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Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Trip

Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Trip
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  • Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Trip

    Post #1 - July 28th, 2008, 12:17 pm
    Post #1 - July 28th, 2008, 12:17 pm Post #1 - July 28th, 2008, 12:17 pm
    I just got back from my annual Wisconsin cheese and sausage run. I thought you might enjoy some of my stops. The very first place I go to is Decatur Dairy http://www.decaturdairy.com/ (tours available)
    If you like cheese curds, this is the place to get them. I love the white cheddar curds, especially when they are fresh, and still warm. People line up out the door for these curds. They also specialize in Havarti cheese. It is very rich and creamy and comes in a verity of flavors. (Note: Decatur Dairy is located near Brodhead.) Next I zipped over to Monroe. No trip would be complete without a stop for lunch at Baumgartner’s. I've taken some people to lunch there who were very disappointed with this restaurant/bar. You have to understand the pure and simple nature of this place. When you order a cheese sandwich, you get the finest local cheese on bread, served on a little square of paper. Wash that down with soda or beer (made right in town, and another great tour opportunity) and you have a Wisconsin made feast. I also buy more cheese and my favorite sausage Landjaeger at this place. The Ladjaeger is made locally http://zubersmeats.com/landjaeger.html. I have never tried to visit the place, but next year I'm going to check it out. While I'm in Monroe, I usually visit the Swiss Colony Outlet. More cheese and specialty foods wait for you there. I tried cheese fudge this year....very good! Right across the street from The Swiss Colony Outlet is a major fruit and vegetable market. What really sets this market apart from the average place is that you can virtually sample every fruit available. That is really nice. They must have had six types of plumbs (that I would have never tried previously) that I sampled. Heading back to Illinois and getting on Rt. 20 (then heading East) you have the opportunity to visit Eichmann’s Meat Processing in Seward Illinois. They have a variety of smoked meats, venison, cheese, and my favorite beef jerky. Their beef jerky is not spicy, not salty, just a nice rich flavor of smoky beefy flavor.
    That was my cheap (but fun) summer vacation event for this month! If you try it, I hope you like it as much as I do.
  • Post #2 - July 28th, 2008, 1:28 pm
    Post #2 - July 28th, 2008, 1:28 pm Post #2 - July 28th, 2008, 1:28 pm
    We recently did a self-guided beer and cheese tour through this area also.

    The only disappointment I had with the cheese sandwich at Baumgartner's is that it is served on awful bread. It was a rye version of cheap supermarket bread.
  • Post #3 - July 28th, 2008, 1:32 pm
    Post #3 - July 28th, 2008, 1:32 pm Post #3 - July 28th, 2008, 1:32 pm
    We haven't been in a few years but at trip to Monroe is always great fun and great eats! Swiss Colony Outlet used to be much more generous with their samples but then again, everyone should be pretty familiar with their products. Actually a nice weekend trip is Monroe then north to New Glarus and the Mt Horeb and the Mustard Museum. Thanks Razbry, you have me all pumped up for a little trip!

    http://www.greencounty.org/
  • Post #4 - July 29th, 2008, 9:00 am
    Post #4 - July 29th, 2008, 9:00 am Post #4 - July 29th, 2008, 9:00 am
    I am planning a small road trip to Wisconsin. I will be leaving Chicago on August 8 and going to New Glarus, Mt Horeb, and then on to Madison. My current plan is to get to Madison that night because we have tickets for the Great Taste the next day. We will be coming back Sunday the 10th.

    I was going to check out the brewery in New Galrus and the mustard museum in Mt Horeb, other than those two and the Great Taste, I have no plans.

    I was looking for ideas on Sunday breakfast and Friday lunch. I read a posting about Baumgartner’s from awhile back, don’t think I would like that.

    Any other thoughts?

    D.
  • Post #5 - July 29th, 2008, 9:07 am
    Post #5 - July 29th, 2008, 9:07 am Post #5 - July 29th, 2008, 9:07 am
    dodger wrote:I am planning a small road trip to Wisconsin. I will be leaving Chicago on August 8 and going to New Glarus, Mt Horeb, and then on to Madison. My current plan is to get to Madison that night because we have tickets for the Great Taste the next day. We will be coming back Sunday the 10th.

