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Breakfast Stops in Wisconsin

Breakfast Stops in Wisconsin
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  • Post #31 - August 9th, 2012, 1:00 pm
    Post #31 - August 9th, 2012, 1:00 pm Post #31 - August 9th, 2012, 1:00 pm
    I'd known about Jo's Cafe in the Brew City for some time since it's featured over on roadfood. But despite countless trips to Milwaukee over the years I had never been to Jo's until now. I spent a few days up there doing some things and opted not to stop at the Coffee Pot in Kenosha while en route choosing instead to start my day at Jo's and see what was up.

    Milwaukee, WI

    From the outside Jo's as you can see is a real no frills type of place. I got the feeling that everyone in there was a local regular as both the waitress and the man behind the grill whom I believe was Jo chatted it up with those coming in to dine and others taking orders to go. Its small inside with there being a few tables which were taken by local families and a counter with maybe eight seats right in front of where all the action takes place. It felt a little like Moon's up in there. Now I dont know if the neighborhood that Jo's rests in is considered part of the mean streets of Milwaukee but there is no security here so please be aware. There was this cute little girl smiling at me but I wasn't buying it. I think she was up to something else, like plotting my demise. :roll:

    The view from the counter

    Jo's is all about the home cooking and watching him work the grill you can see he's a pro. I was impressed with how he used every last inch of space both on the griddle and in terms of storing stuff. The fresh baked buns for burgers and breakfast sandwiches were really tempting me to go one of those ways as was the daily special spaghetti plate. I usually wouldn't think I'd be interested in eating spaghetti at 10:30 in the morn but the plates they were bringing out for others smelled great. I went with their signature dish the Hoppel Poppel (or is it hoffel poffel?) which is also a signature breakfast dish of the city served elsewhere. At Jo's they take big hunks of potato browned with onions, and add scrambled eggs and chunks of spicy salami with cheese on top if you want. Very comforting and VERY filling. It's definitely a sconnie style breakfast no doubt about that. I'd go back.

    Hoppel Poppel for Breakfast

    Jo's Cafe
    3519 West Silver Spring Drive
    Milwaukee, WI 53209
    (414) 461-0210
  • Post #32 - August 9th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    Post #32 - August 9th, 2012, 3:07 pm Post #32 - August 9th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    No pics but a couple of great finds in SW Wisconsin. First up is the Town Pump in Cassville, WI. Its not a new find, in fact I have been eating there for a while. Casville is a really depressing place. Businesses don't last there very long it seems. What used to be a Main Street with lots of bars and a few restaurants just a few years ago is now home to maybe 3 bars and a couple restaurants. Thankfully the Town Pump is still going strong. Its a nice, spacious bar and restaurant and every time I am in the area we stop there for breakfast and breakfast at the Town Pump always means steak and eggs. Its their specialty. They make their own steak sauce and that is really what I enjoy about this place. They make a great bloody mary too. They serve lunch and dinner too (with the obligatory Friday Fish Fry and Sat. Prime Rib) but I have not eaten any meals there besides breakfast and a drunken bite of a pickled egg years ago. They have a very nice microbrew selection for a small town bar.

    About 25 miles to the southeast is Dickyville, most famous for the Dickyville Grotto but after a visit to Katina's Kitchen I might disagree. The place is great. No frills, packed with locals, and very friendly waitresses. The food is pretty standard breakfast fare but they give a little tribute to the Blue Moon Cafe in Baltimore with a killer version of Cap'n Crunch French Toast. I actually ordered the country fried steak and eggs and just had a taste of a friend's french toast. My dish was very good but that french toast was incredible. They have a bunch of different pancakes too (pecan caramel, chocolate chip) as well.

    Voght's Town Pump
    118 E Amelia
    Cassville, WI 53806

    Katina's Kitchen
    205 West Main Street
    Dickeyville, WI 53808‎
    Visit my new website at or my old one at
  • Post #33 - August 10th, 2012, 12:49 pm
    Post #33 - August 10th, 2012, 12:49 pm Post #33 - August 10th, 2012, 12:49 pm
    Just a warning about jo's
    This is not too far away from where I live. As I left there two weeks ago a young kid tried to mug me.
    Please do not let this stop you, just be prepared to yell and scream to draw attention to the situation.
    I was told by a patron that he knew who the kid was and was going to his mother's house. That his mother would provide punishment. I let things go.
  • Post #34 - August 10th, 2012, 12:55 pm
    Post #34 - August 10th, 2012, 12:55 pm Post #34 - August 10th, 2012, 12:55 pm
    While it is a chain, but locally owned by farmers who saw it as a way to sell food,
    The pondarosa in hartford, wi is great saturday and sunday mornings. As I bring scouts up north for camping, I divot here for them to eat all they want, making sure that they are more interested in setting up their campground than food when we arrive.
  • Post #35 - September 3rd, 2012, 7:08 am
    Post #35 - September 3rd, 2012, 7:08 am Post #35 - September 3rd, 2012, 7:08 am
    I spent some time up in Bayfield and as always did a little research on where to eat while en route. Somewhere along the line I came up with a rec for the Delta Diner which is far, far north. It's about 20 minutes SW of Ashland which sits on Lake Superior. If there were ever a place I ate at that sits in the middle of nowhere this would be it to date. Surrounded by lakes and a few gravel rocked roads with packs of wild turkeys along them. But I'm sure lurkers knew about this place back when Weezer was rocking, so apologies in advance if I'm wasting your time. Feel free to go tweet to your Lou while I do what I do best, you aint even impressed no more you're used to it.

    Mason, WI

    First off if you look this place up on google, theres like six different towns they say it's in. My GPS was no help at all as it wanted us to turn down a narrow snowmobile/ATV path that would of wrecked the bottom of my car. But if you're lucky enough to have a signal on your cell phone (I didn't, she did) then google maps will get you there. But you'll go down unpaved roads for about 10 miles and wonder with each passing minute whether you're going around in circles en route to nowhere. In the end though, it's all worth it.

    Image Image
    A feel of the East Coast hidden in the Northwoods of Wisconsin

    The Delta Diner was born in 2004 and if you want the entire story about how it was born and became about you can check their website HERE. The owners decided to restore what they were told is an old 1940's Silk City Diner. They wanted to put the diner in the locally historic site of the old Delta General Store which is written about in "Growing up in a Country Store: Memories and History of Delta and Ino, Wisconsin " According to that book the town and the general store came about at the same time in 1924.

    Image Image
    Views from the counter

    I'd urge all to read the link from their website about the story of how this diner came about and the history of the land it stands on. To try and sum it up in a few quotes though. "Having an authentic diner was very important to us"

    "In early 2003 we contracted for a “frame-up” restoration of a 1940 Silk City Diner, due for completion in the fall of that year"

    "The Delta Diner was about 90% complete in the middle of October of 2003. Living in far Northern Wisconsin we were facing a dilemma...The restorer agreed to ship the diner for completion on site so that we could complete excavation and concrete work prior to the ground freezing. In the end we cut it close, but got it done! It was quite a sight seeing the Delta Diner coming down Bayfield County Highway H in one piece on a semi-trailer"

    "We expected that our chapter to the story of the “Delta Diner” would take many years to develop. Many ingredients contribute to the story of a diner. The building, its location and possible past locations, the characters that make up its customer base, the owner or owners, and its eclectic staff all paint the picture of a diner. It can take many years to have an intriguing story unfold. Without knowing it, our diner may have come prepackaged with intrigue"

    "Where did the Delta Diner come from? Where did it operate prior to being abandoned “in a field somewhere in New York?” What can the identification tag on the original frame (if still on the frame) tell us about our diner? What did it look like when it was removed from the field? These are questions that can only be answered by our restorer. While we were provided a brief verbal version of our diner’s history, the promised written and photographic record has not been delivered. We have a contract that states we purchased a “restored 1940 Silk City Diner”. However, despite our efforts to obtain verification, we have yet to receive it."

    A peak inside from the front/back

    So to this day they dont know the exact history of what's supposed to be an old real deal restored Silk City Diner adding to the intrigue of this place. I'm not a diner expert but if this is indeed a rebuild of an original it's a damn fine copycat job. They try to make the experience as authentic as possible so this includes no menus. Everything available is on display and when your waitress comes to take your order she'll explain what EVERYTHING on it is. Her description of the Norwegian pancakes was like that of a big money making saleswoman so she had me sold on those which came recommended cooked with chopped jalapenos inside.

    Norwegian Pancakes with chopped Jalapenos cooked in

    Pancakes ala Norwegian are a larger more thin and airy type of pancake, similar to crepes. These were served with bacon from a local butcher in Ashland that was really thick and full of porky flavor along with a sprinkling of powered sugar and lemons. The chopped jalapenos inside worked really well. Our waitress was dead on with that one. The item I had read people praising was their PBLT which is a BLT with a piece of fried yellow lake perch on top. This too was very good. Served on locally sourced bread from the Ashland Baking Company with fresh in season tomatoes and that same great bacon, it made for a really tasty brunch paired with the pancakes.

    PBLT Sandwich

    I thought the food was great and even though they may not have much history as of today. You can see/feel that they're well on their way. Whether or not the restored diner was a real one or a restoration of a restoration it had that charm both from the atmosphere and the staff and also great food. One thing that caught my eye was Monday is "burger day" and that's all they serve. Beef is ground fresh in house and I imagine buns come from the same baking company as well as locally sourced toppings. I bet it's really good. The piece of homemade coconut cream pie to finish it all off sure was. Dude in the red Camaro should have rolled thru here by now.

    I hope to make it back one day soon...

