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  • Wisconsin Dells eats

    Post #1 - July 7th, 2004, 2:59 pm
    Post #1 - July 7th, 2004, 2:59 pm Post #1 - July 7th, 2004, 2:59 pm
    Gotta do the trip with the family this year. http://www.ratethedells.com has pretty good info, but some people consider Denny's to be fine dining. Any personal favorites?
  • Post #2 - July 7th, 2004, 3:41 pm
    Post #2 - July 7th, 2004, 3:41 pm Post #2 - July 7th, 2004, 3:41 pm
    Slim pickings!

    Besides bar food, fudge, and the frightening "Paul Bunyan's", there are few places that are not horrible. Expect mostly steak and italian.

    House of Embers on Hwy 12 serves a decent steak. Also, I have heard people say that Ishnala is a nice place with decent food.
  • Post #3 - July 7th, 2004, 5:01 pm
    Post #3 - July 7th, 2004, 5:01 pm Post #3 - July 7th, 2004, 5:01 pm
    It's been eons since I was at Ishnala, so I can't comment on food quality. It's standard stuff -- steak, prime rib, some chicken, Italian, etc.

    The real reason for going is the beautiful setting overlooking Mirror Lake. I think it's actually inside a State Park. Ishnala is open for dinner every day from late May thru Labor Day, then Thursday-Sunday until October 10th.

    They have a website for further info: www.ishnala.com

    If you do go, let us know what you think.

    Good luck!
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #4 - July 19th, 2004, 3:42 pm
    Post #4 - July 19th, 2004, 3:42 pm Post #4 - July 19th, 2004, 3:42 pm
    Survived the Dells. Eating choices were limited by our kids; the youngest at 21 months has no problem screaming when she isn't happy.

    Didn't make it to Ishnala for the above reason. Stuck to casual dining and the lousy food at the resort.
    Marley's had good food, friendly service and was a hit with the kids. Good variety of Carribean style offerings plus things kids would eat. Waitress was great with the kids.
    The Family Chef was the only disappointment. Your standard family diner with very average food.
    Monk's Bar in town was great. "Monk's 47" beer on tap and good old-fashioned tavern burgers. Oldest daughter commented "this is a good hamburger!" Friendly staff. Our waitress even recommended a good ice cream place close to where we were staying.
  • Post #5 - September 12th, 2006, 12:36 pm
    Post #5 - September 12th, 2006, 12:36 pm Post #5 - September 12th, 2006, 12:36 pm
    Thought I would give this a bump since I am headed that way this weekend.

    Search revealed...

    for fried chicken
    Paul Bunyan's Famous Cook Shanty
    Hwy. 13 Exit # 87 - 190-94
    (608) 254-8717

    for burgers and beer
    Monk's Bar
    220 Broadway
    608-254-2955

    Marley's Club
    1470 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy
    Lake Delton
    (608) 254-1800

    Any others?
  • Post #6 - September 12th, 2006, 1:02 pm
    Post #6 - September 12th, 2006, 1:02 pm Post #6 - September 12th, 2006, 1:02 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Besides bar food, fudge, and the frightening "Paul Bunyan's", there are few places that are not horrible. Expect mostly steak and italian.


    :shock: Frightening :shock: :x

    As I mentioned in this thread, there is something wonderfully nostalgic about Paul Bunyans. Perhaps if one has not visited as a wee chowpuppy, one does not find the same allure here. Still, I would call the food, better than edible, which in the scheme of things is not that bad!

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #7 - September 19th, 2006, 1:31 pm
    Post #7 - September 19th, 2006, 1:31 pm Post #7 - September 19th, 2006, 1:31 pm
    Stopped at Marleys for lunch sandwiches and they were pretty good.

    Some had the Jerk Hamburger and it appeared to be a hand formed, fresh burger. Grilled nicely (if a little overdone) with a side of 'Jammin' fries (thin, almost shoestring).

    Others had the Jerk Chicken and claimed it to be juicy and tasty.

    Portabella sandwich? Good as well.

    We sat on the outdoor deck and the service was good by the young staff but then again the place was not very busy.