    I was going to check out the brewery in New Galrus and the mustard museum in Mt Horeb, other than those two and the Great Taste, I have no plans.

    I was looking for ideas on Sunday breakfast and Friday lunch. I read a posting about Baumgartner’s from awhile back, don’t think I would like that.

    Any other thoughts?

    D.


    We had a great dinner at the Glarner Stube in New Glarus. I'd recommend it for lunch. They don't serve breakfast.

    What turned you off about Baumgartner's? Knowing that might help focus our recommendations.

    Glarner Stube
    518 1st Street
    New Glarus, WI 53574
    (608) 527-2216
  • Post #6 - July 29th, 2008, 9:16 am
    Post #6 - July 29th, 2008, 9:16 am Post #6 - July 29th, 2008, 9:16 am
    Check out the link I gave above to Green County tourism, it lists restaurants, lodging and other information.
  • Post #7 - July 29th, 2008, 7:00 pm
    Post #7 - July 29th, 2008, 7:00 pm Post #7 - July 29th, 2008, 7:00 pm
    In Mt. Horeb, the Grumpy Troll is a surprisingly good brewpub - could be a good lunch option before or after the Mustard Museum.
  • Post #8 - July 29th, 2008, 11:51 pm
    Post #8 - July 29th, 2008, 11:51 pm Post #8 - July 29th, 2008, 11:51 pm
    My late Uncle Bob was a Head Cheesemaker at a small factory outside of Browntown, WI, about 5 miles from Monroe. The area has dozens of little spots selling local cheese. Whenever you stop for gas, always check to see if the station has a cheese cooler, that's where you get get some real bargains on great cheese.

    I remember the best thing about Baumgardners is they stored their cheese under glass at room temperature behind the bar. A lot of folks don't care for Swiss Cheese because they usually eat it cold. Swiss cheese, when allowed to come to room temperature, releases it's nutty aroma, as well as a sweeter flavor, that is quite pleasant.
    It's tough being a Bears fan in Cheesehead land!
  • Post #9 - July 30th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Post #9 - July 30th, 2008, 9:40 am Post #9 - July 30th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Darren72 wrote:

    > What turned you off about Baumgartner's?

    I guess I based my conclusion on an article I read written by ‘griffin's wife’ from 10/06. It mentioned the limburger cheese sandwich with raw onion on rye and chili as the highlights at Baumgartner’s. I can’t imagine going with the first and August is a little hot, for me, for chili. Maybe I was rash in reaching my decision.

    LikestoEatout wrote:

    >Check out the link I gave above to Green County tourism, it lists restaurants, lodging and other information.

    I checked that out before I even posed my question. All I could find there was a simple list of area restaurants. I guess I was looking for some insight into them. If that link had reviews I missed them.

    I tried the Glarner Stube and don’t remember anything special.

    The Grumpy Troll looks interesting. I also read about Turner Hall of Monroe. It looked interesting but the posting was from ’07 so I don’t know if it is open or open for lunch.

    Oh, does anyone know whether the prices at the New Glarus Brewery are cheaper than what I could get in Woodsman in Kenosha?

    D.
  • Post #10 - July 30th, 2008, 10:20 am
    Post #10 - July 30th, 2008, 10:20 am Post #10 - July 30th, 2008, 10:20 am
    dodger wrote:Darren72 wrote:

    > What turned you off about Baumgartner's?

    I guess I based my conclusion on an article I read written by ‘griffin's wife’ from 10/06. It mentioned the limburger cheese sandwich with raw onion on rye and chili as the highlights at Baumgartner’s. I can’t imagine going with the first and August is a little hot, for me, for chili. Maybe I was rash in reaching my decision.