    Delta Diner
    14385 County Highway H
    Mason, WI 54856
    (715) 372-MMMM
  • Post #36 - September 16th, 2012, 7:47 pm
    Post #36 - September 16th, 2012, 7:47 pm Post #36 - September 16th, 2012, 7:47 pm
    DirtyDuckInn wrote:If you like corned beef hash, then you will LOVE the Coffee Pot's version of it. Made there from scratch. It made me swear off the canned stuff forever. lol

    Yes, the corned beef hash was homemade from corned beef and potatoes. However, it was really bland and very dry.

    They served a pretty decent breakfast but nothing I would drive out of the way for.

    When I return to Kenosha next week, I think that I will stop at Heidi's Bakery in Paddock Lake for a breakfast of pretzels.
  • Post #37 - September 29th, 2013, 11:02 am
    Post #37 - September 29th, 2013, 11:02 am Post #37 - September 29th, 2013, 11:02 am

    I took a quick trip to Wisconsin yesterday and stopped for breakfast at Zwieg's in Watertown, a place that I've had on my list to try for quite some time. Zwieg's has been mentioned by Da Beef in the Burgers of Wisconsin thread, but it was breakfast I was after, having heard about their corned beef hash somewhere in my travels.

    Zwieg's has been at the same location since forever. It's in a great building that houses both a traditional diner counter/grill area as well as a room off to the side with tables.

    Zwieg's Grill - Watertown, WI

    NOTE: This waitress kept the same dour look on her face the entire time I was there. Luckily, she didn't wait on me.

    I ordered corned beef hash with two poached eggs. The corned beef hash is made from scratch every day in the back of the restaurant, then spread thin on the grill and cooked till crispy.

    Zwieg's Well-seasoned Grill

    As I understand it, as nicely seasoned as this grill looks, it's actually a "new" one because the original wore out some years back.

    The place is run by two women, who act as both waitresses and grillpersons, though they most emphatically insist they are not the owners.


    This lovely woman took care of me with a smile and great humor. She was the best part of the visit. She knew every person by name (except me), and managed to engage the entire place in conversation. And an interesting conversation it was, too. Everyone was abuzz about a recent article in the Milwaukee newspaper about high end dining in Milwaukee. It seems the idea of spending $65 on a dinner was a completely foreign concept to them. All agreed that it was something they would never do, while I sat there silently thinking that $65 for a high end meal sounds like a pretty good deal, but I digress. How was my breakfast you ask? Pretty good, I answer, with an asterisk.

    Zwieg's Corned Beef Hash

    In keeping with the Watertown spirit of frugality my total bill for breakfast including coffee was just barely over $6.00 but I would have gladly paid a couple more bucks for a bigger serving. Also, although the corned beef to potato ratio was right on the mark, the hash itself could have used a little more seasoning and it would be nice if they'd throw in some onions and peppers. In short, the corned beef hash was good, but pretty average compared to some of the other places mentioned in this thread. Plus, they were out of hot sauce. :?

    On the other hand, the bacon and eggs served to the guy sitting next to me looked great. Bacon was thick cut and obviously not from the Sysco truck, and the giant ham steak that someone else got looked good, too, so I'll be back to try a different breakfast or maybe a burger or one of their daily specials (yesterday it was peppered steak [sic]), because I really liked Zwieg's.

    Zwieg's Grill
    904 E Main St
    Watertown, WI 53094
    (920) 261-1922
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #38 - April 28th, 2014, 12:24 pm
    Post #38 - April 28th, 2014, 12:24 pm Post #38 - April 28th, 2014, 12:24 pm
    I had breakfast at the locally loved Harry's Diner in the Brat Capitol of the World recently and enjoyed my visit. Upon rolling up you'll immediately notice the reflecting silver exterior of this 1950's style diner.

    Sheboygan, WI

    The inside of the space isnt as charming as the outside but they do serve beer so this is a popular stop for folks looking for breakfast and booze. Quite a few people were dining in on this visit and all the ladies working the tables were running around making sure it was going smooth as the manager tended to the cash register near the entrance. I don't think this place has been around since the 50's but they did a good job of making it feel that way.

    a peak inside

    Harry's is only open until 3p each day (Closed Mondays) so most people are here for breakfast though they do have a lunch portion to their menu too. I'd heard good things about their pancakes and in particular the potato ones so I knew going in I'd be trying those, it was just a matter of seeing if there was some sort of combo that included some of Sheboygan's finest encased meat to go with it. Lucky me they had a potato pancake served with bratwurst and two eggs done your way platter for $8.50. The pancake comes with your choice of apple sauce or sour cream and I'm a fan of the latter so I went with that. Excellent recipe. This was a thicker well minced blend with plenty of diced onion inside. Of course the split brat to go with it was what you expect from the town that makes the best.

    Potato Pancake, Bratwurst and Eggs for Breakfast

    Harry's Diner
    2504 Calumet Dr
    Sheboygan, WI 53083
    (920) 458-5200
  • Post #39 - June 6th, 2014, 4:20 pm
    Post #39 - June 6th, 2014, 4:20 pm Post #39 - June 6th, 2014, 4:20 pm
    Very nice thread. This thread reminds me that I'll have to check Coffee Pot out in Kenosha, one of these days.