I’d like to take a second and think about what Wisconsin is known for. There’s many things. To name a few, there’s cheese, beer and cranberries that are tops on the list. What do they all have in common? They’re all derived from agriculture. So, as it may seem, and truly is the case, agriculture is quite important to America’s Dairyland.
With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to have a restaurant that supported those local farms? I mean, why does beef have to come from as far as Brazil? Not to mention, some of the fish farms that abound across the world, whose products somehow make it to our plates. Here, right here in Wisconsin, we produce plenty of edibles and, guess what, we have bays and lakes in which fisherman love to cast their lines into. So, why not buy local? You know, support that local economy everybody in Northeast Wisconsin relies upon.
Of course, as you may have guessed, I’m going to tell you about a place that does just that. It’s called the Cannery, being that it’s location is inside an old vegetable cannery building. Much of the factory’s old appeal has been left for patrons, although, with much class, repurposed farm materials have been added to induce a vibrant ambiance.
So, on with my dining experience at the Cannery…
Heidi and I are sitting at a local establishment, as we’ve recieved our beers and are struggling to find a decent option on their menu. Their special of the day happens to be shellfish. Shellfish, along with the rest of their Menu, doesn’t really sound appealing to me. Heidi, who is a seafood lover, says it sounds appetizing. Yet, after the waitress leaves, mutters that the price is lofty.
So, when the waitress returns, we ask for the check for our beers and, in order not to insult the place, explain that something has come up and we’re going to leave. As we finish our amber ales which, mind you, are quite delicious, we search for a place nearby. I know of the Cannery. I practically visit the Title Town Brewing Company every week, which shares the same building. I’ve just always been a bit shy about going, fearing a steep bill at the end of the meal.
However, Heidi does have a little extra cash and we’ve both always wanted to visit. So, we down our beers and make the drive to the Cannery. When we arrive, as I’ve never entered the building through the Restaurant’s entrance, I’m immediately delighted. The ambiance of this small anteroom, with plush chairs and sofa’s complete with coffee and end tables, gives it class in a casual and comfortable way.
When we enter the Restaurant, I’m as equally delighted. A large dining room is before me on my left, as a large square bar is positioned amongst the tables. On my Right, a small country store, containing all sorts of local edibles, is spread in an open space. I spy cheese spreads, curds, a wine rack, fresh fish from lake Michigan and cranberry jellies in this little nook.
Later, after our meal, we will purchase a few products. In the future, after we sink our teeth into fresh cheese curds and spread creamy cheese over a Ritz, we are enticed to return for more.
We stand patiently at the hostess station. She arrives within seconds, flashing a beaming smile. She directs us towards a corner of the restaurant, where the repurposed farm materials are very present. I delight at the sight of barn fan guards and chicken wire used as lighting fixtures. Giant timbers, that were apparently notched to form a structure at one time, hang from the ceiling. Another decorative novelty of note would be a crudely built skeletal wall of wood, serving as a barrier that creates a walkway between the dining room and open kitchen. It provides passage towards the other establishments with in this building.
After we order our beers, Heidi and I peruse the menu. This is more up my alley. What strikes me as odd, is that I’ve been told that this is a fine dining establishment. While the ambiance may say rustic chic in an ultra classy way, their entres remind me of dishes my mother would make when, we indeed, lived on our family farm. Favorites like beef stroganoff, pot roast and meatloaf are things I don’t normally anticipate in an atmosphere such as this. The menu boasts many more interesting choices which, if my selection tonight proves to be delicious, might merit a return visit. I’ll probably never enter this place and utter words like, “The Usual.”
We order our food. I had decided on Grandma Pagel’s Pot Roast, which comes with a gravy that includes a Titletown Brewing Company Beer. This beer happens to be my favorite from Titletown. So, out of curiousity, I try the dish.
Our food arrives promptly and when it does, although the presentation is classier than the meals of my childhood memories, this exactly how my mother would make it. Maybe better, sorry mom. I love this because its not an extravagant medley of spices or a chefs secret technique that gives this food its flavor. Its down home beef, gravy and mashed potatoes greeting my tastebuds in almost a nostalgic way. Heidi is also in love with her choice.
When we finish, I have a new favorite restaurant in Green Bay. Our bill was not too steep, as I had feared. It came to around fifty dollars. Which is completely acceptable considering the quality of food, ambiance and service that’s not invasive yet absolutely helpful at the same time. Heidi and I will return after this national emergency has subsided. For now, I can dream of a hip place located in the Broadway District in Green Bay.
Stay Safe, and many Safe Travels to come!