    We went to Baumgartner's on a Sunday; they have an outdoor grill going with an expanded menu. I tried the limburger sandwich and liked it (except for the awful bread). The cheese probably wasn't that ripe since it really wasn't that stinky. My fiance would have nothing to do with it. The highlights for us were the good local beer, a great bratwurst, a decent grilled ribeye sandwich, and a lot of local ambiance. If you are into limburger cheese, the sandwich is great. If not, they have other stuff (esp on Sundays).

    dodger wrote:Oh, does anyone know whether the prices at the New Glarus Brewery are cheaper than what I could get in Woodsman in Kenosha?


    I can tell you that the prices at the New Glarus Brewery are higher than the prices at the Roy's Market just down the road (and Roy's has all of the NGB beer).

    Roy's Market
    600 State Road 69
    New Glarus, WI 53574
    (608) 527-2914‎
  • Post #11 - August 11th, 2008, 10:11 am
    Post #11 - August 11th, 2008, 10:11 am Post #11 - August 11th, 2008, 10:11 am
    Thanks to all for the recommendations and comments.

    I left the Chicago area on Friday the 8th. My first stop was Decatur Dairy. I enjoyed this because I was able to talk with the people working there. They had so many cheeses I needed their help.

    I managed to keep my spending reasonable. I think I would have spent more, but I wasn’t returning home till Sunday. I did have a cooler which I was able to keep cold throughout the weekend.

    Next stop was Baumgartner’s in Monroe. As I was pulling into town I saw a BP with gas for $3.06, only after pulling in did I realize it was closed. I did buy gas for $3.71.

    I really liked Baumgartner’s. The sign said they were Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store, I believe it. I loved the ambience. After sitting down in their bar I realized I wasn’t in Illinois when the smoking started to overwhelm me. However, the two were paying their check and left so the air became breathable again.

    I know I said I wasn't going to, but I did. I ordered the chili and the Limburger sandwich. I thought the chili was way too bland for my tastes, I rate it below average. The cheese sandwich did taste better than it smelt, but so what. It was not something I believe I would order again. Someone on the board had said the rye bread could be better, I agree. The service was friendly and as I said I loved the rustic nature of the place. Monroe also has a classic small town square.

    I stopped at the Swiss Colony and bought some more cheese. They were sampling about 10 different ones as I walked in. I was disappointed that the lady working on the cheese side of the store didn’t seem to know much about cheese. She did recommend the fruit stand across the street as someone else on this board mentioned. I didn’t go because I didn’t want a lot of groceries sitting in my car till Sunday.

    I drove through New Glarus and stopped at the brewery and Roy’s market. Roy did have a good selection of New Glarus beers, cheaper than the brewery, but to me about the same as Woodman’s in Kenosha.

    Next stop Mt Horeb and the mustard museum. I have never been and it was a positive and recommended experience. After the museum I went to the Grumpy Troll. I had their barrel aged stout, which was terrific and a bowl of their beer cheese soup. It said it was made with their beer and Wisconsin cheese. It was truly bad. I only ate about 10% of it. It did come with a warm tasty corn muffin. The service was slow, but I would recommend it for the beer. Oh, I didn’t care for the look of the bar, too clean and modern. I prefer something with a little character.

    Next stop was Madison. That night I went to Quincy Grove. Someone on the board had recommended this place. There were about 30 or so people waiting for a table, but the bar had room. After sitting down I found out I couldn’t eat at the bar. Being a single I didn’t want to get in line. I feel guilty taking a table for four with so many people waiting, that’s why I like eating at the bar.

    In October, 2006 griffin’s wife wrote about Quivey’s Grove:

    “..for lunch outside of Madison at a fine barsto-raunt named Quivey's Grove. The bar is in the old stable and the restaurant in the barn. The woodwork is gorgeous. Split beam rafters and even leather straps around the joints.”

    I would agree the place looked cool. Too bad they wouldn’t let me eat at the bar. So I went to Lombardino's Italian restaurant. This place was also crowded, but they let me eat at the bar. I had a very good house salad and tagliatelle pasta with an excellent Bolognese sauce. The service could have been a little faster, but they had the Olympics on the TV and I met a couple of pharmacists from Minnesota at the bar and enjoyed the conversation.

