Monday, March 27, 2006

road food

He’s lived more than thirty years in Madison and has never poked around the northern parts of Wisconsin. My travel companion (what did I call him several posts back? Ed?) is clearly blind to the splendid scenery of forests lakes and farmland. Time to fill in the gaps.

So long as we’re all the way up north to see the maple syrup operation, let’s poke around Turtle Lake some…
Turtle Lake is another three hours worth of driving… five hours, if you take the backroads!

Ed always takes the backroads.

So what. I want to see Turtle Lake. I want to experience a b&b that has won awards for its proximity to nature, wildlife and the Wisconsin way.

There is, however, the food situation. I call the Canyon Road Inn.
So… where can you get some decent local food for dinner?
There’s the steak house…
My travel companion doesn’t do steak.
Well, there’s the supper club some twenty miles north.

I google the supper club. More steaks. And an international menu of (meat) lasagna and chow mein. I haven’t seen chow mein on a menu since I was a little girl living in NYC and they had it as a regular feature in my school cafeteria.

Anything else?
How about the Main Street Café in Bloomer? People from the city go there to eat.

And what city is that? Bloomer is in the middle of nowhere. A few miles north of Chippewa Falls - Leinenkugel beer land. They come here from Chippewa Falls? Well then, it’s a must.

The MSCafe is on…Main Street. It has foods sold in baskets. You know, fried shrimp and fries in a basket. Grilled chicken sandwich in a basket. Cod in a basket. Grilled or fried.

How’s the grilled cod?
Don’t know. No one orders it that way. People take it fried.
And how’s your pizza?
Great! It’s our specialty!

So we order pizza.

Madison Mar 06 486
pizza and a Linie

If you can forgive the canned pickled mushrooms and the gobs of Wisconsin cheese, and the canned tomato paste, it’s okay. Especially since it comes with a Linienkugel and offers views of the counter, where the old boys (and I mean old) are chewin the fat. Or the fried.

Dressed to kill (with low slung jeans, just like they’re wearing on State Street), sipping a beer with their baskets of food and their plates of pie, they appear to not mind the weather up here, the state of the world.

Madison Mar 06 482
saturday dinner up north

Madison Mar 06 484
just like the young folk

Pie, can I get you some pie?
What do you have?
(Fitting for a place that has every patriotic symbol in the world scattered about, including American flag paper napkins and framed dedications to the heroes of 9/11 at each booth.)

Apple it is. Not great apple, but regular old apple pie, just like you have eaten a million times before in every road-side dining place in America.

Madison Mar 06 487
as american as