Homey Spot with Family-Sized Portions at Rico’s Family Restaurant – Camille’s Choice

Breakfast is always something I often miss due to my habit of sleeping in or sometimes simply just not having an appetite right away in the AM. However – whenever I know I’m doing a breakfast episode for Camille’s Choice I get extremely giddy until the day comes. For my last episode of Camille’s Choice, I brought my good friend Morgan with me to Rico’s Family Restaurant in Kaukauna for the worlds biggest brunch.

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First off it was the perfect day to grab a nice warm meal in the cozy environment that Rico’s has to offer. It was raining and so gloomy outside that all I wanted was a nice cup of coffee and something to warm my belly. Sure enough, the coffee was delicious and a great start. Not only that, but the Rico’s staff are so friendly and welcoming that their presence warms you up as well. As soon as you walk in the door the feeling of “I would totally come here with my family for a Sunday morning brunch” fills your heart and you feel at home.

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Our experience continued with an awesome server. He gave us the low-down on what was good, and what was to die for. So naturally, we took his best recommendations and rolled with it. His face lit up every-time he talked about the food and the flavors that they all provided with their dishes – it was so obvious that he loved his job.

For our first dish – an appetizer of course. Because even though it was nine in the morning, courses are still important when you’re getting to know a new spot. We ordered their quesadillas, plain. Sounds typical, I know, but they were very tasty. The cheese was melty – not too little where it wasn’t gooey, but also not so much that it’s like drinking nacho cheese. And all of the spices and veggies on the side made them tasty for Morgan and I to enjoy all four pieces (oops).

Our entree’s were a mixture of breakfast and lunch – and we did happen to get three entrees for the two of us to share (oops, again). We started with their Mexican omelet that Morgan could not get enough of.
With the omelet, they gave us a potato pancake for Morgan to try for the first time. I told her she had to pair it with applesauce because… duh! She did say the texture was different but the flavor was definitely great – and she loved the applesauce with it. My taste test agrees – yummy and obviously homemade.

Next we both got a “lunch” item. So yes, we had three dishes each. My lunch entree was their JT burger which essentially is every burger lovers go-to. It had “the works” and more. For starters it was 1/3 pound patty with bacon, cheese, onions, mayo, lettuce, mushrooms, and pickles – basically you name it and it was on that burger. So good and tasty, the bun was crispy from being on the grill for a bit and the mayo tied everything together. Probably one of the only good burgers I’ve ever had at 9 in the morning. Morgan got their chicken avocado wrap – which is basically exactly what the name states. However there was some bacon and secret sauce on their to spice up the wrap. She said it perfectly – “They don’t mess around with portions at Rico’s!” The wrap and burger were both huge and it was so great how you could taste each little spice and flavor the wrap had to offer. Avocado was a friendly familiar face I was happy made a visit.

If you can’t already tell, Rico’s is a must. The environment is so cozy and welcoming for a breakfast date or a family meal on a Sunday afternoon. Good coffee, big portions, and great flavors were experienced throughout our entire time. Thank you so much to Rico’s for having us for Camille’s Choice, and we can’t wait to come back and try your amazing ice cream which we’ve already gotten a lot of comments on!

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Have y’all ever been to Rico’s in Kaukauna or any of their other two locations? If so – what did you order? Comment below so we have an idea for which dish to try next!

See you all next time.

The 3 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in 4 NE Wisconsin Cities

I’m going to go ahead and start this with my definition of a “Hole-in-the-Wall” restaurant. To me, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant is a place that is small with limited or no indoor seating. Typically a place where something about the restaurant is deceiving, AKA the food surpasses the expectations set by a usually lack-luster interior or exterior. A hole-in-the-wall to me has an infamous character, a place where not everyone within a 5 mile radius eats there, but everyone in a 5 mile radius HAS eaten there. Places that are either simply great quality, passionately patronized by droves of regulars, or carry a special history or reputation when discussed in conversation. I hope this list finds you well, and gives you a few spots to go next time you and you’re friends are on the road in an unfamiliar area, or you and your partner need a new spot in town to check out.

Green Bay

Al’s Hamburger Shop

Address: 131 S Washington St, Green Bay, WI 54301

Al’s is a Green Bay classic. In the heart of Downtown Green Bay and a few doors down from the Meyer Theater, Al’s has been serving up classic American fast food since 1934! That’s older than McDonald’s (Est. 1940)

Joe’s Texas BBQ

Address: 1800 S Ashland Ave, Green Bay, WI 54304

A quaint and long established eatery, Joe’s recently moved locations to be closer to Lambeau Field. They serve classic barbeque that surpasses the expectations of their small shop.

