Local. Whether visiting for a few days or comfortably living in a lively city, dining local is the way to go. I mean, c’mon, it only makes sense. If you’re visiting a new town, state or country, wouldn’t you want to experience it fully? Local cuisine is very much part of the tourist agenda. Conversely, if you’re going out in your own community, why not support your neighbors? It strikes me as the natural thing to do. Either way, whether you’re visiting or live nearby, it seems a no-brainer to skip McDonald’s, and enjoy what the locals have to offer. Spats, located in Appleton, Wisconsin, seems to believe in this sentiment.

For starters, if you wonder how they claim to be true to their community, they sport the classic midwestern fish fry. If you’re from Wisconsin, and are Catholic, heck, you don’t have to be Catholic, even the average Wisconsinite knows that fish on Friday is an age old tradition.

Their tap beers were all conceived in local Wisconsin breweries. And if I’m not mistaken, they paired up with Stone Arch Brewery for a couple house brews. There’s so many great Wisconsin breweries to choose from, getting a tap beer at Spats is surely a winning Idea.

They also have a carefully picked wine selection. So if you’re a wine connoisseur instead of a beer drinker, you have that option also.

What’s more, they serve an elk burger which hails from a local ranch. I ordered this thing, its savoriness is off the charts. However, you would have to check their menu, it’s not offered every night of the week.

Lastly, much of their meat comes from a local butcher. That means two things; the support of a local business and fresh eats.

The best part about this place happens to be the ambiance, at least from my perspective. Most of the establishment, which was erected almost one hundred years ago, is a long, dimly lit carpeted space. On your right, a classic bar stretches along the entire room. To the left, booths, rather rudimentary, are adequately lit and allow for a cozy spot to eat. I should mention that there are dining tables also. In summer, spats has a fun patio to entertain those who care to dine alfresco.

To top off the experience right, my bill was under thirty-five dollars. I can honestly say this was one of our cheapest night out in a while. Of course, I have to factor in that Heidi opted for a water instead of a beer. So, that cut five dollars off the tab. Still, even if another beer was added in, the check would have registered under forty dollars.

To sum it up, Spats, set in a structure erected during the roaring 20’s, keeps it local. Their food is absolutely scrumptious and affordable. And their drinks are carefully chosen to give you the right kind of dining experience. Set in a darkened room, it’s a fun and cozy way to spend a frigid winter’s eve.

Safe Travels!

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