Monthly Archives: December 2015

December 22, 2015

Cheese curd etiquette guide


If you’re new to the Wisconsin fried cheese curd scene, welcome to the club! Fried cheese curds are one of the most delicious foods on the planet and there’s no better place to eat them than the Dairy State. But be careful: Wisconsinites take their cheese curds very seriously. Make the wrong move – use the wrong condiment, eat them with a fork, eat only one – and you might end up with ranch dressing on your head! Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy every last curd without cheesing anyone off!

  • When you’re in a large group, don’t order just one basket. This is not a caviar tasting – people need to dig in to those curds and come back for more. Order several baskets!
  • Ketchup is an acceptable dipping sauce but be aware that in some circles, you may be considered suspicious if you dip your curd in anything but ranch dressing.
  • When you’re eating cheese curds, don’t discuss politics or religion but you may debate the merits of the basket at hand. You may also argue about what makes a fried cheese curd great – the color? (White or yellow?) The coating? (Breaded or battered?)
  • Don’t say a word about calories when you’re eating cheese curds – this is not the time or the place. If you’re worried about your waistline, make plans to hit the trails!
  • Ask before grabbing that last curd. But never let the server carry the basket away with any survivor. It would be a dishonor to the deep fryer!

Here are some great places to practice your cheese curd etiquette:

Gateway Lodge, Land O’ Lakes

Fireside Bar & Grill, New Auburn

Blue Heron, Eagle River

Riverside Brewery & Restaurant, West Bend




December 13, 2015

Three Places to Try for a Fantastic Fish Fry

Fish Fry

Everyone should experience a classic Wisconsin fish fry. A classic fish fry generally includes several pieces of fried fish, some type of potato and some sort of coleslaw or salad. That said, there are endless variations on the old favorite and no two restaurants agree on what constitutes a fish fry.

A fish fry is generally served on Friday, but many restaurants have a fish fry available every night of the week. During certain seasons of the year, the selection of fish can change, particularly during the Lent. It’s best to call restaurants ahead of time to find out what’s currently available.

So, without further ado, here are four of Wisconsin’s very best fish fry spots.

Headwaters Restaurant & Tavern – Boulder Junction

Every day is fish fry day at the Headwaters Restaurant & Tavern in Boulder Junction. This rustic restaurant opened in 1930 and affords diners wonderful views of the Manitowish River. The restaurant serves its traditional fish fry nightly. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier than the standard fish fry, you’ll also find baked and pan-fried walleye, French-fried and broiled shrimp and a seafood platter.  Don’t miss this Northwoods favorite.

Hilltop Pub & Grill – Stevens Point

There’s no place like the Hilltop Pub & Grill in Stevens Point. To enter this venerable restaurant, diners must walk through an authentic beer vat. The bar boasts 19 beers on tap. The dining room at the back of the restaurant is full of photos of Stevens Point throughout the decades. It’s like a historical tour of the community. On top of all that, you’ll find one of the best fish fries in the state. Your choices include fried perch, cod, walleye as well as baked cod. The Hilltop is sure to become one of your fish fry favorites.

Riverside Brewery & Restaurant West Bend

Next time you’re in southeast Wisconsin on a Friday night, you need to visit the Riverside Brewery & Restaurant. Opened in 2005, this brew pub in West Bend offers seven different beers brewed right on the premises, plus two sodas made in-house. They also serve up an amazing fish fry that is recognized throughout the area as the very best. Selections include walleye, lake perch, cod and shrimp, as well as the seasonal addition of smelt. Don’t miss this fantastic fish fry.

Other Outstanding Fish Fry Options:


December 10, 2015

Your guide to Wisconsin’s Best Holiday Beverages

Aqualand Ale House
Snowy days and chilly nights are here – the ideal time to indulge in a rich, comforting beverage, one that adds a touch of warmth and holiday cheer to the season. You’ll find a bevy of unique drinks right here in Wisconsin – just a short drive away. Tour the wineries, explore the breweries and get ready to sip and sample Wisconsin’s best holiday beverages.

Say cheers to the holiday season at these four great Wisconsin stops.

Boulder Junction

Aqualand Ale House
Home to some of the finest craft brews in the Northwoods, the Aqualand Ale House loves to celebrate local flavor. Their Boulder Junction Blonde is a golden ale named after the famous ghost deer who call Boulder home, and their Musky Spit, an imperial brown ale, is a nod to the community’s claim-to-fame as the “Musky Capital of the World.” Bold and roasty, Musky Spit is a hearty brew, with rich, warm notes sure to satisfy. Learn more about Boulder Junction.

Oneida County

Three Lakes Winery
At Three Lakes Winery, they’ve been making delicious cranberry wine for over 40 years. It’s the perfect beverage to toast the season – fresh and crisp, never bitter and made from whole, Wisconsin cranberries. Tour the winery while you’re here and don’t forget to pick up some extra bottles to give away as gifts! This sweet wine will be a family favorite in no time. Learn more about Oneida County.

Stevens Point Area

Sunset Point Winery
The Sunset Point Winery, which opened its doors in downtown Stevens Point this past summer, is another fun place to experience. Pull up a chair in the tasting room and sample their rich, velvety port wine, perfect for dessert. If wine isn’t your thing, they’ve also got craft beers and craft sodas to put smiles on the faces of everyone in your family. Learn more about the Stevens Point Area.

West Bend

Riverside Brewery
There are plenty of delicious brews to choose from at the Riverside Brewery in West Bend, but if you need warming up, their Jumping Dog Porter is sure to do the trick. Rich and toasty, like a holiday fire, this beer is a satisfying and flavorful way to ring in the holidays. Pair it with Riverside’s decadent chocolate lava cake for an extra tasty treat.
Learn more about West Bend.


December 1, 2015

The secret to the Brick’s Old Fashioned

There’s no Wisconsin drink more classic than the Brandy Old Fashioned. There’s also perhaps no place more classic to enjoy one of these fine beverages than an establishment in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, which brings us to The Brick in Rhinelander. The Brick serves up a delicious hand-muddled example of a Brandy Old Fashioned. Owner Tracy Harmon shared her recipe, or rather her technique, for making this fantastic drink. There are no teaspoons or ounces in her instructions; Harmon makes the drinks by feel and with practice you can make your own perfect old fashioned. Or, you can head to The Brick, relax and leave it to the experts!

The Brick’s Old Fashioned:

Muddle together bitters and sugar with a splash of carbonated mixer, like seltzer. Muddle until the mixture develops a foamy head. Add liquor; Harmon suggests Korbel brandy.

“Most Old Fashioneds are made with Brandy,” she said.

 Add ice and a garnish – Harmon said olives and cherries are common but olives are the more popular choice in her bar.


Old Fashioned2