I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is at German Haus in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.
Greetings from Camp Douglas, Wisconsin!
N 43° 55.165’ W 090° 15.577’ Elev. 934 ft.
The crew of the SS Me So Hungry was starving and completely exhausted when we finally pulled off Interstate 90/94 at Exit 55 in Camp Douglas. I didn’t really want to drive quite that far that day but, because of a screwed up schedule, had little choice.
I was passing through Madison when I remembered I’d stopped years ago at a German restaurant located in a picturesque Bavarian-style building.
On that visit I had Jaeger Shnitzel, a breaded pork steak smothered in a reddish (paprika?) mushroom gravy. Even though it had been over ten years, I remembered it was delicious. The other thing that was really memorable were these little cooked carrot medallions on the salad bar that were really sweet and tasty; I think they called them Golden Pennies or some such. Hoping it was still in existence I slogged on and, thankfully, it was still there in all of its Cuckoo-clock grandeur.
That night’s special was Pork Wiener Shnitzel that came with soup and salad bar. I was too tired to pay attention and can’t remember what it cost but I think it was around $12.
One of the soups was an incredibly hearty and meaty Vegetable Beef. I’d forgotten that the soups here are really good. Evidently they’re homemade by the owner, Rolf, a spry and friendly 77-year-old I met while I was waiting. It was kind of weird because I was waiting in the bar for my to-go order and he kind of came out of nowhere and asked me how I was doing. Here’s a friendly old man, I thought. “He’s the owner,” the bartendress told me. “He’s here every day.”
The salad bar was also pretty good. One of the unusual things on it was a ground chicken salad concoction the consistency of firm Malt-O-Meal®. There was also a bean-and-pasta salad that was interesting. But alas, there were no Golden Pennies. Wah! Still, I filled the to-go box with about two pounds of goodies.
While I was waiting for my entree a woman came in and ordered a Bloody Mary. What caught my attention about it was (as it turns out) a curiously Wisconsin thing. Years ago I broke down in Wisconsin and went to the restaurant next-door to the motel where I was staying. It happened to be Happy Hour and I was beached, so I went in the bar and ordered a Bloody Mary. But instead of the “normal” celery stalk and green olives for garnish, it came with a dill pickle wedge and pickled brussel sprouts. While it was really delicious and a great combination it was, to say the least, a surprise. Though they didn’t have pickled brussel sprouts at German Haus, they garnished it with a dill pickle wedge and did the other “odd” Wisconsin Bloody Mary thing: Serve it with a beer chaser. Go figure? But don’t argue: It’s goooood!
When my entree came I took the meal back to the land yacht, ate the soup, and … promptly fell asleep.
Luckily, the Pork Wiener Shnitzel, which was about the size of your foot and came with Spaetzle and a couple of rolls, turned out to be surprisingly good cold. It came with a little thangy of creamed horseradish, which wasn’t a bad combination. But what it really needed was some of that great mushroom gravy that the Jaeger Shnitzel comes with; the only difference between the Pork Wiener Shnitzel and the Jaeger Shnitzel is the mushroom gravy and about $7. (If you’re wondering, plain old Wiener Shnitzel is veal.)
Despite the fact that I crashed and burned before eating the meal it was all good cold, and the leftover Pork Wiener Shnitzel was extremely tender made for a great sandwich. …Verdammt! If only I had some German hot, sweet mustard!!
And so we roll.
Target Bluff German Haus Restaurant, 208 State Road 12/16, Camp Douglas, WI 54618
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.