An October 2005 trip
to Green Bay by julesart
Quote: A 4-day weekend to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in lovely peak-season October: Friday-night fish fry, Door County shopping, wine tasting, corn maze, and, on Sunday, the Packer game, their first win of the season.
The thing to do on a Friday night in Northeast Wisconsin? FISH FRY! Stop by your neighborhood pub and pack it in amongst the smoke and locals to get your hearty portion of beer battered perch, cod, or walleye. The pub that my friends brought us to that night was standing room only. We ordered our drinks and stood against the bar as the waitresses maneuvered their way past us with steaming trays of french fries, cole slaw, a piles of fried fish. We placed our order while standing amongst the flannel shirt-wearing older locals. By the time we were done with our second round, a table was cleared for us, and our dinner was served.
The cole slaw was served family-style - one dish per table. The fish and fries were piled on top of a plate layered with rye bread on the bottom. I barely made it through half of the portion, and I'm a good eater. The quality was excellent; the perch was firm and not fishy at all. Do I even need to bother to mention that cold beer is a must with your Friday night fish? I prefer a local Wisconsin brew, Leinenkugels Red Lager. After dinner, we went back to our friend's house and continued drinking and playing poker into the night.
After securing a minivan from a friend of our friends (Wisconsin natives rock!), the group of us, three couples, headed up north into Door County. Our first stop was to an Antique Gallery. Though my husband and I flew in from Philadelphia for the trip, I was still open to looking at small items. Low and behold, I saw some ceramic mixing bowls that looked identical to ones that hand been handed down to me from my Green Bay roots! Priced at $100 to $200, I was anxious to get home and inspect the quality of my own.
The next stop was a local pub with a parking lot/field full of Harleys. It was halftime of the UW Badgers football game. We grabbed the last open table and ordered a couple of pitchers of Miller. Fried cheese curds, hamburgers, french fries, and chicken fingers were all tasty and hot. They were some of the best cheese curds I've had in a long time--melt-in-your-mouth. The Badgers started losing and the crowd got a little rowdy, so we decided it was time to move on.
Next stop, Chief Oshkosh Gallery, filled with Native American arts and crafts. I found a beautiful pair of silver and stone earrings and a hand-printed card for my mother. Next was the Simon Creek Winery. My two girlfriends and I enjoyed tasting several samples, but I was sold on the Door County Cherry Wine. It's not too sweet; I'm looking forward to serving it at Thanksgiving.
Last, we went to a corn maze. I don't know what you've heard about these, but this was FUN--and challenging! We broke up into our three couples and raced each other to see who could get through all of the points the fastest. Mind you, we're 30 years old and were acting and feeling like kids. My husband and I won one of the two rounds. We were happy and satisfied.