Wisconsin State Fair, 8/2/2014

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin.  I had three goals when attending the fair:  try the Mac & Cheese Bacon Burger Quesadilla (brand new item this year), have a couple of cream puffs and have two beers.  I achieved every goal, except I fell one beer short.

The quesadilla was at a place called “Mexican Grill”.  It had Mexican-seasoned ground beef, mac & cheese and bacon, all cut into four traditional quesadilla triangles.  It was super delicious.  The cream puffs were as outstanding as I thought they would be.

Here is the rest of what I had.  Drinks wise, I had a pint of Prairie Farms chocolate milk, a 20 ounce bottle of Coke Classic and a large cup of Miller Lite from the tap.  Other than listed before, I had a couple of bites of a three cheese (swiss/american/cheddar) grilled cheese sandwich from a specialty grilled cheese stand.  I had a repeat dish from last year; buffalo chicken dip from the Blue Moon Tavern stand; just as good as I remember.  The big miss of the day, was an order of Barbecue Pulled Pork Nachos from Saz’s.  The restaurant just doesn’t do that much for me, average at best.  Plus they charged $3.50 for a 20 oz bottle of water: I should have paid 2 bucks more to get a beer.  I wish I would have just fought the temptation of the BBQ Nachos, but oh well.

Overall, I think it’s well worth the $10 entry fee.  There are so many damn places to eat. The State Fair is a place where you absolutely cannot worry about your diet.  Feeding frenzy!  The weather was absolutely perfect.  A great scenic environment, where you can just be yourself, hang out with friends/family, and have the time of your life.  8/10

Wisconsin Valley Fair, 8/1/14

I made my return last night at the historic Wausau Fair. I kept it simple. I know what I wanted. I got my cheese curds at the Breakfast Optimists stand. I got my italian food; tried their grilled cheese sandwich with marinara, and it was absolutely scrumptious. I had a tasty cannoli there too. I ended the evening with a cheddar wurst corn dog, which was good, but after the curds and italian food, it was more of a filler. It’s like having a slice of Angelo’s Pizza and then having a slice of Pizza Hut; going from excellent to good.

Overall, I am satisfied with last night’s food experience. Now onto the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. See you tomorrow! 9/10

Wisconsin Valley Fair, 7/30/14

Let me tell you it’s been a while since I have written a food blog. I thought I’d start again with a special occasion. I went to the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau, Wisconsin. I’ve been going here for 20+ years, and it’s always a special experience. It’s worth the season pass or entry fee because of one signature item, the Cheese Curds at the Breakfast Optimists stand.

They seem to raise the price every year, but so what. Who cares? If they’re that damn good and hot in demand, then they can raise the price. Basic economics. I had 2 orders last night. They’re that special!

Go to the italian specialty stand, located in the wing by the VFW/Grandstand entrance. Try their food, please! They definitely know how to cook. I sampled their meatballs, cheesy bacon bites and cheese garlic bread. Definitely sample their meatballs and cheese bread; bacon bites, not as much. I’m so looking forward to going back there tomorrow. I even told the workers their food is amazing; I don’t do that too often.

After the curds and italian samples, it went kind of downhill. I peaked early, food wise. I had my usual cheesecake on a stick, which was awesome as usual. I sampled a piece of authentic German bratwurst, which I will be going there tomorrow. They no longer have the LT Barbeque Stand, which was very disappointing; I loved their pulled pork nachos! Beware of the subs at Inferno Subs. The sub bun was warm, but the rest of it was cold, not a good combination. The flavor was what I remember though.

If you don’t have a season pass, pay the $9 entry fee and get yourself some cheese curds at the Breakfast Optimists stand, not anywhere else. Go sample the italian stand as well as the authentic German Bratwurst stand. As a major food lover and critic, you won’t be disappointed. Hope to see you there! 8.5/10

Goin’ Downtown For Sum Eats

On Friday I decided to take a walk downtown with Bryan and Mom. We sampled food at three different restaurants; Casual Joe’s, Townies Grill and Polito’s Pizza. For this blog, I will discuss my food experience at Casual Joe’s.

For those of you who don’t watch the Food Network (for DirecTV is channel 231), Casual Joe’s won a Food Court Challenge a few months ago. The team they competed against, Carlie & Company, currently work for them; however, I found out from Brianna, that Carlie & Company is back in business with the purchase of their own Food Truck. Congrats Carlie and Brianna! Here’s to not giving up on one’s dreams!

