Monthly Archives: October 2012

Bearcat’s Fish House

bearcats fish house algoma wi 3rdarm

Bearcat’s Fish House, Algoma, Wi: Got the cajun salmon and a smoked white fish fillet as well as some brown sugar smoked trout steaks. Not a lot of money for a lot of flavor. Lasts 3 weeks.

arthur and etta 3rdarm

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant featuring “goats on the roof” and waitress in floor length skirt, with colorful vest: Woman asks, “We’ve worked hard all our lives, been very loving… We’ve never shirked responsibility, right?” Man replies, “The eggs are good today.”

Ellison Bluff

cherry orchards, the day before full moon door county 3rdarm

Etta and I stayed at Village Green Lodge over for 2 nights at the end of October. We stayed in a suite. In one room was a large hot tub, fireplace, comfortable recliner, full couch, kitchen table and chairs, television and small kitchen, and the other room was the king size bed and bath. The layout was perfect, as were our hosts. Sue made amazing breakfasts with good coffee and fruit, as well as a homemade snack in the afternoon.

ellison bluff october sunset 3rdarm

It was a cold end to October so we stayed in the room and relaxed much of the time. The hot tub filled faster than any I have seen, and the fireplace kept the room toasty. When we ventured out, we hiked the Eagle trail, ate an amazing dinner at the Wickman House, tasted cider at Island Orchard, and caught the sunset at Ellison Bluff. I would definitely come back to gracious hosts and such a relaxing place.

Eagle Trail

eagle tower 3rdarm

I know I needed to get away from the city and relax. The new position at work- dinner shifts at Topolobampo, along with my addiction to the grind of media coverage for the election had me worn out. As a matter of fact, I had needed several nights sleep to get the wild and weird dreams out of my head. By the last night I was sleeping tight but the first night I dreamt this.

from the top eagle tower peninsula state park 3rdarm

The world’s largest hotel was built on Lake Superior and it resembles a beached blue whale. They named it the Marquette Burj. I am offered an internship there and so am driving along the lake shore drive. My car gets stuck in the mud. Chef Moyo comes up in his truck and pulls me out.

Wickman House

door county october 3rdarm

Wickman House was definitely the best restaurant I have visited in Door County, maybe in all of Wisconsin. The portions, quality of ingredients sourced locally, friendly and professional staff, beautiful hardwood floors, dimly lit interiors with porch and fireplace, location at the end of the peninsula, craft cocktails, Wisconsin beer, chefs and owners have something special happening here.

Etta got an island orchard brut cider, made 1/4 mile down the street, and I had a cucumber limeade to drink. We split the house salad to start, with some well baked bread and salted butter. The server recommended the burger and the ciappino for dinner. I said I would take the seafood stew. CHEE-OH-PEE-NOH.

me in green bay 3rdarm arthur mullen III

The salad was small with a great blue cheese dressing. The bread and butter was superb. The burger was as bloody rare as Etta wanted, thick and juicy, with bacon, local pickle- very satisfying. But the ciappino was outstanding. Perfectly cooked giant scallops, shrimp, mussels, and whitefish in a spicy broth with toast for dipping.

I don’t know that I have ever had perfectly lightly cooked whitefish but man was it good. It totally absorbed the flavor of the broth, but retained some sweetness. I really loved it. We took home a piece of salted caramel flourless chocolate cake. From the server’s recommendations and bowties to the fireplace and lively bar, I can’t imagine a better place to eat.

Green Bay Farmer’s Market

egg and bacon wagon green bay farmers market 3rdarm

We spent the night in Green Bay on the way up to Door County. Before leaving town Saturday morning we stopped at the Farmer’s Market downtown, at the corner of Pine, Cherry, Monroe and Quincy streets. The last market of 2012, which had run from June 2 to that day, October 27. We got an awesome breakfast sandwich at the Egg and Bacon Wagon, an old school silver stream trailer. We split a brat and a cup of hearty soup at Booyah-To-Yah and a super buttery pastry at Brillion Bakery. There were beautiful local vegetables- I saw at least three colors of cauliflower, and some speckled swan gourds. Looking forward to the spring.

butter thing farmers market green bay 3rdarm

Interestingly, there was oldies radio playing at the soup and brat stall. The song, “Hand Jive,” came on as we ordered a cup of steaming hot boo-yah, or soup, and a plump brat. A Wisconsin man behind me in line spoke up. “Hey hey hey, wait a minute,” he said. “I don’t want the health department to shut you down- it sure don’t seem safe to ladel out hot booyah with that Hand Jive song on.” This is why I love Wisconsin.