Taqueria Don Pancho

Address: 1807 N Irwin Ave, Green Bay, WI 54302

This “Hole in the Wall” is such a hidden gem, we haven’t heard from them online since 2016. Taqueria has very high reviews for their authentic Mexican Cuisine at very fair prices. Don’t be scared off by the exterior, the food gets high marks from their customers.

Appleton

Basil Cafe

Address: 1513 N Richmond St, Appleton, WI 54911

Basil Café is on the line as a “Hole-in-the-Wall” The location isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to accommodate, but the exterior makes the real deal feel like a mirage. From the outside, Basil appears to be basic, but once you step foot inside, you’re transported into another world! The food lives up to the expectation set by the interior. Highly regarded in the Appleton community.

Home Burger Bar

Address: 205 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

Home Burger Bar is reminiscent of comfortable, delicious burger bars in larger cities like Madison and Milwaukee. Tucked in on College Ave Downtown Appleton, Home Burger Bar is clean, quirky, and delivers on their name sake, their burgers.

Mai’s Deli

Address: 104 S Memorial Dr, Appleton, WI 54911

Mai’s Deli is an awesome food shop with an awesome history. For years local immigrants sold their stuffed chicken wings essentially egg rolls but instead of the roll, the insides are stuffed into a chicken wing. Eventually, the family opened Mai’s Deli, and they’ve been consistently packed ever since. Very small, quaint location on the corner of College Ave and Memorial Drive. Mai’s Deli is a great spot for a tasty bite.

Oshkosh

Pete’s Garage

Address: 1514 Oregon St. Oshkosh WI

Pete’s has become somewhat of an unstoppable force in Oshkosh. The place barely has a chance to breath it’s often packed with warm faces, and happy customers.

Co-Owner Ryan at a Halloween event.

Leon’s

Address: 121 W Murdock Ave, Oshkosh, WI 54901

Leon’s covers the Northside of Oshkosh for it’s tasty fast food, and amazing custard needs. In fact, a custard machine from Leon’s was purchased by the Culver family for their first location. I don’t have a source for this, but I heard Craig Culver say this to the owner of Leon’s at an entrepreneurship event at UW Oshkosh (Craig Culver’s alma mater).

Ardy & Ed’s

Address: 2413 S Main St, Oshkosh, WI 54902

Ardy & Ed’s on the flip side, covers the Southside of Oshkosh’s needs. Ardy and Ed’s still has car hops on roller skates that serve their customers.

Sheboygan

Shulz’s Restaurant

Address: 1644 Calumet Dr, Sheboygan, WI 53081

Shulz’s has been around for DECADES! A truly classic American dining experience, and something that you have to see for yourself.

Chester’s Drive-In

Address: 1504 Eastern Ave, Plymouth, WI 53073

Not exactly in Sheboygan, Chester’s is a classic drive in with delicious American fast food and ice cream. The drive-in is over 40 years old.

Harry’s Diner

Address: 2504 Calumet Dr, Sheboygan

Harry’s Diner is a 1950 style diner open for breakfast and lunch. If you’re looking for a unique, quaint spot for breakfast in Sheboygan, Harry’s is a great place to start.

Honorable Mentions

The Booyah Shed – Green Bay

Mr. Taco – Downtown – Appleton

My Lee’s Egg Roll House – Appleton

Rhapsodies – Oshkosh

Notes

Hole-in-the-wall restaurants are interesting because they are always changing. For example, Joe’s Texas BBQ, just moved locations. Plus, sometimes new joints emerge or old ones lose their consistency. As Venture Wisconsin grow, and we learn more about Northeast Wisconsin, we will share the knowledge with you! What’s your favorite hole-in-the-wall? Do you agree with our definition? Let me know in the comments.

Wait… I can find THAT at the Oshkosh Farmers Market? Camille’s Blog

What are your Saturday mornings filled with? Pancakes in bed, maybe catching up on some Netflix shows, or a nice morning walk? How about a trip to your local farmers market? That is one of my favorite things to do on my Saturday’s once the summer rolls in. I love seeing all the flower and fresh vegetable stands with local vendors sharing their stories of their locally grown products, and the smell of all the local businesses selling some early afternoon snacks. So, Camille’s Choice took a trip down to the local Oshkosh farmers market to sample three things from three local businesses to show the Fox Cities some of the many things the market has to offer.

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Our first stop: coffee of course. You can’t start off your Saturday the right way without enjoying a nice cup of coffee – at least in my book. What better way to enjoy your coffee than fresh and locally made?! We stopped over at JSA Roasting and went with something classic to do a true taste test. I tried their pecan flavored roasted coffee with just a splash of some almond milk creamer.

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Truthfully, the coffee didn’t need any sort of additive at all. The flavor was bursting from the moment I took the lid off and took a smell. The pecan flavor was subtle but mouth-watering good. I finished my cup of (hot) coffee within 10 minutes easily in the middle of an 80 degree day – THAT’s how good it was. I normally can’t drink straight black coffee, but from JSA it would have been easy.

