Tag Archives: WIsconsin

Northwoods charm (and pie) at Honeypie

Happy Pi(e) Day! In honor of this auspicious day, we are revisiting one of our favorite places for pie, Honeypie (2643 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207) in Milwaukee. Our two favorite things about Honeypie are 1. the PIE and 2. the fact that there is something for everyone. The restaurant is decorated with a classic Wisconsin Northwoods theme, with clapboard walls, reclaimed wooded booths, maps and vintage Wisconsin-y ephemera.

Most importantly, there is a dessert case in the back with a variety of pies, biscuits, sweet breads and cupcakes. Over the years, we have sampled a number of Honeypie’s pies, and we have never been let down. Some of our favorites include the black bottom banana cream pie (below), blueberry (below), Milwaukee mud pie, strawberry rhubarb and ginger chai cream. You can order a whole pie in advance ($29 or $32) or by the slice ($6). You can also ship miniature Honeypie pies anywhere in the nation through their Piegram service. To take the pie love to another level, they even host pie-making classes.

honeypies

Black bottom banana cream pie and blueberry pie.

There is also a large food menu, with Midwestern classics like mac and cheese ($14), grilled cheese with tomato soup ($11), a classic Friday Fish Fry ($16) and – a treat unique to the upper Midwest – the Cornish pasty ($10). There is also more elevated fare like scallop ceviche ($15) and confit chicken ($24). Honeypie is an all-day restaurant and you can also get brunch or a drink off of their full menu of drinks and local beers. So whether you are in the mood for pie, a Bloody Mary or mac and cheese, you will find just what you want at Honeypie.

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A classic Wisconsin Fish Fry at Colony House Restaurant

One of the last things we did before we left the Chicago area was to have one of the most authentic experiences in the Midwest: a classic fish fry at a Wisconsin supper club. M went to grad school in Wisconsin, but somehow we managed to escape this tradition over the years. Sure we had fish frys before, but not a real, official, down-home Wisconsin fish fry at a supper club with all the fixins. We are talking all-you-can-eat fish. Our friend K had recently moved to Wisconsin so we figured she would be the perfect person to experience a fish fry with. K did some research (we knew we were good friends for a reason) and she found the perfect place: the Colony House (25811 119th St, Trevor, WI 53179), located 45 minutes south of Milwaukee.

colonyhouseext

Colony Club is located pretty much in the middle of nowhere in a white wooden house, and when we arrived on Friday night it was pretty crowded. Colony House couldn’t have been more Wisconsin-y if it tried: when you walk in, you will think you have stepped back in time into a 1960s supper club. We arrived a little bit early for our reservation, so we sidled up to the bar. K got the official cocktail of the Wisconsin supper club, the Old Fashioned, which she deemed excellent. Before too long we were led to the basement dining room for our fish fry experience. The basement kind of looked like the interior of a grandma’s house – with wood paneling, nautical-style chairs and tables and tchotchkes. To be honest, it was perfect! The photo below is of the upstairs dining room since the basement was too dark. The upstairs room is a little more subdued.

colonyhouse

There were other things on the menu, but of course we were there just for the fish fry. The Friday fish fry at Colony House comes with a few options – you can get all you can eat Icelandic Cod ($9.95), or a set portion of other fish for a slight up-charge (Perch, Pike, Bluegill or Smelt $10.95-12.95) – any type of fish selected can be beer-battered or fried. For the side dishes you get potato pancakes or fries along with applesauce, family-style sides of sour cream (of course), rye bread and coleslaw. We got an order of Cod alongside Perch and Bluegill, both fried. Everything we sampled was delicious – the fish was moist, the batter was golden brown, light and crispy, and the potato pancakes were surprisingly scrumptious. If we had to choose again we would have probably all gotten the Cod with the potato pancakes. We were really happy with our experience at Colony House, it may not have had the best fish of all time, the but fish fry itself was just what we needed. Colony House was the perfect place for a relaxed night out with friends, and a real piece of Wisconsin history.

fishfry

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Old Fashioned: the Wisconsin Supper Club

M went to school in Wisconsin and while there became fascinated by the concept of the classic supper club – a true marker of quirky Wisconsin culture.  Supper clubs are usually old-school establishments serving Prime Rib and traditional American fare, with bars and entertainment, making for a complete night out. Supper clubs were popular throughout the US in the mid-20th Century, and though they faded in popularity in most of the country, they remained strong in Wisconsin (where they always serve the state drink, the Brandy Old Fashioned, of course). The documentaries “Old Fashioned” and “Supper Club” document Wisconsin supper clubs and their loyal fanbases. Though many of these Wisconsin Clubs seem preserved in the past they are still surviving – and in some cases thriving – today. One of our favorite parts about supper clubs are their usually-fabulous mid-century signs, like this one from the Hob Nob in Racine. Everyone in Wisconsin has a favorite supper club, and if you need some help starting out, WisconsinSupperClubs.net provides a thorough database of supper clubs in the state.  A wave of food nostalgia has also brought new spins on the supper clubs to the fore, like one of our favorites, the Old Fashioned in Madison, and there is now even a faux-retro Wisconsin supper club in Chicago! supperclub_hobnob1

Photo By Jerry Luterman

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Cheese at Brick Street Market in Delavan, WI

Brick Street Market
104 E Walworth Ave
Delavan, WI 53115

We took a little trip to Lake Geneva this past weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. We hit up our usual haunts, but are happy to report we found somewhere new (to us). We were going to our favorite antique store in nearby Delavan, WI (where we found some interesting postcards and stereograph slides), when we spotted Brick Street Market, right across from Delavan’s signature giraffe statue.

Brick Street Market Cheese Cooler

Brick Street Market Cheese Cooler

The front of the store is given over to a cheese cooler, along with a cute seating area. In the back there is a little wine cellar with an international selection of wines, along with other cheese related products (knives, boards, etc), coffee, jam and mustard. There is also a well-curated menu, including a selection of excellent-looking sandwiches, salads and a selection of cheese plates. 

Brick Street Market Cheese Flight

Brick Street Market Cheese Flight

A small cheese plate is only $3.50, but we opted for the heartier Single Cheese Flight ($9). While advertised as serving 1-2 persons, it easily served both of us for lunch. The staff selects the cheeses for you. Our plate included Manchego from León, Spain, Wisconsin-made Holland’s Herbed Gouda, and Hook’s Little Boy Blue sheep’s milk cheese. We also received crackers, quince jam, dried fruit and nuts, a bit of local raw honey for the blue cheese, and a delicious local salami from nearby Milwaukee. We were completely astounded at the quality of these cheese plate for a mere 9 dollars! Everything was completely delicious, and it was one of the most well-composed cheese plates we had recently, at any price.

Brick Street Market

Brick Street Market

On our way out we bought some 4-year aged Hook’s white cheddar to take home (our old favorite from the Dane County Farmer’s Market in Madison). Now after our travels, we are a pretty jaded bunch, but we felt more pleased after our visit to Brick Market than most of our recent trips. We have to go back very soon.

Delavan Giraffe

Delavan Giraffe

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