Erik the Hungry Traveller Goes on an All American Food Trip in Wisconsin
My all American food trip in Wisconsin post is but the first of two posts about my food travel journey while in America.
If you have been following my posts in my social media accounts which I’m pretty sure 90% of you have not- Erik you are not a famous blogger why would we follow you?
You would probably know that I got an opportunity to visit the states last August.
I stayed in America for 2 weeks in which i stayed in Wisconsin for a week and another week in Illinois.
While this visit was for work (my 9-5 work) that did not mean I can not explore the state after my shift and during the weekends, right?
Being that this site is named Erik the Hungry Traveller. It is only mandatory that I write about my adventures on food while in the land of Milk and Honey.
Like it is an absolute crime if all throughout my 2 weeks visit in America I just stayed in my hotel room and ordered room service.
As someone coming from the Eastern part of the world. I have always wanted to experience the culture of the West.
Experiencing the culture of a place can be done by visiting their famous landmarks, interacting with the locals and finally my favorite way – trying out their iconic and trademark dishes.
There is something special about trying authentic meals from the country or town you are visiting.
For a place as popular and great as America trying homegrown meals is a dream come true for me. And I am very excited to share with you all my food travel experience!
So here we go!
A DocuMEALtary of the Mid West: First up Lake Geneva Wisconsin
As the heading suggests, this post is not about the best of the best pancakes, steaks or hotdogs article.
After all, this is just a post about a guy standing in front of a restaurant asking them to make me taste their signature meals.
(For those of you who didn’t get it I was trying to be witty and attempted to insert a Noting Hill line there)
Moving on and forget I ever attempted to be funny. I stayed a week in Lake Geneva Wisconsin and I did cherish every moment of it.
I was fortunate enough that I have friends and officemates who brought me over to restaurants that have iconic and signature American- WI meals.
My All American Food trip in Wisconsin would not have been successful if it weren’t for them.
Kicking Off the All American Food Trip in Wisconsin: Grand Cafe in Grand Geneva Resort
I am a burger kind of guy so for my first meal in Wisconsin and my first real meal in America. (ate airplane and airport food along the journey)
I ordered the Juicy Bing Burger at The Grand Café in Grand Geneva Resorts.
Why at this restaurant you say? Well, for the simple reason that while in Lake Geneva Wisconsin I stayed at Grand Geneva Resorts.
The resort is huge with multiple restaurants in the area. But I decided to go with Grand Cafe since it was the closest to the lobby and I did not want to overspend my money being that it was just my first day in America.
Now back to the meal I ordered. The Bing Burger.
The burger had Gouda and American cheese on it, fried egg, tomato jam, honey-ale onions, arugula topped on a brioche bun.
I enjoyed my burger together with a cup of coffee. Child, I was extremely jet lagged thus I need my fill and refill of coffee even during lunch time.
The Highlight : My First Authentic American Meal
When the waitress provided options for the sides she threw in either: Fries – nah potatoes could not be that different in America, Onion rings – not really a fan of onions and lastly Tots- now that sounds new.
Thus I ordered with gusto and excitement Tots with my burger only to find out that they were just bite sized hashbrowns. Well at least that was how it tasted like.
Being my first American dining experience is the highlight itself.
To be honest I was extremely awkward approaching the restaurant for a table, ordering and oh don’t get me started on tipping. (Tipping is not a common practice here in the Philippines)
I made the waitress awkward by asking her an honest to goodness question.
” I am not from here and tipping is not a practice in my country, so how much should I tip you?”
In my defense my phone had some challenges connecting with their WiFi during that time so I could not ask google about how much is the acceptable tip.
But overall I survived with a full stomach my first dining out experience in Wisconsin.
A Traditional Breakfast Meal: Egg Harbor Café
Next stop on my all American food trip in Wisconsin is breakfast at Egg Harbor Cafe.
And with my visit to this cafe/ diner I finally got the opportunity to visit the town of Lake Geneva.
I was looking for the perfect all American Breakfast meal and the cafe has plenty of options to choose from.
What I like and dislike about American restaurant menus is that they display the calorie count of your ordered meal.
I like it for the reason that it keeps you aware of your caloric intake and I hate it at the same time since it keeps you aware of your caloric intake. Sigh!
Thus for this breakfast meal I ordered their signature pancakes with a slab of bacon and egg omelets. I did not want to over eat and considering the first meal I wanted to try had 1000 calories.
This only had 648 calories on it.
For my drinks I had their pumpkin spice brewed coffee.
Pumpkin spice coffees is never available in the Philippines thus trying anything that has pumpkin spice on it was something I did although out my trip.
And yes, even tried a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. (wink)
The Highlight : An All American Diner
While I enjoyed the meal especially the maple syrup with the pancakes- probably the best pancakes ever but then again I love food so whatever!
Going back, while I enjoyed my meal at Egg harbor the highlight for me has got to be the café itself. The ambiance of the place is a typical diner set up which is uncommon in The Philippines.