    I was mildly disappointed that they did not home make their pasta, but it was very good.

    Next day was beer drinking at the Great Taste, probably about 600 different beers.

    Saturday night a group of 8 of us went to Johnny's Italian Steakhouse. I had what they describe as their signature steak: ‘steak deburgo’. It was two medallions of beef tenderloin sautéed with roasted garlic, fresh thyme, basil and oregano and laced with a cream sauce. I really liked this. It was cooked just right. The service was friendly and efficient. We even got separate checks which helps with a bunch of guys who have been drinking beer all day.

    I got the feeling not every one liked the place, and were just too nice to say anything. The guy who organized it could not stop raving about it. So I am sure some people just didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The next day a friend of mine who had joined us said his rib eye was just ok, but the garlic mashed potatoes were terrific.

    Sunday morning my friend and I went to Mickie's Dairy Bar. We both liked the classic old style look of the place. He just had eggs, toast, and sausage, which he thought was fine. I had the banana nut cinnamon pancakes which were very tasty. They were way too big and I would recommend that unless you are a big eater, to get only one. The side order of bacon was cooked just right and had a lot of flavor. I had read somewhere that another LTH’er had found the cakes a little dry and I would agree, but the taste made up for it.

    The weather was great, all in all a terrific weekend in Wisconsin.

    Decatur Dairy
    W1668 County Road F
    Brodhead, WI 5352

    Baumgartner
    1023 16th Avenue
    Monroe, WI 53566-1764

    Swiss Colony
    Monroe
    (I don’t have the street)

    Roy's Market
    600 State Road 69
    New Glarus, WI 53574

    Grumpy Troll
    105 S. Second Street
    Mount Horeb, WI 53572

    Quivey's Grove
    6261 Nesbitt Road
    Madison, WI 53719

    Lombardino's Italian Restaurant & Bar
    2500 University Avenue
    Madison, WI 53705

    Johnny's Italian Steakhouse
    8390 Market Street
    Middleton, WI 53562

    Mickie's Dairy Bar
    1511 Monroe Street
    Madison, WI
  • Post #12 - August 11th, 2008, 1:03 pm
    Post #12 - August 11th, 2008, 1:03 pm Post #12 - August 11th, 2008, 1:03 pm
    Just a FWIW, Johnny's Italian Steakhouse is part of a company called Heart of America that also owns the Machine Shed, Thunder Bay and a number of hotels throughout the midwest. I've eaten at the Johnny's in Peoria and was not impressed, we all found it not near the quality of the family owned Larait Club in Peoria which is a steakhouse.

    http://www.johnnysitaliansteakhouse.com/

    Next time in New Glarus, try Tofflers. Nice neighborhood bar with good simple food!

    http://www.tofflers.com./
  • Post #13 - August 12th, 2008, 7:47 pm
    Post #13 - August 12th, 2008, 7:47 pm Post #13 - August 12th, 2008, 7:47 pm
    I'm heading to a wedding just south of Eau Claire, WI next weekend. We'll stop at Decatur Dairy based on your reviews, so thanks. Any other suggestions for places to stop that might be a bit further north on 94? Any good pie? We're stopping through Madison to see friends on the way home, and trust their expertise in that part of town.
  • Post #14 - September 9th, 2008, 7:12 am
    Post #14 - September 9th, 2008, 7:12 am Post #14 - September 9th, 2008, 7:12 am
    Darren72 wrote: If you are into limburger cheese, the sandwich is great. If not, they have other stuff (esp on Sundays).‎

    Limburger, someone say limburger? :)

    Baumgartner's Limburger and onion on rye

    Image

    With brown mustard and horseradish

    Image

    Someone mentioned Baumgartner's chili was a bit bland, solution, amp it up with gratis sausage chunks!. I love a bar that skips pretzels in favor of chunks of Swiss cheese and cubed sausage as gratis bar snacks.

