Delta Diner (update), Delta, 7/13/19

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exterior

It’s been 3 years since Frankie and I wrote up some visits to the Delta Diner in the “middle of nowhere” Delta, Wisconsin.  The Chequamegon National Forest is another draw for this area but the Diner, a real draw, can commonly have a wait for seating in the summer months. Now you have an alternate dining option with The Tin Taphouse and the Chicken Shack – a bit of Jamaica in the middle of the Northwoods.  It’s only open on weekends and probably will close in October, as it is open air and it starts to get cold up there about that time.  But during the warmer months there could be no better way to enjoy the weather than at one of the picnic tables in the back (overlooking the White River) or on one of the stools at the bar enjoying the fun people manning the taps for locally brewed Earth Rider beers.  The place is composed from two railroad containers joined with an arch of metal.  Bright murals are painted on the outside walls and lots of plants bring the essence of a lush island setting.  Owners of the Delta Diner, Todd and Nina Bucher, are grilling up the jerk chicken and making the sides that will help absorb the quantities of beer you’ll want to consume.   There’s lots of parking and then you can walk into Island time.  For additional details check their website <deltadiner.com>. Continue reading

Scenic Drive Resort, Delta, 6/15/19 & 7/13/19

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Scenic Drive Resort is in the Chequamegon National Forest, on Lake Delta.  The owners, Terry and Patty Pajtash, bought the resort in 1990 and built the new lodge building in 2000.   Their two children, Arianna and Wyatt are often seen in the bar helping out.  Terry is the main cook but Patty is equally at home on the charbroil grill.  They have rental cabins in addition to the restaurant in the main lodge building.  It serves food year round as well as having a full bar but in the summer months they offer a Saturday night special of Steak Kabobs, and thus I am putting out this write-up promptly so you have a chance to get up there and have one.  (Another note is that the owners have the place for sale, so we don’t know how long this will go on).  They start serving at 6:00 pm and it’s first come, first served so don’t be late because there are no reservations for kabobs.  There are other things if you come another night that I can vouch for, including Terry’s ribs that are award winning and a good ribeye steak sandwich.  For additional details about the place, they have a website at <scenicdrive.com>. Continue reading

Good Thyme Restaurant and Catering, Washburn, 6/14/19

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building

Good Thyme Restaurant is in a 100 year old yellow house on Highway 13. It also does catering in the area and is run and staffed by mostly women.  It is a large place with a porch outside equipped with lots of furniture to enjoy the weather.  A fireplace is in the middle of the first floor where you enter and is surrounded by rooms full of copper tables and comfortable seating.  Windows look out on the grounds and the walls are decorated with art, much of which is for sale.  In the back is a copper bar incircling a mountain of liquor bottles.  Some people chose to eat at the bar as well as the many stopping there for a cocktail before dinner.  It was packed with people and reservations are a must.  They are only open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday during the summer.  Service was friendly, helpful and efficient.   It is not a large menu but there is good variety and they do have the Friday Fish Fry which is common in the area.  We were there to try that. Continue reading

Rookery Pub Fine Dining, Cable, 1/4/19 & 2/8/19

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building

Bill Brakken opened the Rookery Pub Fine Dining restaurant in 2008.  The building originally was constructed in 1978 and had the restaurant on the upper levels.  Bill made those areas into the lodge when he bought it in 2005 and then renovated the downstairs to become the Rookery Pub Fine Dining, named for the breeding colony of Blue Herons nearby and to signify a general place for social gatherings.  Interestingly, Bill worked as a bartender at the original Kliszcz’s Karczma, the Polish Palace as it was known then, the first year it was in business.  Now as you enter the place you see a building on your right with stairs and that is to the lodge and the lower sidewalk goes to the restaurant.  You enter into the large bar area and to the right is a hallway, opening onto a row of 4 booth seats, which leads to the small main dining room.  The walls are lined with prints of animals (most of which have prices if you want to buy one) and in the corner is a fireplace.  The bare wood tables are good sized and well spaced.  The menu covers a good breadth of choices with some changes for seasonality and the wine list is better than most.  You can have cocktails at your table or enjoy them at the bar before you are seated.  Service was efficient and super friendly.  Portions are large. Continue reading