    I would stop by again if in town.
  • Post #8 - October 6th, 2006, 3:55 pm
    Post #8 - October 6th, 2006, 3:55 pm Post #8 - October 6th, 2006, 3:55 pm
    I had a meal a few years back at Wally's House of Embers on Hwy 12. Enjoyed a great filet, and my fiance at the time had a local fish, which I don't recall. The food was very fresh and the prices were not at all high in my opinion.
    Butter
  • Post #9 - August 27th, 2007, 10:44 pm
    Post #9 - August 27th, 2007, 10:44 pm Post #9 - August 27th, 2007, 10:44 pm
    Image

    My involuntary trip to the Dells

    So on Thursday, my power went out. Big deal, you say, so did mine. Yeah, but yours probably came on earlier than 6 pm tonight. The difference is, a falling limb from my 40-foot Dutch elm neatly divided my power line in two.

    I figured it would take ComEd at least the weekend just to repair things like the tree that was uprooted in the garage behind Volo, which also happened to knock out a whole set of power lines in my neighborhood, before they even got to individual houses like mine, so rather than sit all weekend in a darkened house, I packed up the kids and headed in the only direction where the weather looked decent-- northwest. (The picture above is looking back toward Chicago from I-90 near Huntley.) We landed at the Kalahari, one of those indoor water park megaresorts with everything and plenty of it.

    Anyway, it was pretty much an off-the-clock food weekend, as far as I was concerned, but here are a few notes, such as they are:

    • MouseHouse Cheese House, some highway exit near Waunakee-- stopped here for lunch rather than do the fast food chain thing, had plain but perfectly decent sandwiches featuring-- you may have heard there is such a thing-- Wisconsin cheese. Decent sub, despite a sweetish Miracle Whip/Italian seasoning "special sauce" I mostly scraped off, which reminded me of the not entirely beloved Joe's Donuts in Lawrence, Ks.

    • Essen Haus-- had minimal expectations for this German restaurant/bar on the ultra-tacky main strip in the Dells, but they were exceeded-- a jaegerschnitzel was pretty good, though my hopes for the Klas of the Dells in atmosphere turned out to be basically yet another Das Sportsbar. Sadly, only later did I notice that they were roasting a whole pig in the back of the room, otherwise I would have ordered that.

    • Lemonade place on the strip just past Ripley's and Wizard Quest: sign said "Freshly squeezed lemonade." Polish-sounding females take order for freshly squeezed lemonade. One picks up a single slice of lemon with tongs, and places it in a cup of ice. The other takes that, and out of view, unmistakably fills it with Minute Maid Lemonade from the standard Coke-issue soft drink dispenser. That'll be $3, sucker.

    Image

    • Denny's Diner-- not to be confused with Danny's Diner or the Denny's Classic Diner elsewhere on 12. Decent breakfast spot with lots of retro stuff all over the place, although in the Dells that's sort of redundant. Biscuits and gravy, with small, fluffy pieces of sausage and lots of gravy, not bad. The homemade cinnamon roll advertised in neon in the window would have been better if it hadn't been rubberized in the microwave before serving, though.

    • Moosejaw Pizza and Brewing Company-- huge, packed, plastic, yet entirely not-terrible faux-woodsy pizza/sportsbar/brewpub/backwoods family fun experienzaganza. The beers surprisingly good if all a little on the light side; amusingly they sell a flight of beers, for that sophisticated, connoisseur getting-blotto-in-the-Dells collegiate experience. Pizza was better than Domino's, even if the bottom of the crust hit a note not unlike leatherette.

    I'm not going to list addresses, everything is on Highway 12, you know that.

