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Restaurants & Bars

Wisconsin Odyssey

TBOO | Aug 24, 200010:49 PM

I'm glad to see more activity on the Midwest board. Now I'd like to share info from a recent trip to the dreaded Wisconsin Dells. This resort area northwest of Madison is known for water parks and schlocky gift shops but certainly not for good food. So here is my tale so those of you who find yourselves in the area may benefit.First of all, I made a point of driving on the backroads from my starting point south of Milwaukee. I didn't encounter much in the way of food enroute though if I made a stop in Madison I could have had a feast. I did stop for lunch in Watertown at a delightful ice cream parlor. The food was pedestrian (basic sandwich shop stuff) but the ambiance and ice cream made the visit worth it. Mullen's, 212 W. Main Street. The Dells itself is practically a chowhound wasteland. Our first dinner we went to an all-you-can-eat buffet that was a huge disappointment though these places almost always are. We had much better luck our second night when we went to a place called Ishnala just outside of Mirror Lake State Park. Simply gorgeous setting and dining room with huge window overlooking the lake. Basic steak and seafood menu but well-prepared and satisfying.Something else I would highly recommend is breakfast at the Thunder Valley Inn. It's a bed and breakfast and working farm with a Scandanavian theme. The wholewheat pancakes and strawberry/rhubarb jam were out of this world. Another decent place was the River's Edge Inn on County Road A. Another great dining room with lots of wood and a wall length aquarium. One big drawback was there wasn't a no smoking area. This seems to be a recurring problem in the Dairy state. But the food was okay...head and shoulders above most of the other places in the area.Bon appetit!

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