Next up we went to the stand literally right next door – The Roxy Club. My options were a breakfast wrap with assorted things inside (eggs, peppers, seasoning, hot sauce, sausage, etc.) or something called a kraut kuchen. Yeah trust me, the kraut thing wasn’t my first option. However, I do Camille’s Choice for a reason and that is to try new things, right? So, I went for it. I ordered out of my comfort zone and soon found myself eating a pastry stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, onions, and something called dusseldorf mustard. Going into something not wanting to eat it (like – at all) normally ruins it for people, especially me. Not even close to the case with this. It was a pleasant surprise with a flavorful and unique dish. It had a lot of bold flavors that combined perfectly. It reminded me of a classic home cooked meal with some mixed in flavors and spices that I had never tried before. Overall, it kicked me out of my comfort zone and surprised me in the best way.

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Last on our list was Compassion Creamery. Who else serves ice cream nachos?! No one that I’ve heard of! Talk about a unique and fun idea. It caught my attention enough, and we had to order them. The two initial flavors we ordered were their chocolate (duh) and their vanilla with Lucky Charms cereal mixed into it. And, as if we couldn’t make it anymore sweet, we added MnM’s to our chocolate. To make the ice cream a “nacho” tray, they add little wafers to the side of your platter to scoop your ice cream with. The wafers reminded me of little flat sugar cones, but way softer and really sweet. Everything tasted really great, but I have to say I liked the chocolate way more with the wafers. Just a little less sweet than the vanilla, and I love chocolate anything and everything. 10/10 recommend trying ice cream nachos at some point in your life though – they’re so fun!

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This Camille’s Choice experience was so fun and unique – and I visited three places I had never had the chance to try before and learned about them each as a local small business. There is so much Oshkosh (and other Wisconsin cities) have to offer at their farmers market that you may have no idea about. Be sure to check out the Oshkosh market, or surrounding cities to discover something new. You won’t be disappointed.

The Oshkosh farmers market is right on Main Street in downtown Oshkosh. It runs from June – October every Saturday from 8:00 to 12:30.

Getting Cozzy With Southern Dishes – Camille’s Choice #15

Nestled in a random alleyway in downtown Appleton, WI you can find one of the “cozzy-est” little diners, offering an array of unique and original southern options. Serving dishes all the way from freshly fried chicken to frog legs and hush puppies, The Cozzy Corner is a must-visit in the Fox Valley area.

Giving “The Blues” a Whole New Feeling

When I first entered the Cozzy Corner, I felt like I stepped into a diner in New Orleans itself. The interior is so attractive and different, and you’re constantly having something to look at. To me, the coolest thing about the interior was the records all over the ceiling. It was so cool to look up and see albums that I knew my mom had, or I had purchased, and to see so many other unique record covers.

Beyond the interior itself, the staff greeted my friend Izzy and I with huge smiles and open arms. This was my first time ever bringing my friend Izzy, and she loved the service just as much as I did (she said it was one of her favorite parts of the experience in our Camille’s Choice vlog). Our waitress, especially, was so sweet and helpful when it came to choosing the perfect dishes to try out.

Can You Eat Too Much?

One of the best appetizers I’ve ever had came from my experience at the Cozzy Corner, where Izzy and I split a plate of GUMBO cheese fries. Per recommendation of our server, the dish had character, flavor, and even a background story. The gumbo fries was an invention by none other than our server herself from a random day she happened to be fooling around in the kitchen. Lets just say our server is in the wrong field. She should be back in the kitchen fooling around with dishes more often because the gumbo fries were to die for. Izzy and I both had to stop ourselves to avoid eating the entire plate and ruining our appetite for our main entree.

We didn’t succeed very well. Our main dishes were placed in front of us and the amount of food that was sitting in front of me was overwhelming. The prices given by the restaurant are more than perfect for the amount of food you are given. I had fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, hush puppies, red beans and rice AND a slice of corn bread sitting in front of me. Long story short, I took a hefty box of left-overs home to enjoy the next day. The meal was delicious and mouth watering. All of the flavors were so different – sweet, then salty, then a little spicy – and all complimented each other very well. As for Izzy, she chowed down on something that seemed to come from a fantasy for her. A “big smokey” was a smoked sausage in a large bun covered with their homemade mac n’ cheese and barbecue sauce (yum). She also had mashed potatoes which tasted better than the homemade ones at Thanksgiving (sorry, mom). We both had to pry ourselves from our forks in order to not explode from eating too much.

The Cozzy Corner has so much to offer – unique interior, flavorful dishes, friendly staff – that it has been HARD not to go back already. Thank you to the Cozzy Corner for giving me such a unique experience to enjoy and look forward to experience again.

