A short drive north of Chicago and we were in Wisconsin.  I was so impressed with the green farm lands and easy to navigate roads. I had not visited this state and was ready to eat cheese, brats and kringles. Welcome to Wisconsin!

First stop in Wisconsin was in Kenosha at The Brat Stop for what else but brat sausages.  This place is a must stop for those living nearby and visitors traveling through, like me. I munched on fried cheese curds and a cheddar brat with German potato salad and red cabbage.

Fried cheese curds

Fried cheese curds with sauces.

This was the beginning of eating sausages and cheese.

bratwurst, cabbage, potatoes

Lunch with cheddar bratwurst, red cabbage and potato salad

The next day we made the pilgrimage to the applewood smoked meats capitol Nueske’s in Wittenberg, Wisconsin. The bacon is sold in many stores at home and we often order on-line. To visit where it all happens was worth the 2 hour journey. When we arrived in the parking lot, I spoke with a man as he  stacked his ice chests with sausages, cheese, bacon and ham.  He makes the trip from Michigan twice a year to stock up for friends and family. Ah, if I lived closer I’d do the same. Chris looked at all the items inside the store and dreamed of loading his suitcase.  Ordering online will have to do.

Nueske's sausages and bacon

Chris in sausage and bacon heaven

Wittenberg is a small town and we found Wittenberg Family Restaurant open on a Monday. Home cooking at its best with Polish sausages, sauerkraut and onions hot off the grill. Very delicious.

Polish sausage and homefries

A Polish sausage meal so satisfying.

The drive back to Milwaukee became intense with a Midwest thunder and lightning storm dancing around the car. This SoCal girl was a bit shaken and a strong Manhattan with Maker’s Mark bourbon at the Elks Lodge helped to settle my nerves!

I have long wanted to visit Racine, Wisconsin where many Danish settled in the US and opened bakeries. They brought with them old recipes for their pride and joy Kringle Danish. The traditional pastry is multi layered dough with almond filling and frosting. Now days there are many flavors to chose from and I tried 3 different bakeries and all were good. My recollection of kringles is from my childhood Danish neighbor who introduced us to them from her annual trips to Racine. I sent two kringles to our niece and her family so they could experience and enjoy this special Danish pastry. Of course I brought one home for us.

kringle pastry Racine, WI

Kringle pastry from Racine, WI

Wisconsin is a beautiful state and full of hearty foods.  I might return when I’m very hungry.

The Brat Stop  12304 75th St, Kenosha, WI   www.bratstop.com

Nueske’s  203 N. Genesee St, Wittenberg, WI    www.nueskes.com

Bendtsen’s Bakery  3200 Washington Ave, Racine, WI  www.Bendtsensbakery.com