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:Ended up having dinner at Lanny's Fireside on US45, 1 mile north of Conover. Each of the 4 of us had a terrific meal, this place was hitting on all 8 cylinders.
    well if one sets the bar high, sometimes the following visit just doesn't live up.

    8 of us went to Lanny's this past week. I again had the rouladen, Mrs had the gnocchi with beef tips, both did not live up to our excellent dishes of this past summer. Mom & Pop had the duck, which was not roasted enough so that the skin was not crispy & fat had not rendered enough.

    Highlight of the meal was the homemade lemon salad dressing (which is able to be purchased to go) and the spanakopita. I was also very impressed with my brothers schnitzel with hunter's sauce, a great meal.

    We will try Lanny's again, hoping 3rd time will be the charm.
    Sweet Willie wrote:DJs is where the Musky Queen used to be, Musky Queen was a soft serve ice cream place that was only open in summer. A childhood favorite and a favorite of guests we have at the cabin. Many of us were sad when Musky Queen closed and as a result I've shunned DJs, this morning however I was hungry & it looked like DJs had an opening. The breakfast we had was delicious ! Mrs Sweet Willie had a brat patty w/two poached eggs & I a breakfast special Panini, bread was chock full of nuts, pressed flat & crispy with a stuffing of sausage, scrambled eggs, cheese. My parents have said the items they've dined on a DJs have a higher quality level than the avg dining spot up north.

    DJ's Northwoods Family Restaurant
    332 Highway 70
    St. Germain, WI 54558
    http://premierdiningguide.com/premier_r ... estaurant/
    -
    Breakfast at DJ's again, Mrs Willie had same breakfast & it was spot on. I again had breakfast Panini but this time with brat patty, oh mama is this a great breakfast sandwich !
    Sweet Willie wrote:
    eatwisconsin wrote: They also recommended Heart's II on HWY 70 east in Arbor Vitae for great under-the-radar fish fry.

    Heart I was quite a great place for fried goods, like smelt & chicken. Heart I (which burned down, hence Heart II) and the original Heart I owner are long gone, a young couple from the area (St Germain I believe) now own/run Heart II. I have only tried to pizza which had way too much mediocre cheese on it (a common trait amongst many pizzas in the northwoods).

    We are headed up this weekend and hope to give the fish fry a shot at Heart II. Thanks.
    still haven't made it to Heart II for the fish fry. We did go for lunch this past trip. Mrs Willie had a burger, it was good. I had the meatball sub, loaded w/cheese (of course it is Wisconsin), and a large helping of their pizza tomato sauce, hoagie roll was very crisp, a highly enjoyable sandwich. Sweet potato fries were delicious !
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #101 - February 9th, 2014, 10:58 am
    Post #101 - February 9th, 2014, 10:58 am Post #101 - February 9th, 2014, 10:58 am
    The cross country skiing & snowmobiling are fantastic this winter, so get yourselves up north !

    Bad Bones BBQ in Arbor Vitae is now serving pizza. Apparently there used to be a couple of Italian guys who were doing true Neapolitan pizza awhile back, seems the value or appreciation of the product wasn't apparent so they went out of biz, but left the ovens behind. Bad Bones is doing a hand stretched pizza (not cracker thin crust). Sausage is w/o fennel. As you can imaging being Wisconsin, a bit heavy on the cheese, so next time I'll ask for light cheese. This is now one of my top pizza places in the Northwoods.

    I had the breakfast Panini at DJ's Northwoods Family Restaurant, again a great sandwich, especially w/a brat patty.

    Had drinks at Burnt Bridge Tavern near Conover. We hadn't been there in 20+ years. Great log building, big T-beams. We were a bit too early to enjoy dinner but on Fridays they serve a fish fry & chicken fry. People were lining up as we left so I'm guessing this might be a place to try in future.

    Most everything I've had at Sister's Saloon in St Germain has been very good to excellent. I ran across the dud finally, don't get their chili, tasted like Hormel. Stick with the fish or sandwiches.

