Thanks to our Scandinavian roots, fish boils have become part of the Wisconsin experience. Fish boils originated as a means to feed large groups of people on a budget. Fish boils are much more than just the eating. There is an entire experience that everyone who eats typically participates in and witnesses. Fish (often whitefish) are boiled alongside potatoes. The result: tender fish, often topped with butter. Yum. Here are seven Wisconsin establishments where you are sure to appreciate the fish boil.
1. Old Post Office Restaurant
In the heart of Ephraim, the Old Post Office Restaurant is in, you guessed it, an old post office. It is housed in the old Ephraim post office, to be exact. Monday through Saturday evenings (and Sundays on holiday weekends), they do a classic Wisconsin fish boil. Come check out Boil Master Earl Jones as he manages the fish boil. Reservations are required. And make sure you save room for Door County cherry pie.
2. Fire Pitt
In Trevor, they are doing some Door County-style fish boils. Although they also specialize in BBQ, you can come out in the backyard and check out a proper Wisconsin fish boil. It's served with those boiled sweet onions and of course that rye bread.
3. The White Gull Inn
Is there a better autumn activity than crowding around a fish boil? The folks at the White Gull Inn certainly don't think so. In Fish Creek, you can witness Master Boiler Tom Christianson at the helm, making sure you get the perfect, flaky fish. White Gull doesn't use onions, as they feel that the flavor might overpower the fish taste. All they add is salt. And when it comes on your plate, feel free to add all of the lemon and butter you could possibly want!
4. Harbor Fish Market and Grille
In Bailey's Harbor, Harbor Fish Market and Grille isn't technically a fish boil. It's lobster. Hope that's okay. Well, it better be, because it's awesome. BUT, true to form, the cooking is an event. You are welcome to check the progress of the lobster as it cooks. The lobster is served with potatoes, corn, mussels and clams.
5. Rowley's Bay Resort
If you visit Ellison Bay and come to Rowley's Bay Resort, I hope you're wearing sweatpants. Because this fish boil is ALL YOU CAN EAT. But more than just stuffing yourself, you'll have a great experience. The boil master will spin tales about the area, about the history of fish boils, and more. It's a true dining experience that you probably won't have anywhere else.
6. Scaturo's Baking Company and Cafe
I would not think that a baking company and cafe would be doing a fish boil. But if you're a cafe located in Sturgeon Bay, I guess it's not too odd. The fish boil is Friday nights from 5-8 PM. The whitefish comes with potatoes, onions, coleslaw, some of their fresh baked bread, and Door County cherry pie (baked in house, of course!).
7. The Log Den
In Egg Harbor, the Log Den does a nice fish boil, and actually it comes with chicken along with the usual fixings. The boil master is very entertaining and you will enjoy the flare up (where kerosene is thrown on near the end of the cooking process). There's also a nice bar to hang out at or catch a Packers game.
Where is the best place to sample a proper Wisconsin fish boil? Give them a nod in the comments.