Erv’s Mug

erv's mug milwaukee 3rdarm

Drove for the fish fry on my first friday off in a long time. Worth the trip up from Chicago. Had some Wisconsin beers during the 20 min wait for a table. We got seated on time and started with the buffalo wings. These arrived post soup full of the grill flavor. Etta said they were charbroiled.

fish fry erv'7s mug milwaukee 3rdarm

However they were cooked, they were smoky and spicy and perfect. We both got the fish fry for dinner. The beer batter, lemon, tartar sauce, white fish- smoking hot. Service was really good. Had a great time at the Mug.


portal limestone matthiessen 3rdarm state park

We woke up to thunderstorms. Driving into utica, the apple maps again malfunctioned, the contraption taking us up a hill over town. The postman said it was due to the roads rerouting in 2004 following a destructive tornado. The rain abated and we drove to matthiessen state park.

limestone matthiessen arthur mullen 3rdarm rock portal

Etta and I walked the leafy bluffs around a canyon and then took wooden stairs down its limestone walls. The path followed the creek and we stepped on stones and in clay. I think they are part of the same rock formation found in the upper peninsula. On the way home we stopped at Johnnie’s and got a combo with sweet peppers and Italian ice.

Squash Cat Part 2

winter squash roly poly 3rdarm

I found out that topolobampo was on the west coast in sinoloa on the sea of cortez. I was reading about what kind of whales like blue whales live there- the protected waters between the land and the worlds second largest peninsula.

winter squash seeds 3rdarm

We are serving a tasting menu that describes the cultural mole in veracruz- where cortez first landed in 1520. Chef rick told us until that point the Iberian peninsula had been under arabian rule for five hundred years. The arabians did not drink wine or eat pork. The spanish identity that was brought to mexico was largely wine and pigs.

Bob Chinn’s

bob chinn's slice of paradise

Bob Chinn’s is top notch. It sits on Milwaukee Ave in Wheeling, IL with its super neighbors- Superdawg Drive-In. We got there Monday in the late afternoon / early evening. To start we got a dozen Blue Point oysters for about six dollars- early bird special. We also were offered and accepted garlic butter dinner rolls- watch out. My sweet got a mai tai and it was good- not too sweet for my sweet. She got to keep the tiki cup. I got a Diet Coke and I got to keep the Bob Chinn cup. Later at the boutique I bought a Bob Chinn crab magnet and several Bob Chinn matchbooks, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

bob chinn's dining room 3rdarm

For dinner I asked the server, Sam, who was great, what she recommended in terms of crab. She directed me to the select king crab legs, steamed hot, with drawn butter and Bob’s garlic aioli. We got that with green beans, plus a 8 oz. steak with garlic butter lobster meat and potatoes. The steak was cooked perfect and tasted great together with the lobster. My first time eating king crab, so tender and sweet- the best part of dinner was when Sam demonstrated how to crack them and sprayed king crab juices all over the booth next to me. That’s how I knew it was a party.

select king crab legs bob chinn's wheeling 3rdarm

I can’t say enough about how good the service was- Sam checked in every few minutes, was on top of everything, but never overbearing. The second refill of my Bob Chinn’s cup Sam said, “Another diet coke for the big guy.” I replied, “Speaking of Big Guys,” and told her about how we had come to Bob Chinn’s- based on Phil’s youtube video and his recommendation. I asked if she knew who that was and she said yes, as a matter of fact, he would be coming in later that night. She also told me that Bob Chinn is alive and well at 89, walks with a shuffle, but retains his tenacity.

blue point oysters bob chinn's wheeling 3rdarm

I was high on crab. For dessert we got Bob Chinn’s slice of paradise- purple sweet potato (from Hawaii) pie with macadamia nut. Like the mai tai, it was not too sweet. Bob Chinn’s Crab House is the best kind of surprise dining out- classic, balanced, delicious, satisfying. I rode home past Superdawg without a second thought of bringing back a hotdog.