    Image

    On the way back we hit the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, which is incredibly worth doing. Basically circuses only leave two kinds of memorabilia-- stone litho posters which are often incredibly beautiful, or else bizarre, racist, etc., and circus wagons, of which this museum has a quite astonishing collection. Anyway, one of the best historical things for kids I've been to in quite a while. No idea if there's anywhere to eat in Baraboo, though; we grabbed a bite at Culver's.
    Last edited by Mike G on August 28th, 2007, 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #10 - August 28th, 2007, 6:11 am
    Post #10 - August 28th, 2007, 6:11 am Post #10 - August 28th, 2007, 6:11 am
    If you ever need a good breakfast in the Dells go to Mr. Pancake. I remember it being pretty awesome, but it has been two years since I was there:

    http://www.mrpancake.com/

    Also the Chula Vista resort has a nice bar in their main hotel that serves wood oven pizzas and a few good burgers/bar sandwiches. They also run a crab buffet, but I didn't try that.
  • Post #11 - August 28th, 2007, 9:18 am
    Post #11 - August 28th, 2007, 9:18 am Post #11 - August 28th, 2007, 9:18 am
    Mike G wrote:I packed up the kids and headed in the only direction where the weather looked decent-- northwest.

    Mike,

    Lemonade from lemons, very nice.

    Love Myles Salt Lick t-shirt.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - August 28th, 2007, 9:44 am
    Post #12 - August 28th, 2007, 9:44 am Post #12 - August 28th, 2007, 9:44 am
    Mike:

    This is a great review. I'll be forced to take my brood up there eventually.

    I have to ask, how did your prosciutto/lardo fair? Someone rented fridge space for a chunk?
  • Post #13 - August 28th, 2007, 10:18 am
    Post #13 - August 28th, 2007, 10:18 am Post #13 - August 28th, 2007, 10:18 am
    It's at G Wiv's house, still aging in the wine fridge that doesn't go as high as it's supposed to and is, basically, a fridge fridge, not a wine fridge. Stevez checked on it and seemed to think it was fine. One of these days, we'll find out.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #14 - September 3rd, 2007, 2:34 pm
    Post #14 - September 3rd, 2007, 2:34 pm Post #14 - September 3rd, 2007, 2:34 pm
    Mike G wrote:• Essen Haus-- had minimal expectations for this German restaurant/bar on the ultra-tacky main strip in the Dells, but they were exceeded-- a jaegerschnitzel was pretty good, though my hopes for the Klas of the Dells in atmosphere turned out to be basically yet another Das Sportsbar. Sadly, only later did I notice that they were roasting a whole pig in the back of the room, otherwise I would have ordered that.


    They did have a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. :D They call it the Gypsy Schnitzel.

    Image
  • Post #15 - June 4th, 2008, 1:10 pm
    Post #15 - June 4th, 2008, 1:10 pm Post #15 - June 4th, 2008, 1:10 pm
    I'm flying in to Chicago the end of the month with my family of 4 and the next day, our group of 13 (ages 4-75) are making a 4-day visit to da Dells right before the Fourth of July.

    Looking for some good food ideas...I'm sure we'll hit Monk's, Cheese House, maybe Moosejaw, possibly even the legendary Paul Bunyan's for breakfast. How about some other ideas? Family friendly and reasonalby priced are 2 considerations...any good pizza, can I get a decent italian beef or sausage or bratwurst, BBQ?
    Last edited by RSMBob on June 4th, 2008, 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #16 - June 4th, 2008, 1:14 pm
    Post #16 - June 4th, 2008, 1:14 pm Post #16 - June 4th, 2008, 1:14 pm
    Here's all I have to say on the subject:

    viewtopic.php?p=146220#p146220

    I must admit, I was in defense mode, hoping simply to avoid the horrible and willing to settle for the decently plastic. A few things were pretty decent, but it wasn't a culinary trip.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #17 - June 4th, 2008, 1:18 pm
    Post #17 - June 4th, 2008, 1:18 pm Post #17 - June 4th, 2008, 1:18 pm
    Mr. Pancake has good breakfast food.

