I used to regularly drive along the frontage road where Plank Road Pub and Grill sits alongside the highway to Appleton. For years, I’ve driven by and wondered what brought the crowd to it’s large parking lot, and yet, I never made the attempt to cross town from my old living space to give it a visit. Shortly into October, I moved to the west side of the Green Bay Metro Area, and I decided to satisfy my curiosity with my soon-to-be ex-husband.
A friendly dinner after a day of moving at a location neither of us had ever visited before harkened us back to easier times. He often sat across the table from me when I dined for articles like these. Fortunately for us and the other patrons of the restaurant that night, there was little different on this night than any other. We ordered our drinks, and I did what I always do.
Plank Road Pub and Grill has a menu familiar to me in any bar-restaurant setting. I would never personally call it original. Every bar-restaurant has a spinach and artichoke dip, mixed french fry platters, etc. A compact burger menu positioned beside a sandwich menu is precisely what you can expect from a place like this when you drive up. It was a friday in Wisconsin, so of course there was a fish fry menu.
When our entrees arrived, I was pleased with my choice of a perch sandwich on a fish fry evening. At nearly half the price of their perch platter, it proved to be a good way to gauge the quality of the fry and the fish itself without committing too much on my first night out at Plank Road Pub and Grill. The single plank of perch among a well toasted bun and common sandwich accoutrement such as lettuce and red onion was somewhat lost flavorwise. However, looking at the fish and tasting it separately, it was clear to me the perch is well cared for and cooked here.
I left Plank Road with a ticket of around thirty bucks despite ordering two drinks, the appetizer, and my entree. A strong tip for the attentive staff pushed me into the forty range, and despite the concerns I have of going out on my own into the world for the first time, I didn’t regret a cent. Plank Road is a comfortable location for friendly dinners, and with reasonable price, it is much more accessible than some of its restaurant genre compatriots in town.
Plank Road is accessible via the Scheuring Road exit off of highway 41, and their daily specials offer an opportunity to try much of their menu at reduced costs. Their frequent live music acts are announced on their facebook page. Thank you to the staff for a delicious, comforting meal after a hard day of moving!
The first true Fall morning of September, I bravely got in my car to drive down to Kaukauna to enjoy the Produce with Purpose Open House. I turned away from the Green Bay Farmer’s Market early in the morning when I had a strong sense of purpose. That sense of purpose didn’t last long. I hate driving. I have several chronic health issues that sometimes make me scared to leave town on my own.
It scared me so much I spent the entire drive to Kaukauna having a panic attack, and I pulled into the downtown area in search of a nice breakfast to help me come down. I stumbled upon Sticky Fingers Cafe, open early enough for someone like me just trying to find a comforting meal and a safe place to relax. When I found them, two other people were on their way out with coffee in hand.
No one was ignorant of what they were about to eat. McKayla Marie Sweets attended several events in town, spreading the anticipation over the summer– and it worked. I’ve attended many openings like this since I started writing for this blog, but I can’t recall this level of anticipation in a crowd. It spoke highly of the mind behind the product.
As early as I arrived at the event, the line was not long. The staff moved through those that did stop in immediately for their meal quickly, which is a good sign for their setup on the interior of the truck. For the hour and some that I stayed at the block party, it appeared that the quick service I got continued. Every frybread taco that I saw go by looked as good as mine. There’s something special going on in there. Don’t let the unassuming exterior of the truck fool you.
You can follow Taco Tones on facebook to keep track of their schedule, or you can check our own facebook page off and on as well. We do our best to repost when we see many of our area food trucks announcing their openings outside of regular events in town. Tell them Eating Normal sent you. I’m so glad to see them out on the streets again to share a unique food truck experience with the city.
The first Wednesday Night Market on Broadway was a wash out. Vendors showed, sure, but compared to the sight of a full street up and down the block this past Wednesday, it was nothing. That week, we passed Rustique Pizzeria’s mobile pizza oven filled with desire for a good slice. The rain convinced us to keep moving. Not this Wednesday, no sir. We gladly stood in line and watched slices be passed down to those in front of us.
If you’re in a hurry for something to eat during the market, I cannot recommend getting in line at Rustique more. The extreme temperature of their mobile oven cooks their thin crust pizzas in a flash, and most of those ahead of us didn’t have to wait at all once they paid for their orders. Take out boats of pesto fries appeared on the block the second they were ordered. The pizza slices soon followed.
Waiting on a pizza to cook appeared to be a rarity, one that we experienced ourselves when my husband and I ordered a slice of their Margherita pizza and some pesto fries to start our food truck experience on Broadway for the night. A new pie for the Margherita had just gone in. We took our pesto fries to a nearby concrete planter to enjoy them while we waited for our slice. The amount of time it took for us to eat our appetizer timed perfectly with the prep time of the awaited pizza.
My husband ate the very last fry, and the folks at Rustique called my name to announce that our slice was ready. We abandoned our seat at the planter to pick up our slice and then returned to eat. The twists that Rustique applied to the traditional Margherita toppings made it a perfect slice for me and my tomato hating husband. He ate around the large slices of tomato. I ate them.
Pay them a visit this week and let them know Eating Normal sent you.
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.
The first weekend of 70 degree weather in Green Bay is a sacred one. If you waste it in your home, you’ve let the world pass you by. My husband and I couldn’t do that. We spent very little of our time at home last Saturday, and we found ourselves at Blue Suede Foods’ truck outside of Noble Roots Brewing Co. on our first visit to either business. There are few better ways to enjoy a warm afternoon.
Noble Roots has been around since 2016. I’ve sampled some of their beers at local bars since I first moved to Green Bay, but I never made the effort to take myself to the far eastern side of town and see their facility. Anything east of where I live somehow seems very far off. The closer to the college, the less it registers on my radar. Blue Suede Foods convinced us to make the trek, however, after watching their journey from sitting outside a bar just a few blocks from us night after night to making near weekly trips to breweries outside of town to serve.
The menu is stand out on its own. There are several dishes that employ the fusion of different cultural techniques to create something wild and new in Green Bay’s food truck scene. They’re also among the first I’ve been to that employ a beeper system so that you can return to the truck for your meal once its ready rather than wait around outside for the cooks to yell at you. This method let my husband and I sit and enjoy a whole beer in the meantime. Nearly every table surrounding us also had these beepers, so we didn’t mind the wait.
Blue Suede regularly opens for delivery via Eatstreet if you can’t make it out to their events that they announce on facebook. Keep an eye on their page to know exactly where they are and when they’re open, and you too can enjoy their innovative Wisconsin focused menu for yourself. My husband and I greatly enjoyed eating with them on one of the first nice days of the year, and we will be doing so more and more as food truck season ramps up properly.