Zesty’s dots the Green Bay landscape with locations at almost all four corners. Their iconic frozen custards are the biggest draw, but when my mother came up to town for the first time this year, we wanted a quick lunch at a local location that we trusted. The Allouez Zesty’s has been a stop for my husband and I with several previous visitors for the custards. It was time to try their food menu.
The interior screams of an old fashioned diner, and after ordering at the front, we made ourselves comfortable in one of the pleather booths with our self-serve drinks. It’s a familiar feeling recreated all over the midwest in similar establishments. My husband and I were reminded of Dairy King in southern Illinois once the food arrived.
The fries appear to be lightly battered which helps with the crunch, as always. They provided a much needed relief from the softer textures of the old fashioned burgers being served up out of the kitchen. Because I didn’t order a deluxe, there was little in the way of crunch within the burger to be served up by the classic garden toppings. The diced onion helped some– but their traditional crunch was lost through slight cooking underneath the warm patty.
Not that that took away from the burger itself. Zesty’s burgers are a fast food hamburger being made in a locally owned kitchen, and that alone makes them special. Thin patties slung quickly from their kitchen to feed people like us looking for a cheaper, quicker option than sitting down at a restaurant for the afternoon have their merits.
Dishes that come from disparate inspirations come together to form the Fire and Hops Menu. It’s unusual for any part of the world. My husband sat down without having looked at it an expressed some concern that we wouldn’t be getting much of a southwestern experience at the establishment, but there are some hidden places that the flavors of the region come into play– most notably in their dessert section. But that’s for later.
Holmgren Way is home to several of Green Bay’s greatest sports bars, but it’s also home to Nakashima of Japan– a sushi bar and hibachi location hiding between tall apartments and a hotel. The building is easily identifiable when you’re driving along in the daylight. My husband and I went after a Packers game once pre-pandemic to wait out the traffic. We enjoyed ourselves, but we hadn’t been back since then.
My mother was in town. She’s also a big sushi person. Living in rural central Illinois limits her sushi options, however, so we brought her to Nakashima originally to experience their hibachi. We didn’t make a reservation. The wait would have been an hour. This is to be expected with hibachi, especially so when the restaurant expresses problems with being short staffed in a small sign at the door when you arrive.
I was too hungry to wait an hour for an open table, so we decided to go to their sushi room for dinner. The restaurant has largely converted to a QR code menu, but paper menus are available for those that aren’t accustomed to QR menus such as my mother. Nakashima has a sister restaurant in Appleton that allows for a Yakiniku experience– that isn’t available at the Green Bay location.