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Tripping Day Two: Hartford (Wisconsin)

Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2005

Dave!I have come to the conclusion that my hotel here in the heart of Wisconsin is frequented by hookers. This is partially because of the outrageous sounds that were coming (heh heh) from the room next to mine last night until 2am... but mostly because the shampoo and soap they give you smells like lavender or lilacs or some other whore-house boutique cologne.

Unfortunately, I didn't have anything else to use, so now I smell like I was with a hooker last night. Or perhaps I smell like I became a hooker last night... I can't decide. In any event, I have the definite air of a hooker about me thanks to a very poor choice made by hotel management in bathroom amenities.

Wisconsin, for lack of a better word, is "charming." Especially once you get out into the countryside. The people are exceedingly nice and friendly. So when I inquired at the front desk this morning as to whether the people from last night would be giving a repeat performance (two guys and a gal... let your mind wander with THAT for a while), it was very uncomfortable. Without giving details (seriously, you don't want to know) I asked if the "noisy room" next to mine had checked out today, or if I could get a different room. The woman was so apologetic that I thought she might cry. The good news is that they are gone... the bad news is that something very much worse could potentially move in for tonight.

If a donkey is involved, I'll be checking out.

There are down-sides to Wisconsin if you are a vegetarian, because they really like meat here. It is not uncommon to find restaurant specialties involving one meat, wrapped by a different meat, that is then stuffed in yet another meat. It's all very disturbing. If you like cheese, however, you are in luck. Wisconsin is famous for cheese, and they put it on everything (even the meat-wrapped-meat-stuffed-meat thing).

"Home cooking" is prized here, and there are many home cookin' restaurants scattered about. I rather like this idea, and eat at them whenever I can. The conversations go something like this:

DAVE: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Do you have anything I can eat?

WAITRESS: Why sure... we have a lovely beef stew that's filled with vegetables!

DAVE: Ah. I'll just have a grilled cheese sandwich please.

I end up eating a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches here.

The worst day of the week for me in Wisconsin is Friday. On Fridays, every restaurant has a massive fish-fry. Entire towns smell like deep-fat-fried fish, and it is not so pleasant. On Fridays, the conversations go like this:

DAVE: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Do you have anything I can eat?

WAITRESS: So you'll be having a baked potato with your fish then?

DAVE: Ah. I'll just have a grilled cheese sandwich please.

WAITRESS: And what kind of fish would you like on your sandwich?

It's almost as if they can't possibly conceive of anybody showing up at a restaurant on a Friday and not ordering fish. It just doesn't register.

Nope. On Fridays, it's much safer to leave home cookin' behind and eat at a place like Culvers, where I can hunker down with a huge plate of crinkle-cut fries and a caramel-cashew frozen custard. Oh so bad for you... but oh so tasty. Culvers is mostly famous for their frozen custard (which is sublime), but also for their "Butter Burgers" which I can only guess are named as such because they fry each burger in a stick of butter. If only they made Veggie Butter Burgers, I could die a happy man (mainlining cholesterol like that almost guarantees it). Oh well, I leave on Wednesday night, so I won't have to worry about it anyway.

And UNTIL Wednesday, my work has me on call 24-hours a day. I've maybe gotten a couple of hours in naps over the past 36 hours, so I am understandably buggin' right now (especially since I only got three hours the night before that). I think I'm starting to hallucinate. If this entry is totally incoherent, now you know why. Of course, this doesn't excuse every other entry I've made being incoherent, but it's nice to have an explanation once in a while.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "To kill, you must know your enemy. And in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit... ever. They're like the Viet Cong... Varmint Cong."
Yesterday's Answer: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1986) with Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Robert Patrick.

Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. delmer says:

    I’m guessing Caddyshack for the movie quote.

  2. Annette says:

    um…. Dave… according to the culvers.com web site, the name ‘butter burgers’ originated from the custom of serving the delicious fresh blend of select cuts of 100% U.S. beef between a LIGHTLY BUTTERED toasted bun. And it looks like they’re a Wisconsin company : ) Hope you have a restful evening, and lay off those lavender and lilac toiletries!

  3. Michelle says:

    There’s a vegetarian restaurant in the Wisconsin Dells (where i was over the 4th o’ July weekend). It’s the Cheese Factory Restaurant. but i didn’t know there would be no meat. the sausage was gross. b/c i like meat.

  4. Morgan says:

    You probably don’t check comments from this far back, but I was reading through your archives and felt a bond here… I’m a vegetarian from Wisconsin, and I eat a *lot* of grilled cheeses. And hate going to restaurants on Fridays.
    Next time you’re in the area, I suggest trying the egg salad. Most family restaurants are proud of their egg salad recipe, and they’re usually pretty fantastic.
    Also: deep fried cheese curds!

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