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Like I said, the Cozzy Corner is pretty cozy in it’s alleyway, here’s some help to find it:
Address: 111 N Walnut St, Appleton, WI 54911
Located near: ACOCA Coffee, Fox Cities Preforming Arts Center

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10 November Events & Shows You Must Look Into!

November 2018 Events List

As the leaves are rapidly falling and the pumpkin carving comes to an end, many people in the Fox Cities begin to wonder what exactly there is to do during this cold winter season. Luckily, the people of the Fox Cities come together as well this time of year, and are surprisingly lively. If you’re looking for something to do this November besides the typical deer hunting and Thanksgiving dinner, look no further!

1. JINGLE – Sip & Shop, a Vintage & Artisan Market – November 2

Have you checked out the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center? Have you gotten any Christmas shopping done? If not, here is the perfect opportunity to do both! On November 2, starting at 4 PM at the Exhibition Center, you will find tons of Wisconsin vendors selling all kinds of handmade, vintage, and upcycled items. Plus, there will be a cash bar and a food truck on site. This is the perfect opportunity to support local vendors and get your friends and family a unique gift for the holidays!

*Admission is $3

2. Downtown Appleton Indoor Farmers Market – (Every Saturday)

Reinvent Ferment at the Farmers Market
Reinvent Ferment at the Appleton Indoor Farmers Market Credit: Downtown Appleton Farm Market

How awesome is it that we barely have to go a month without a farmers market between summer and winter? To kick off the holiday season, Downtown Appleton’s Farmer’s Market starts right away on the first Saturday of November, the 3rd. Running from 9 AM – 12:30 PM weekly, you’ll find 50 vendors with all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies, unique food items, as well as crafts for sale. There really is no better way to spend cold Saturday mornings!

3. Dueling Pianos in Oshkosh! – November 3rd, 16th, & 21st

It is as awesome as it sounds. Dockside Tavern in Oshkosh is featuring the N.E.W. Piano Guys starting at 7 P.M. It will undoubtedly be a show you don’t want to miss! Dockside has phenomenal food to complement the great entertainment, as well as great drinks. If you love them (which you will) or miss the show, catch dueling piano shows on November 16th at Fox River Brewing or the 21st at Fletch’s Tap House.

4. Downtown Appleton Light Up the Town – November 9

Trout Museum Christmas Tree Lighting in Appleton
Appleton Light Up Ceremony. Credit: WLUK News

Head down to Houdini Plaza on November 9th at 4 PM, for this fun family friendly night downtown! You will experience live music from local choirs as well as tons of activities for the kids to enjoy, that undoubtedly will also keep adults entertained! The lighting ceremony begins at 6:30 PM

5. Downtown Appleton Window Walk – November 9

After experiencing the lighting ceremony, be sure to walk down The Ave and take advantage of the opportunity to check out all the special decorated windows of our local downtown businesses, as well as many specials offered on this evening only. This event goes until 8:00 PM.

6. TED talks in Oshkosh! – November 10th

TEDx Oshkosh is hosting a live program at The Grand in Oshoksh! A great opportunity to hear from 14 thinkers and doers across the region! It is a most of the day event. The live presentation costs $50+ to attend, and includes food and TED goodies. More information and tickets here!

7. Pablo Francisco at Skyline Comedy – November 15 – 17

Skyline Comedy brings in so many awesome comedians to Appleton, and this particular weekend they are featuring Pablo Francisco. A night at Skyline is the perfect date night activity or a night out in Appleton with friends. To make the night even better, consider having dinner at Stone Cellar (it’s right underneath Skyline)!

Pablo Fransisco Promotional Graphic for Skyline in Appleton
Pablo Fransisco Credit: Skyline Comedy Club

Bonus: If for some reason you can’t make this show, check out Open Mics on Wednesday nights. Hear local comedians try out their best routine, and enjoy BOGO drinks! Wednesday nights are free, and absolutely hilarious.

 

8. Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade – November 20

A holiday favorite in Appleton! Come enjoy the beautiful downtown Christmas parade that has been a hit here in Appleton for over 40 years! The parade begins promptly at 7:00 PM at the corner of State Street and College Avenue. We absolutely recommend getting there early in order to ensure you get a great viewing spot. This parade gathers quite a crowd!

9. Small Business Saturday Downtown Appleton – November 24

With so many awesome small businesses in Appleton to choose from, this Saturday will be a busy one. Download a “passport”, pick one up from a small business, or get one from the Post Crescent on Thanksgiving Day, and go shop on Saturday the 24th. When you collect 5 stamps from different local businesses, you can turn your passport in and be entered to win some amazing prizes. What an awesome way to support our local economy and tackle some holiday shopping!

10. Fiddler on the Roof at the Performing Arts Center – Nov. 27 – Dec. 2

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is featuring “Fiddler on the Roof” to finish off a fun filled November. Tickets start at $31.00 (maybe someone can get an early holiday gift?!). No matter what you are celebrating, or not celebrating, a night out at the Performing Arts Center is guaranteed to leave you in awe.

Fox Cities PAC
Fiddler on the Roof at the PAC Credit: Fox Cities PAC


If you’re trying to find ways to get out into the community and find some cool events before the winter comes, check out one of these events that sticks out to you. Personally, I think it’s nice to see so many live performances on the list! If you’re reading this, please know, we put these out there with the hopes that people like you will find something you like, and get out there and try it! If you do visit an event on the list, please jump back on here and let us know how it went! We will be sure to respond.

P.S. If you’re more of a hiker/photographer looking for something to do in November, you have to check out this state park within 1 hour of the Fox Cities!

Possibly Oshkosh’s Coziest, Most Interesting Breakfast – Camille’s Choice #2

For this experience, I was in the mood to try somewhere more low-key, relaxing, and straight up comfort food. Where better to go than a local cafe in close to my college housing in Oshkosh, WI? This cafe is called Pilora’s cafe and it’s located right on Main Street, just outside of Downtown Oshkosh.

What attracted me to this cafe initially was the exterior. I had always passed by the restaurant on Main Street, but never seemed to have the time to stop in. I knew I had to feature it for the Camille’s Choice series. The restaurant is cute, quaint, and even has a little outdoor patio which was perfect for a 75 degree summer’s afternoon! Once you enter the cafe, you’re overwhelmed with smells of fresh brewed coffee and the smell of syrup – yes, even at three in the afternoon. There is a little coffee bar behind the main register that instantly caught my eye as well. Around the restaurant are tables and booths with different pieces of art and many kinds of plants. The sun is able to come in through their huge windows and keep you warm while you eat, too. All around, Pilora’s atmosphere is perfect if you’re looking for that Sunday morning, coffee and pancakes kind of meal.

For my meal, I decided to go with something the server said they were well-known for – their Pilora’s french toast. This is the thickest, richest, and sweetest french toast. It was so good and their homemade syrup was truly the “icing on the cake.” Along with the french toast I got some nitro cold brew coffee (which I am a HUGE fan of), and it was creamy and so fresh.

I enjoyed the company of my roommate, Lace, on this journey and it was a nice place for us to sit and share a meal and some warm conversations. Lace and I have both agreed we would love to go back sometime soon and check out some of their other unique menu items as well, and so should you!

If you really want to see how beautifully displayed (and tasty) Pilora’s french toast is – click here to see my vlog! 

Trying to find Pilora’s and try it out for yourself? Here’s some information that might help you out!
Simplified directions: Right on the end of Scott Street, where it turns into Main Street
Address: 910 N Main St, Oshkosh, WI 54901
Located by: Cinders Charcoal Grill, Doctor Benzie’s Pizza, Family Dollar

Spilling Shakes in Oshkosh – Camille’s Choice #1

I was really excited to try Recharge because I love protein shakes and healthy food in general, and it seemed like a really fun and different place to enjoy my lunch. This is the first location for Camille’s Choice, my video series with Venture Wisconsin. This nutrition club is called Recharge, and it’s located in Oshkosh, WI over on Koeller Street, if you’re from around the area of course. Going to my first video of my very own series was so nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. I got to bring my best friend, Larisa, along with me so that helped to both calm the nerves and make the experience overall so exciting.

To help you all visualize a little bit, from the outside Recharge looks like it’s almost non-existent. It’s a tiny little space squeezed between a few other businesses, but it’s got a bright orange sign that says “Recharge” to help identify the cafe a little easier. Once you walk in through the front door, there is immediately bursts of orange and green colors; on the walls, the counter, and the menu. It’s a very inviting place inside.

The menu has a ton of different flavored protein smoothies ranging from fruity flavors, to chocolate, to coffee. Choosing one flavor was actually hard for me to do once I started looking around. I finally chose a flavor called the Almond Bliss, which tasted like a healthier version of an Almond Joy candy bar (AKA amazing). After ordering my protein smoothie, I was shocked when the owner poured me a shot of mango flavored aloe, along with asking my preference of tea (unsweet versus sweet, lemon or peach, iced or hot, etc.). So to simplify, I unexpectedly got three things in one order – talk about a fun surprise. All of the items went together really well and everything I tried tasted so good.

Overall, the cafe was delicious and nutritious – exactly what I was looking for! The owner was super sweet and awesome about being on camera, and really helped in explaining the process of what her products do and why the cafe is set up the way it is. After we left the club, Larisa and I ran into a little dilemma which only made the experience more exciting, honestly.

Want to know what happened? Check out the full vlog here!