The 300 Grill, Iron River, 1/3/19 and 2/7/19

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exterior

The 300 Grill is the restaurant attached to the bowling alley, all owned by the Carignans.  It is a small place with about 3 booths and some assorted sizes of tables.  They serve burgers, pizza, sandwiches and Henny-Penny broasted chicken.  It is extremely casual.  The walls are adorned with framed old photos from people and places in Iron River, Wisconsin.  A window into the kitchen is on one wall and the check out counter is at the back.  The tile floor and bare wood tables are set with rolled up flatware and napkin dispensers, along with some fresh flowers.  Service is friendly and efficient.  The food is good but not compelling.  Our first visit was pretty good and it made me want to go back and check out more things.  Maybe if you hunt around the menu you’ll find just the right thing for you but otherwise I think it may be a good place to snack if you’re bowling. Continue reading

Hyde’s on Buskey Bay, Iron River, 11/10/18

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Hyde’s on Buskey Bay is a couple of miles down County Road H when you turn on it from Hwy 2 in Iron River.  It overlooks a large lake which you can see if you chose seating on the enclosed porch.  I always have preferred to sit in the back section, which is the older portion with softer lighting and where the bar is located.  This night had live music in the form of an electronic keyboard playing at a nice volume in that back portion.  In the winter it’s less crowded but in the summer or other more tourist heavy times you are best to call ahead for a reservation.  The welcoming owners, Don and Helen Hyde, divide the duties with Helen running the kitchen and Don watching over the dining area while tending bar.  The large menu is all a la carte with nightly specials Wednesday thru Saturday.  All dinners and specials come with a trip to the salad bar, soup and dessert bar.  Many plates also include a choice of potato.  Portions are generous as are pours in the wine-by-the-glass.  Selection of wines is limited but a full bar can provide cocktails and beer.  This night our server was efficient, friendly and good with pacing. Continue reading

Sawmill Saloon, Seeley, 11/9/18

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exterior

The Sawmill Saloon is a huge place with several rooms, each having a different feel but all getting food from the same kitchen.  The first rooms are on either side of the large bar and decorations fill the walls and hang from the ceiling.  Crowd noise fills the background but it was still easy to talk with companions at the table.  Service was efficient and super friendly.  The good sized menu pizza, burgers, salads, sandwiches and a selection of snacks/appetizers. They also offer a Friday night fish fry and a Saturday prime rib. Continue reading

Cedar Lodge Steakhouse and Grille, Barnes, 9/14/18 and 10/14/18

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Cedar Lodge Steakhouse and Grille started in 2009 in the location that used to be called “Downtown Barnes”  Owners Collen and Scott Ruhman spent a good bit of time updating and remodeling and adding to the original location.   It is a good sized building that houses a large u-shaped bar in a room that also has room for a couple tables, games and lounge furniture in front of a fireplace.  It opens into the main dining room that is fairly bright with soft background music.  The only televisions are in the bar area.  Bare wood tables are polished to a high shine and fitted with comfortable chairs.  Flat-paint plum walls work well with the copper metallic shiny ceiling.  Walls are decorated with paintings and other objects.  The full bar is available for order in the dining room and they provided a better than average wine list.  The large menu was supplemented by a daily special offering.  All dinner plates come with a trip to the salad bar that also offers a housemade soup, as well as seasonal vegetable and a choice of side dish.  Our friendly server, Denise, turned out to be the owner’s sister and helped steer our order.   Continue reading