    Baumgartner's Chili w/onion, cheese and added sausage

    Image

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - September 9th, 2008, 3:37 pm
    Post #15 - September 9th, 2008, 3:37 pm Post #15 - September 9th, 2008, 3:37 pm
    G Wiv...you definitly caught the "flavor" of Baumgartner's!
  • Post #16 - September 9th, 2008, 3:42 pm
    Post #16 - September 9th, 2008, 3:42 pm Post #16 - September 9th, 2008, 3:42 pm
    Just missing the mural of the wine vs. beer battle.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #17 - September 11th, 2008, 1:04 pm
    Post #17 - September 11th, 2008, 1:04 pm Post #17 - September 11th, 2008, 1:04 pm
    The only thing better than the limburger sandwich at Baumgartner's is the limburger and braunsweiger(sp?) sandwich. Soups are always good too.

    Funny how quickly we get used to smokeless eating.

    Good pics, GWiv.

    I still have 3/4# of limburger left from the last trip about two months ago-I'm kinda afraid of opening it. Can it be used in anything other than a sandwich? Can it be cooked into something?
  • Post #18 - September 15th, 2008, 9:36 am
    Post #18 - September 15th, 2008, 9:36 am Post #18 - September 15th, 2008, 9:36 am
    My wife and I, along with some friends will be goinet to Green County Cheese Days in Monroe this Saturday.

    http://www.cheesedays.com/schedule.htm

    I plan to try the Limburger sandwich at Baumgartner's. It will be my first eating of Limburger.
  • Post #19 - September 15th, 2008, 9:56 am
    Post #19 - September 15th, 2008, 9:56 am Post #19 - September 15th, 2008, 9:56 am
    I've heard it's a madhouse, Mardi Gras for cheseheads. Good luck!

    In the area, you have to take advantage of a couple of cheese shops. First, the outlet attached to Roth Kase (657 Second) has amazing prices on their stuff as well as other Wisconsin cheeses. The prices are at least 40% of what you will pay in the Chicago area. The Roth Kase Private Reserve is especially worth getting your hands on. Note, the store is a few miles north of downtown Monroe.

    Then, there is the Maple Leaf Coop outlet about ten miles east of Monroe in the town of Judea (W2616 Hwy 11-81). Attached to a gas station for true Wisconsin glory. Maple Leaf Coop cheddar has won many awards, and it is that good. It is also not as easy to find as some of the other cheeses you will find at Roth Kase. Do stop here too.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #20 - September 15th, 2008, 10:51 am
    Post #20 - September 15th, 2008, 10:51 am Post #20 - September 15th, 2008, 10:51 am
    VI,

    Is the Maple Leaf cheddar a long aged cheddar with the little crystals within the cheese? I picked up some cheese such as I described in that area a while back and, for the life of me, I can't remember its name. I've been searching for it again ever since.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - September 15th, 2008, 11:19 am
    Post #21 - September 15th, 2008, 11:19 am Post #21 - September 15th, 2008, 11:19 am
    Thanks for the tips Vital. I will look into seeing what we can get done.
  • Post #22 - September 15th, 2008, 1:15 pm
    Post #22 - September 15th, 2008, 1:15 pm Post #22 - September 15th, 2008, 1:15 pm
    stevez wrote:VI,

    Is the Maple Leaf cheddar a long aged cheddar with the little crystals within the cheese? I picked up some cheese such as I described in that area a while back and, for the life of me, I can't remember its name. I've been searching for it again ever since.


    The Maple Leaf cheese I have tried was medium aged, a few years. It had a bit of sharpness to it, but not the crunchiness of really old cheddars. It's annatto yellow too if that helps.

    Somewhat off (but on) subject, Brunkow's been selling a 10 year cheddar these days. Brunkow's operations are in the Monroe area, but most people buy their cheeses at the 3 area farmer's markets where they sell: OP, Evanston and Green City.