    Tried a new place for us north of Boulder Junction called Gooch's A-One Bar and Grill. Brother had a grilled chicken breast salad and was quite pleased (not an easy thing). I had a grilled chicken sandwich which was spot on. This placed nailed our fried cheese curds. Tons of room at this place so even if busy you'll get a table.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #102 - March 10th, 2014, 11:21 am
    Post #102 - March 10th, 2014, 11:21 am Post #102 - March 10th, 2014, 11:21 am
    I was up last week & tried a few more spots:
    Sweet Willie wrote:I had the Crawfish Étouffée over biscuits w/two sunny side up eggs...
    this time I asked for the Étouffée over two biscuits, no eggs. I get funny looks when ordering as this is not on the menu but Island Café in Minocqua makes it happen, delicious again !
    Sweet Willie wrote:FYI, Sisters Saloon is one of the bars detailed in the Wisconsin Public Television program "Bottoms Up" which discusses the history of Wisconsin's saloons. Link to the Wisconsin Public Television video is below:

    http://video.wpt2.org/video/2279165598/ ... e_Premiere

    Dawn's Never Inn in Hurley is in the video as well..
    -
    On my way back to St Germain after visiting the ice caves near Bayfield, I stopped by Dawn's Never Inn in Hurley. Great interior, friendly staff, well worth a stop if in the Hurley area and much better atmosphere than the sports oriented bars on the Hurley strip.

    Had dinner at PJs Up North which is in located in Arbor Vitae on 51. PJs is known for their burgers and I had never been. All burgers are 8oz, was cooked to M when asked for MR. A very good burger but I wouldn't wait for one nor go out of my way. There were a couple of large tables of Texas hold 'em poker going on, so if that is your thing, perhaps you can get in on a game.

    PJs Up North Burger Bar
    397 US Highway 51 North
    Arbor Vitae Wisconsin 54568
    Hours of operation:
    11:00am-Close 7 days a week
    715-356-7655
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #103 - March 25th, 2014, 10:28 am
    Post #103 - March 25th, 2014, 10:28 am Post #103 - March 25th, 2014, 10:28 am
    Still lots of snow up in N Wisconsin, so I was up snowmobiling yesterday, started my day with a cake donut from St Germain Bake Shoppe, then a breakfast Panini w/brat patty from DJ's (both in St Germain & mentioned above)
    nr706 wrote:Tried the new Aqualand Gastropub, just slightly west of downtown Boulder Junction on K. The place has a lot of potential.....
    I tried to stop by Aqualand Gastropub for lunch, unfortunately for me they had closed until the spring.

    So I ended up at Rustic Roadhaus off HWY 51 south of Manitowish Waters. Had the Rachel, a turkey Rueben, it was ok. A side of 'pinecones' which are dollops of mashed potato deep fried. I asked if they made them there but they order them in from their distributor. Still quite a tasty side.

    I also attempted to dine at Minocqua Brewing company, but they were closed, then tried Alexander's pizza, but they were closed as well.

    Seeing as El Mez Mexican Restaurant has been around for awhile, I decided to give that a shot. When I asked the waiter what they are know for he said El Mez serves great chimichangas, I knew I should have walked out then but having noticed a fish taco dinner on the special board, I decided to stay and ordered that.
    Salsa & chips were not good quality at all. My fish tacos did come in corn tortillas but were completely smothered with grilled onions, almost to the point that my dish looked like corn tortillas w/grilled onions. Once I cleared away the onions I was able to see that there was a bit of sauce, sliced cabbage, along with an over fried strip of fish. Sadly the refried beans were the best part of the meal. On the menu I did see that El Mez serves beef or pork chunks with either chili verde or rojo (Colorado).

