Shawano Country’s Top 10 Cozy Winter Comfort Foods

Whether you’re planning on visiting Shawano Country to take advantage of our many winter outdoor activities or you’re looking for a weekend away during these frigid Wisconsin months, we’ve created a Top 10 list that will lead you to our area’s favorite comfort food dishes.  Here are our happy-making favorite cold weather dishes from some of Shawano Country’s favorite diners and pubs:

1) Angie’s Main Café: Walleye “Breakfast” Plate
Over at Angie’s, they make diner magic happen on their sizzling flattop every day.  One of their signature meals that will not only give you all kinds of Wisconsin feels but will fill you up for whatever outdoor adventure awaits (or whatever outdoor adventure you’re warming up after), a comforting Wisconsin-style Breakfast of Champions: 2 eggs (any way you like, of course), pan-fried walleye, choice of potato, and buttery toast.  Belly up to Angie’s counter and place an order for this plate of crispy, savory local warmth!
130 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-6240

2) Brothers’ Pub: Steakhouse Burger
First off, this is not a place where you skip the appetizers.  Part of this Shawano-lakeside comfort food experience is ordering either (or both) the Homemade Mozzarella Sticks or (and) the Half-Naked Cheese Curds, because the three tenants of Wisconsin comfort are: Cheese, Cheese, and Cheese.  So, before we move on to the main comfort course, let the waitstaff know you’re gonna need to start with the cheese course.  Then you’ll order the Steakhouse Burger, loaded with melty cheese, perfectly sauteed mushrooms and onions, and a healthy slather of A1 sauce.  You’ll enjoy every juicy mouthful, stopping occasionally to wipe sauce from your chin and to remark at why you’ve never had one of these hearty beauties before.  If that’s not your thing (but it should be), Brothers’ offers a whole menu of dishes you’ll want to cozy up to.
N5867 Lake Dr., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-5212

3) Farm Inn’ On Main: “Tractor Tire” Pancakes
Two words: GIANT. PANCAKES.  They call them “tractor tires” at Farm Inn’ and you’ll see why.  These fluffy buttermilk griddle cakes are nearly as big as the plate they arrive on and they chase winter blues away faster than you can say “Spring Has Sprung.  If you need some savory refreshment to go along with breakfast, this is the kind of place that you can order up a Bloody Mary alongside pretty much anything and prepare for a long winter nap, post-meal.
123 N. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-4916

4) The Harvest Restaurant: Biscuits & Gravy
There’s a lot of options at The Harvest, but we’re craving Biscuits & Gravy.  Peppery cream sausage gravy over two hot-and-fresh biscuits will make anyone’s day, with enough happy-making carbs (we Wisconsinites REQUIRE carbs to slog through winter) and creamy gravy to bolster anyone for an afternoon – or evening – of the great snowy, blustery outdoors.
W17256 Red Oak Ln., Wittenberg, WI 54499
(715) 253-3600

5) Hungry Bear Family Café: The Bear Skillet
Wisconsinites LOVE their skillets, and if you’re looking for the heartiest of comforting meals, a skillet is one of your best bets.  At Hungry Bear Café, the skillet you’re going to go for is aptly named “The Bear”. It’s a heaping portion of eggs absolutely loaded with onions, green peppers, gooey cheese, and your choice of bacon, sausage, or ham.  Oh, and it comes with perfectly crisp hash browns, in case the skillet isn’t enough to satisfy (but trust us, it is).
120 W. Green Bay St., Bonduel, WI 54107
(715) 758-2727

6) Hurricane Dawn’s: Dawn’s Famous Chicken Dumpling Soup
Of course Hurricane Dawn’s has a bar menu to order from, featuring burgers, pizza, and the like, but the true winter comfort food treasure is Dawn’s Famous Chicken Dumpling Soup.  Not only is it a known local cure for seasonal blues, but it makes for a heck of a warm-up after you’ve been out on the trails or on the ice!  Don’t mess around with a cup; order a big bowl of this Midwestern comfort food cure-all!
W11057 County Rd. D, Marion, WI 54950
(715) 754-5138

7) Luigi’s Pizza: Alfredo + Anything
OK, pizza is an obvious comfort food for most of the U.S., and you can safely order a Luigi’s pizza and trust that these handmade pies are going to knock your wool socks off, but we’re here to talk ALFREDO.  Creamy, rich house-made alfredo sauce over al dente linguini can make even the most doleful case of winter blues fall away.  Add chicken, shrimp, or broccoli, as you like, or just go all-out and order the Seafood Alfredo as an instant cold-weather cheer-booster.
607 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-4791

