When more than one source recommends a place or activity, you have to give it pause. So far we hadn’t been steered wrong on anything. Denny and I have always been fans of trains – we ride them when we can. For many people the train was their main mode of transport to work or wherever. In the 1800’s and 1900’s trains were the lifeblood that built cities across the continent. Some were coal, some steam, but the East Troy Electric Railroad ran off Edison’s medicine. And today we took that same 10 mile round trip ride from East Troy to Mukwonago. It runs every hour, so you can take a break at the end of the line and pick up a snack or a sandwich at the Elegant Farmer, which is a roadside farm stand of sorts. There are 15 different trolley and carriages, so you are sure to ride a different train each way. There is also a caboose on display, as well as old train posters and gear exhibits in the station itself. On the other side of the tracks you’ll find Lauber’s Ice Cream Parlor, still decked out in 1920’s decor. The ice cream is good, and made in Wisconsin.
Marian and Jan have often taken trips over the state line, and had a few places on their list to replenish some Wisconsin-made supplies. Next stop – downtown Milwaukee to visit Usinger’s. If it’s made out of meat and a casing, chances are you want to get it from Usinger’s. A six story building with windows above the main floor, this is a deli-case delight. Don’t forget to pull your number when you walk in or you won’t get served. The floor is the black and white tile from days of yore.
Right on the corner down the street from Usinger’s is the Wisconsin Cheese Mart which has EVERYTHING cheese. Curds, hard, soft, goat, sheep – you name it, they’ve got it. And lost of samples, too. Lately I have been partial to sheep and goat cheese. While at the fair, in the Wisconsin Made Pavilion, I had sampled some LaClare Farms goat milk and cheese. And here it was – couldn’t pass it by a second time. That nice chunk of Evalon aged goat cheese came back to the hotel with me. It was breakfast for a few days, going very well with an apple. Can’t beat fresh.
By now it was about in the 80’s – cool for us, warm for the locals. Of course that drove a lot of outdoor activity downtown, so there was a lot going on. These days most towns that have water in some shape or form have developed a Riverwalk – pathways that track the river on one side of the path with restaurants and shopping on the other. Some places have paths on both sides of the River. We explored the Milwaukee version, which had quite a few people taking advantage of the weather by boating on the river. Lots of fun! The walk connects with parks and the Public Market, observation opportunities abound.
Now you can’t go meandering about seeing and smelling food without that stomach grumbling. We finally decided to go to the Milwaukee Brat House on the main drag. Local beer (as well as the usual suspects – except you can consider Miller and Pabst, local beers, right?), brats of course, a little something for everyone on an amped-up bar menu. I went for the grilled cheese – which was great – cracked wheat bread, fresh Wisconsin cheddar, tomatoes and greens – I was one happy girl. A good top off for the day!