February 24, 2015

The Midwestival Blog: The Wisconsin Old Fashioned: An Abridged History

I came across a fantastic article about the history of the old fashioned in Wisconsin.

Find out how German Immigrants, the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, and Korbel put Wisconsin at the forefront of the old fashioned drinking capital of the world.

http://www.themidwestival.com/blog/2015/1/15/the-wisconsin-old-fashioned-an-abridged-history

February 23, 2015

February 8, 2015

Pubhaus at 600, De Pere - February 6, 2015

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 5 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Excellent
Wait Time: Arrived at 6:00pm, 4 in our party, no wait
Food: Excellent

Price: Perch (2 full perch) for $10.95, Double Perch (4 full perch) for $15.95

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1 point, served brandy old fashioneds, and they were muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and other options
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of potato options
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1 point, served with rye bread and white raw onion

Location:
Pubhaus at 600
600 George St
De Pere, WI 54115

We made plans with friends to meet at Pubhaus at 600 at 6:00pm. I hadn't heard about this place before our friends recommended it, but as we were walking up we saw the green sign advertisting Fish Fry, I was getting a good vibe already.


We walked in, and it's a tavern type setting, the true roots of a classic Wisconsin Fish Fry, but the place wasn't overly busy and most people were at the bar for drinks. Immediate seating was available so we found a pub table to sit at, then headed to the bar to order a round of brandy old fashioneds.

I was delighted when I saw the bartender drop some cherries into an empty glass, then some orange slices, a packet of sugar, and some bitters and muddle it all up. I specifically ask for Korbel brandy so I don't get the rail brandy, it's a much smoother taste. The old fashioneds were delicious! I took a picture of Chad's old fashioned because I've started ordering my old fashioneds without the soda (but only when they muddle it), and you really get the flavor of the muddled items and brandy and has it has a great flavor when mixed correctly.



Our friends arrived and we placed our orders, and opted for the hand battered cheese curds for an appetizer. They arrived at our table soon enough and were phenomenal, this tavern is really hitting all the right marks for a great experience so far. We devoured the cheese curds and got another round of drinks.

Our food came next and the presentation matched my expectations from this tavern. I got the double order of perch and they gave me 3 full perch that were a pretty good size filet. The perch was fried perfectly and tasted great. I'm thinking the tartar sauce was homemade, and had the right balance of flavors and accompanied the perch filets perfectly. For my potato I opted for the baby reds, they were baked or roasted I think and when smashed with some butter and sour cream were good. The cole slaw was a creamy variety and had a good flavor, and finally the meal was fully complete as a Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry with rye bread with white raw onion.



I was excited that Pubhaus 600 not only offered a full Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry experience in a tavern setting, but everything tasted great too! They've earned a spot on our Top 5 Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry's in NorthEast Wisconsin. Looking for a fish fry at a local tavern that truly embodies what the Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry is all about? Look no further than Pubhaus at 600 in De Pere.

January 30, 2015

Wally's Spot Supper Club, Green Bay - January 23, 2015

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 3.5 points out of 5, barely a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Good
Wait Time: Arrived at 7:00pm, 2 in our party, 20 minute wait
Food: Excellent

Price: Perch Plate (2 1/2 full perch), $17.95

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, served brandy old fashioneds but not muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and other options
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of potato options
Cole Slaw: 0 points, not offered with fish fry
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1 point, served with rye bread and white raw onion

Location:
Wally's Spot Supper Club
1979 South Main St
Green Bay, WI 54302

http://www.wallysspot.com/

Previous review of Wally's Spot on September 27, 2013

We came back for a visit to Wally's Spot Supper Club after being away for way too long. Wally's Spot makes our top 5 list for a great fish fry. Wally's Spot is on the east side of Green Bay and has a 65 year history of "...the finest dining in Green Bay".


We arrived at 7:00pm and it was just two of us dining. The bartender took our drink order and we both got brandy old fashioneds of course. The bartender gave us a number as we waited for our waitress to arrive and take our order.


The brandy old fashioneds were not muddled but tasted really good and were mixed well. Wally's Spot offers Hors d'oeuvre of crackers, bread, cheese spreads, and liver pate in the bar area for something to snack on as we waited. The liver pate was alright, but tasted more like Braunschweiger, but its a minor detail only I would comment on because I love liver pate.


We had a short wait of 20 minutes until our waitress arrived to take our order. We were invited to our table right away, Chad was able to enjoy the salad bar with his entree choice of prime rib, I had an option of soup or salad. A bread basket was served at the table. The salad bar has some great offerings and I ate some off Chad's plate as I waited for my soup.


Our waitress was great and friendly, but it took more than 30 minutes after finishing our soup and salad for our food to arrive. I wasn't disappointed really, but it was quite a long time from the time we were invited to our table to when the food arrived. As we waited, Wally's Spot always offer a chef's choice sampler, and this time it was a fried catfish with a little homemade tartar sauce. It was alright, I much prefer the perch to the catfish.

Our food arrived and I was hungry and eager to taste the delicious fish fry I remember from last time. Wally's Spot is a supper club and they do put on a great presentation. The fish was perfectly fried and crispy as I remember it from last time, very pleased it was just as good. I chose a twice baked potato as my potato choice, and they make a homemade twice baked loaded potato and it tasted great! The side of beans were cooked perfectly. The meal topped off with a slice of rye bread with white raw onion.


There was one thing missing from the fish fry, and that was the cole slaw, which disappointed me. I was given the option of a salad or soup, and I chose the soup; the salad bar with the fish fry would be extra. I don't think cole slaw is optional with a fish fry, but that's just my opinion.