8) The Lumberyard: The Kraut Burger
There’s a whole lotta German food lovers around these parts and The Lumberyard is meeting demand
with knock-out new burger ideas, complete with German flair, by offering the Kraut Burger.  It is what it sounds like: a juicy beef burger topped with heavenly melted Swiss Cheese and tangy sauerkraut.  Think of it as the Rueben’s comfort-food cousin.  We recommend the Parmesan Garlic Fries on the side for the maximum winter blues comfort food treatment!
815 North St., Bonduel, WI 54107
(715) 853-7077

9) Red Rooster Café: Hot Beef Plate
Just sit right down and order yourself the Hot Beef Plate.  This will ensure you’re delivered a huge, steamy plate of succulent beef tips over bread, with a mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy to boot.  You can’t possibly leave hungry and may even need a winter afternoon nap.  Bonus points: The menu says you can order a “SODA POP”, which is about as Midwest Charming as you can get!
237 S. Cecil St., Bonduel, WI 54107
(715) 758-6678

10) Shawano’s Café: Stuffed French Toast
Comfort comes easy at Shawano’s Café, but if you want to know our pick, we think the Stuffed French Toast can’t be beat.  In fact, it might even temporarily cure your cabin fever.  Warm, eggy French toast filled with sweet strawberries and luscious cream cheese.  Is it dessert?  Is it breakfast?  Who cares!  Order up!
W7389 River Bend Rd., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-1122

…watch next month for our Valentine’s Day Supper Club Guide!

 

 

Shawano’s Best Eats & Treats for Your Holiday Table

Know what Shawano is exceptional at?  Making and serving up some truly amazing holiday – and year-round – favorite dishes and cocktails.  Wisconsin, in general, is known for some of the best beer, meat, and cheese in the world and Shawano Country boasts our fair share of craft beers and smoky meats, plus a variety of shops and artisans that supply us with the fixings for a colossal locally made holiday spread.

Look over our handy list of hand-crafted foods, gift foods, and items perfect for serving during the holidays.  We’ve given our choice of three must-haves from each shop to help you get started.  Come to Shawano Country and visit your favorites… or try to see (and taste) them all!

Charlie’s County Market
126 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-9010
Besides having impressive meat and alcohol departments, Charlie’s knows their cheese.  As Wisconsinites, the cheese and dairy areas of our stores is critically important to us and Charlie, himself, knows this.  You’ll find Wisconsin-made cheeses from our state’s best-known cheesemakers.  Here’s what we recommend getting for your holiday charcuterie board:

  • Sartori Montamoré® Cheddar
  • Vern’s Smoked String Cheese
  • Port Wine Cold Pack Cheese (grab some crackers, too)

Fannita’s Bakery
128 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-6600
Just walk down Shawano’s main street in the morning and you’ll smell the warm, soft scent of fresh doughnuts on the wind.  Fannita’s is where you’ll go and once you’re in the door, you’ll get a dozen of some of the most perfectly tender doughnuts you’ve ever experienced… plus fresh bread, frosted cookies, and luscious cakes.  During the holidays, Fannita’s also creates Italian Christmas cookies – the owners are from Italy; these cookies are the real deal – and this year’s most popular winter treat: Hot Cocoa Bombs.  Get all three:

  • Hot Cocoa Bombs
  • Italian Christmas Cookies
  • The Best Doughnuts on Earth (we swear)

Five Star Lamb
W5729 County Rd. B, Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 304-9483
What began with as a 4H project in the 1990s is now a full-fledged farm breeding Suffolk and Hampshire sheep, know for their consistent quality and flavor.  You can order full and half lambs, of course, but if you’re looking for certain cuts, these are holiday and special occasion favorites:

  • Lamb Chops
  • Leg of Lamb
  • Lamb Shoulder Roast

John & Lorraine’s Hobby Honey Farm
W9790 Thurner Ln., Shawano, WI 54128
(920) 234-8565
With hives located around Northeastern Wisconsin, John and Lorraine have their hobby farm in Gresham, Wisconsin.  Stop out at their place and you’ll find all things honeybee.  Sweeten up your holidays with their raw honey – it goes perfectly with tea from The Stock Market in Shawano – the two paired together make a cozy, warming gift!  Get these natural sweets:

  • Creamed Honey (soooo good spread on pretty much anything)
  • Raw & Combed Honey
  • Beeswax Candles for your holiday table