Garmisch Restaurant, Cable, 8/28/18

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Garmisch Inn Restaurant is in the main lodge of the Garmisch USA 65 acre resort.  It is a large complex, where the main lodge and many of the guest homes date back to the 1920’s when they were built for a wealthy Chicago family’s vacation retreat.  The large dining room overlooks the south shore of Lake Namakagon.  It was completely paneled in wood with large wood columns and beams in the ceiling.  Some art hung on the walls but the main decorative touch was the curved window that looked out on the lake the the surrounding woods of the Chequamegon forest. The well spaced white clothed tables were set with black napkins and heavy weight flatware.  The larger tables were in the center of the room and the walls were lined with tables for 2-4.  The lights were lowered.  An equal sized bar was off to the end with the bathrooms in between.  On the way you pass a spiral staircase that led down to guest rooms.  They had a large menu with some German specialties. Service was super friendly and accommodating. Our server Bree had just been there 2 weeks but she couldn’t have made our meal more fun. Continue reading

Kimball Inn, Hurley, 8/23/18

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exterior

Kimball Inn was much smaller than I expected, considering the breadth of their menu.   The entire interior is finished in wood paneling with low ceilings and fairly low light in the dining room.  The good sized bar area is more lit and also had a few tables where additional diners could eat.  In the dining room there were 2 booths with low, straight back benches,  a small window to the street and a few photographs of animals on the walls.  On the way into the dining room was a large chalkboard with the nightly specials.  It cannot be seen from the seating area, so study it on your way in.  The options sounded interesting but somehow they didn’t come off as well as they sounded.  Portions are large.  They offered a number of wines by the bottle but it was not an overwhelming selection.  The server was inefficient and not particularly helpful, sometimes disappearing for long spells and never coming to check if you needed anything.   Continue reading

DaLou’s, Washburn, 7/24/18

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exterior

DaLous is a small restaurant with a tiny patio area for extra seating.  They need that extra space cause this place is packed and people that will wait for tables. Chef Dale Hanson specializes in pizza from a wood fired oven but they also offer one baked pasta dish each night in addition to a featured pizza combination.  They have a number of delicious salads to go with the food and house made gelato and other sweets made by his partner Lois Stensvad.  A la the name Dalou’s was born.  There is a small wine list and beer available but they do not have a liquor license.  A mustard and red color theme is carried out in the menus, table napkins and wall paint.  Service is friendly and helpful and the atmosphere is pretty casual with bare wood tables.  Music plays in the background but the hum of the crowded room is the main source of noise. Continue reading

Frankie’s Pizza, Ashland, 7/23/18 and 8/25/18

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entrance

Frankie’s Pizza is on Lakeshore Drive (U.S. Highway 2), in the eastern part of Ashland and has been family owned for 54 years.  The Mickey and Chuck Iverson family bought it in 1963 from Frank Ledin, who was thought to be the first to offer commercial pizza sales in Ashland.  Frank and Joyce Ledin started with a root beer stand that was later remodeled into Frankie’s Pizza.  The Iverson’s children now run the place that survived a fire in 1982 and a visit from Johnny Mathis who tipped every server $20, Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda.  It is a medium sized place that is open every day for lunch and dinner, except for Sunday when they don’t open till 4:00 pm.  It had windows on three sides of the place but it is still a little darker inside than out.  They offer a combination of booths or tables for dining and the walls are lined with cute signs, awards and pizza related items.  Hanging lights and nets adorn the ceiling.  The menu is almost all pizza with the addition of salad, burgers and an assortment of fried snacks.   Service was friendly and helpful.  For example the server suggested we order a pitcher of soft drink rather than by the glass cause it was a cheaper deal.  They do offer beer and wine.   Continue reading

Aroma’s Bistro, Maple, 7/22/18

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Aroma’s Bistro recently opened in a space where another restaurant had been.  It is a small place with a couple small tables, a bunch that could seat six, and some counter stools.  It looked like they were thinking about starting outdoor dining under the canopy that used to shade the gas stations that have been removed.  It is in a small town, Maple, on Highway 2 and open for breakfast and lunch.  Attached to a small convenience store, the restaurant has counters where they sell hand dipped ice cream, coffee drinks and pastries.  However, even though they have an sign for a number of coffee drinks the server admitted she’d have to consult her book to make anything other than the 4 standard orders.  The place is clean but bright and a bit sterile.  Not many personal items are on the walls and the view out the window is of the highway.  The server was very friendly and helpful.  The same menu is served all day.   Continue reading