Loved this blog and want to try the club out for yourself? Here is some more information to help you get there:

Address – 246 N Koeller St, Oshkosh, WI 54902
Located Near – Enterprise Car Rentals, A-Z Vapor

11 September Events in the Fox Cities You Don’t Want to Miss

Blog Image Events in the Fox Cities - September 2018

Maybe you have kids, they’re now back to school, and the family is back into the comfortable groove of daily routine. Fall is near, and the crisp smell and feeling of winter looming. Thoughts of family and fresh dinner rolls loom in your mind. Maybe you don’t have kids, maybe you are going to school, college or high school. You’re back, the excitement of friends and a new chapter surround your daily life. EVEN if you have no kids in your life in any form, maybe you’re a young professional, a retired soul, or you just take life easy, September is a time of change. Event though September’s rain and temperatures are unpredictable, there are still events and opportunities for fun and community for all types of people, especially you! Which is why we made this list, to make sure you at least know what you’re potentially missing out on.

Seafood Fest – Friday & Saturday September 7th & 8th

Take the wildly successful, monthly Fox Valley Food Truck Rally that happens all summer at Jefferson Park in Menasha, and add two days of live music and lobster and salmon dinners from 4pm-9pm! If you love music and seafood by the water, this event may be for you!

Eve of Destruction – Friday September 7th

At the Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna is the annual Eve of Destruction event. From 7pm-10pm, you can expect a monster truck show and rides, extreme freestyle motocross, figure 8 racing, two man crew racing, pyrotechnics, and fireworks. $12/person entry. Expect an intense night of family fun! More details here.

Eve of Destruction 2017
2017 Eve of Destruction. Credit: Instagram @mayrae009

Green Bay & Oshkosh: Summer Send-Off Scavenger Hunt & Bar Crawl – Friday September 7th & 8th

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the end of summer with your friends? Venture Wisconsin has scavenger hunt bar crawl events in Green Bay, Oshkosh, and Appleton on September 7th, 8th, and 14th respectively. These events line up with the syllabus week for each city’s university. The goal is to welcome the students to join the community over some beers. Sponsored by Fox River Brewing, the events include drink deals and activities at each bar, and a photo scavenger hunt with prizes for the winning teams. $16 to register ahead or $20 to register at the door for each event if you wait until the last minute. Register by purchasing a shirt for your city at this link.

Bazaar After Dark Night Market – Menasha – Wednesday September 12th

The popular Bazaar After Dark series is taking place in Downtown Menasha for their final event of 2018! Don’t miss your last chance to join this night market and see what the buzz is about. You can expect a food truck rally (16+ trucks), crafts, food, and more!

Bazaar After Dark
Bazaar After Dark. Source: Fox Cities Magazine

Brew at the Zoo and Wine, Too – Thursday September 13th

This is a fundraising event at the NEW Zoo in Green Bay. From 5:30pm to 8:30pm there will be 70 different craft brews, wines, and non-alcoholic drinks to sample while raising money for conservation. Unlimited tasting, $35 to participate. Buy tickets here!

Appleton Summer Send-Off Scavenger Hunt & Bar Crawl – Friday September 14th

Celebrate the end of summer, join us for drinks, games, Blu Bobber and a photo scavenger hunt. Just like the Oshkosh and Green Bay events, you purchase a shirt to register. In Appleton we have Player 2, D2, OB’s Brau Haus, The Bar, Jim’s Place, and Mill Creek. Activities include Bobbing for Blu Bobber, Bags, Flip Cup, N64, photo station, and Hammerschlagen, plus the scavenger hunt! Purchase your shirt here to register. $16 ahead of time, $20 at the event!

Oshkosh Biking Brewery Tour: Final Ride

A 14 mile bike loop around Oshkosh along all of the main water ways with three stops! Fox River Brewing Co, Fifth Ward Brewing, and Bare Bones Brewery. Ride with us or ride with your friends. Enjoy $1 off pints at Bare Bones and Fifth Ward, a logoed glass from Fox River Brewing, games, giveaways, and fun! Tickets are $15 and you get a mixed six pack of Oshkosh beer, two from each brewery. Buy your tickets in advance here. $20 at the event.

Biking Brewery Tour
Touring Oshkosh Local Breweries

1st Annual Harvest Fest – Sunday September 16th

Bluegrass music, new local draft beers, an art fair, and a new special harvest menu at The Source Public House in Menasha! Visit The Source and enjoy the food, drinks, and art. Free entry event.

Brews, Bistros & Bonfires – Friday September 21st

Taking place at the Green Bay Botanical Garden is a cozy night of local brewery samplings and local food while you enjoy The Ultimate Steele Dan Tribute Band, the glow of the fire, and the fall air. More details here.

Appleton’s Octoberfest (37th annual) – Saturday September 29th

Self proclaimed, “Appleton’s largest block party.” All profits go to community projects, charities, and events. 100+ food vendors and live music throughout College Ave. Free entry event.