    http://www.mrpancake.com/
  • Post #18 - June 4th, 2008, 3:16 pm
    Post #18 - June 4th, 2008, 3:16 pm Post #18 - June 4th, 2008, 3:16 pm
    Run for the hills...buy your own food...cook...
  • Post #19 - June 4th, 2008, 3:24 pm
    Post #19 - June 4th, 2008, 3:24 pm Post #19 - June 4th, 2008, 3:24 pm
    I remember Pumphouse Pizza being pretty good, but that was like six years ago, not sure if it's changed any.
    Never miss an opportunity to shut the Fv3k up!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • Post #20 - June 5th, 2008, 12:55 pm
    Post #20 - June 5th, 2008, 12:55 pm Post #20 - June 5th, 2008, 12:55 pm
    I recommend Grandma Honeys for breakfast, on the frontage road behind the Polynesian hotel.
    http://www.grandmahoneys.net/

    Moosjaw is a great place as well as the Cheese Factory restaurant http://cookingvegetarian.com/
    Fields at the Wilderness has great Lobster tails.
  • Post #21 - June 9th, 2008, 1:21 pm
    Post #21 - June 9th, 2008, 1:21 pm Post #21 - June 9th, 2008, 1:21 pm
    On another food site I frequent, a large group of members meet annually in the Dells and rave about the Del Bar. Hey, I just looked at their site and Johnny Depp and a group from Public Enemy just ate there...

    http://www.del-bar.com/
  • Post #22 - June 13th, 2008, 12:10 pm
    Post #22 - June 13th, 2008, 12:10 pm Post #22 - June 13th, 2008, 12:10 pm
    Are you still going after the recent flooding event? If so, as a Dells native I have a few tips. I do note that the high-end places are quite good, the middle-range places, not so much. Del-Bar, as Diane recommended, is my personal favorite; I have never been to Fields at the Wilderness but Field's Steak & Stein is (or used to be) very good and I have heard Wilderness is better. Ishnala is another upscale place also in a great location (not sure what the current status of Mirror Lake is): http://www.ishnala.com/.

    If you want to overlook the mudpit that used to be Lake Delton, try Port Vista:
    http://www.dellsportvista.com or Ravina Inn (don't think they have a website): 231 E. Durkee St., Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965.

    If you want to get out of the Dells for an evening, the Hitching Post in Portage is where we used to go for a good mid-range meal and it has nice Wisconsin ambience: http://www.quinnshitchingpost.com. They have a fish fry every Friday.

    Pizza Pub is the local pizza establishment: http://www.pizzapub.com.

    I don't know if anyone makes Italian Beef up there -- I never heard of it before moving to Chicago! Brats are also kind of a hard thing to order "out" -- I would recommend cooking those yourself if you can. Of course, the Culvers chain is bountiful up there, too.
    - Katie
  • Post #23 - June 13th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Post #23 - June 13th, 2008, 12:45 pm Post #23 - June 13th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Thats too bad about Lake Delton, in college we always stayed right on the lake there at the Cliffside or something like that. No IB but the rail dog serves up real Chicago dogs, polish's and supreme tamales. I always stopped here a few times on my visits. Sadly, along with Monk's its some of the only good eating I ever had there and in my 8+ visits I went everywhere. Ishnala, Del-bar and Wally's house of embers arent bad they just wont knock your socks off.

    Rail dog
    223 Wisconsin Ave
    Wisconsin Dells, WI
    53965
  • Post #24 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:14 pm
    Post #24 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:14 pm Post #24 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:14 pm
    Yes, we are still going...and in fact, staying at a hotel right ON the Lake Delton ex-shoreline. Guess my bro-in-law doesn't have to being the boat, though.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far and I will report back on teh culinary adventures of the family!
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #25 - June 24th, 2008, 2:06 pm
    Post #25 - June 24th, 2008, 2:06 pm Post #25 - June 24th, 2008, 2:06 pm
    You might try over at http://www.roadfood.com

    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.as ... nsin,dells

    and use their search function- Lots and lots of ideas there...
    My personal fave is always Wally's House of Embers, and reserving one of their private rooms if your family isn't too large...
    ( the coconut shrimp and rib combo is wonderful, especially with one of their great martinis, and the family that runs it is very warm and friendly)

    I always loved Ishnala, but I had heard that it was for sale and had closed...
    perhaps it has re-opened, if so, that is happy news, as it was a beautiful setting and delicious food.

