For the last week or so, I’ve been hiding out in the woods of Northern Wisconsin, avoiding the craziness of the All-Star Game, avoiding work, avoiding putting on make-up, and avoiding the heat. But mostly, I’ve been visiting Kyle, who’s working at a camp up here. I’ve surely put on about 10 pounds with a combined diet of mediocre camp carbs, the multiple jars of peanut butter I keep stashed in Kyle’s cabin, a cook-out when he has a few hours off, and a meal or two out when he has the whole day free.
Yesterday’s day off began with a very late breakfast or lunch (but definitely not a brunch) at Delta Diner, an old roadhouse-style diner in the town of Delta, Wisconsin.
Should you ever find yourself in the Delta Lakes region of northern Wisconsin, you really should make your way to Delta Diner. The owner — who mans the grill — imported the vintage building to Delta before opening it in 2003. I hear there’s been a line out the door ever since, and for good reason.
This place has vintage charm, charming staff, and pretty great food.
Speaking of the food, I knew I wanted to start with something deep fried. I mean, when at the counter of a vintage diner, right?
After much deliberation on my part regarding deep-fried mac-and-cheese versus onion rings, we started with the mac. While I’m pretty sure it was Kraft in there, it definitely hit the carb-craving spot (my C-spot?), especially when dipped in the homemade chipotle mayo.
For his meal, Kyle chose the PBLT, fried perch on a BLT. When he inquired about the origins of the fish, the owner told him it’s not easy or cheap to get, but he has a supplier who sources it from Lake Erie. The bread was local, from the Ashland Baking Company in Ashland, Wisconsin, and slathered in the chipotle mayo. It totally made up for the Kraft-like mac-and-cheese (which I would absolutely order again, in case you’re wondering).
I opted for the blue-plate special “Pork Florentine Omelette,” which was stuffed with pork tenderloin, kale, onions, mushrooms and cheese, and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce.
I, too, got some of that nice local bread — very well buttered.
As we finished our meals, and I picked at Kyle’s crinkly fries, we chatted with the owner, learned about the history of the diner, scored a loaf of cheesy jalapeno bread, and (perhaps most exciting) spotted lots of Kansas City-based Original Juan sauces behind the counter:
“Original Juan is really big in the Delta Lakes,” the owner told us.
So am I. Especially after that meal.