Dreamland Supper Club, South Range, 7/21/18

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The Dreamland Supper Club is not far off Highway 2 when heading east out of Superior, Wisc.  The current owners, Dan and Terri Patterson have had the place for 19 years.  Dan runs the front of the house and bar while Terri is the chef in the kitchen.  It is only open for dinner and has a good flashing bulb and neon sign signaling you to turn in.  You enter into the large dining room and the good sized bar is to your right.  Most people seemed to be having their cocktails at the table rather than in the bar, so we followed their lead.  The carpeted dining room has well spaced tables covered with an oil cloth set with paper placemats.  A cloth napkin stuffed with flatware is at each place.  The place is filled with paintings and one large mural of dogsleds in winter.  Half walls divide the room and the open spaces are decorated with artificial ivy.  The lights are lowered, music is in the background and the ceiling is loaded with stars and glitter – a real dreamland-like affect.  They are open Thursday through Sunday and in addition to the regular menu have a special offered every night.   Continue reading

The Brick House Cafe, Cable, 7/21/18

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building

The Brick House is in an old brick house that has a small interior dining space and order counter.  There were also a number of tables on a patio outside and a couple small metal ones on the porch of the house.  A couple of rocking chairs are also on the porch and would be a nice place to enjoy your morning coffee and maybe a muffin.  We were there during the breakfast hour but they also serve lunch and then close at 3:00.  There were lots of flowers around the house and inside, probably because it was summer time.  Inside the walls are filled with placques and pictures and the wall over the coffee machine is primarily about Diners, Drive-ins and Dives visit to the place.  No music is in the background but there was a constant stream of people coming and going.  Natural light comes in through the many windows, but air conditioning is there if it gets hotter.   Continue reading

Round Up North, Brule, 7/20/18

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Round Up North is a large place on a small road that runs parallel to Highway 2.  Joe and Linda Scaccia moved ‘up north’ from Chicago and brought along a number of their Italian family recipes.  It is a dull looking building but when you step inside you are greeted by a good sized bar area and walls covered with stuff.  A low wall divides the large room between the dining and bar areas.  We were there on a Friday night which is also fish fry night and it was packed with people,  As were with a group of friends I got to photograph some of the fish fry options as well as the pizza.  The place serves dinner daily and lunch on Friday and Saturday.  The service was super friendly but struggled on timing and maintenance probably due to the crowd.  Tables are of bare wood with an oil cloth covered doily in the center and come in a variety of sizes so they can easily be assembled to accommodate a large group.   Continue reading

The Robin’s Nest, Hayward, 5/12/18

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Robin’s Nest is about 15 minutes outside of Hayward and a fairly large place spread over several rooms, all with windows to the outside.  It and the kitchen take up most of the room on the first floor of what looks to be an old house.  It has been in business with the same family for 16 years and serves breakfast and lunch.  They had monthly specials when we were there that included a southern fried pork tenderloin served with eggs, potato and toast, and the pancake of the month which was cinnamon raisin.  Tables are nicely spaced and draped with an oil cloth cover.  There is plenty of parking and service is friendly and efficient.  In the back room they had several shelves with products to sell – books, jam, syrup, etc.   Continue reading

Coop’s Pizza, Hayward, 2/8/18

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Coop’s Pizza has been in business almost 40 years and serves primarily pizza but also serves sandwiches (including burgers), salads, snacks, pressure fried chicken and a few Italian plates.  They offer a good lunch deal but you have to be willing to eat buffet style.  It seemed to be the popular choice but we wanted to just try their fresh made pizza.  The large place has a few counter seats, lots of tables spread throughout a couple rooms and booth seating.  One set of booths is in a smaller room with windows to the street out front where a large patio is also available in better weather times.  A couple of the tables in the largest room are next to a huge aquarium and the rest of the place has lots of pictures and other decorations to look at.  There are a ton of horns around some used for door handles and some for lighting fixtures.  We were there in the winter and Christmas decorations were everywhere adding to the casual atmosphere.  Service was efficient and friendly.   Continue reading