Wally's Spot Supper Club didn't disappoint this time and they put on a great meal. The price did go up a bit since last time, and the lack of cole slaw drops it down to "barely a classic Wisconsin fish fry", but I still love this place. You must get the twice baked potato when you dine here, it's the best I've had anywhere!

January 2, 2015

Eddie Whipps Dining Hall, Green Bay - December 26, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 3.5 points out of 5, barely a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Good
Wait Time: Arrived at 7:00pm, 3 in our party, 20 minute wait
Food: Ok

Price: Perch Plate (3 full perch), $13.95

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, served brandy old fashioneds but not muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and other options
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of potato options
Cole Slaw: 1/2 point, served with meal but family style
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, served in bread basket, but no raw onion

Location:
Whipps Dining Hall
4075 State Road 29
Poland, WI 54311

http://whippsdining.com/

Eddie Whipps Dining Hall is out in the country and has a rich history in the area dating back to 1922 and has been family run ever since. Check out the history on their website. What began as a church, turned into a tavern, and eventually the dining hall we know today serving up Sunday and Wednesday homemade chicken dinners and Friday fish fry, and hosting weddings and banquets on Saturdays.


There were 3 of us dining on the day after Christmas. We arrived at 7:00pm and our wait was about 20 minutes, not bad for a usually busy and popular place. We asked the bartender for our number and ordered brandy old fashioneds. The welcome sign showed they were offering a cranberry old fashioned, but it was all sold out by the time we arrived. 


As we waited we ordered an appetizer of cheese curds which took quite a while to show up, and the waitress apologized for the delay. The cheese curds were good but a bit on the greasy side. After about 20 minutes, a waitress called us to our table.



Once seated, our order was taken promptly, 2 of us got the perch platter and one the chicken dinner. Whipps Dining Hall is just that, the dining room is a large open room with banquet style tables and a no-frills setting. There were several tables of large parties of 10-20 people, probably some family Christmas gatherings.

Our food arrived in short order and we started on our meal. The perch had a good flavor, but was not crispy as I had hoped, it wasn't quite soggy but the texture wasn't quite right. The potato salad I got as a side was pretty good, as was the coleslaw, although served family style.


I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with what Whipp's Dining Hall has to offer for a Friday Fish Fry. It's a no-frills banquet hall setting, which I'm fine with, but with the perch lacking any crunch to it, and the presentation on the plate looking empty, it didn't seem like that great a fish fry. Still, it's a local business that has served the community for over 85 years and is very popular, so it's worth a visit and make your own judgement.

December 17, 2014

Waverly Beach, Menasha - December 12, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Ok
Wait Time: Arrived at 7:30pm, 6 in our party, no wait
Food: Good

Price: Perch Plate (3 full perch), $13.95

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, served brandy old fashioneds but not muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, shrimp, haddock, scallops, salmon, and a seafood platter
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of potato options
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, served rye bread but no raw onion

Location:
Waverly Beach
N8770 Fire Lane 1
Menasha, WI 54952

http://www.waverlybeach.com/

Waverly Beach is an interesting place. The sign is a colorful 90's theme that can't be missed and the building looks like a large pole building. It's worth noting that the "shed" area is a banquet hall for weddings and parties, and on occasion features local live bands. In the summertime, there is a large outdoor bar and dining area that is very popular for relaxing on the beach or docking your boat for some drinks and food.



But it's winter now and the patio wasn't open. We arrived at 7:30pm and it wasn't very busy, so there was no wait for a table, but we did have to wait for our friends to arrive, 6 of us in all. The brandy old fashioneds were not muddled and hastily made, but tasted fine. A few drinks and the arrival of our friends, we waited for a hostess to seat us in the dining room.


The dining room was mostly empty, so service was prompt. We all got one of the Friday fish options. The perch was pretty good, the breading maybe a touch thick, but nicely done. The fries were cooked decently, and the coleslaw was homemade but lacked the flavor I was looking for. The waitress commented they normally have really good coleslaw but just didn't quite taste right tonight.


While Waverly Beach lacks the ambience of a good food establishment, they do have a good fish fry so its worth a visit. In the summertime, I highly recommend soaking up the sun on their outdoor patio, lot of activity and worth a visit on the weekend.

November 25, 2014

Wertel's Tap, Green Bay - October 31, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Good
Wait Time: Arrived at 8:00pm, 4 in our party, no wait
Food: Excellent

Price: Perch Plate (3 full perch), $12.95 or Double Perch (5 full perch), $18.95

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, served brandy old fashioneds but not muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, and other options
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of potato options
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, served rye bread but no raw onion

Location:
Wertel's Tap
2545 Manitowoc Rd
Green Bay, WI 54311

Wertel's Tap has an unassuming exterior, sort of looks like a converted house, and is just a hole in the wall tavern on the East side of Green Bay. I doubt we would have chosen it by ourselves, but was recommended to us by a friend.



We arrived for a late fish fry, about 8:00pm, on Halloween night and the tavern bar was busy but the dining room had mostly cleared out. The staff was dressed in Halloween costumes. We ordered our brandy old fashioneds, and while they weren't muddled, each one tasted great. We were presented with menus at the bar and took our time to place our order.


When our food was ready, we were directed to our table. The food came out right after we sat down, and our bill was presented with our meal, along with 2 blue tickets. Wertel's gives each patron the opportunity to put their name in for a free meal raffle, you just have to call in and see if you won, and you come back for your free meal on Wertel's.

The perch plate was delicious. The fish was excellent, perfectly fried and lightly breaded. I chose the german potato salad, it was served warm, and was wonderful, it was definitely homemade. The cole slaw was good, and the meal was topped off with a slice of rye bread.


Wertel's Tap is a tavern that embodies the Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry. If you're on the East side of Green Bay on a Friday night, stop in for some great cocktails and an excellent perch fry.