    I probably should have known better that trying Northwoods Mexican would likely be met with disappointment, especially after the "Mexican" food at Jr Salsa's in Arbor Vitae, the food at Jr Salsa's was truly terrible, nothing remotely "Mexican" about the flavors.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #104 - March 25th, 2014, 4:21 pm
    Post #104 - March 25th, 2014, 4:21 pm Post #104 - March 25th, 2014, 4:21 pm
    forgot to mention, I noticed what appeared to be a work in progress at the old Bad Bones BBQ location in Minocqua (201 S. Milwaukee Street).

    There was brand new sign out front titled "Northern Waters Distillery"

    Northern Waters Distillery website

    their facebook page

    Neither of the above state what spirit(s) Northern Waters will produce.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #105 - May 18th, 2014, 12:54 pm
    Post #105 - May 18th, 2014, 12:54 pm Post #105 - May 18th, 2014, 12:54 pm
    Da Beef wrote:Image

    I've wanted to try the brats from Lake Tomahawk Meat Market for quite awhile, finally got the chance to this past weekend. I found the spicing to be excellent but they were dry. I had relinquished the par boil duties to a friend who doesn't normally cook & I think the brats were over cooked in the beer boil. So I have plans to get some more brats this coming Memorial Day weekend and cook off myself to do a true taste test. At this point, Trig's still sells the best raw brats IMO. They do sell smoked pig's ears for $2 a piece, my Malamute was quite pleased with her crunchy smoked pig ear.

    Update on Northern Waters Distillery in Minocqua, sign on their window states opening summer of 2014, still no word on what spirit(s) they will produce.

    Went the micro brewery in Eagle River called Tribute Brewing. Bombers by Tribute are sold at Trig's now. My friend who is an IPA fanatic (his faves are beers like Hopslam or Sculpin) said Tribute's IPA was so so. I had Tribute's porter & found it to be quite good.

    Had lunch at Bad Bones. Bad Bones is now offering a full fried catfish. While I prefer a more pronounced cornmeal crust on my fried catfish, Bad Bones certainly put out a great product.

    Also watched with drool as the chef/owner of Bad Bones put together an Italian Sausage Bomber sandwich. Sauce is put on a pan, Italian sausage is shaped into a bomber roll and placed on sauce, Italian sausage is then topped with more red sauce & cheese. Whole item is then heated up in salamander, then placed on a toasted garlic bomber roll. I remarked that is what I would be having on Memorial Day weekend. Chef gave me a small sample of cooked off Italian sausage with his red sauce. Delicious, so I will FOR SURE be having the Italian Sausage bomber this coming Memorial Day weekend.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #106 - May 26th, 2014, 9:00 pm
    Post #106 - May 26th, 2014, 9:00 pm Post #106 - May 26th, 2014, 9:00 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:I've wanted to try the brats from Lake Tomahawk Meat Market for quite awhile, finally got the chance to this past weekend. I found the spicing to be excellent but they were dry. I had relinquished the par boil duties to a friend who doesn't normally cook & I think the brats were over cooked in the beer boil. So I have plans to get some more brats this coming Memorial Day weekend and cook off myself to do a true taste test.
    So as stated, got some more brats from Lake Tomahawk Meat Market, also picked up a couple of chicken brats to try from here as Mom is a fan of the chicken brats from Camp's (or at least used to be).

    This time I was VERY careful not to over cook the brats during the par boil process. The result was that the traditional brats were good but Trig's brats still reign supreme in our household's opinion. The chicken brats were terrible, inedible, we both took a couple bites and then dumped them in the garbage. Spicing was all off.
    Sweet Willie wrote:Also watched with drool as the chef/owner of Bad Bones put together an Italian Sausage Bomber sandwich. Sauce is put on a pan, Italian sausage is shaped into a bomber roll and placed on sauce, Italian sausage is then topped with more red sauce & cheese. Whole item is then heated up in salamander, then placed on a toasted garlic bomber roll. I remarked that is what I would be having on Memorial Day weekend. Chef gave me a small sample of cooked off Italian sausage with his red sauce. Delicious, so I will FOR SURE be having the Italian Sausage bomber this coming Memorial Day weekend.
    Also as stated, I made sure to head to Bad Bones for the Italian Sausage Bomber sandwich. A real let down as that awesome homemade sauce gets absorbed by the bread so it loses it's flavor, the bread can't hold together with the drenching of sauce. I may just have to order a bomber sans bread & put it on my own bread at home.

