Sunday afternoon is a busy time in downtown De Pere. The city’s restaurants are all full– especially with the weather being on the warmer side compared to most of March. I arrived at the building that Brickhouse shares with Julie’s Cafe to find that there wasn’t a single parking spot available in the lot. I considered it a good sign for the meal I would have inside the doors, so I found another spot in the downtown area to walk back down to the restaurant.
During the height of the pandemic, I ordered a burger for delivery from Brickhouse, so I had some idea of what to expect. Big burgers and tasty fries were still fresh in my memory. Little did I know that they developed a rotating monthly menu that included a limited offering poutine, burger, and sandwich. On another visit, I would love to try the buffalo chicken poutine. This visit wasn’t that visit, however.
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.