    One really nice thing to do that won't require water in the lake is to go to Baraboo to the International Crane Foundation- it's a really interesting way to spend a few hours.
    http://www.savingcranes.org

    and there's always Circus World...
    http://www.circusworldmuseum.com
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 1:05 pm
    Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 1:05 pm Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 1:05 pm
    Always enjoyed a good dinner at Rivers Edge Pub & Grub (I had some great fish there) http://www.riversedgewisconsindells.com/

    This place has a great view of the river and is on the "river walk" http://www.theriverwalkpub.com/
  • Post #27 - September 30th, 2009, 6:10 am
    Post #27 - September 30th, 2009, 6:10 am Post #27 - September 30th, 2009, 6:10 am
    Are there any other places worth trying? I plan to go up to Wisconsin Dells in a couple of weeks.

    Here is a good restaurant for vegetarian food and great desserts:
    The Cheese Factory
    shorty
  • Post #28 - October 1st, 2009, 7:41 pm
    Post #28 - October 1st, 2009, 7:41 pm Post #28 - October 1st, 2009, 7:41 pm
    I highly recommend trying High Rock Cafe. The two times I've been there, I've left there wanting to go back. My husband and I love garlic and this place does three garlic dishes really good: Gilly Goat appetizer, Garlic Tator tots, and the Cusabi Wrap. All wonderful!

    They have several other dishes (non-garlic) that we've tried, too. My husband really likes the Texas Tri Tip - which was a steak with a blueberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and an arugula salad on the side.

    We also had their cucumber melon martini specials. It was a very unique taste - and quite good. They had cucumbers on the side of the glass and honeydew melons in the drink. Would recommend it.

    Now - I'm really in the mood to get in the car and drive to the Dells!

    http://www.highrockcafe.com/
    High Rock Cafe - Downtown Wisconsin Dells
    (608) 254-5677
    Located above the Dandelion
    232 Broadway
  • Post #29 - October 1st, 2009, 8:53 pm
    Post #29 - October 1st, 2009, 8:53 pm Post #29 - October 1st, 2009, 8:53 pm
    jennlynn995 wrote:I highly recommend trying High Rock Cafe. The two times I've been there, I've left there wanting to go back. My husband and I love garlic and this place does three garlic dishes really good: Gilly Goat appetizer, Garlic Tator tots, and the Cusabi Wrap. All wonderful!

    They have several other dishes (non-garlic) that we've tried, too. My husband really likes the Texas Tri Tip - which was a steak with a blueberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and an arugula salad on the side.

    We also had their cucumber melon martini specials. It was a very unique taste - and quite good. They had cucumbers on the side of the glass and honeydew melons in the drink. Would recommend it.

    Now - I'm really in the mood to get in the car and drive to the Dells!

    http://www.highrockcafe.com/
    High Rock Cafe - Downtown Wisconsin Dells
    (608) 254-5677
    Located above the Dandelion
    232 Broadway


    Thanks for reminding me about this restaurant. I went to this restaurant last year, but could not remember the name of it. The dishes off their seasonal menu were all very good. I am adding it to my trip plan. I remember that this place does not have much seating. I will try to go for an early lunch.
    shorty
  • Post #30 - October 2nd, 2009, 8:01 am
    Post #30 - October 2nd, 2009, 8:01 am Post #30 - October 2nd, 2009, 8:01 am
    Shorty - don't know where you're staying but if you're at The Wilderness, Monk's has a new outpost on-site that we found to be pretty good in terms of pub grub and service.

    The families also enjoyed Rivers Edge, which is on the county highway that loops around The Wilderness, on the banks of the river:

    http://www.riversedgeresort.com/default2.htm

    There is a large aquarium with native fish tooling around inside it that the kids enjoyed. Kid's menu was the usual stuff and served quickly and efficiently. Adult food was nothing to write home about but palatable...broasted chicken was well-received by the three persons that ordered it. Highlight for me - New Glarus Spotted Cow at $3 the pint! Since I wasn't driving, I mostly drank my dinner that night :wink:

    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010

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