Thursday, July 21, 2011

Up North

Chateau au bord du lac
In our family, we are fortunate to have had a Grandfather who had a summer home in Woodrufff, Wisconsin. In case you don't know, Woodruff is, it's about seven hours north of Chicago. Every summer we would make at least one trip a year to this area for our summer vacation. It was while on one of these vacations that I first heard restaurants referred to as supper clubs. After a hard day playing in the sun, we would get cleaned up and head off to a local supper club.
Friday Night Fish Fry 
It was at these supper clubs, our parents would meet friends they met over the years and enjoy some cocktails with. For the children it was not uncommon to find some games, or a a complete game room to keep them busy while the parents were in the lounge. 
These supper clubs didn't have extensive menu's like Chicago restaurants did. They did have what I called "North wood's favorites. I was first introduced to the Friday night "fish fry in  Minocqua, Wisconsin." What did I expect, we were in fishing country. What was amazing is that the fried fish was generally not from the local waters, but from as far away as Iceland. Generally it was either Cod, or Haddock. It was almost always fried, although some places offered a broiled or baked version. In most cases the fish fry was an all-you-can-eat affair, served with Cole slaw and French fries. Unlike many of our friends back home, fish was something that we really enjoyed eating. My Dad liked it because it was cheap.
Prim Rib of Beef  on the grill
The other Supper Club staple "Prime Rib" was something that I had never heard of before. Prime Rib is one of the most tender pieces of meat that I have ever tasted. Generally served with a baked potato and a sauce called "au jus," served in a small cup. The owners of these Supper Clubs must have a regional recipe because it was always delicious.
Can I cut a piece for you?
One of our friends from our home town moved from the Chicago suburbs to Woodruff, where her parents owned a restaurant, or supper club. Her father and mother brought a little of the taste of Chicago with them.
BBQ Ribs
We were also fortunate that our Father was able to purchased a summer home in Minocqua, Wisconsin. I was already married but still looked forward to those one or two week vacations up North.
Aah life is good

© TMelle 1998-2011

No comments: