Wisconsin Dining and Driving

Posted by Pat on November 18, 2012 in Travel |

Freighthouse Restaurant
La Crosse, WI

 

Winter in Wisconsin would not top the list for most travelers, but that is where I find myself in November. Weather varies from evenings of snow flurries and 27degrees or less to sunny days of 46 degrees. I prefer the sunny days. I left home in California temps of 80. Snow is nice to behold but that’s about it.

Playing “name that road kill” as we drive both to and from Duluth MN. Lots of deer (dozens of them), the occasional skunk, possum, raccoon, and one wolf. So many trucks on the highways that much of the game is unrecognized. Hunting season opened this week but I think the deer here are just dumb as there are edible fields on both sides of the road, leaving little reason to cross it.

In fact, all I see are fields and bare trees. I remember the Wisconsin Dells as a kid but now it includes places named Polynesian and Kalahari. This is America’s dairyland and home to the mighty Algonquian tribes. Something just not right about those names in an area that should offer only Yogi Bear camping or Great Wolf Lodges. For my return trip, I chose to drive east through the Minnesota and Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forests along I90. Perhaps I missed the forests because of barren trees but I saw little beyond classic midwest farms, flat fields and road kill. Perhaps the SR61 along the Mississippi would have been more scenic.

The main reason I drove I90 was a dining recommendation from a waitress in Tomah WI. The Freighthouse Restaurant is a must stop in La Crosse, an historic town along the banks of the Mississippi River. Originally built in 1880 as a part of the Milwaukee RR line, this renovated freight storage building is a National Historic Site and a dining experience worth driving out of your way for. Found in downtown La Crosse, the menu offers wonderful steaks, especially prime rib. The menu also lists Australian King Crab, lobster and shrimp. Our house salad with blue cheese, cranberries and nuts was delicious. (There also is a salad bar.) The antique bars offer a selection of fine wines and the fireplaces add additional warmth to a cold, snowy evening.

The Freighthouse is at 107 Vine Street, La Crosse, and can be found at www.freighthouserestaurant.com. Prices are reasonable with an 8 oz. prime rib costing $23. The Freighthouse was a worthwhile stop and delicious dining experience. And maybe “Name That Road Kill” could make an interesting App.

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