Anyway, let’s get to the food review. Friday was the day that I was going to try Casual Joe’s famous Bacon Mac & Cheese, which they featured in their Food Court Wars experience. Bryan and Mom tried it before me (damn retail getting in the way of my food fun, lol), and they highly recommended it. I grew up eating a ton of mac and cheese, and to this day, it is one of my most favorite foods. I consider myself a mac and cheese food critic, so it was meant for me to try. I look for presentation, flavor, texture and the taste of the cheese. Casual Joe’s had everything I was looking for. Fresh ingredients, unique flavor (it tasted more of a white cheddar than a traditional cheddar), the right pasta was what Casual Joe’s had. We also ordered their cheese curds, which were fresh and prepared well. Although they ran out of ranch, we tried their cranberry barbeque sauce, which went very well with the cheese curds. The service was very satisfactory, and we didn’t have to wait long to get our food. A food experience like this will get me back into their restaurant. A-

Food Review, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Wausau, WI

Mmmmm, delicious! That’s what I have to say about Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Wausau, Wisconsin.

I’ll start with the sides I had, mac n cheese and baked Potato casserole. Just as fresh as these two sides can be; only 400 calories too. We all ordered the two meat plate; however, Bryan came up with this amazing idea. Why not order four different meats and split them all? So I ate 4 1/2 portions of meat; turkey, ham, pulled pork and spicy cheddar sausage. All of them were delicious, but I give the slight edge to the spicy cheddar sausage.

Dickey’s provides that local barbecue atmosphere with consistent customer service and delicious food.

A

Labor Day Weekend Review Part 2

Sunday morning, we got off to a great start, food wise and went to Glazed and Infused and again had a variety of doughnuts.  Then we got a cab to go to the heart of downtown Chicago.  We settled on a snack at a local concession stand; cheese fries and nachos.  This was simply a filler so my grade won’t be an A for these two days.

Sunday afternoon we grilled at Brett’s place.  Brett bought some Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst at the local Publican Meat Company, just a few blocks from his house.  So we had those, along with a variety of deli salads.  This was the most enjoyable meal we had during these two days.  Nothing lacked flavor at all.

Thunderstorms were nearby, but we took the risk and had one last snack/meal for Sunday evening, a bar just a few blocks from Brett’s called “The Aberdeen Tap”.  We ordered 2 servings of their homemade macaroni and cheese bites, along with an order of hush puppies.  I could tell the mac and cheese was fresh, but the breading is what made the bites.  Crispy and flavorful!  The hush puppies were a little dry and needed some ranch; otherwise, good.  Top notch overall.

The last day of the trip, Labor Day, we went downtown and ate at Chick-Fil-A.  I had a spicy chicken sandwich with fries and cheese sauce.  I also had an amazing Vanilla Shake.  If I’m leaving Chicago today, I’m going out in style with a 2000+ calorie meal! Then I capped it off with a 5-piece buffalo chicken tenders from Burger King along with a double cheeseburger.

I give the Sunday and Monday food a B.  The concession food, the hush puppies and Burger King, played a factor in the grade, but the cookout and the mac and cheese bites were the highlight of Sunday/Monday.

It was sad to leave the beautiful city of Chicago.  Calorie wise, I don’t miss it, but sometimes you just have to say WTF and enjoy your life!

Labor Day Weekend Review Part 1

A – Let’s go through the details

Today is Thursday.  It’s been almost a week since I went to Chicago with my family to enjoy the Labor Day Weekend.  Anytime we visit my brother, Brett, or he makes the trip to Wausau, we always have a lot of food experiences.

We hit the road a little after 6 pm on Friday, and let me tell you, we might leave that late more often, because traffic was hardly an issue!  We arrived to Brett’s place around 11 pm.  We settled in, got going on alcoholic beverages and had a late night snack:  chips and some Tombstone Classic Sausage Pizza.

On Saturday, for breakfast, we went to a local doughnut shop near Brett’s place called “Glazed and Infused”.  I’ve never seen a doughnut place like this.  It had the combination of a big city, local and cozy atmosphere.  We sampled many donuts:  creme brule, old fashioned cake, apple fritter, maple long john with bacon and classic glazed.  My favorite was the creme brule (apple fritter close 2nd).  A nice toasted glazed with amazing flavor and creme filling.  I have never had a doughnut with bacon on it, so I thoroughly enjoyed that experience.

For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant just a few blocks from Brett’s called “Mart Anthony’s”.  Brett found a deal on GroupOn for a price that lured us in.  We ate outside to begin with, which started the great experience.  Then they brought out some bread with some olive sauce to dunk it in.  We all mixed the olive with parmesan cheese to make it more of an amazing flavor.  Then we ordered some pizza bread (equivalent to thick crust pizza fries) and a mozzarella/tomato salad for appetizers. The main dish I had was lasagna, which was absolutely fresh and full of flavor, plus it was a big portion.