Mike’s Country Meats
800 County Rd. M, Tigerton, WI 54486
(715) 535-4741
Wisconsin’s master of jerky, Mike himself, creates incredible snacks from high quality full-muscle beef that will get top ratings from the jerky lover in your life.  Mike’s jerky flavors range from a traditional jerky to some serious kick-in-the-mouth Carolina Reaper jerky.  You can order “Wisconsin’s #1 Jerky” (it really is!) online or check out our local, well-stocked Wagner Shell stations.  We haven’t tried all of the flavors… yet, but here are our three favorites, so far:

  • Regular Beef Jerky
  • Hot Jamaican Beef Jerky
  • Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats
1390 E. Grand Ave., Wittenberg, WI 54166
(715) 253-4000
Shawano Country is proud to claim this famous family smokehouse as one of our own.  Known by chefs and food lovers across the nation for their signature sweet, mellow Applewood Smoked Bacon, the Nueske family has an unforgettable country store just off Wisconsin Highway 29 in Wittenberg.  Stop in a get traditional smoked meats like summer sausage, landjaeger, and liver sausage for that charcuterie board (fancy-schmancy meat board…including cheese because we’re in Wisconsin) you really should be creating for the holiday… and grab corned beef hash and bacon to make a hearty Christmas breakfast.  Don’t forget a hand-glazed ham for your holiday table, as well!

  • Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Corned Beef Hash
  • Honey-Glazed Spiral-Sliced Ham

Old Glory Candy
 108 E. Division St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-3253
Take a step back in time as you cross the threshold of this charming, sugar-laden candy shop.  With bulk taffy and baskets of hard (and hard-to-find) candies lining the walls, the smell of toasting almonds in the air, and a selection of some of the most creative handmade fudge varieties you’ll find within at least a hundred-mile radius, don’t miss this new take on a vintage candy store.  They have Christmas treats galore!  Our picks:

  • Sea Salt Caramel Fudge
  • Handmade Candy Canes
  • Peanut Butter Meltaways

Pingel Processing
W9248 County Rd. A, Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 851-8281
Just west of Red River, you’ll find Dallas Pingel hard at work hand-trimming tender cuts of meat and crafting small-batch sausages – a multi-generational trade passed down through the Pingel family.  Let’s cut straight to the chase: there’s not much out there that’s finer than a perfectly prepared prime rib roast, and Pingel’s has both fresh and pre-cooked prime rib roasts ready to order at custom weights for the holidays.  Give them a call to reserve a truly special cut of meat for your family’s holiday… these cuts are awesome for New Years, too!  Our choices for the holiday table are:

  • Prime Rib (fresh or pre-cooked)
  • Whole Beef Tenderloin
  • Summer Sausage/Cheese & Sausage Tray

Stock Market
103 S. Main. St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-1111
Besides being one of Shawano Country’s premiere locations for gift-buying, The Stock Market has a colossal amount of made-for-holidays craft liqueurs – and liquors – that you’re going to want to bring home for extra tasty merry-making.  Looking for alcohol-free celebratory drinks?  The women of The Stock Market have bulk teas, herbal teas, and chai ready to steep and enjoy.  Grab a set of vinegar and oil while you’re there, too.  Our abbreviated shopping list looks like this:

  • Sugarlands Appalachian Sippin’ Cream
    (on ice or in coffee; either way you’ll love it)
  • Black Mission Fig Balsamic + Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil
  • Winter White Chai

…try this recipe for Sparkling Holiday Punch from Chelsea Gilling of The Stock Market and we just know you’ll begin to feel the holiday cheer!  Stop in and ask Chelsea and Abby for more recipe ideas anytime; they’ve got terrific uses to recommend for the products they carry.

Stubborn Brothers Brewery
220 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-0859
A newer addition to Shawano’s Main Street, Stubborn Brothers Brewery is housed in a lovingly restored theater that has become a historic jewel of downtown.  What can you take home from a brewery for your holiday party, you ask?  Well, the brothers are ready to fill growlers with your favorite brew so you can enjoy some mighty fine craft beer around your own table.  We’ll list our favorites but know that the beer menu does change.  Trust us when we say that we’re sure you’ll find a brew to love at this impressive public house.  Beer recommendations, if available:

  • DC Cherry Tart (cherry wheat)
  • Shawano Club (pilsner)
  • Two Pistons (amber)

Sweet Timber Maple Co.
W16396 County Rd. M, Tigerton, WI 54486
(920) 213-5225
Wisconsin is known for top-notch maple syrup and Shawano Country is no slouch when it comes to producing this sweet, golden treat.  Sweet Timber has raised the bar in the maple syrup world by creating fanciful delights like Maple Cotton Candy and infused syrups.  Honestly, their Maple Cotton Candy is one of the most unique and most fun confections we’ve ever had.  If you’ve never tried it, you are missing something every food lover needs to experience.  You’ll need to grab some infused syrup for that big holiday breakfast, too.  Our Sweet Timber selections are:

