Koko Sushi Bar moved to their new location over the summer of 2021, and I have taken my time getting out there. We are big sushi lovers. Umi Sushi, however, is a block away. Our experience at Koko Sushi Bar in their downtown location in 2020 remains the best in town even with Umi Sushi so close to where we live. Our decision to visit Koko’s new location came in a Friday evening while we were out on the west side trying to decide on dinner. We had originally went out to visit Badger State Brewing and the Bay Burger Food truck. The truck was delayed, and we were hungry.
So we went farther down Lombardi to visit an old friend of a restaurant that we had neglected over time. Stepping into the restaurant and seeing the tree that was a famous fixture of the old location reminded me that I had done them a disservice by not coming to visit them again. We were seated quickly despite the Friday night crowd, and we ordered our small meal for the night.
The Packers first playoff game of the year is coming, and it reminded me that I forgot to post a review I wrote for a downtown classic back in November. Please enjoy this backlogged post and consider Saint Brendan's Inn for your playoff needs-- food and lodging!
My husband and I wandered into Downtown Green Bay on a chilly November evening looking for something to eat. Something was going on at the Meyer, so many of the places we scouted out before we got into the car were already full. Vintage Cantina had long been on the radar, and I swear that every single seat in there was full. We parked just outside of Saint Brendan’s Inn, so we walked back down toward the car, found ourselves guided to the door of the Irish Restaurant/Hotel by the delightful smell in the air, and walked inside.
This wasn’t the first time we visited. Back when we first moved here, one of my husband’s new coworkers invited us out to lunch here. It is still one of my fondest memories of town. We ate and drank very well, and yet my husband and I hadn’t been back since. This Friday night provided the opportunity to return without a wait at the door, and we sat down in the dining area with the Bucks game on at the bar behind us.
Going home for Christmas often provides the unique opportunity of reviewing restaurants outside of my traditional coverage area, and this year was no exception. It’s the first time in three years that I’ve been home. The universe gave me a gift: Schlafly Brewery of Saint Louis opened a location in the family’s ancestral home of Highland, Illinois during Christmas week.
After coming to the USA from Switzerland, the founders of the craft brewery first put down roots in a small town not far from where I would be staying this Christmas. I saw the news of the opening through the old television station I got all my news from as a kid. It struck me as unusual for many reasons. Saint Louis, while not far away, so rarely extends the tendrils of its businesses out into these rural communities. It wouldn’t be until I actually visited that I’d find out the historical significance of the choice. It also promised a dining experience to an area often underserved.
So I planned Christmas Eve lunch with my father and my husband at the new restaurant, and we arrived ahead of the doors opening to make sure we could get a table. The location wasn’t taking reservations– and they may never. That wasn’t particularly clear. What was clear, however, was that we were not the only people in the region with this idea. Even ten minutes early, car after car arrived to park along Highland Square and wait their turn to walk into the doors of the old bank turned brewpub.