    For dinner one night, we went to the restaurant at Hintz's North Star Lodge which is in Star Lake. Mom had the fried walleye which was excellent as usual. I tried a new item, the pork rib eye chop. This is a brined 8 oz. boneless chop, char crusted and blackened with sun dried tomato and garlic, grilled and served on wild rice pilaf. The pork chop was cooked perfectly & the brining sure helped it remain a very moist chop. I think I've found my go-to item at Hintz's if I'm not in the mood for their walleye.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #107 - June 16th, 2014, 9:49 am
    Post #107 - June 16th, 2014, 9:49 am Post #107 - June 16th, 2014, 9:49 am
    I think Trig's traditional and Point beer brats are better than Lake Tomahawk's traditionals as well, however I like the specialty brats from LT better, especially the Onion, Pepper and Cheese ones. The best thing at that market however is their beef jerky.

    I also should note that I almost never par boil bratwurst before cooking unless I am preparing for a large tailgate party. I think that boiling dries them out as the fat always leeches out of the sausage. Grill them on med-low heat until they are cooked through and if you want more beer flavor, have a barely simmering pot of beer, onions, and peppers to dump them in after grilling.

    I think par boiling is one of the most overrated things about brat cooking and is almost done without any thought about what it actually does to the brats. People just do it because of tradition and because it sounds more "Wisconsin" to say you boiled them in beer.
    Visit my new website at http://www.splatteredpages.com or my old one at www.eatwisconsin.com
  • Post #108 - June 24th, 2014, 1:11 pm
    Post #108 - June 24th, 2014, 1:11 pm Post #108 - June 24th, 2014, 1:11 pm
    eatwisconsin wrote: Grill them on med-low heat until they are cooked through....
    this is exactly what my brother does as well. Looks like I may have to adopt a new cooking method.

    Tried Alexander's Pizza (Minocqua location). Cheese, sausage, sauce were virtually tasteless which is a shame as the crust was layered/crackery. Mushrooms were big honking canned slimers.

    For lunch went to Twighlight Bar & Grill (1175 Old Hwy 70), east of downtown St Germain. Had a fried pork tenderloin sandwich, quite good especially with a peanut sauce they had. Homemade potato chips are well worth the $1 up charge.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #109 - June 27th, 2014, 11:42 am
    Post #109 - June 27th, 2014, 11:42 am Post #109 - June 27th, 2014, 11:42 am
    Sweet Willie wrote:forgot to mention, I noticed what appeared to be a work in progress at the old Bad Bones BBQ location in Minocqua (201 S. Milwaukee Street).

    There was brand new sign out front titled "Northern Waters Distillery"

    Northern Waters Distillery website

    their facebook page

    Neither of the above state what spirit(s) Northern Waters will produce.


    They opened this past Thursday, June 26th. Current offerings look like a vodka and a moonshine.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #110 - June 29th, 2014, 10:56 am
    Post #110 - June 29th, 2014, 10:56 am Post #110 - June 29th, 2014, 10:56 am
    stopped by Bad Bones BBQ, staring me in the face was a sheet of paper advertising a Clam Po' Boy. For some reason it spoke to me and combine that with the owner's insistence that it is a very good sandwich, I ordered it.

    In my opinion there is no comparison to pre-breaded clams or oysters vs those which are breaded on site at the restaurant.

    This sandwich was made up of pre-breaded clams, however they were not the overly thin, overfried strips that one now gets. These strips were quite meaty & had some belly.

    If I had not had on-site breaded clams, I would have stated the the sandwich was terrific, it was quite good. Obviously it won't compare very favorably to a sandwich where the clams are breaded on-site but if jonesen for a fried seafood po' boy in the Northwoods, this is a wonderful sandwich.