  • Maple Cotton Candy
  • Vanilla Bean (or Bourbon!) Infused Maple Syrup
  • Maple Popcorn

Twig’s Beverage
920 S Franklin St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-5031
We’ll cut to the chase on this one.  If you aren’t from Shawano, we’ll let you in on a secret: Sundrop is a key part of Shawano culture and if you want to hang with us, you’ll have to go get a case of Sundrop in glass bottles to make us feel at home.  Can you give Sundrop, the original golden cola, as a Christmas gift?  Absolutely.  Will your holiday guests love grabbing a cold glass bottle of Sundrop from your fridge or cooler?  Yes, they will.  Will you find yourself drawn to this soda ever after?  Probably.  Drink it straight up or use it as wash in your holiday mixers… p.s., Twig’s makes an amazing, face-puckering sour, too, so pick up some for those Old Fashioneds you know you’ll be having.

  • Sundrop or Diet Sundrop
  • Twig’s Sour Soda
  • Twig’s Orange Soda (you know, for the kids… or yourself)

Yoder’s Bakery
N4995 Oakcrest Dr., Bonduel 54107
(715) 758-6111
A quaint Amish bakery located in the heart of Shawano Country’s Amish community, the Yoder family creates wonderfully fresh baked goods.  Think fruit-filled hand pies, bacon cheese bread, and potato doughnuts.  Yoder’s hearty Old World baking will leave you wanting to make another visit and you’re sure to appreciate a glimpse into a culture that locals treasure.

  • Potato Doughnuts
  • Hand Pies
  • Anything with Cream Cheese Frosting (seriously)

Our community has a great deal to offer in the food tourism department and we’re ready to serve up our very best for your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.  Come to Shawano Country and bring home a taste of Wisconsin’s finest craft foods!

Downtown Holiday Shopping In The Heart of Shawano Country

Are you a lover of Northeastern Wisconsin and its small towns, outdoor fun, and rural charm? Shawano Country boasts all these things in spades!  Since it’s prime time to get your holiday shopping all wrapped up, Shawano’s Main Street offers a unique shopping experience.  You’ll see no chain stores; just loads of charming, locally owned shops filled with carefully selected gifts just waiting to be wrapped up and given to your happy recipients.  Shawano’s shops are open and ready to help you find perfect gifts for everyone on your list.

Consider shopping Shawano for the day – or make a weekend of it to take time to enjoy our community’s charming retailers, hit the casinos, enjoy a full-blown spa day, or get an early winter hike in on one of our area’s scenic hiking and biking trails.  Bring your snowshoes, just in case!

Here’s a list of Shawano’s downtown gift shops, all located on our picturesque small town main street:

Body Essentials
126 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-9010
The ladies of BE are ready to help you select JUST the right gift from their carefully curated collection of all things shiny, comfy, and luxurious.  From supple leather handbags and a sparkling selection of jewelry to body care gifts for men and warm, fuzzy mittens and cozy tops, BE is fully stocked with Christmas cheer!

Bottle House Antiques
701 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 853-8722
Lovers of vintage beware: you’re going to need some time to savor the browsing at Bottle House Antiques… it’s a collector’s dream.  There is no way you’ll walk out of this shop without something in hand that you surely weren’t going to find on Amazon.  This is where REAL TREASURES live.

Cobbler’s Closet
118 S. Main. St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-3117
Is there anyone on your list that doesn’t need a few fresh pairs of Smartwool or Darn Tough socks?  Who wouldn’t!  Visit the Cobbler’s Closet and check out their lines of fine footwear.  Top-quality shoes and boots are what you’ll find, from Dansko to Spring Step.  Think shoes made of real leather with great arch support that will last a loooong time… plus, you can actually try them on… a novel idea these days.  You’ll also find moccasins and cozy slippers for the whole family, ready for slipping under the tree.

Dreier Pharmacy & Gift Shoppe
117 S. Main. St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-2011
While the pharmacy portion of this local business may not seem like a “holiday” destination, let us tell you that the gifts selected by the Dreiers absolutely WILL fit the holiday bill… and, hey, if you have to pick up a ‘script while you’re there shopping the gifts, we all like one-stop shopping, right?!  Dreier’s has loads of Wisconsin-proud gear (our fave), baby and wedding gifts, wax melts and candles, apparel, and cozy winter hats, mittens, and the like.  Get in there and explore!

