Cafe Wisconsin: A Guide to Wisconsin's Down-Home Cafes

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    Cafe Wisconsin returns in a new, updated version that provides a sure-bet guide to Wisconsin’s best small town, home-cooking cafes. For this second edition, author Joanne Raetz Stuttgen traveled more than 12,000 miles in six months, revisiting old business districts and main streets in search of the ultimate cafe, the perfect slice of homemade pie, and the meaning of life in Wisconsin’s down-home cafes.
    Featuring 133 cafes, with ...

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    Cafe Wisconsin returns in a new, updated version that provides a sure-bet guide to Wisconsin’s best small town, home-cooking cafes. For this second edition, author Joanne Raetz Stuttgen traveled more than 12,000 miles in six months, revisiting old business districts and main streets in search of the ultimate cafe, the perfect slice of homemade pie, and the meaning of life in Wisconsin’s down-home cafes.
    Featuring 133 cafes, with another 101 Next Best Bets alternatives, Cafe Wisconsin is every hungry traveler’s guide to real mashed potatoes, melt-in-your-mouth hot beef, from-scratch baked goods, and colorful coffee klatches. At the counter of aptly named cafes like the Coffee Cup, Main Street, and Chatterbox, you’ll laugh with owners, shake dice with customers, and find the authentic taste and flavor of Wisconsin.
    Come on. Let’s go out to eat!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
It was the love of slow-cooked roast beef swimming in gravy that drove Joanne Raetz Stuttgen to create her 1993 regional hit Café Wisconsin. And it was the same love that inspired this 21st-century update. The book is a reliable guide to 140 of Wisconsin's best small-town cafés, mom-and-pop eateries where the mashed potatoes are a little lumpy and the cook has never heard of the South Beach Diet. As appetizing as a hot slice of heavy sour cream raisin pie.
From the Publisher
"An eminently useful book, directing readers to dozens of colorful eateries we wouldn't otherwise find, Cafe Wisconsin is so much more than a guide. It is stirring evidence that despite the onslaught of corporate fast food, small-town cafes thrive, resonant with local character and perfumed by the good smells of sizzled bacon and oven-warm rhubarb pie."—Jane and Michael Stern, authors of Road Food

"Stuttgen explored Wisconsin’s back roads to discover humble, small town restaurants that still serve good home cooking. . . . She is also interested in the role cafes play as meeting places in the community. . . . Cafe Wisconsin celebrates the people, the food, and the traditions of small town Wisconsin that these cafes represent."—Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