    Besides Alexander's pizza noted in an above post, I also had Monical's & Sayner Pub. Sayner Pub's pizza was the clear winner of the 3.
    Last edited by Sweet Willie on July 1st, 2014, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #111 - July 1st, 2014, 8:59 am
    Post #111 - July 1st, 2014, 8:59 am Post #111 - July 1st, 2014, 8:59 am
    I refuse to set foot in Alexanders because the owner was the leader of the Anti-Spearfishing protests in the 80s and encouraged hatred and violence against the tribes. I remember they had an arcade in there and my parents wouldn't let us go in there because they didn't want to give Dean Crist any money.

    I miss the Sayner Pub pizza. When my brother worked there it was awesome to come later at night and have a couple beers and some pizza at the bar while I waited for him to get off work. I haven't been there in a while now. Maybe when I am back up in August I'll have to make a trip over there.
    Visit my new website at http://www.splatteredpages.com or my old one at www.eatwisconsin.com
  • Post #112 - July 1st, 2014, 6:36 pm
    Post #112 - July 1st, 2014, 6:36 pm Post #112 - July 1st, 2014, 6:36 pm
    eatwisconsin wrote:I refuse to set foot in Alexanders because the owner was the leader of the Anti-Spearfishing protests in the 80s and encouraged hatred and violence against the tribes.
    I knew a few northwoods folks that were VERY strong in their opinions about the tribes and not in a positive way. They've since passed on. Some history: http://www.dickshovel.com/anti.html
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #113 - August 5th, 2014, 12:07 pm
    Post #113 - August 5th, 2014, 12:07 pm Post #113 - August 5th, 2014, 12:07 pm
    Have stopped by Gabe's Sausage Kitchen a few times so far this summer, doesn't appear to have a website, only a FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GabesSausageKi ... ItalianLlc

    Items we've tried:

    soft spread asiago cheese spread, delicious with nice bite

    sausage sticks, thick (nickel diameter). We slice thin & place out for late afternoon snack

    brats - this is a very good brat, my favorite in the area is still Trig's but that is because I like a more heavily spiced brat, if you are looking for high quality brat w/o as much spice as Trig's, this will fit the bill for you. A leftover brat made a delicious breakfast sandwich with some scrambled egg, a bit of the asiago cheese spread, all on some of St Germain Bakery's English Muffin bread toasted.

    This past visit we also purchased a package of meatball meat (bulk), Gabe's makes the meatballs for Mama's Italian Restaurant.

    The shop is in the garage of a residence on the north side of Woodruff.

    Frequently one can find the business locked (open from 9-5) but there will be a sign posted with a phone number to call Mike. Mike lives 5 mins away & will quickly drive over to take & fill your meat order. I've have done this twice now & Mike was very prompt each time.

    Gabe's Sausage Kitchen
    1242 2nd Ave
    Woodruff, Wisconsin 54568
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #114 - August 10th, 2014, 8:36 pm
    Post #114 - August 10th, 2014, 8:36 pm Post #114 - August 10th, 2014, 8:36 pm
    Mrs Willie & I had dinner at the Bucktale Inn (Millard's Bucktale Inn) on a Thursday night. Bucktale Inn is just south of the Honey Bear restaurant off of 70, west of Eagle River.

    soup was chicken meatball, it was one of the best soups I've had this year, some white beans, onion, celery, simply delicious.

    Wife got the ribs special, ok not great ribs.

    I ordered the pork tenderloin sandwich. Cooked perfectly (which leads me to believe the schnitzel special on Sat nights (along with a goulash special) might be worthwhile). I wouldn't put this pork tenderloin against what I used to have while going to school in Iowa but gosh darn it hit the spot.

    Lots of locals, small kitchen so dining room seating is very paced as to not overwhelm kitchen.