Generations
137 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-6232

Did you know that we have a large pro-shop and specialty store in the heart of downtown Shawano?  Cheer for your favorite sports teams with apparel and accessories for the entire family, from infant to adult extended sizes.  You’ll also find Military and patriotic shirts, caps, pins, decals, flags and more for the Veterans on your list.

Martin Jewellers
148 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-2030
Looking for a treasured Christmas gift?  Martin Jewellers is ready to help you select a gift that your loved one will carry with them forever, from bridal and anniversary occasions to Christmas and birthdays.  They also have a collection of estate jewelry that’s tons of fun to look through.  Come to Martin’s and let them dazzle you with diamonds and other fine jewelry for this season and beyond.

Off The Wall Art Studio & Gallery
122 S. Main St., Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 524-8810
Fine art and hand-crafted gifts are what you’ll find at Off The Wall, along with a few other intriguing surprises in the mix.  Owner Tamara Magee can tell you the story of each artist and the work you’ll find in her gallery, which ranges from the deeply colorful, feminine oil paintings of Shanti Bennett to the ethereal bronze sculptures of David Aschenbrener. If you seek a unique, personal, locally-made gift, this is a place not to be missed.

Old Glory Candy
108 E. Division St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-3253
Shawano is lucky to have this old school candy shop.  Old Glory makes their own fudge, which is a fresh, creamy knock-out every single time.  They also have the classic wall of bulk candy, plus novelties like edible legos and tons of gummies, Jelly Belly gourmet jelly beans, fancy handmade chocolates, and vintage candies that will time warp you back to the 80s and beyond.  We can practically feel the orange Zots fizzing on our tongues just thinking about it.  Stuff your stockings HERE.

R. Franklin’s Clothing
109 S. Main. St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 524-6100
Looking for a thoughtful gift for the man in your life? Come to R. Franklin’s and you’ll find no graphic tees, here. This new menswear store features upscale men’s clothing, polos perfect for the links, and fresh takes loungewear and men’s casual.  Of course, they can always help you find socks and a tie for dad, too!

The Stock Market
103 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-1111
When you enter the Stock Market, you can be sure of two things: 1. You’re about to buy gifts that will be fully appreciated by the recipient.  2. You’re about to impulse buy some amazing picks for your own holiday table, like sweet, rich Appalachian Sippin’ Cream (trust us) or tender, mellow Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Duck Breast.  The offerings at the Stock Market include craft liquors, oils and vinegars, and all manner of tasty treats and sips

‘Til The Cows Come Home
154 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-1333
Featuring charming farmhouse décor, jewelry from local artisans, hand-painted signs, a wide variety of toys, games, puzzles, and home furnishings, ‘Til The Cows Come Home has a variety of holiday-appropriate gifts for the country-at-heart.

Tumbleweed
203 S. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 201-1400
From loungewear perfect for the lake to enough fringes and flannel to delight any country gal, Tumbleweed is simply a fun place to shop.  The owner and staff are cheerful and ready to steer you towards a perfectly cute (or cozy) holiday outfit… or perhaps a hot new pair of boots from brands like Corral and Twisted X.  Accessories, jeans, tops, and more are waiting for you, so if you’re a lover of country – or comfy – head to Tumbleweed.

We would love to have you shop our town this holiday season.  Come and see us in Shawano Country!

…last but FAR from least, please consider giving gift certificates for the holidays.  Shawano Country boasts a wide variety of salons & spas, restaurants, and theaters – even tattoo parlors – that offer gift certificates.  Here’s a handy link to a gift card shopping cart for Shawano Country businesses: https://www.shawanocountrygiftcards.com/

 

Top 10 Stops for Deer Hunters

Shawano Country has a sizeable population of deer hunters and we can’t ignore that “the season” is upon us!

It’s that time of year when Wisconsin hunters plan life around heading out into the woods and bringing home a freezer full of venison.  For those not from this part of the country, let us tell you that deer hunting season has an almost holiday-like feel.  Days are taken off work, blaze orange gear is aired out from last year’s hunt, bags are packed, and a sizeable stockpile of beer and snacks are purchased and ready to bring along.

Charlie’s County Market
521 South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 524-2523

Shawano’s grocery store of choice for the area’s best selection of beer and liquor, plus a nicely-curated selection of Wisconsin cheeses, a sugar-binge-worthy wall of candy, and a super-stocked meat department.  Run in and grab a case of Busch Light or a mix-your-sixer sixpack of microbrews – whatever’s your style, some bulk gummies, toilet paper, and you NEED those Doritos…now head to the cabin!