Twin Gables Café Bar, Brule, 11/16/17 & 1/8/18

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Twin Gables is a large place right on Highway 2 that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner but the hours vary daily except for opening at 7:00 am and being open at least till 2:00 pm,  so I’d check their website if you’re looking for dinner.  There is a nice sized dining room when you enter that is a combination of booths and free-standing tables and a back room with less tables but counter seating at a bar.  The third room looks like it could host a buffet line and there is a glass enclosed counter with pieces of their various desserts.  Windows are on two sides so there is lots of natural light during the day.  A large menu has all the standard breakfast foods and lunch is mostly burgers and sandwiches.  They also have daily specials.  Food is simple and homey and service is efficient and friendly.  We visited twice to try their breakfast and lunch offerings.   Continue reading

Chippewa Inn, Hayward, 1/5/18

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Chippewa Inn is a large supper club in Hayward that has been in business since the 1930s.  They specialize in dry aged meats and German entrees.  You enter into a large full liquor bar with many stools and a few tables.  The friendly owner Tom Landgraf is the bartender and his wife Debbie manages floor operations.  The vibe is relaxed and comfortable and there is fun conversation between those sitting at the bar.  The place is filled with souvenirs of many years in business.  There are 2 main dining rooms and the second one has some fabulous doll houses (I’ve included a few pictures of them that I took a couple years ago at the end of this post) that were made for Debbie.  Even if the room is not in use when you go make sure to go in and see them.  Service is efficient and super friendly.  Kelli, our server, couldn’t have been nicer.   Continue reading

Lake Shore Cafe, Ashland, WI., 9/29, 11/11 & 11/15/17

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You could drive right by Lake Shore Cafe, it is that non-descript.  On the main highway coming into Ashland, Wisconsin, it does have a lovely view of Lake Superior and a crew of regulars who eat there.  The large menu covers breakfast and lunch as well as having chalkboard daily specials.  Prices are pretty reasonable and try to snag one of the fresh iced cinnamon buns on the counter if they’re still there.   Booths line the walls with the lake view windows and the rest of the place is filled with tables and some low stools at the counter opposite the pass through window to the kitchen.  Staff are super friendly and efficient.   Continue reading

El Dorado, Ashland, Wisconsin, 8/14/17

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building

El Dorado is on Lake Shore Dr. as you exit Highway 2 to go into Ashland.  One side of the medium sized place is windows overlooking the Chequamegon Bay – part of Lake Superior – and the other side, where the entry is, faces a one story motel.  There is limited parking around the restaurant but the sign by the door says additional parking is available at the motel however the motel clearly has their spaces marked “for hotel parking”.  Inside you will find a bustling place full of workers, families and folks just stopping for lunch.   Service is efficient but not overly chatty or attentive.  For example, if you need a beverage re-filled or additional utensils or napkins, be prepared to snag a waiter and ask for them.   Continue reading

Anglers Bar and Grill, Hayward, 6/5/17

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exterior

Anglers Bar & Grill is a large place located on the main shopping strip in Hayward.  It has a huge patio, that was crowded with people, a good sized interior with tables, booths and a large bar.  There is also an old bowling alley which was not in use when we were there.  The place goes back to the 1930’s when it was more of a gambling and drinking establishment.  Inside it is covered with cases of hunting and fishing trophies as well as old photos and memorabilia.  Service was efficient and friendly and there were lots of children.   Continue reading