    Another great aged cheddar is Hook's. I believe you can find their stuff at Binny's. They have 10 year cheddars and even older ones.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #23 - September 17th, 2008, 1:40 pm
    Post #23 - September 17th, 2008, 1:40 pm Post #23 - September 17th, 2008, 1:40 pm
    For all interested parties, the Roadhouses and the abe froemans will be up at the Cheese Days festival in Monroe, Wisconsin this Sunday, September 21st. We'll be meeting some friends from Roadfood.com out front of the Rathskeller restaurant, located in the local Turner Hall. We hope to be there between noon and 12:30pm. Anyone who wants to join us and roam the streets of Monroe, foodie gang-style, terrorizing the locals in our search for fresh deep fried cheese curds, is welcome to meet us there at that time.

    Buddy
  • Post #24 - September 21st, 2008, 8:22 pm
    Post #24 - September 21st, 2008, 8:22 pm Post #24 - September 21st, 2008, 8:22 pm
    I am headed up to Beloit this week.
    Are any of the places listed above on the road between Chicago and Beloit?

    And/or: anyone know of any good places on the road between Chicago and Beloit?
    -James

    www.tydirium.net:
    Tiki Road Trip, Big Stone Head, James' cinema writings and travelogues, Left Orbit Temple, Cocktail Snob, and more!
  • Post #25 - September 22nd, 2008, 1:48 am
    Post #25 - September 22nd, 2008, 1:48 am Post #25 - September 22nd, 2008, 1:48 am
    tikibars wrote:I am headed up to Beloit this week.
    Are any of the places listed above on the road between Chicago and Beloit?


    In a word, NO!

    There is very little great food around Beloit.
  • Post #26 - September 29th, 2008, 7:14 am
    Post #26 - September 29th, 2008, 7:14 am Post #26 - September 29th, 2008, 7:14 am
    A belated review of Cheese Days in Monroe.

    Cheese Days was packed this year. I'm not sure what I thought Cheese Days would be like, but it was pretty much what I expected, does that make any sense at all? The layout was very nice. Around the downtown square was all of the food and beverages that were available for Cheese days. The roads that spoked off of the square where lined with vendors, bathrooms, and all of the "fair" type stuff. You could avoid all of the rides and other things if you wanted too.

    The worst part about Cheese Days was the size of the Cheese Sampling tent. It was about 1/4 of the size it should have been. Or they should have just had cheese sampling tents dotted around the square to open things up. I did not sample much cheese because I could not handle the crowd, it was too much.

    Baumgartner's was a mad house. We ran in and grabbed a couple of beers and limburger sandwiches and go out of there. I cannot believe how many people were crammed in there, it couldn't have been legal, but people were enjoying themselves. I'd like to get back to New Glarus and Monroe on a normal weekend so that I can take things a bit slower, check out the cheese outlets and maybe do a brewery tour.

    Here are a few pictures:

    The sandwich:
    Image
    My first limburger experience, not really a big deal, once you start eating you cannot smell it. The lady sitting next to me did confirm to me that it did indeed stink. Can't say I want to eat it everyday though.

    Delicious fresh made potato chips:
    Image

    Meat for sandwiches:
    Image

    A great cream puff:
    Image

    Fried Cheese Curds:
    Image

    Chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick (not great):
    Image

    Best surprise of Cheese Days was this guy cooking up tacos outside of his Mexican store/market. I do not believe that they make these on a daily basis, but they should.
    Image

    Some, if not THE, best tacos I have ever had:
    Image


    More Cheese Days pictures:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandon_w/ ... 558682530/
  • Post #27 - September 29th, 2008, 7:58 am
    Post #27 - September 29th, 2008, 7:58 am Post #27 - September 29th, 2008, 7:58 am
    brandon, it looks like your Cheese Days experience pretty much mirrored ours, including the quick carry out at Baumgartner's, the cheese curds, the overcrowded sampling tent, the amazing cream puffs, and the happy chance meeting of the home made taco guy. He was selling, absolutely, some of the most beautiful al pastor tacos I have ever seen. Laced with bits of fresh pineapple that were carved from the whole fruit as it roasted along with the meat, they were also some of the tastiest.

    We started our day at the Ratskeller restaurant in the local Turner Hall establishment. One of the few remaining Turner buildings in the country (there's another in Milwaukee), the Monroe branch is the only one to feature a Swiss theme as opposed to the more typical German versions.