Stubborn Brothers Brewery
220 South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0859

Grab a growler, a few crowlers, or just stop in for a pint of one of Stubborn Brothers’ amazing brews.  Based on today’s offerings, we recommend Wild Child Honey Wheat, DC Cherry Tart, Shawano Club Pilsner, or Geisha IPA.  Frankly, they craft everything from porters to sours and fruity wheats; a lil’ something for every beer-drinking deer hunter.

The menu at Stubborn Brothers offers toasty-warm food that any woods-chilled hunter would crave: classic flatbread pizza with pepperoni and sausage, hearty beer cheese soup, big soft pub pretzels, steak nachos… you get the idea.

Twig’s Tattoos
528A South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0859

Been awhile since you got yourself some fresh ink?  Never gotten a tattoo before?  Why not get something to remember this season at Twig’s Tattoos in Shawano.  Our town is lucky to have such a professional, talented tattoo artist.  The work that comes out of Twig’s is simply outstanding, whether it’s a completely new design or a cover-up job.

Note: Generally, you’ll need to book ahead because appointments fill up fast – their work is THAT good!

Pingel Processing LLC
W9248 County Road A, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 851-8281

Pingel’s is located just outside of Red River and is a relatively new addition to the area meat market scene, but is really a re-introduction.  The Pingel family ran a beloved butcher shop in the city of Shawano for decades and now the next generation has taken on the business, with Dallas Pingel opening his own establishment and creating knock-out sausages (think Philly Cheesesteak Brats), gorgeous hand-trimmed steaks, and (we think you’ll appreciate this one) they handle wild game processing.

Wild game processing includes whole deer and whole bear, in season, and they also take scraps – plus, you are guaranteed to get your own meat back.  Pingel’s makes great sausage, so trust them to make you an awesome batch!

Please go check out this clean, new meat market and bring them that buck you bag!  Get yourself a fat ribeye for the grill while you’re there – you deserve it.

Pigeon River Brewing Company
1103 North Main Street #9182, Marion, WI 54950
Ph: (715) 256-7721

The little town of Marion has a hidden gem in the Pigeon River Brewing Company, so if you’re in that neck of the woods, stop in for a pint of “Buxom Lass” Scottish Ale or the self-explanatory “Hop Offer”, enjoyed in a jovial setting.

A full menu is offered and you can get yourself a meaty 1/3-pound Angus burger with that pint or select a prime rib sandwich, flatbread pizza, or choose from a variety of creative sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers.  Why not get another pint of that Buxom Lass before you go?

Mike’s Country Meats
800 County Road M, Tigerton, WI 54486
Ph: (715) 535-4741

The writer of this blog would like to stop right here and tell you something: as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of beef jerky, the jerky made at Mike’s is right on target.  None of that overly-squishy, greasy stuff comes from Mike’s; this jerky is firm, well-seasoned, and has just the right amount of chew.  Just as their website says, this may just be the #1 Jerky in Wisconsin.

Located in Tigerton but available at several local convenience stores (Arby’s 22 Shell in Shawano carries it), you can find bags of Mike’s mean Teriyaki, zesty Black Pepper, sweet and mellow Honey Barbeque, and screaming Carolina Reaper, to name a few.  This is a locally-made snack not to be missed.

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats
1390 East Grand Avenue, Wittenberg, WI 54499
Ph: (715) 253-4059

Famous for their Applewood Smoked Bacon clear across the fifty states, this 3rd generation family-owned smokehouse in the village of Wittenberg is the real deal.  Make sure to get enough bacon for breakfasts at the cabin all week or you may find yourself making a second trip.

Of course you’ll want that Applewood Smoked Bacon, but if you want to change up your meals while you’re in the woods with the guys, get yourself some of their corned beef hash, smoky ham steaks, pancake mix and maple syrup, beef sticks, cheese curds, and anything your smoked meat lovin’ heart desires.

Twig’s Beverage
920 South Franklin Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 526-5031

Listen, we all know you’ll be having some beers, but what’s “as refreshing as a cup of coffee” in the morning?  You got it: SUNDROP.  Shawanoites (Shawanoans?) drink this sparkling stuff like it’s a cure-all.  For all we know, it might be.

Whether you’re on Team Can (so crisp!) or Team Glass Bottle (you can see the pulp!), this caffeinated citrus soda was really this first of its kind, classified as a “golden cola” way back when.  Made right here in Shawano, Wisconsin, you shouldn’t think of going out to deer camp without a case of those good old returnable glass bottles filled with the locals’ drink of choice.  Or get those crisp, cold cans…you decide!