"Stuttgen is at her best when capturing a cafe’s color, with its clientele as part of the decor. You get a sense of the atmosphere and what it is that keeps the regulars coming."—Capital Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299201142
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 691,273
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne Raetz Stuttgen is a folklorist. She grew up in Minnesota, lived five years in Wisconsin, and now resides in Martinsville, Indiana, with her husband, a Chippewa Falls native, and son. She is currently at work on the Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook (with Terese Allen) and Cafe Indiana, both forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Getting Started xiii
Acknowledgments xxi
Northwest 1
Barronett, Brickhouse Cafe 3
Birchwood, Birchwood Cafe 4
Chetek, Bob's Grill 6
Exeland, Village Cafe 8
Haugen, Lona's Corner Cafe 10
Iron River, Ideal Cafe 12
Luck, Main Dish Family Restaurant 13
Mercer, Tom's Country Cafe 15
Minong, Wendy's Place 16
Phillips, Bonnie's Diner 18
Phillips, Crystal Cafe 19
Phillips, Phillips Cafe 21
Port Wing, Cottage Cafe 22
Siren, Main Street Cafe 24
Webster, Tracks Dining Car Cafe 25
Winter, Lakewood Cafe 27
Next Best Bets 29
Northeast 33
Antigo, Dixie Lunch 35
Cecil, Rosie's Cecil Diner 37
Crandon, Log Cabin Cafe 38
Eagle River, Fay's Dinky Diner 40
Eagle River, Four Seasons Cafe and Deli 41
Gillett, OJ's Mid-Town Restaurant 43
Lena, Graff's Restaurant 45
Manitowish Waters, Village Soda Grill 47
Merrill, Skipper's Restaurant 49
Minocqua, Island Cafe 51
Presque Isle, Outpost Cafe 53
Rhinelander, Sportsman Cafe 56
St. Germain, Wolf Pack Cafe 58
Sugar Camp, The Cookery 60
Three Lakes, Cindy's Country Cafe 62
Three Lakes, Kristine's Restaurant 63
Tomahawk, The Hungry Bear 65
Wittenberg, Gus and Ann's Restaurant 67
Woodruff, Woods Cafe 70
Next Best Bets 72
Central 75
Almond, Farm House Restaurant 77
Amherst, Amherst Cafe 79
Babcock, Country Cafe 81
Berlin, Steele's Restaurant 82
Coloma, Royal Cafe 85
Fremont, Wolf River Diner 87
Iola, Crystal Cafe 89
Lyndon Station, Sandy's Lyndo Inn and Cafe 91
Manawa, Gorman's Family Restaurant 93
Montello, Mary's Coffee Cup 94
Nekoosa, Chong's Country Cafe 95
Nekoosa, Unkie's Diner 96
New Lisbon, Corner Cafe 97
Oxford, The Cafe 98
Pittsville, Laura's Corner Cafe 99
Polonia, Polonia Cafe 100
Redgranite, Curve-In Cafe 101
Waupaca, Waupaca Cafe 103
Wonewoc, Country Gals Cafe 103
Next Best Bets 105
Chippewa Valley 109
Augusta, Red Dot Cafe 111
Baldwin, Shelly's Northside Cafe 112
Bloomer, Main Street Cafe 114
Bruce, Katie's Cafe 116
Colby, Colby Cafe 118
Cornell, Stacker Cafe 119
Fall Creek, Village Haus 121
Glenwood City, Kate's Cafe 123
Greenwood, Greenwood Family Restaurant 125
Holcombe, Lake Holcombe Cafe 127
Ridgeland, Dairyland Cafe 129
Roberts, Roberts Cafe 131
Sand Creek, Sand Creek Cafe and Bakery 132
Somerset, Anne's Cafe 134
Next Best Bets 136
Mississippi River Valley 139
Alma, Alma Hotel 141
Arcadia, Kozy Kitchen 143
Arcadia, Mary Kay's Kitchen 144
Black River Falls, Country Cafe 145
Blair, CJ's Cafe 147
Eleva, Pammy K's 148
Hixton, Hixton Cafe 150
Independence, Carolyn's Coffee Shop 152
Melrose, L & M Cafe 154
Mondovi, Blondie's Diner III 155
Osseo, Norske Nook 157
Spring Valley, Deb's Country Inn 160
Trempealeau, Wildflower Cafe 162
Next Best Bets 163
Southwest 165
Argyle, Irma's Kitchen 167
Boscobel, Unique Cafe 168
Chaseburg, DeGarmo's Tippy Toe Inn 171
La Farge, Chatterbox Cafe 172
Mineral Point, Red Rooster Cafe 174
Stoddard, Mamie's Cafe 176
Wauzeka, Hayseed Cafe 177
Westby, Borgen's Norwegian Cafe and Bakery 179
Next Best Bets 181
South Central 183
Albany, Edgewater Cafe 185
Baraboo, Teri's Restaurant 186
Black Earth, Lunch Bucket Cafe 187
Cambria, Leystra's Venture Restaurant 190
Clinton, Clinton Kitchen 191
Milton, Squeeze Inn 193
Monticello, M & M Cafe 195
Mt. Horeb, Schubert's Old-Fashioned Cafe and Bakery 197
North Freedom, Carol's Railroad Inn Cafe 200
Orfordville, K's Outback Cafe 202
Pardeeville, O'Brien's Restaurant 204
Portage, Portage Cafe 205
Reedsburg, Greenwood's Cafe 207
Sauk City, Leystra's Venture Restaurant 208
Stoughton, Koffee Kup 209
Next Best Bets 212
Southeast 213
Cedarburg, Cedarburg Coffee Pot 215
Delafield, Lumber Inn 216
Fox Lake, The Chalet 218
Hustisford, Joan's Country Cookin' 219
Juneau, Oak Street Cafe 221
Lake Mills, Cafe on the Park 223
Lomira, Susie's Home Cooking 224
Mukwonago, Little Babe's Cafe 225
Port Washington, Harry's Restaurant 227
Randolph, Denise's Cafe 229
Silver Lake, Silver Lake Grill 231
Twin Lakes, Manny's Snack Shack 232
Union Grove, Callen's Restaurant 234
Williams Bay, Daddy Maxwell's Artic Circle Diner 235
Wilmot, Wilmot Cafe 237
Next Best Bets 238
Fox Valley, Lakefront, and Door County 243
Brillion, Rudy's Diner 245
Casco, Village Kitchen 246
Dale, Old Store Cafe and Deli 248
Denmark, Lorrie's Home Town Cafe and Catering 250
Ellison Bay, Viking Restaurant 251
Greenleaf, D & G Restaurant 253
Kimberly, Larry's Parkside Restaurant 255
Little Chute, Tucker's Inn 257
Oostburg, Knotty Pine Restaurant 259
Pulaski, Kroll's Family Diner 260
Rosendale, Tabbert's Restaurant 262
Sturgeon Bay, Perry's Cherry Diner 263
Washington Island, KK Fiske 265
Winneconne, Arrowhead Restaurant 268
Next Best Bets 270
Epilogue: Looking Back 273
Index 295
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    I love this book, and was hoping that it would be updated soon.

    I love this book, and was hoping that it would be updated soon. We carry it in our car and pull it out to check out 'down-home' cafes when we travel in Wisconsin. Yesterday we found (by using the book) a super little cafe just outside of Stevens Point, in Polonia. Great food, clean and friendly help. But some places have closed since ths 2nd edition was published. We need a 3rd edition!

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