    Our meal there consisted of raclette served with red potatoes, and pickled Brussels sprouts and asparagus, a slice of Schaffhausen onion tart, and a Swiss side sampler that included rosti potatoes, Alpler macaroni and cheese, and spatzle. When we stepped outside, we grabbed a big fat smoked bratwurst from the sidewalk cafe before heading into town for the main event.

    After doing all the things mentioned in the first paragraph, we finished things up by heading over to the Alp & Dell (also referred to earlier in this thread as the Roth Kase) outlet shop where we picked up about $90 worth of excellent cheeses for about a third of that price. A quick drive east took us to the Maple Leaf Coop where I found a very good buy on wedges of Maytag blue cheese.

    In spite of all the earlier eating, we found ourselves getting a bit peckish on the way home, so stopped at the Ridott Corners Tavern for fantastic greasy burgers. Any other time I've been there was during daylight hours on a week day. Generally, it is pretty empty and I can sit at the bar and watch the counterman (or woman) make my burger on the well seasoned grease filled griddle. On Sunday night, with football on the big screen TV, Ridott becomes a wall to wall biker's bar.

    The poor bartender was there all by herself, totally understaffed and completely overwhelmed. She had a line of burger orders waiting to be filled and we were told it would be a minimum of 30-45 minutes for a burger. Having had these hand made beauties in the past, I convinced the rest of the party that they were worth waiting for. While we waited, I put my waiter skills to work, clearing tables and providing the bartender/burger chef with much needed empty baskets that she would need for the burgers as they slowly came off the fire. The burgers were totally worth the wait as far as I'm concerned, and no one in the group complained either.

    Since that weekend, we have been slowly whittling down our cheese supply; some with simple crackers and fruit, some got used in recipes.

    Cheese Days only comes around every two years, so start thinking about holding open the third weekend in September, 2010. Hopefully, the home made taco guy will still be around.

    Buddy

    Ridott Corners Tavern
    1862 South Rock City Road
    Ridott, IL 61067-9608
    (815) 235-2451
  • Post #28 - September 29th, 2008, 9:34 am
    Post #28 - September 29th, 2008, 9:34 am Post #28 - September 29th, 2008, 9:34 am
    A real mystery occured to me from some cheese we purchased in Monroe. Amongst the cheeses we had purchased from Roth Kase/Alps was a Fontina. Now, I mostly expect Fontina to be a good melter, mild but creamy.

    When we unwrapped the cheese, we found it anything but. It was strong and pungent, and really very similiar to Limburger or an aged Brick. I was baffled. Had it spoiled since purchase? There was no mold on the cheese, no visible signs of spoiling, so I was pretty sure it was fine. I went ahead and ate it, but generally, I've been eating it with highly contrasting condiments like my wife's peach chutney.

    So, this weekend, I happened to meet a fellow associated with Roth Kase. I asked. And it turns out my nose knew. It turns out that Roth Kase makes a "shmear washed" Fontina, rinsing the cheese with the same moldy mix that also creates Limburger and smelly Euro cheeses. It was supposed to taste the way it tastes.

    I am very fine with the approach. It is an aggressive, sophisticated cheese. I just wonder why the hell they choose to label it Fontina. The guy I talked to said that Roth Kase also makes a more traditional Fontina. This not Fontina/Fontina is worth seeking out, just be prepared.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #29 - September 29th, 2008, 9:47 am
    Post #29 - September 29th, 2008, 9:47 am Post #29 - September 29th, 2008, 9:47 am
    Vital Information wrote:Just missing the mural of the wine vs. beer battle.


    When wine and beer go to war, who can say which one will win?

    Image

    Image
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #30 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:29 am
    Post #30 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:29 am Post #30 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:29 am
    When wine and beer go to war, who can say which one will win?


    That's a beautiful mural, and a good if literal translation. I think an underlying idiomatic point is "who cares who wins?" As long as you're being "attacked" by your spirit(s) of choice, no point to argue about the best.

    What I really want to know is, how is the Western Style Barbecue Beef Sandwich, and has G Wiv tried it?

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