A travel journal
to Door County by Mashka
Quote: I went to Door County every year as a child. It's sometimes called a mini version of Maine, and I have to agree. It's beautiful any time of year and simply a wonderful place to relax.
Restaurant | "Al Johnson's Swedish Pancake House"
It's a bit overrated and you have to wait a while to get a table (up to over an hour and they don't take reservations), but the goats and the ambiance is what I love. Watching goats walk around on a roof right in the middle of downtown Sister Bay is quite a sight to see. If you get there early enough in the morning, you can see them led up their small leader. Although one of the most popular sights in town, the goats don't seem fazed as they chew on the sod roof, controlling the grass length.
The food is all about the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and the Swedish meatballs - usually served together. (It's an odd combination I know, but it always seems to work.) The pancakes are as light and feathery as the meatballs are meaty with a slight spicy aftertaste. Breakfast is served all day and they also serve lunch and dinner until 9 nightly. The homemade banana cream pie is amazing. Stay away from the more complicated meals - they usually taste somewhat mediocre. I would stick to the traditional Swedish meals or something simple.
The restaurant is a family business. Al Johnson started rolling his famous meatballs in 1949. His children Lars, Rolf, John, and Annika now work along side him. You can frequently see them working. They also have a little boutique that sells their pancake syrup and lingonberries. Also tons of cute Swedish things... and up course a book written about the goats. (Also a good place to entertain yourself while waiting for a table.)
Al Johnson's is a great place to go for Swedish meals and a pride of Sister Bay. Breakfast is a must.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2004
Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik
10698 North Bay Shore Drive (on Hwy 42)
Sister Bay 54234
Restaurant | "Wilson's Restaurant"
As a kid, I adored Wilson's. They give you a huge cone loaded with ice cream and in the bottom, there is always a jellybean. One of Wilson's workers discovered by putting a jell bean in the bottom, it stops most of the dripping. (I thought this was the coolest thing when I was 6.)
A lot of people mistakenly call it Wilson's Ice Cream Parlor; it's actually Wilson's Restaurant. People remember the ice cream, but the food is also quite good. Perky waitresses serve an all-American menu of hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries, things that are easy to whip up and just as easy to enjoy.
There's not always a lot of seating - I usually would think that's a bad thing. But if you step outside under Wilson's red and white awning, there's an awesome view of Ephraim waters. It's so gorgeous, there's no reason to stay inside. There's also quaint stores for window shopping. And when I was a kid, there was usually a street artist or two hanging around. I distinctly remember my parents making me have my portrait drawn... all I wanted to do was eat my cone.
Located in downtown Ephraim across from Eagle Harbor. And open from May through October.
open daily from 11am - 10pm for food
and until 11pm for ice cream
A genuine piece of Door County heaven.
A local favorite since 1906, Wilson's is a must stop.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 5, 2004
Door County, Wisconsin
It's almost like going to a big picnic. Owner and masterbroiler Dan Peterson broils the fish outside in a broiler. Most of the seating is outside for up to 200 and inside seats 100. The tradition started back when Scandinavian immigrants settled here in 1800s. It was an easy way to serve a lot of fish and potatoes to a lot of hungry fishermen and lumberjacks.
Their menu is huge and everything is good. I really enjoy the breakfast... my family used to stop there on the early morning drive back home, when we vacationed in Door County.
Here's an overview of the menu:
Swedish pancakes, French toast, potato pancakes, eggs, omelettes toast... various combinations like the egg vik-muffin (muffin with ham/eggs and cheese), corned beef hash (eggs, hash and toast), cereal and oatmeal
salads, soups, chowder, tuna/chicken/or egg salad, broasted chicken, sandwiches (roast beef, grilled cheese, turkey, corned beef), burgers and melts
(all include soup or salad, potatoes - mashed, hashed, fries or potato salad, roll, ice cream and drink) broasted chicken, ribeye steak, pork chops, bbq ribs...
and the FISH - walleye pike, shrimp, Atlantic perch, whitefish...
And the most popular:
FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FRY
with either whitefish, perch, walleye or smelt
The "Friday Night Fish Fry" is one of the strongest traditions in Wisconsin and The Viking Grill does it best.
open year round from 6am until late
Visit their website: Viking Grill
12029 State Highway 42
Ellison Bay 54210
Attraction | "Cana Island Lighthouse"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2001
Cana Island Lighthouse & Museum
Cana Island Rd.
Baileys Harbor 54202
4285 Highway 57
Door County, Wisconsin 54235
Brooklyn, New York