Brother’s Market
N5858 Lake Drive, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0755

Located at the “gate to The Mooseyards”, this souped-up C-store has everything a local – or a guest – could need.  With a variety of wine and beer at the ready, plus locally-sourced Wisconsin staples like fresh squeaky cheese curds, creamy fudge, smoked fish, and golden maple syrup.  They’ll have what you’re looking for, plus a few new favorites, we’re willing to bet.  Oh, and while you’re there, check out Brother’s Pub just across the street.  They’ve got a huge menu and friendly staff just waiting to make you an Old Fashioned or a stiff Windsor and Coke.

Brother’s has everything you need for the cabin, too: firewood, LP, ice – all the Northwoods staples!

Qualhiem’s True Value
1345 East Green Bay Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 526-6108

Real Talk: This place is part of the backbone of Shawano life.  Qualheim’s is an institution in this town.  Go there for pretty much anything.  You

know you’ll get to the cabin and find out you need to fix something.  Go there for buck calls and doe pee.  Go there for dog food.  Go there and rent pretty much anything, including a dunk tank (hey, it’s more fun than you think) or a live trap for the possum under your porch.  You get the idea.

GOOD LUCK & HAPPY HUNTING!

Other Shawano Country Seasonal Info for Hunters & Friends:

CASINOS
RESTAURANTS & BARS
TAVERNS
LODGING

 

Wisconsin Autumn: Shawano Country’s Best Fall Park Picnic Spots

As Northeastern Wisconsin’s last warm days are doled out to us over the months of September and early October, we want to take in every last minute outdoors before the snow flies.  Many of Shawano Country’s parks are located on lake- or riverside shores and showcase the beauty of our fresh, flowing waterways, soon to ice over, and trees – ready to explode into color – are everywhere in our Northwoods neighborhood.  Shawano Country’s parks – some of them tucked away in rural corners you may never have visited – offer some of the area’s best outdoor social distancing options for peaceful play, walks, and picnicking.   Speaking of picnicking, we’ve listed our favorite park picnic spots, plus where we recommend you stop for picnic supplies.

Get outside this fall and take in the final hurrah of Shawano Country’s autumn color!

Hayman Falls
N4386 Hayman Falls Ln., Marion, WI  54950

Long known by area nature enthusiasts for its magically gnarled cedars rooted atop boulders, its rapidly flowing section of the Embarrass River, and riverside pathways and swimming holes, Hayman Falls is a local favorite.  This glimmering riverside park feels almost like a movie set, with twisting cedars and sparkling waters accessible via trails that run alongside the river and wind through the park… there’s even an island you can (usually) wade out to!

Hayman Falls also has playground equipment, enough room for a makeshift baseball game, and picnic shelters, so bring the kids!  There are also grills available if you want to prepare your picnic meal on site.

Best Hayman Falls Picnic Pick: Get Hurricane Dawn’s  to go!  Order bar favorites and take them to the park.  Hurricane Dawn’s is a just few minutes away from Hayman Falls, in Pella (mapped as Marion), Wisconsin, and it’s on the way if you’re coming from Shawano.

Heritage Park
524 N. Franklin St., Shawano, WI  54166

Adjacent to Sunset Island Park, which is also part of our park system and appears later in this list, which is alphabetical, Heritage Parkis located in the City of Shawano and it contains a glimpse into the area’s rich history.  Featuring historical buildings from the city’s beginnings, Heritage Park encourages you to imagine the early years of Shawano’s development as a logging community and a booming town on the Wolf River.  Just across the street, the Shawano County Historical Society building holds a huge amount of information on the area’s early European settlers and businesses of the past, for both the city and the county.

When you’re done strolling through the grounds and taking in breaths of the past, take your picnic lunch over to Sunset Island Park… more on that Heritage Park sister location, to come!

Mielke Park
N5649 Airport Rd., Shawano, WI 54166

On the grounds of Shawano’s Mielke Arts Center Shawano County Arts Council, you can enjoy wooded trails circling tranquil ponds and weaving around the forested grounds of our area’s only performance theater.

During the summer season, Mielke Park is the location for many of our area’s arts festivals, from folk music to crafts.  There’s a playground for the littles and a picnic shelter with a view of Shawano Lake’s southwestern corner, located right across the street.

Best Mielke Park Picnic Picks: Order from Brothers’ Pub or The Launching Pad.  Located about a quarter mile down the road in either (opposite) direction, both of these Lake Drive restaurant-and-bar establishments have terrific menus.  Hit The Launching Pad for seriously bangin’ burgers and Brothers’ for creative wraps… both are perfect carryout foods for your picnic!

Oconto River Park (Pulcifer Park)
Highway 22, Pulcifer, WI  54124

Located approximately 30 minutes Northeast of Shawano, between Pulcifer and Gillett on the Oconto River, is Pulcifer Park.  Featuring fishing platforms so you can cast away and a boat launch available for put in and take out, our easternmost county park offers a place to stretch out and enjoy the tranquil stillness on the banks of a Lake Michigan tributary.

