December 30, 2013

Club Chalet Supper Club, Green Bay - December 27, 2013

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4.5 points out of 5, a classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Excellent
Wait Time: Reservations for 5:00pm, arrived at 5, and were seated in short order, 5 in our party
Food: Excellent

Price: Perch Plate was $15.25

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, offered brandy old fashioned but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, and other options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of a variety of potatoes
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1 point, served with meal and included white raw onion

Club Chalet Supper Club
4642 Nicolet Dr
Green Bay, WI 54311

Previous review of Club Chalet Supper Club from January 19, 2013

Our friends from San Francisco were visiting for the holidays. One is a Wisconsin native and familiar with the Wisconsin fish fry, the other never experienced a fish fry, or even fresh water fish (i.e. perch or bluegill). They asked me to take them to a Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry experience because they follow my blog. I looked to my Top 5 list and decided it was time for another visit to my #1 favorite, Club Chalet Supper Club in Green Bay, WI.

They wanted to eat early, so I made reservations at Club Chalet for 5 of us, at 5:00pm, right when they opened. We arrived a little before 5 and entered a small vestibule where we waited for the door to open precisely at 5:00pm. We found a pub table and got our drinks ordered at the bar, most of us enjoyed a brandy old fashioned. We were given our menus at the bar, and like a good Wisconsin supper club, our order was taken in the bar area. Because we had reservations, our waitress said our table would be ready with our salads in a minute or two, and it was.

While our wait was minuscule, be forewarned that the place got busy quickly and you'll likely have an hour wait, it is a great supper club after all and long waits are to be expected for great food.

The table was set as we remember from less than a year ago when we first dined at Club Chalet, our salads were set, a relish tray with an assortment of fresh vegetables, a cracker basket, and three spreads for the relish tray and crackers, including my favorite spread-liver pate-which had a mild flavor.

All of us got both soup and salad with our meal, this establishment is one of the few places you will get both a salad and soup with your dinner. I got the seafood chowder and it was creamy and delicious, I loved the fact it wasn't too heavy with the cream, a perfect balance.

After our salad and soup was finished, our meal was served. One in our party got the prime rib with lobster, and the lobster was a huge 14 oz tail. He enjoyed his prime rib and lobster very much.

I got the perch dinner which included 5 full perch butterfly filets. The breading was light and the fish cooked perfectly, the perch was delicious and as I remember from our earlier visit. The fish was served with a homemade tartar sauce.

There were several potato options but I remember the homemade potato wedges were the best cooked wedges I've found anywhere. I find most wedges to be too thick and dense, but these were crispy and delicious.

A side of cole slaw was served with the meal, it was homemade and tasted good. The fish fry was complete with rye bread with a thick slab of white raw onion sandwiched between the two pieces of buttered bread. I asked the waitress if she knew the origins of serving white raw onion with rye bread and she said she would ask the kitchen staff. Their best guess was that onion was always cheap and readily available years ago, so it was added as an accompaniment for the rye bread. I do not know if this is the case, but it is the best possible explanation I have heard so far.

Our San Francisco friends loved the experience from start to finish and thoroughly enjoyed their meals with us. For them, walking into an establishment with the ambiance of Club Chalet Supper Club may seem a bit backwoods with its medieval looking decor and chalet like structure, but they quickly learned this is the type of place you find great Wisconsin food and great Wisconsin traditions.

This was our second time to Club Chalet Supper Club and we were not disappointed, and neither were our San Francisco friends. I am very happy that this place does not disappoint, is consistent with their food and service, and holds its rank as the #1 Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry experience in North East Wisconsin according to this blog.

You absolutely must go, tell them Tom from the blog sent you. You won't be disappointed!

December 18, 2013

Hotel Seymour, Seymour - December 13, 2013

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4.5 points out of 5, a classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Good, but slow at first to have our order taken
Wait Time: Reservations for 7:15, arrived at 7:00 and were seated within 20 minutes, 11 in our party
Food: Very Good

Price: Perch Plate was $11.25, other Friday specials pictured

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1 point, offered brandy old fashioned and it was muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, walleye, seafood platter, and other options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of a variety of potatoes
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, served with meal but did not include white raw onion

Hotel Seymour
210 S Main St
Seymour, WI 54165

I've heard many people talk about Hotel Seymour over the years of how good it was and that we must go out of our way and check it out. We were here last year around Christmas time and at that time I was disappointed in the over priced food and lack of a good classic fish fry option. I was hesitant to go back this year, but as you'll read below, I was glad we did.

Hotel Seymour has a bit of history, dating back to 1898 when it was built. Check out the website for more detailed information. I was interested in the mural on the wall picturing a bar full of patrons. The bartender said it was painted in the mid-1960's and depicts local regulars. She handed me a list with the name of each patron depicted on the mural, this list of names is also on the website. Here is a snapshot I took of part of the mural.

