September 17, 2015

Union Hotel, De Pere - September 11, 2015

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 2.5 points out of 5, not a Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry, but a fine dining experience

Service: Excellent
Wait Time: Arrived at 7:30pm, 9 in our party, 20 minute wait
Food: Excellent

Price: Fish Fry - 4 perch fillets (2 full perch) for $21.50

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, offered brandy old fashioned but it was not muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and many other options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of potato
Cole Slaw: 0 point, none served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 0 points, but a bread basket was served with the meal

Union Hotel
200 N Broadway
De Pere, WI 54115


Having just seen the Old Fashioned, The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club at the historic De Pere Cinema in downtown De Pere, we were inspired to visit the Union Hotel right around the corner for their Friday dinner.

The Union Hotel is family run hotel and fine dining establishment going back 98 years in business. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the family has done a superb job of preserving that history.

Walking is is like taking a step back in time to the days of fine hotels and fine dining. The experience starts as you walk into the lobby, a smaller carpeted room with a small reception desk, period decor, and historic photos on the wall. Through a glass door is the bar area that has seating for guests as they wait for a table, and an ornate bar with attentive bartenders.

The brandy old fashioned, while not muddled, is made classicly using a simple syrup, some bitters, brandy, ice, and soda, and is one of the better brandy old fahioneds I've had anywhere.

There were 8 in our party and there was about a 20 minute wait. The waitress took our order in the bar area and invited us to our table soon after. We were led into one of several dining rooms that is decorated exquisitely and the table was set with attention paid to every last details for a fine dining experience. Laid out was a relish tray with cheese, crab, and liver pate spreads and a bread and cracker basket.

Some of us had the soup, and the clam chowder was phenomenal, rich and creamy and definitely homemade. Salad was served before our entree, and the lettuce was crisp and everything fresh, very delicious indeed.

Our entree was served, and in typical fine dining fashion, everything was brought out at once so everyone was served at the same time. My plate was carefully laid out with crisp, golden pieces of fish stacked atop the other. The fish was cooked perfectly and had an excellent crunch and tasted delicious. I had the hash browns for my side, they were hand cut and cooked just right for a great flavor and texture. The tartar sauce was homemade and had the perfect blend of flavors and accompanied the fish nicely.

Union Hotel is not a Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry, but they don't try to be. What they are is a fine dining establishment with the utmost attention to detail of decor and place settings to using the freshest ingredients and cooking techniques to put on a fabulous meal. You won't find much better than this in North East Wisconsin.

September 6, 2015

Supper Club Documentary screening coming to De Pere and Green Bay Sep 10 & 12

Holly De Ruyter serving up community screenings of his much anticipated documentary, Old Fashioned, the Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club.

For a very limited window of time, screenings are being presented in De Pere and Green Bay on Sep 10 and 12. Why not on Friday? Well that's when you should be out enjoying a fish fry or supper club experience!

Community Screening
UW-Green Bay Christie Theatre, Green Bay, WI

Community Screening
UW-Green Bay Christie Theatre, Green Bay, WI

Community Screening
De Pere Cinema, De Pere, WI

September 2, 2015

Ten O One Club, Green Bay - August 28, 2015

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

Service: Terrible
Wait Time: Arrived at 8:00pm, 12 in our party, 20 minute wait
Food: Good

Price: Fish Fry - 5 perch fillets for $17.95

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

Ten O One Club
1001 W Main St
Green Bay, WI 54301


We had a few birthdays to celebrate Friday night, our group was 12 strong and we were looking for a place with a good fish fry and steak options that could handle a larger group without much hassle. We'll see how this went...

We called ahead and made reservations for 8:00pm, and we arrived right at that time. Ten O One Club is set at the corner of Main St and Webster Ave at 1001 W Main St in an old beautiful brick building, both inside and out. The interior has an impressive bar, a beautiful atmosphere of exposed brick walls, and dim lighting, although a little too dim for my taste.

At 8:00pm, this place was not overly busy, only a few tables were dining and a handful of people around the bar. With the bar not being overly busy, I was confused why it took so long for the bartender to notice us as I was trying to flag her down. Finally we got her attention and made some drink orders. The brandy old fashioned consisted of a dash of sugar, some ice, brandy, and soda poured into a glass with a splash of bitters on the top; no garnish was offered, I should have asked for some but expect the bartender to ask what garnish I'd like.

So as we slowly got our drinks, we notified the bartender that we had the reservation for 12, and whenever they were ready for us, we were ready also. We saw our table was set, but for some reason it would be another 20 minutes until we were finally seated. When we were seated, our waitress had our table all set with menus and sparingly filled cracker baskets with butter, at least we had something to snack on as we waited for our order to be taken.

Once our order was taken, I had to use the restroom and walked through the dimly lit restaurant to the back hallway leading to the restrooms, kitchen, and prep area and passing by the main dining room with few seated diners. Sure it was 8:30pm by this point, so less people is pretty normal, but I was shocked at how many tables were left unbussed in the dining room as people were nearby eating. Even more shocking was the prep area that was clearly visible from the dining room was a disaster with dishes stacked everywhere and napkins and straws piled in a prep sink. All the while two waiters were just chatting away, oblivious to the mess surrounding them. You can already see where this review is going...

As we waited over 30 minutes for our food to arrive, which for a table of 12 isn't that bad of a wait time, we ordered another round of drinks and some of us ordered bottles of wine. It took quite a while for the drinks to be delivered, and the white wine was delivered cold, but no ice bucket, even after requesting one. At one point, our friend went to the bar to get some drinks, and the bartender at this time, probably the owner, seemed like he was annoyed that we even asked him to make a drink or two.

By this point, I was hungry and nervous about how much longer for the food, and how good it would actually be, but after 35 minutes our food was served. Despite the horrid service and uncleanliness of this place, the food was actually pretty good. The perch was crispy and flavorful, I was impressed. For my potato I got the broasted potatoes and those too were tasty. The cole slaw however, well it tasted like it was sitting our for a few hours, or it was from the day before and wasn't stored properly, I couldn't take more than two bites. I was delighted the meal was served with rye bread and raw onion, but was not pleased when the onion turned out to be limp and clearly not fresh cut. The saving grace was the homemade tartar sauce, unique and flavorful. Others had pasta or steak dishes and enjoyed their meals.

The terrible service was topped off when it took about 20 minutes for the waitress to settle up our bills. With the waitress not delivering the bills in a timely manner, to letting people's bills sit at the table with credit card ready, to complaining about the bartender not knowing how to properly close out my bar tab, it just made the night finish off with a bad taste in my mouth, and surprisingly it wasn't the food.

Maybe the extremely dim lighting of our dining area explains the lack of service by the waitstaff, they just can't see what they are doing half the time.

So go to Ten O Once Club for the food, but not all of it because some of it tasted like it's been sitting out a while. Don't go for the service because it's about the worst and most inattentive service I've experienced when enjoying a Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry.