The Farmer’s Market Season kicked off last week, and I made sure I found my way downtown for the Saturday Morning Market first and foremost. The evening markets across Green Bay offer a variety of vendors and new experiences. However, I have a soft place in my heart for the Saturday Morning Market after years of attendance. It’s my priority each week once the weather turns. I have many vendors that I make a point to visit, but I know that I’ve missed out on good stuff in years past. Turns out, even after nearly four years, I still haven’t discovered all of the gems.
Near the Walnut Street Entrance sits the Behnke Farms van, and it’s a van I have both stopped at and walked past a thousand times. This is my fourth year attending the market, and for that reason it sometimes feels hard to find something new to highlight for you, dear readers. Behnke Farm recently caught my attention again over the winter when they started carrying and advertising their picahna at the Winter Market on Military.
The number of heirloom variety growers at the Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market has grown in the last few years, but one of those I have always kept my eye on is Adam’s Heirlooms, who frequently had vegetable varieties on the table that I never saw before that day. One weekend, I happened to stop by and see two words that excite an avid cook: Berkshire Pork.
Berkshire hogs originally hail from England, and in many cooking circles, they are considered some of the best available to a modern cook. They may not be Iberico pigs, but this variety of hog is talked about nearly as often as their Spanish, acorn eating relatives. I had to stop. I had to buy, and I learned a lot from the folks at the stand.
While most of my energy was focused on the animal husbandry portion of their offerings, the varieties of peppers and other vegetables on the other end of their stand remained peculiar and unusual compared to the other vendors at the market that morning. I will be back to investigate those further during the final farmer’s market as hot sauce preparations begin several weeks late in the Eating Normal House.
Of note, you can access their website to pre-order what interests you most and pick it up at the Market this weekend. They have home delivery in the Manitowoc area if that is more your speed. I can only wish for a home delivery in Green Bay in the fast approaching off season.
Toward the end of October, Zambaldi Beer announced their new feature, a community supported brewery box meant to mirror the CSA boxes that have been so popular from local farmers this year. These boxes are to include merchandise, beer, and foodie goodies made by one of the owners that will be made with beer from the brewery. I pre-ordered my November box almost the moment I saw the announcement on Facebook, and I waited for it eagerly until the beautiful weekend of November 7th.
We stopped in, and just by calling the phone number that they email to you when the boxes are ready, the staff can run the box out to your car if you prefer to do pick up. You can also go in and get it yourself, but the crowd there that lovely evening was a bit much to sit and wait through. The box got to us before I could even get my phone put back in my purse, and we took it home straight away. Below is a picture of what we found when we got it home, and after the read break-- our review.
White Dog Black Cat - Updated Hours
See their facebook page for their new hours, updated Saturday the 24th.
Al’s Hamburger Shop - New Menu
Al’s announced their new menu last weekend. Looking for something new? Now’s the time. Their burgers and fries hold up AMAZING during delivery.
Cranky Pat's Pizza - Buffet Still Running, limited hours
My fav place for thin crust in town is still running their buffet but with limited lunch hours. Carryout and frozen pizza options also available if this isn't for you.
La Nostra Strada Pizzeria - Opening soon?
No firm date, but a recent social media post hinted that it’s just around the corner… Plus, the bubbles on that fermented pizza dough? Holy shit. Sign me up.
Narin’s Thai Kitchen - One Year Anniversary!
Narin’s Thai Kitchen recently celebrated their one year birthday. Wish them happy birthday by ordering takeout or delivery. They offer delivery through just about every single major food delivery service in town.
Zambaldi Brewery - Community Supported Brewery Boxes
Zambaldi has started a cool new offering called a community supported brewery box where every month will include beer (sometimes an exclusive pre-release!), merch, and tasty treats made with their beer. Order by November 5th for the November box. It’s $40, and it looks neat! We preordered ours to do a review. Keep an eye out for that on the weekend of the 7th and 8th.
Titletown Brewing Co. - Adjusted hours, growler sales
Changes to their hours were announced back on Oct 11, including some sales on beer to take home. Our restaurants aren’t the only ones in need. Drink local too!
Hinterland Brewery - New Menu items
Dumplings, noodles, and a spicy chicken sandwich to rival the Popeyes on the other side of town.
Luna Cafe and Coffee Roastery - Animal Foundation and Pet Pantry of Wisconsin Fundraiser
On 11/3, 10% of all sales at the Luna Cafe Bellevue location will be donated to the Animal Foundation and Pet Pantry of Wisconsin. Another good reason to get your coffee locally.
JJ's Cafe - Free Delivery Thru Food Dudes
See their facebook for the free delivery code.
Voyageurs Sourdough - Contactless Pick Up Returns, Now Shipping Nationwide
Voyageur announced contactless pick up again on their instagram story. They do great bread, but also some yummy pastries and sandwiches. In addition, they are starting to ship nationwide and make home delveries in Appleton with the upgrade to their online ordering system.
Main Street Bourbon Room - Full Menu Returns 11/3
MSBR’s full menu returns 11/3 with some new updates. Check out their facebook page to get a good look.
Monzu Bakery - Shipping Hot Chocolate Bombs
Our favorite sweets place in town has started shipping their hot chocolate bombs, so if you’re an out of towner, you can jump on this one too.