There were 11 of us going for dinner, so we called in our reservations. We heard from years past that Hotel Seymour was a very busy place. It's hard to say when we checked in, we got there after most of our party was present, but our 7:15 reservation was pretty much honored. I didn't think the place was overly busy though, so being seated when we did seemed appropriate. Before we were seated we enjoyed a round of brandy old fashioneds. Much to my delight, they were hand muddled!

We were handed menus at the bar for us to consider what we wanted, although our order was taken at our table. Notice they call their Friday special a "Traditional Fish Fry". We were about to find out if that held true.

The service was alright. The waitress arrived to take our order and we said we needed a few more minutes, but it took quite a while for her to return. Maybe I'm being picky but I would have expected better, especially considering it didn't seem to be terribly busy.

Many of us opted for the Traditional Fish Fry, and some got the seafood platter. There were an abundance of potato options to choose from, and we questioned our waitress whether the twice baked potatoes were made in house and based on her response, we were not sure they were.

The salad bar was an additional $4.00 which I found to be quite pricey for a standard salad bar. It did have everything needed to make a good salad, including some pasta salads, breadsticks, homemade croutons, but it did not contain soup, notable sides (such as pickled gizzards), or even liver pate, something I would have expected for a salad bar costing $4.00. I chose not to include the salad bar in my meal, but others in our party did.

On my perch platter, I received 5 perch filets, an odd number but I noticed other people in our party got 6, so they made a slight mistake. The perch was a tad thick on the breading and seemed inconsistent at times, but it was cooked nicely. The twice baked potato was delicious, but we were pretty sure they were not made in house. The cole slaw was good and nicely marinated. Our meal was topped off with rye bread, but no white raw onion. The tartar sauce was definitely homemade and had a strong pickle zing, something I enjoy in tartar sauce so I thought it was delicious.

After our meal, we all decided for an after-dinner ice cream drink. Hotel Seymour offers options such as pink squirrel, brandy alexander, and grasshopper. The drinks were a bit light on the alcohol but were a good treat to finish off the night.

Hotel Seymour turned things around in the last year and offers what I consider to be a reasonably priced Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry. I'd recommend it to anyone now, so go out of your way to Seymour and give their fish fry a chance, they have steak for the supper club crowd too so you can't go wrong.

December 11, 2013

Bourbon St Food & Spirits, Green Bay - December 6, 2013

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4.5 points out of 5, a classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Different, but good
Wait Time: 1 hour wait, arrived at at 6:00pm, 4 in our party
Food: Very Good

Price: Perch Plate was $10.50

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, offered brandy old fashioned but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and some other options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of potato of french fries or homemade potato salad
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1 point, served with meal and did include white raw onion

Bourbon St Food & Spirits
821 S Broadway St
Green Bay, WI 53404

We were referred to Bourbon St Food & Spirits by a waiter at Chateau De Pere when we asked about local fish fry's while having a delicious dinner there. He mentioned they held a Friday fish fry for over 20 years so they probably know how to put on a good fish fry. We were pleased with the referral.

Bourbon St Food & Spirits is best described as a dive bar. We walked into Bourbon St and to the right half of the building is the bar with bar stools, which were filled with patrons enjoying their cocktails. To the left is the dining room with a dozen or so tables. We were a bit confused at first because there was only one table of diners seated in the dining room and there were people at the bar waiting for the food. I think they have a small kitchen with one cook, and only one waitress, so they can only serve a small number of people at once.

There were four in our party for the Bourbon St fish fry. Our total wait time from the time we arrived until the time our food came to the table was about one hour. We enjoyed a few brandy old fashioneds as we waited for our order to be taken then to be seated and served. An hour wait time is pretty standard for a good fish fry.

Once we were seated our food came right out. Three of us got the perch platter, and one got the broiled haddock. They said the broiled haddock was cooker perfectly and was moist and delicious.

The perch plate was laid out neatly with each portion partitioned from the others. The perch was stacked with each layer criss crossing the layer below it for a total of 6 pieces. The perch was lightly breaded and cooked wonderfully, it is always great to taste perch that's cooked properly.

Two of us got the french fries for the potato and two of us got the homemade potato salad. The fries were cooked nicely and had a nice crispiness to them. The homemade potato salad tasted great. The meal included coleslaw and it had a good flavor to it. The plate was complete with rye bread and a thick slice of onion to top it off.

Overall, we were very pleased with our service and especially the food. Even though they only turn one to two tables at a time, it was a good classic Wisconsin fish fry. I think if they focused on turning tables and serving more patrons, they could have a very popular fish fry, they already know how to serve a good perch platter.

If you're looking for a quiet local bar setting to enjoy a great fish fry, Bourbon St is a fish fry to check out.