    Bucktale Inn
    9035 County Road H
    Eagle River, WI 54521
    715-479-7182

    Side note about the Honey Bear Restaurant, while I've not been, apparently the Friday fish fry is the bomb, when we passed by the restaurant on Friday night ~5pm, there must have been 45 cars spilling over onto the shoulders of 70, place was packed so I'm guessing they are doing something right. I hope to go after Labor Day when the crowds are not so bad.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #115 - August 11th, 2014, 5:56 pm
    Post #115 - August 11th, 2014, 5:56 pm Post #115 - August 11th, 2014, 5:56 pm
    We tried to go to the Boulder Beer Bar (near the western corner of Cty M & Cty K) last Friday for the fish fry - they were full, but said they'd let us know when a table opened up on the patio (we needed to be on the patio, since we had a [well-behaved] dog with us). So we just had beers on the porch. A table opened up, but apparently someone at another table said they didn't want a dog near them. We were given the option of tying up the dog just outside the porch screen, or waiting until the complainer left. The dog had never been an issue in years past. It was getting late, so we started to talk about other options. It turned out Headwaters Tavern - "2 blocks" north on Hwy M - was a much better option (so much so, that we left unfinished pitchers of Spotted Cow to get there right away.

    We were seated right away on the outdoor (not screened-in) patio, overlooking the Manitowish River. Soon, the manager came by with a few big chunks of meatloaf to welcome the dog (he brought out water later).

    The fish at the fish fry was excellent, with a lighter, almost tempura-like breading on the cod.

    Boulder Beer Bar lost our business - we'll be going the 1/4 mile or so further north to Headwaters from now on.
  • Post #116 - August 11th, 2014, 9:06 pm
    Post #116 - August 11th, 2014, 9:06 pm Post #116 - August 11th, 2014, 9:06 pm
    nr706 wrote:Boulder Beer Bar lost our business - we'll be going the 1/4 mile or so further north to Headwaters from now on.

    appreciate the heads up on Headwaters http://www.headwatersrestaurant-tavern.com/ I'll have to give them a try. Our family normally orders the walleye fingers at Boulder Beer Bar & have been very pleased. (but we go when it isn't a madhouse)
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #117 - September 4th, 2014, 6:12 pm
    Post #117 - September 4th, 2014, 6:12 pm Post #117 - September 4th, 2014, 6:12 pm
    eatwisconsin wrote: They also recommended Heart's II on HWY 70 east in Arbor Vitae for great under-the-radar fish fry.
    finally made it to Heart II for the fish fry this past Friday evening. 7 of us had to wait an hour for our table but not a big deal as we were ok with waiting (not usual for most in our group).

    The walleye was terrific, perch being a strong contender at 2nd.

    The pizza was very meh, glad I got a chance to try two different pizzas as some in our group felt like pizza.

    Fish fry at Heart II is NOT all you can eat but my walleye had 3 nice sized filets so it was enough for me.

    On a side note, someone decided spraying some pepper spray in the place would be fun, I really only had to sneeze but there were a number of folks that were seriously tearing up & coughing.

    Heart II
    On 70 EAST, 1/3 mile east of 51
    Arbor Vitae, WI
    http://heartii.com/
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #118 - October 13th, 2014, 3:03 pm
    Post #118 - October 13th, 2014, 3:03 pm Post #118 - October 13th, 2014, 3:03 pm
    This restaurant is not in Vilas County but it is close enough to Eagle River/St Germain, that I'd thought I throw it into this thread.
    The last time I had been to White Stag Inn steakhouse was probably 30+ years ago, I have wanted to get back for sometime now & the quick one-day trip I took up to the northwoods this past weekend with my roommate from college & his son, timing worked.

    We had finished with our chores about 5pm, cleaned up & went to Clearview Lodge to order some Moscow Mules and sit lakeside on Big St Germain to watch the sun set (about 6pm this time of year). At about 6:30pm the question arose of where to eat. I suggested White Stag Inn. We called first & were told that by the time we got there (prob a 30-40 min drive), the restaurant would have started to clear out and we'd get seated nearly right away. White Stag does not take reservations & your party has to be all present to be put on the waiting list once you arrive. (By the way, if you are driving from the St Germain area, do yourself a favor and take 70 East to O, O south to D and make a left D, follow D all the way to 17 & the White Stag Inn is on the corner of D & 17. These backroads are beautiful.)