Oconto River Park Picnic Pick: Lakeview Convenience (on the hill in Cecil) is a great option for grab’n go hot deli sandwiches, delicious broasted chicken by the piece or bucket, breakfast items, baked goods and more.

“The Rock”
Butternut Rd., Richmond, WI 54166

This one’s kind of a secret.  It’s not a County Park but we would be remiss in leaving it off this list of local favorites.  You may have to ask a local to find it, but your hint from us, is that it’s on the Red River in the Town of Richmond, close to Weed Dam.  The Rock’s true name is Gilmer Falls, and the granite boulders strewn across the amber waters of the Red River are big enough for sunbathing, fishing from, and some even serve as natural slides and whirlpools.  There are no picnic shelters or tables, but if you love natural water and geological features, this is your park.

Here’s all we ask: Please don’t trespass to find this gem (Note: It’s not at “The Novitiate”) and please, PLEASE no glass bottles at this park, as with all of our parks.

Best “Rock” Picnic Pick:  Shawano Country’s beverage of choice, Sun Drop from Twig’s Beverage …but NOT in glass bottles, please.  😊 Grab a can or plastic bottle of Shawano’s favorite “Golden Cola” and bask, riverside, on the warm rocks at this jewel on The Red.

Shawano Lake County Park
W5791 Lake Dr., Shawano, WI 54166

In the center of Shawano Lake’s North Shore, one of Shawano’s most popular parks has seen loads of upgrades over the past few years.  Not only does this park have a gloriously sandy swimming beach perfect for the summer months, but also a campground, picnic shelters, grills and picnic tables scattered about, playground equipment galore, and a large gathering space available for rental for weddings and parties of all kinds.  Yes, there’s a boat launch.

Best Shawano Lake County Park Picnic Pick:  This park has a concession stand, The Shawano County Snack Shop, so order up!  If you’re visiting in the off season, we suggest packing your lunch, enjoying your day at the park, and then heading to Classic’s Restaurant & Lounge, just south of the park on Lake Drive, for dinner and drinks.

Sunset Island Park (aka “Monkey Island”)
524 N. Franklin St., Shawano, WI  54166

Known to most locals as Monkey Island, Sunset Island is a sister to Heritage Park.  Pull into the parking lot at the corner of North Franklin and West First Streets in Shawano, and take the footbridge over to the island.

Sunset Island has a picnic shelter and several spots around the island where you might want to throw a bobber in the water and see if you get a bite.

Best Sunset Island/Heritage Park Picnic Picks:  Stop in at Charlie’s County Market and check out their picnic-ready selection of cold deli items, like taco dip, subs, salads, wraps, and other chilled bites.  They also have daily hot deli item features like ribs and baked chicken.

Wittenberg Park & WOW Walk
104 Park St., Wittenberg, WI 54499

Western Shawano County and has some of the most fantastic murals you’ll see in the state of Wisconsin.  Painted by a variety of artists and showcased on the village’s businesses and historic buildings, there are nearly 30 murals to visit in this quiet, rural village, which is a high concentration considering the village’s population hovers around 1,200.  The colorful murals of the Walls of Wittenberg depict a variety of real area people, activities, industry, and culture that represent the heart of this small town.

You can take a self-guided walking tour of the murals and stop at Wittenberg’s Washington Park for your picnic.  This small-town gathering space has picnic shelters and tables and plenty of playground space, plus a beautifully restored 1940 band shell, completed as one of the country’s New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects.

Best Wittenberg Picnic Pick: Grab a hot or cold lunch from the Hanke’s Sentry Foods deli.

Voelz Memorial Park at Wilson Lake
Oak Rd. Wittenberg, WI 54499
Though you won’t likely be taking a dip in fall, this lakeside park offers a beach for swimming, picnic shelter and tables, and ski trails for the winter months.  There’s also a boat launch and plenty of space to wander around this 110-acre patch of hidden Wisconsin beauty.

Best Voelz Memorial Park Picnic Pick: Stop in at Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats for some of Wisconsin’s best meat and cheese snack items!

Finally, here’s Shawano County’s Summer Recreation Map.  Although it has some seasonal elements that might not apply as we turn towards winter, this map shows area picnic shelters, boat launches, and other key features for those wishing to explore the public, natural beauty and resources of Shawano Country.

For updates on our area’s favorite parks, follow Shawano County Parks on Facebook…and get outside and enjoy everything Shawano Country has to offer before winter sweeps in!