The Anchor Bar, Superior, 6/1/17

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The Anchor Bar & Grill is a medium sized place with additional seating available on an outdoor patio, when weather permits.  Tables are of varying sizes and there is a long bar with seating also.  Most of the tables are large enough that small parties will often share them.  It serves almost exclusively burgers with a full bar and is cash only.   All burgers come with chips but you can substitute fresh made fries for $1.25.  There is a good selection of tap and local beers.  Prices are very reasonable.  All that said, even if you’re not hungry but in the area, it’s worth a stop just to look around.  The place is packed with collected nautical memorabilia.  Service is friendly but not overly chatty.  If you go at prime hours expect a crowd.   Continue reading

Kounty Quarthouse, South Range, WI, 2/16/17

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Kounty Quarthouse is a large bar/restaurant just outside of Superior, Wisconsin.  They were featured on the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives TV show and got quite a bit of notice from that, however they sold a little over a year ago.  The sale did include all the recipes and information that got them the original notice, but maybe some soul is missing because the inventors are no longer running the show?  Even though the sign indicates otherwise, they only take cash and checks right now. Continue reading

The Other Place, Iron River, Wisconsin, 1/5/17 & 2/18/17

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The Other Place, or as it’s commonly known the O-P, is right next to the grocery store on the main road in Iron River.  It’s been through a number of owners but for as long as I’ve known it, it offers an array of burgers, sandwiches and fried snacks.  The large room has been re-done in past years to cover it with light wood and add better TVs.  There are lots of tables, hi-tops and regular, as well as counter seating at the large bar.  Right on the ‘corridor’ it gets lots on snowmobile and ATV traffic. It is cash only.  The staff are friendly and the manager Morgan Kalk is often in the open kitchen cooking.   Continue reading

Cable Cafe, Cable, Wisconsin, 8/29/16 & 10/3/16

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Exterior

Cable Cafe is a small place that you’d easily drive by but inside you’ll find good, solid home cooking. It’s made up of a counter that seats about 6 and a dining room of another 6 tables. The bathrooms are around back, so you have to walk outside to use them.  There’s usually one waitress, one cook and a counter full of ‘regulars’ sharing conversation. Shirley, the owner, is usually in the kitchen and Jamie is waiting out front. They are a perfect in-tune pair of workers.  It is cash only.  The place is filled with whimsical decorations which can entertain you if you sit in the dining room and have to wait for food. Snag a seat at the bar if you can and whoever is there will start a conversation with you in no time. Also Jamie will keep your cup filled and you can get a glimpse of the other food coming out of the kitchen.   Continue reading

Tally ho, Hayward, 8/14 & 25/16

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Tally Ho has been in business for over 60 years in northwest Wisconsin, the area of many supper clubs.  In the early 90’s the original structure was added on to, doubling the size of the bar and enlarging the kitchen as well as adding additional dining/entertainment space. The interior still sports many of hunting club decorative touches in a comfortable space, but a tad bright for an intimate evening.  All the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming and Chef Susan Birkey turns out some really nice food. I’m ready to go back! Continue reading

The Spot Supper Club, Iron River, 7/13/16

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front sign

The Spot Supper Club is located on Buskey Bay just off Highway H from Iron River, Wisc. It is a medium sized place that is only open for dinner.  The low ceilings, windows overlooking the lake and collection of unusual decorations all add to the cozy atmosphere.  Co-owners Pam and Kevin Jungst are always in the house with Pam at the door playing the roll of hostess unless she’s in the kitchen cooking and Kevin is the bartender and cuts all the steaks they serve. They usually have a nightly special as well a large menu and often offer special buffets for holidays. Continue reading

Delta Diner, Delta, 6/3-7/16

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Exterior

The Delta Diner is located in northwestern Wisconsin in a small town called Delta. It is a rebuilt 1940’s Silk City Diner that opened in 2003 and gets quite a crowd of locals and destination eaters, especially in the summer.  It doesn’t have a printed menu but rather uses the old fashioned menu boards  which are explained by your server. Last year they went to a no tipping policy and instead a 20% service charge is added to your check which is used to allow both back and front house staff to make a living wage.  They were ahead of the curve in implementing this policy and for those concerned about the quality of service – there is no need to.   Continue reading