Too White Crew at Appleton Octoberfest
Credit: Too White Crew

Barktoberfest (During Octoberfest) – Saturday September 29th

A free fun event for humans and their pups. There is costume contest. Categories include: Kids and Dogs, Most Original, and Best Theme. Trophies for “Best Trick for a Treat.” There will be dog beer, pretzels, and cigars. As well as “Yappy Hour” from 1pm-4pm. This event takes place at the DePawsitory in Appleton during Octoberfest!


Just because summer is turning into fall doesn’t mean there isn’t ample opportunity to have fun with your family, friends, and community! We hope you find an event that fits your schedule and peaks your interest. Please share this list with your friends, and let us know if we missed any events in the Fox Cities that your are excited for September 2018!

 

13 Drive-Ins to Explore Within 1 hour of Lake Winnebago

Ardy & Ed's in Oshkosh

As my girlfriend and I were eating burgers and chicken tenders that had been delivered to our car via a highschool student in roller blades at Ardy and Ed’s Drive-In in Oshkosh, it had never occurred to either of us that the Fox Cities has so many Drive-Ins with so much history. So I asked around and did some research to see how many I could find within 45 minutes of Lake Winnebago. I included drive-in food, ice cream, and theaters, and there are 11! Check them out before many of them close for the winter, or check them out next season. Let me know if I missed any in the comments!

Zesty’s Custard

Zesty’s is now three locations strong in Green Bay, Depere, and Howard, WI. Quality food and custard and being as local as possible are Zesty’s focuses. Even their custard machines were made in Wisconsin. Interestingly enough the machines came from Leon’s Custard, which is also on our list.

JD’s

Jd’s is an Appleton fast food staple. Still a leader on price, JD’s is more of a drive thru than a drive in, but they are JD’s Drive-In. They are open year round, and I recommend their shakes.

Ardy & Eds

Arty and Eds is located on the south end of Oshkosh on your way to Fond Du Lac. Servers bring your meals on roller blades right to your car! Not only does Arty and Ed’s give you the experience of the 50’s drive-in, but they provide a quality meal to boot.

Leon’s

On the north side of Oshkosh is the other side of the drive-in coin, Leon’s. Much like Arty and Eds, Leon’s waiters come to your vehicle to take your order. Take away the roller blades and add some the best frozen custard in Wisconsin since 1947 and you get Leons!

The Well

The Well in Winneconne is built right into the community. It has been around since 1954, and features a large array of entrees that you might not expect at the traditional American drive-in, such as gyros and pizza. The Well is a neat little place to set your sights on this summer season.

Dick’s

Like many of these historic local drive-ins, Dick’s has a strong following in its community of Kaukauna. A classic burger joint, Dicks also has many homemade ice cream treats!

Frogg’s Ice Cream

Frogg’s has great soft serve ice cream. Located just past High Cliff State Park near Appleton, Frogg’s in Sherwood makes a great pit stop after your next hike.

Charlie’s

Hortonville’s own carhop drive-in. Charlies has been around since 1982, and before that it was an A&W owned by the same family since 1965! Head on down at the beginning of next years season for their Elvis Tribute Week.

charlies
Charlie’s in Hortonville. Credit: Charlie’s

Gilles Frozen Custard

Delicious custard out of Fond Du Lac. Gilles was started and is owned by the same family since 1949. If my math is correct, Gilles is the third oldest drive-in in the area after Leon’s and Ardy & Ed’s in Oshkosh!

Mullin’s Drive In

Mullin’s has been searving since 1934 according to their sign. A unique drive-in to its area in Fox Lake, WI. Currently closed for the season they specialize in floats, malts, and shakes. I love this addition because people don’t think to travel to Fox Lake from the Winnebago area, but Mullins is less than an hour away from Oshkosh and about 30 minutes from Fond Du Lac. A great place to explore next season!

Chester’s

Another spot that nearing other communities. On the east side of Lake Winnebago in Plymouth, Chester’s is a drive-in that has a multitude of offerings including hot dogs, burgers, bbq, root beer by the gallon, and frozen treats. Although on the “other” side of the lake for many Winnebago inhabitants, we highly recommend going to check them out. Make a trip to Kohler-Andae State Park and make a stop at Chester’s.

Tom’s

Tom’s comes across as a national chain, but you can’t say they aren’t local. Starting out of Appleton in 1960, Tom’s is now an eight restaurant chain and did not get this far for no reason!

Dairy Cove

This northern ice cream sanctuary is located near Shawano Lake in Cecil, WI. Widely recognized for their ice creams, Dairy Cove is a must pit-stop for many cabin goers from the Fox Cities and beyond. We highly recommend checking them out for a nice ice cream date.

