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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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

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.

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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!

One Restaurant, Indivisible with Inclusion and Pizza for All

Did you know that a brand new pizza cafe has just opened at 432B Wisconsin Ave. in Appleton? The new restaurant is called Harmony Pizza Cafe, inspired by Harmony Cafe, the awesome coffee shop that closed its doors a few years back.

The restaurant is open Thursday 5:00pm-9:00pm, and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm, for now. Harmony Pizza has plans to grow, but is currently developing a strong business model as the owners get the word out. They are currently building a stage for live music and an environment of inclusion for LGBT and all races, creeds, etc. in the community.

Harmony Pizza Cafe owners doing prep work
Part owners, Julia and Forrest, doing prep work for their second night of business.

Harmony Pizza offers Neapolitan pizza, and they opened their doors officially on the winter solstice December 21, 2017. Also commonly known as the day with the least sunlight each year. Part owner Julia says, “At first it wasn’t planned that way, but when it timed out, we were like, let’s do a solstice celebration.”

We were told that Harmony Pizza uses nearly all organic ingredients, with only a few exceptions. Also using nearly all local ingredients with the exception of their crust! We hope you find your way to Harmony Pizza to give this great new addition to the Appleton community a try! If you read this post and try it, please come back and leave a comment about how it went.