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.
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.
A late post from Thanksgiving 2021 Travel to Cleveland, Ohio. A few more are still in the backlog-- but local content takes priority. Enjoy!
Another morning came during our visit to Cleveland, Ohio where my husband and I would be on our own while his siblings slept in to enjoy their holiday to its fullest. We didn’t know where to go for breakfast, but we most certainly did not want to be the types that went to Starbucks while on a mini vacation. A cursory google search for favorite brunch restaurants in town lead us to Townhall down by the West Side Market. It appeared on every list I checked, and it provided us an opportunity to stop by one of our favorite locations in the city again if we wanted to bring something along for the Ohio State game that afternoon.
Townhall has been around long enough that I have vague memories of driving by the front of the restaurant and staring at it longingly. It was a very superficial fascination with the decor out front more than anything, because I had no idea what was inside it. This trip, I was able to find out because my husband left me in charge of these outings. We walked around the market and into the cafe side of the restaurant to order.
Townhall has a great menu with options for all types of eaters, including vegans. That variety is certainly what catapults the restaurant up to the top of many lists across the internet. We went for two of the most common types of brunch dishes, eggs benedict and the egg sandwich. Both can be ordered with rosemary roasted potatoes which are only available during actual brunch hours. We decided to go that route.
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.