 

Northeast Wiconsin loves drive-ins! I wanted to give some coverage to some of the many historic drive-ins we have here, and since Food Network didn’t give us any recognition… Venture Wisconsin did. This post only covers the drive-ins within an hour of Lake Winnebago, but I can think of at least three more if you include the north woods and Door County. Are you a local drive-in fan? Tell me your favorite drive-ins, and if you are looking for things to do in Northeast Wisconsin, get out and check out the other ones this season!

6 Fox Cities Valentines Day Dates that don’t suck.

Do you have a lady that drives you crazy? Do you have a mister that makes your love blister? If so, then you’re probably looking for something cute to do this Valentines Day. Everyone wants to dress up, feel good, and have a good night. If you are trying to throw a little variety in your life and want to steer clear of the traditional dinner and a movie then this post is for you. I compiled a list of great date ideas that you can do to impress your sweetie this V-Day. Conveniently, if you’re busy on Valentine’s Day, some of these are available at other times as well.

1) For those of us who don’t have someone…

Shred Your Ex (Free Drink)

Pictures shredding

I didn’t forget that some of us aren’t so lucky to be in blossoming relationships, so there’s a great event for all of us salty single people out there. At Gameday Sports Bar in Appleton they will be having their Shred Your Ex event. If you come in with a picture of your ex on the 14th they will shred it and you get a FREE DRINK. What says “single” better than a free vodka cranberry?

2) Chocolate Drunk – The Cocoa Crawl ($5)

The Cocoa Crawl is an affordable and cool (or should I say hot) event where you get to sample hot chocolate from over 15 local downtown businesses in Oshkosh. Walking downtown in the winter is always a good time, especially after a nice cup of hot chocolate. You can even purchase a mug courtesy of Fire Escape and 50% of the proceeds will go to Day By Day Warming Shelter. If you’re looking for a cheap, fun date the Cocoa Crawl is a good start. Make sure to get food after, you’ll be hungry from all that walking! The event will be held on February 10th and you can get your tickets here.

3) The Newlywed Game at Backlot Comedy House ($10)

My mom always used to watch a show called the Newlywed Game where couples would compete based on how well they knew each other. It’s a really funny game to watch, but it is even more fun to play. Backlot Comedy House is bringing their own Newlywed Game to downtown Oshkosh. The event is rated R so don’t expect a family friendly show at the comedy club. The winner will receive a gift that is only described as a “grando-super splendid gift that will outlast the test of time”, so I have a feeling that it is going to be good. The event is Feb. 10th at 9pm, and don’t forget you have to be 21 because there will be drinks!

newlywedhead
The Newlywed Game Show

4) Valentines Day 3-Course Dinner Magic Show ($40/per person)

I have a bit of a bias for this event because it’s my own. I host a dinner show called Now Serving Magic, which is a 3-course dinner. Between each course every table gets to see one of the three professional magicians perform close up magic right at the table. There is also a host that performs for everyone at the beginning and at the end of the show. The night is full of laughter and amazement and there’s never a dull moment with the three magicians. I host these events at different venues and always have different performers to keep it fresh. This Dinner will be held at Paloma Modern Mexican; one of the newest restaurants in Oshkosh, known for it’s gourmet fusion tacos. The $40/per person ticket includes the 3 course meal and the entertainment. There is also packages that include a bottle of wine or flowers. You can see more about the dinner here, and you can buy tickets by clicking here.

RJs Magic Show
Now Serving Magic Details

5) Escape Artist – A Double Date.. For One Couple ($95/couple)

This is a double date, and by double date I mean two dates in one. You receive an hour escape room voucher for two at Escape Oshkosh, one project for each of you to paint at the Fire Escape, and a $10 voucher for food at an Oshkosh Restaurant. You essentially get 3 dates in one. You could take that $10 voucher and get two Wisconsin Dogs with bacon sauce at Hotdog Charlie’s. Trust me, its worth it. Tickets can be purchased online at FireEscapeArt.com/calendar, by phone at (920)420-0700, or in person at Fire Escape 423 N Main St.

Valentines Day Event in Oshkosh
Escape Artist Details

6) Who Doesn’t love baseball?- 4-Course Timberattlers Dinner ($160)

Who doesn’t love a good baseball game? For $160, you can get a private suite at a Timberattlers game, which includes chocolate covered strawberries! The night features a 4-course dinner and champagne and features everything you can think of. Everything from home made crostini and apple/pear compote to Bacon 6oz beef chateau with glace de poulet. You can even make it a double date. An intimate candlelit suite with America’s favorite pastime and bottomless Rosé, sounds like a great night! It will take place Feb. 10th and the 14th at 5pm, and you can Get Tickets Here!

Timber Rattlers 4 Course Dinner Event
T-Rats Dinner Details

There is no reason why you shouldn’t have a unique and memorable Valentine’s day date that doesn’t suck. Now go make some plans and buy some tickets before everyone realizes that valentines day is only two weeks away!