We have Deny’s here in Cebu Philippines but nothing beats an authentic american diner experience.
This for me is a memory worth keeping.
Getting to observe the routine of the locals and of course finally stepping foot at a diner. A place I only get to see in movies before arriving to America is one for the books.
Am a fan of Riverdale – well more of season 1 than the new seasons- and they usually hangout at Pop’s Diners. So i can now say hey i hanged out at Egg Harbor Cafe (wink).
Dinner at a Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub
Another first for me, setting foot in a pub!
I wanted to take photos of the place but I got to conscious with the crowd in the restaurant.
The place was crowded with people. I would not be surprised since their food was awesome!
Aside from their signature meals. Sprecher also makes their own root beer and their beer.
I did not want to have an upset stomach so for this All American Food trip in Wisconsin so I had to choose either a rootbeer or beer for my drinks.
The picture below could not be more obvious of what I chose.
The Curd Meal
By now you probably know that my go to meal is a hotdog, kidding a BURGER.
For this edition of Erik the Hungry Traveller eats another Burger I present to you the The Curd.
A burger on a pretzel bun with white cheese curds, onion straws and their own specialty sauce.
This was a good burger but the best burger for me will be on my All American Food Trip in Illinois post.
The Highlight: A Pickle Won the Night
As a food blogger I am absolutely down to eat anything. I’d probably eat anything peculiar at least once.
A friend told me to try on cheese curds while in Wisconsin. So I did.
While I enjoyed eating my Cheese Curds. Something I have never heard off nor tasted made my dining experience at Sprecher’s memorable.
Deep fried pickles are something very uncommon in The Philippines. Oh if I have not established it by now I’m a proud Filipino – wink!
Thus I got intrigued with deep fried pickles which in appearance looked very similar to French fries.
Short story I LOVED IT. It’s got a sour and tangy taste to it.
Deep frying it gave it some texture. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. In fact i like it more than just the plain pickle.
I guess anything tastes better when it is deep fried right? My heart and arteries thanks you Sprecher for that deep fried meal.
Eating the deep fried pickle in moderation this definitely is a must order at Sprecher’s.
Dining at Medusa’s Lair: Medusa Grill and Bistro
Another night, another opportunity to go on an all American Food Trip in Wisconsin. And this time it was an All Meat You Can Eat Festival!
Medusa is similar to Sprecher’s only smaller. like a fourth of the crowd in Sprecher.
If you are looking for an intimate and unique place to dine that has good wine and alcoholic beverages then Medusa is that place.
We went out on everything you place at our table kind of dinner.
Lamb Chops, Chicken, Ribs, Lobster and Scallops all in one huge plate. This was the heaviest meal I had while in America.
And I feared I was a borderline glutton for this day! But hey seize the day right! Disclaimer: Kids don’t try this at home, or in any restaurant.
The Highlight: Sea Food Splurge
Another first for me was eating lobster and boy oh boy did I love it.
I am an avid fan of Gordon Ramsey and Masterchef US.
In any season of the show the contestants would always cook lobster and scallops. Good thing I am not allergic to seafood as I had plenty of lobsters and scallops while in Medusa.
Make Your Own Pizza at MODs
I am not leaving Geneva Lake Wisconsin without having a slice of pizza or a box of it.
I have visited pizza stores that allow you to make your own pizza but everytime Im in those stores I always order their standard menu.
I always have that apprehension that I would not like my own pizza.
But for this experience I made an exception. I decided to make my own pizza out of jalapenos, chicken and teriyaki sauce.
And did I love what I made. Now, I wanted beef on my pizza but what the attendant heard was chicken and being I got too anxious about making my own pizza I just said yes.
Well, it is the best mistake that ever got placed on a pizza as the Erik the Hungry Traveller’s pizza tasted fine!
No seriously I did.
The Highlight: Erik the Hungry Traveller Pizza!
You may have probably have guessed it. I made my own pizza for the first time at Mods and I absolutely had a great time doing it!
Well not entirely ,needing to create your pizza with numerous topping options was overwhelming for me. But hey i tried to keep my cool .
Next time Ill be better at this make your own pizza thing.
Daghang Salamat- Thank You Geneva Lake Wisconsin!
Wisconsin was the first stop on my all American food trip and I could not have picked a better state to start my adventure.
The people were certainly very pleasant and all of them ensured I had a great time. As in my previous posts I am pleasantly surprised at the hospitality of the people in Midwest.
I am an awkward person but I felt right at home while in Lake Geneva Wisconsin.
And the genuineness of the town definitely was a factor as to why my All American Food trip in Wisconsin became a success.
Moreover, the town itself Lake Geneva was a beauty. Expect a post about the landscape and the scenery on my next posts.
Finally, the food that I tasted throughout my stay was nothing but exceptional.
All American Food Trip in Wisconsin: Whats Next?
On my next post we visit another state. Another city and another opportunity to try out an All american food trip.
See you in Illinois on my next post where I try Chicago’s signature dishes and I got to experience buying food at a food truck!