It’s a scary world out there, folks. COVID-19 is shuttering small businesses and sickening thousands every day. It feels like there’s nothing we can do but hunker down again and hope for the best, but every time we do that, we’re putting a greater strain on local businesses that have been suffering the most through the course of this pandemic. So, what do we do?
Well, for starters, order delivery. Don’t get Mcdonalds or Hardees or Burger King…
September, 2020. The NFL is back, and we miss the Packers. We want to sit among the bleachers of Lambeau, we want to cheer. But September of 2020 has brought more than football back to Green Bay, Wisconsin. The fate of the city’s businesses without the tourism brought by a normal Packers season has been in debate for as long as the NFL had decided to play without fans, but we’re seeing COVID-19 give us the answer in real time.
A second, powerful wave of COVID-19 has sent school districts home, filled our hospitals, and now it’s causing business owners to shutter their doors for the safety of their employees. Among the first to shut their doors this week was the Redwood Inn, home of my favorite fish fry in the city. They announced their closure this morning, September 26th, on facebook. Aunt Ethel’s of De Pere has also announced a closure this weekend amidst the rising cases. The caution exhibited by these regional favorites during this trying time is good to see.
It does, however, remind us how fragile the ecosystem of our restaurants is right now. The lengthy forced closures at the beginning of the pandemic have shuttered some businesses permanently, and those weren’t struggling ones before the pandemic. Here is an incomplete list of businesses that have closed their doors for cautionary purposes during the strong resurgence of COVID-19 in Green Bay-- and how you can support them.
Orignally Posted on March 27, 2020 in the Archive
This article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread aggressively within the United States. Please keep that in mind while reading. The small grocery stores like the ones described in this article need our support the most right now.
Northeast Wisconsin is blessed with a large Asian immigrant community. Within a six block radius, there are a TON of Asian markets to explore. Chief of these is Asian Taste Supermarket, where my husband took me on March 1st to go hunting for ingredients we need for the Cookbook of the Month, Japanese Home Cooking. He has been on walkabout in the neighborhood more than once, taking stock of a few of these markets by my request when I’ve stayed home to clean or something. This one, he told me, was probably his favorite.
Despite the very cramped front aisles, I could see why he would feel that way about Asian Taste. You’re welcomed by an aisle of sweets, and from there on, you can find a variety of spices, noodles, canned goods, and even fresh ingredients. I saw a durian with my own eyes for the first time in their produce section. I smelled it too. Even before it’s opened, I can’t say I recommend the smell
I’ve always had a fascination with exploring new grocery stores, but ethnic markets are a rare treat for me. Where I grew up, we had a small hispanic market that I went to maybe once. An Asian market was in the next town over during my time in Iowa, but I never made the trip. The large hispanic population in Milford, Delaware led to my exploration of an honest to god giant grocery store, El Gigante. I had yet to experience something like Asian taste.
I have a passing knowledge of Spanish to get me by in a market, but I definitely cannot read Thai or Hmong. I also cannot read Japanese, Chinese, or Korean despite my best duolingo efforts. Most of the labels did have english somewhere on them to help me out, but very rarely was the english in a prominent location. I have no doubt I passed up some golden items during my shopping trip.
What I did manage to find has set me up relatively well for our foray into Japanese cooking this month. Furikake seasoning, for example, was available within Asian Taste, and it was one of the first things I snagged off the shelves. Sonoko Sakai offers to substitute in Thai red chilis or Korean Chili flakes in a few recipes, both of which were also available. I found a little jar of Sambal that has fascinated me since our time with the Lucky Peach Cookbook.
Botan rice caught my eye from across the crowded space, and by adding a bag of that to my basket, I had to pass it over to my husband to carry. We left with such a variety of offerings that I can’t remember them all as I sit down to write about my experience. Meats, vegetables, and soybean products were among the few areas of the store that I neglected since I am able to find most of these things at the regular grocery store.
The experience fills me with some hope for the current home cook that might be considering a challenging cookbook like Sonoko Sakai’s Japanese Home Cooking. Not everything has to come down from Amazon if a person has access to a place like this, even if the Japanese population in their area is minimal. If you are in a region like the one I grew up in, however, Amazon remains your only bet at sourcing a vast majority of the requested ingredients. It’s a point in favor of the opposition toward this cookbook.
It's staggeringly obvious that moving into ethnic cuisine is a daunting task for a home cook, especially one like Japanese cuisine where the ingredients are not widespread. Learning Hispanic cuisines has become much easier as the immigrant population grows so large that even towns as small as my hometown can sustain a Hispanic foods store when the growing aisle in the supermarket isn't enough. The best I can do at my regular grocer for Japanese cooking is soy sauce, Nori, and instant soups.
If the task of sourcing these ingredients is enough to convince you not to buy a cookbook, I can tell you now that Japanese Home Cooking won't be for you. If I were not in a good place financially at my new job, I might have already given up. You don't want to know how much I spent at Asian Taste much less on ordering shit from Amazon. Or maybe, you do?
The adventure of finding these different ingredients has given the whole thing more value for me. I've struggled to get myself into Green Bay proper beyond my apartment and my office since my health has been rough, and doing this for the blog was enough to give me the courage to go out and just do it. We talk a lot about doing it for the gram, but I'm doing it for the blog.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird. Pledge monthly to our patreon!