    Upon arriving just after 7pm it was clear that even though it was a Saturday night in the off season, we'd have to wait ~45mins for a table, luckily 3 seats opened up at the bar after we've given our name to the surley hostess who seems very put out that the restaurant is this busy still.

    On a side note, there is a "different" picture/print on the far left side of the bar than one would normally not see in the northwoods, what at first glance looks like a serene hunting scene from Bavaria slowly turns on you as you realize the hunter is hunting fellow human beings with the vitim cluching his chest as he's been shot.

    The place is packed & there is one bartender working, when he eventually gets to us, he loudly asks "What'll you have?", I ask for a beer list (which they don't have), my friend asks what type of craft beer they have. Bartender replies "we don't have an draft beer" to which my friend responds CRAFT beer. Bartender replies "craft beer? help me out, what's that?" A bit taken aback, my friend starts to explain, to which we get the list Lienies, Carona, Miller products, Bud products, etc etc. Having been a bartender for many yearsI know that sometimes you are rushed & therefore rush the customer. This guy was a grade A jackass, very shocking, especially for the northwoods, I really can’t recall if ever having such a rude person wait on me in the northwoods. I’ll chalk it up to he was going through the same shock as the hostess but I think I’m being nice.

    Sure enough, 45 mins later we are seated at our table. Steaks are the focus on the menu. The house specialty are the smoked pork chops (which on reflection later I should have ordered). I order a strip steak, friend orders a rib eye & his son orders the ½ chicken. Salad consists of big bowl of 7-9 wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce and 3 dressings to choose from. A hot/sweet French, clear Cesar (with lots of garlic & scallion) and I forget the 3rd. Even though it was iceberg lettuce, the dressings were delicious, so I’m thinking more good to come.

    Up rolls the waitress with our meal, on the top of her cart is a big roasting pan with a stainless grate on top. Our meats are sitting on this grate. She uses tongs to place each piece of meat on the plate, when it came to the steaks, she would put the meat on a plate, then use a ladle to dip into the pot to pull out broth to pour over the steaks, big ladlefulls of what turned out to be near tasteless water. Steaks were both mediocre in quality, taste was not there despite being charcoal grilled. Chicken was gummy according to my friend’s son.
    A baked potato is served with each entrée as are some very doughy/floured rolls.

    In no way can I recommend this restaurant. Not worth the drive nor the money. If one reads the other dining review sites you can see that the reviews are either 5 star or 1 star, that should tell you a lot right there.

    White Stagg Inn
    7141 State Highway 17 N
    Rhinelander, WI 54501
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #119 - January 2nd, 2015, 11:43 am
    Post #119 - January 2nd, 2015, 11:43 am Post #119 - January 2nd, 2015, 11:43 am
    A few updates:

    Purchased a package of Trigg's brats, the spicing was noticeably lacking, very disappointing. I really hope I just purchased a bad one off batch.

    Island Cafe - Lox plate is still good, huge capers were divine in flavor as were the lox, bagel is not what it should be but I know that going into it.

    Bad Bone's BBQ - is now serving a cracker thin crust pizza. This is not near as thin as say Zaffiro's out of MKE, but Bad Bone's version is quite tasty. Make sure to ask for extra sauce if you like sauce as they seem a bit light on sauce whenever I've had a pizza here.

    Ice was around 10" thick on many lakes, with this cold blast they (& we) are having, expect the ice to thicken substantially.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #120 - January 2nd, 2015, 1:11 pm
    Post #120 - January 2nd, 2015, 1:11 pm Post #120 - January 2nd, 2015, 1:11 pm
    That's great news - we're having some building materials trucked over the ice to our island, and we'd prefer the truck doesn't sink through thin ice.

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