Monday, May 28, 2007

Eating across the midwest

I've been (a bit too) well-fed here in the midwest, especially when we hit the road.

Some of the lightest, fluffiest pancakes I've ever had can be found right here in Urbana, at Courier Cafe

In Green Bay, a rather dead town brought to life when footballs fans drop by their stadium, some recommendations online pointed us to Kroll's , where I chowed down on its 'broasted' chicken dinner, served with my choice of mac and cheese and a side salad. Comfort food indeed.

And on Mackinac Island, after recommendations by our hosts at the B&B, we tried the Village Inn for its Maple-Planked Whitefish, bordered with duchesse potatoes and its cherry cobbler.

The next day, it was the Yankee Rebel Tavern for pot roast

and a walnut and pear salad.

But I have to admit that some of the food I enjoyed the most on the island were the breakfast at the B&B.

Such as the lemon muffins and coffee bundt cake we had on the first morning. The coffee was always freshly brewed and not the crappy stuff one usually gets at diners here.

There would also be fresh fruit, cereal and bagels, and on the second morning, hardboiled eggs. And the soft chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, homemade of course.

The decorations on the breakfast table changed each morning too. This was the lighthouses of Michigan display.

In Milwaukee, we feasted on German food, at Mader's, where I had something not exactly German... the Almond Crusted Trout served with sauteed red potato, asparagus and baby vegetables in lemon thyme sauce. It was lightly crusted and just perfectly cooked.

The Sauerbraten Rheinischer, which was beef marinated for ten days and oven roasted, topped with toasted almonds and golden raisins, and served with red cabbage and spaetzel (a 'German pasta', or so the waiter explained)

And the next day, we toured the Lakefront Brewery, recommended by the hotel staff as more 'fun' than the usual choice of Miller Brewery. Why is it more fun? And why did we stand in line for about an hour just to get in (and pay $5)? Well, to start off, it was a small brewery, its employees were all cheerily drinking beer, and unlike other brewery tours, this one actually started with a drink (or two). And another (or two) in the middle, and more at the end. Your $5 entrance fee gets you 4 tokens in exchange for your choice of beer (they had at least 7 different beers on tap) and a free souvenir glass. Not a bad deal. Especially since they had this amazing seasonal cherry beer. Oh and the guide was insightful and funny, with some jabs at Miller but as he said first off, 'we know what you're really here for'.

And after all that hearty American food, it was nice to settle down for some Korean/Japanese at this little place called Nikko, not too far from O'Hare in Chicago.

We had some good chirashi

And bulgogi!

And ended the night with a quick dash into the Mitsuwa Marketplace (a Japanese supermarket) just nearby.

They have all kinds of Japanese stuff, from fresh produce to meat to rice crackers, but we picked up an pan for the next day's breakfast and some wafer ice-cream.

Courier Café
111 N Race Street, Urbana, IL 61801,
Ph: 217-328-1811,

Kroll's West Restaurant
1990 S. Ridge Road
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 497-1111

Village Inn
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Phone: 906-847-3542

Yankee Rebel Tavern
101 Astor Street
P.O. Box 1880
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Phone: 906-847-6249

Mader's Restaurant & Catering
1041 N Old World 3rd St
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203
Phone: 414-271-3377

Lakefront Brewery
1872 N Commerce St
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
phone: (414) 372-8800

282 E Algonquin Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Mitsuwa Marketplace
100E Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL

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