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May 27, 2005
It's not much to look at. It sits right on Main Street, pretty much in the dead center of town. It is a boring-looking brick building without much charm. During the summer months, tables are set up outside on the front patio, which does give it a little more of an urban feel. Inside, it is pretty much your typical Wisconsin beer joint. It's a long, narrow room with low lighting. The room is filled with neon beer signs and stuffed animals and fish. If you want to visit a very typical American bar, this is it!
The one unique feature about Angler's is that they have two bowling lanes in the bar. So, if you get bored with the bar conversation, you can always bowl a frame or two.
As in most Wisconsin beer joints, the burgers are what draw the crowds. Anglers is no exception. They serve big, juicy, hearty burgers. We had several "city" folks with us from New York, LA, and San Francisco, and they all commented that these burgers were the best they had ever eaten. I went off tradition and had a Rueben, but it, too, was outstanding.
Our waitress was sweet but a little ditzy. When one of our table memebers asked what kind of cheese was on the cheeseburger, she looked very puzzled and said, "I don't know, just cheese." We all had to laugh at being in Wisconsin and it being "just cheese." She seemed to say, "Like, you mean there are different kinds of cheese?"
You cannot have your burger without a local beer. Leinenkugel is the best Wisconsin beer, and most folks lovingly call it a Leinie around here. A Leinie Red is my favorite.
On Fridays they do the typical Wisconsin fish fry. This is pretty much standard in these parts. Most restaurants have all the fish you can eat on Friday nights. I, however, noticed that the fish they serve is Icelandic Cod and not a local lake fish. I guess lake fish has gotten too expensive, but when I was growing up, all the fish was local.
Angler's is a tradition. If you come to Hayward and are in search of a great lunch, just head front and center on Main Street. These burgers are the best anywhere in town, as any local will tell you. In the summer, expect a wait for a table, as Angler's Bar and Grill is for sure a Hayward favorite.
From journal Turning 50 Wisconsin-Style on Spider Lake
December 20, 2004
Anglers is just such a place. It's a long, narrow wooden bar with tables. Neon beer signs hang all around the bar, as well as record-winning stuffed muskies. Even at noon on a weekday in November, the place is hopping. There is not an empty table to be found! The bar stools are all filled. The locals know where to find their burgers.
We were lucky because we had reserved the four bowling lanes that adjoin the bar. Yes, this bar also has four bowling lanes, in case you get bored while nursing that beer. We had our day-after-Thanksgiving family bowling tournament, and everyone had to wear a silly hat while bowling. I saw a few heads turn as this family of 18 arrived, all in crazy hats, to take over the lanes. The best hat was worn by the 82-year-old matriarch of the family—a SURF NAKED baseball hat.
We started with lunch at the tables above the lanes. We had wisely reserved the whole room. Most of us ordered the delicious burgers and, of course, topped those off with delicious local Wisconsin cheese. The rest of us got the all-you-can-eat fish special. Most places around here have Friday fish specials. I expected a local fish like a walleye, but this was Icelandic codfish. The fish was good; in the Midwest, they batter the fish with a fluffy beer batter that is similar to tempura batter. But it was disappointing that the fish was not local. However, the burgers in no way, shape, or form disappointed; they were every bit as delicious as you would imagine.
The bowling went well, and our waitress kept our Leinenkugels filled (or, as they call it here, Leinies). Don't miss the chance to sample this delicious local beer when in Wisconsin.
The locals often looked in to see what these nuts from the Twin Cities and California were doing on their lanes with stupid hats. We had a blast, and even if you don't plan on rolling a few frames, the food here is worth the trip. Also, the prices for food, drink, and bowling will please you—these are NOT big city prices. It's a typical Midwest beer joint with truly outstanding burgers.
From journal Thanksgiving on Spider Lake