By Candice Wagener | Photo courtesy Travel Wisconsin
If you’re a fan of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” you know Guy Fieri has stopped at three of these restaurants. We’ve found a few more that should get him hopping into his little red Camaro for a trip back to Wisconsin.
FRANK’S DINER, KENOSHA
Let’s start our journey in the southeastern corner of Wisconsin at a spot that boasts being a registered historic landmark, oldest continuing lunch car diner in the country and was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.”
In 1926, Frank’s Diner was pulled off a railroad flatcar from New Jersey into downtown Kenosha and transported to its current location using six horses. Frank’s motto, “Order what you want; eat what you get!” keeps customers coming back for more. Their garbage plates compile all the breakfast foods you could possibly dream of together: eggs, hash browns, meat, cheese and peppers. Coming for lunch? Frank’s has a tuna melt, as every good diner should.
MISS KATIE’S DINER, MILWAUKEE
Located just west of Marquette’s campus, Miss Katie’s Diner is a celebrity hotspot, visited by the cast of “Happy Days” and several presidential notables. More notable, however, is the food. Their corned beef hash is legendary and popular dinners include the meatloaf and turkey blue plate specials, which come with a pile of mashed potatoes and gravy, and a fresh vegetable, all at an affordable price.
HARRY’S DINER, SHEBOYGAN
Want good food coupled with a fun atmosphere? Harry’s Diner is your place. A life-sized Elvis statue greets you at the door, servers don poodle skirts, and the black-and-white tile and retro-style booths will make you feel like Marty McFly stepping into Lou’s Cafe.
Choose from 10 different varieties of breakfast burritos, four types of breakfast sandwiches, or a Barcelona breakfast consisting of rice pilaf peppered with tomatoes, onions and cilantro, two eggs any way, choice of bacon, sausage or ham, topped off with chipotle mayo.
DELTA DINER, DELTA
If you’re familiar with “Alice,” you might think Mel’s Diner was plunked down in northern Wisconsin. An authentic diner, Delta’s menu and blue plate specials change daily and are shared verbally by waitstaff.
Any place that serves a Dutch baby wins my favor, and now I need to add Norwegian Cakes to my breakfast repertoire. A stack of five thin, sweet, crepe-like pancakes are topped with whipped butter, a squeeze of lemon and powdered sugar. Feeling adventurous? Add jalapenos to turn them into Hotcakes. Guy called it “a crepe gone wild.”
THE BRICKHOUSE CAFE, CABLE
Guy’s Camaro made it this far north, and you should, too. The Brickhouse Cafe is known for their indulgent Creme brulee French toast, dredged in hazelnut-vanilla egg batter, crusted with hazelnuts and pecans, topped with caramelized pears, caramel drizzle and whipped cream.
Guy also sampled their espresso BBQ pulled pork, which is slow cooked, served with homemade sauce, topped with coleslaw and presented on a toasted Kaiser roll. Are you drooling yet?
VICKI’S COZY CAFE, MUSCODA
Vicki’s Cozy Cafe wins for most sassy, creative menu. The Kick Yo A$$ Melt does so: shaved ham, chipotle mayo, fried onion and jalapeno, pepper jack cheese and egg on rye bread. More sensitive palates might order the Amber Alert, with grilled or fried chicken, Swiss cheese, mayo, fried onions and mushrooms on grilled Texas toast.
Check out Vicki’s continuous rotation of innovative cheesecake flavors like mintastic, monster cookie and strawberry milkshake blue velvet (yes, all together).
BROADWAY DINER, BARABOO
Classified as an authentic “Silk City” diner, Broadway was built in 1954 in Paterson, New Jersey, and moved to Baraboo from Cleveland in 2012. You’ll find traditional diner fare made with high-quality, fresh ingredients and meats roasted and smoked in-house.
They offer a range of benedicts and smash burgers, and are favored for their scratch-made, extra-large pancakes. The Southwest Benedict Scramble comes with homemade potato cakes, pulled pork, scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese, avocado and chili verde hollandaise. Veggie lovers will enjoy the Farmers Market Benedict with grilled Portuguese cornbread, mushrooms, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh spinach, scrambled eggs, havarti cheese and sundried tomato hollandaise.
HUBBARD AVENUE DINER, MIDDLETON
In the Good Neighbor city, a cozy diner is tucked into the booming downtown scene. Here they know their regulars, greet you warmly and are famous for pie. Flavors rotate, but Key lime, cherry, and duo of silk (chocolate and peanut butter) never disappoint.
Breakfast — served all day — is always a winner, like the avocado benedict, with two poached eggs atop a toasted English muffin, generously stacked with slow-roasted roma tomatoes, avocado and hollandaise sauce. Dinner go-tos include ham and scalloped potatoes and their rib special on Sundays.