Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

For the love of cheese curds January 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I’M A BIG FAN of local mom-and-pop restaurants. I prefer to eat at a place that’s distinctly home-grown as opposed to chain anything.

The Curdy Stop, Redgranite, Wisconsin.

The Curd Stop, Redgranite, Wisconsin.

On my last trip through central Wisconsin, I spotted a new eatery, The Curd Stop, in Redgranite, west of Oshkosh. I love the name of that community and how Wisconsin State Highway 21 curves right through the town.

How the building looked as an ice cream shop. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo, May 2014.

How the building looked as an ice cream shop. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo, May 2014.

In the past, the lavender hue of an ice cream shop, once housed in this building, always grabbed my photographic attention.

The Curdy Stop up close.

The Curd Stop up close.

But this time I noticed the building had been repainted a muted brownish red and was sporting signs about cheese curds. That’s so Wisconsin.

Time did not allow my husband and me to stop at The Curd Stop this trip. But, after checking out the eatery’s Facebook page, I’m determined that we will dine there sometime.

The menu promises farm to table fresh food that’s locally sourced.

For example, on Fish Fryday, you can dine on freshwater Lake Michigan yellow perch from Two Rivers, one of my favorite Wisconsin communities.

Order up The Curdy Classic and you’ll get locally sourced beef with Wisconsin artisan cheese tucked inside and melted on top.

Given the name, you can expect most menu items to include cheese curds or some form of cheese. And I do love cheese.

The restaurant promises that “all menu items are handcrafted fresh, not frozen.” Just how I like my food.

“Wisconsin never tasted so good,” according to The Curd Stop.

If any of you readers have dined at The Curd Stop in Redgranite, I’d love to hear.

Do you have a favorite home-grown eatery? Tell me why and give them a shout out here.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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24 Responses to “For the love of cheese curds”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    I have many fond memories of Two Rivers. Growing up we use to dock a boat there over the summer at The Stop N Dock. We would drive over Friday afternoons (parents were off work at 12 or 1 on Fridays) and salmon fish in that evening, all day on Saturday and a bit more on Sunday morning. It was a bit of a drive on the weekends, but we caught lots of fish. I do recall one unfortunate incident there – a five year old boy fell off the dock and drown one weekend while we were there. It was a terrible thing to wake up to. When the weather turned bad and the lake was too rough, we would explore the town. I remember the custard ice cream. It’s been a while since I’ve been through that area; not sure if the ice cream parlor is still there or not.
    After some years we moved down the shore to Manitowoc. Another great city to spend time in. Manitowoc is the most Easterly point of U.S. Route 10 in WI which ends right at the Lake Superior shore at Manitowoc Harbor (Prescott being the most Western point). Eastern WI is a great place to play. I especially enjoy Door County. There are oodles of those “mom & pop” farm to table fresh locally sourced food establishments in all the towns that dot the map across the state along U.S. Route 10. I smell a photography/book idea 🙂

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Oh I think that looks like a winner winner chicken dinner or cheese curd dinner or something. 🙂 Favorite home town eateries? I have written several posts about several that I like in Mason City over the past couple of years—it is fun to find different ones, isn’t it?

  3. We try to avoid chain eateries as much as possible which means getting off the interstates and exploring the secondary roads in order to find them. Sometimes we hit pay dirt, culinarily speaking, and other times, we really wished we had stayed on the highway. On the way up to Massachusetts in Connecticut is the famous Blue Colony diner, truly a landmark.The most unbelievable selection of pies, all delicious, I’ve ever seen. If any of y’all are in New England, you MUST GO!!
    http://www.bluecolonydiner.com/

  4. You had me at cheese curds…!

  5. Almost Iowa Says:

    Great and not so great is often a matter of perspective. I remember a conversation that occurred many years ago in Prescott.

    Me: “Oooooh, smoked carp!! I’ll have that!”

    The one who loves me: “I’ll wait until we get to Hastings to eat.”

  6. hotlyspiced Says:

    I don’t like chain restaurants either. The curdy classic sounds good and I love the colour of the building – really stands out xx

  7. Don Singsaas Says:

    Dan is so correct, Door County is a place everyone needs to visit but when visiting give yourself plenty of time for the local foods and antique shops! I totally agree with you Audrey, “mom and pop” establishments are so much better then the same ol same ol chain restaurants. Years ago my parents owned a Bakery/Restaurant and they had many customers from the surrounding area drive to town specifically to eat there. They went so far as to have special meals and sandwiches made to accommodate the wishes of the patrons. When the restaurant got to busy instead of hiring more people they just put the cash register on the counter and customers paid and made there own change! I love small towns and the people in them!

  8. Jackie Says:

    Those “mom & pops” are the best aren’t they! One of those here in Rochester is John Hardy’s BBQ. Looks like a “dive”, but the food is yummy… here’s a little bit more on John and the start of his place. http://www.johnhardysbbq.com/ourstory.html I remember John cooking behind the counter when I was in my early teens, he always greeted his customers 🙂

  9. Aaron Says:

    I haven’t had any favorite places lately, but I just need to venture out and find some, that’s all.

  10. Love the Barn to Table sign – I will always be a cheese lover due to growing up in the Midwest 🙂

  11. […] items – buildings she passes frequently, especially when she notices changes, such as the changes in a small town in Wisconsin. She includes photos of people, people who may otherwise may be unnoticed, people like Layton […]


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