Category Archives: Restaurants

Great Food In Hammond, Wisconsin

As previously noted, I recently moved to New Richmond, Wisconsin. While I have done some exploring of the surrounding area, much more exploration will take place in the near future. It takes time to put a house in order, which takes away from some of my free-time for checking out my new surroundings.

While looking for food the first weekend in our new home, my husband and I found a great place in Hammond, Wisconsin. The Parkside Restaurant and Bar, which in my opinion, is highly note worthy. We have eaten at this particular restaurant about five times now. Every experience at the Parkside has been great.

What I love about this restaurant is that they offer three great things. They have Friday night all you can eat fish fry, Saturday all you can eat steak buffet, and both of these include an unlimited salad bar. The food is awesome, and you cannot beat the prices. They offer a number of potato selections, including potato salad and garlic mashed potatoes, which are both wonderful.

If you are looking for a place to view the big game, you can do that at the Parkside as well. They have limited table seating in the bar area. If you would like to sit outside and enjoy the nice summer weather, they also offer patio seating. The servers are prompt and attentive. The facility is a little older looking, but seems clean and well kept.

If you plan to visit for one of the weekend specials, be sure to arrive either early, or a little later in the evening. Prime dinner hours can be a little busy and you could find youself waiting for a table, though I have never had to wait more than five to ten minutes max.

For more information on the Parkside, please visit: http://www.parkside-hammond.com/

Revisiting Tim Hortons

It’s always exciting when new businesses show up in my home town. Recently, in Prior Lake, we acquired a few new restaurants and businesses, but the most exciting to me was the arrival of Tim Hortons. Neal and I stopped at a Tim Hortons while traveling on our honeymoon and I have found myself wishing ever since that there was one near home.

Two weeks back, on July first, I decided to venture over to our local Tim Hortons for the first time. Boy was that a mistake, which I am currently laughing about. I failed to recall that it was indeed Canada Day and that Tim Hortons is a Canadian company. The entire place was packed with local Canadians and they had no donuts left, which is what I was on a mission for.

Sadly, after standing in line for fifteen minutes until I could finally see the doughnut case was empty, I left empty handed. I decided to try again the following weekend. This time I went through the drive through. I was disappointed to find out that they do not have old fashioned chocolate or blueberry doughnuts, so my husband and I settled for something other than what we were looking for. I did try the coffee, which I admit was quite tasty.

I cannot comment on the other food at Tim Hortons, because I have not tried it. They do have a vast menu and I could definitely see myself stopping in to try one of their sandwiches or other specialty items in the future. Their website will definitely make you hungry, the sandwiches look amazing. I would probably drink the coffee again, but not unless I were ordering something else off the menu to go with it.

After this experience I can truly say that I would be just as happy going over to Holiday for a doughnut when I’m going through that twice per year craving. Tim Hortons doughnut price is a little extreme when I know I can find something similar and just as tasty for a less. I had definitely built this business up in my head, but then again, Neal and I were also on our honeymoon, so everything looked pretty great.

For more information on Tim Hortons, please visit: http://www.timhortons.com/us/en/index.php

Diamond Jo Casino In Worth, Iowa

Over the past seven years I have spent quite a bit of time in Iowa. My friends and family seem to think that it is so far away. In reality, it’s only about an hour from where I currently live, in Minnesota. There is more to this state than just corn fields, which is what people tend to think of when they hear Iowa. If you like casino games or checking out new places, Diamond Jo Casino, in Worth, Iowa, might be the place for you.

Only an hour and a half south of Prior Lake, Minnesota, Diamond Jo is a great overnight destination, or day trip. This casino offers a variety of food options, such as: Burger King, Subway, The Kitchen Buffet, and the Woodfire Grille. I tend to choose Burger King’s chicken nuggets, or the buffet. The food at the buffet is decent. They have one particular dessert that I look for any time I visit. It’s a chocolate gluten free dessert that is to die for. I most enjoy their brunch, which includes an omelet station and various other breakfast items. This buffet has gone through some changes and continues to evolve; my hope is that it will continue to improve, because there are a few items, such as the Crab Rangoon, that could use some work, but there are also items, such as the catfish, that I find quite delectable.

As far as games go, this casino tends to keep on top of trends. They do offer a variety of old and new games. I was a little bummed to find out that they appear to have gotten rid of their Pelican Pete games, which I love. They do have live table games and a poker room if you enjoy a little more action.

Diamond Jo provides free live entertainment at their Big Wheel Bar every Friday and Saturday night. If you are looking for some bigger names in music, they also have musicians and comedians scheduled in their event center, throughout the year. A calendar can be obtained on their website.

If you visit Diamond Jo and you would like to stay overnight, they have pretty decent accommodations. The casino is connected to the local Country Inn & Suites. I have previously stayed at this hotel and very much enjoyed my room, as well as the hot tub and pool area. I have also stayed at the Holiday Inn Express across the street, the first couple of days it was open, and the rooms there were very nice as well. Either place provided for some relaxing downtime after a night of fun at the casino.

This casino atmosphere is fairly comfortable. The gaming area is not as big as that of Mystic Lake or Treasure Island Casino, but it is enough to meet my standards. I have enjoyed many evenings checking out the music at the Big Wheel Bar, as well as dining with family and friends. I always have a great time at Diamond Jo.

For more information on this particular casino, or the B Connected Club, please visit: http://www.diamondjoworth.com/

 

Summer Fun At Gilligan’s In Chetek, Wisconsin

Summer is here and what’s not to love? You have your sandbars, your outdoor music, great grilled foods, cold beverages, camping, and laughing it up with family and good friends. This past weekend I went camping with family at Six Lakes Campground in Chetek, WI. We chose this particular spot because it was a mere four blocks from Gilligan’s, which is the bar my father’s band, 40 Fingers, was playing at this past Saturday.

Gilligan’s is a great time for anyone who loves being outdoors and listening to good music. The bar staff is attentive and they will check up on you to see if you would like to place an order for their wonderful food, or if you need your drink refilled. If you prefer to get your own beverages, the tiki bar is quite large and located out back by the music, for your convenience. The bar features brightly colored bar stools and on a nice day you can sit in the sun and watch the boats come and go on the lake, while taking in some live music.

The food at Gilligan’s is pretty great. This time around we ordered pork nachos and gourmet cheddar cheese curds. The cheddar curds are the size of golf balls, and they are delicious. I feel the need to indulge in them any time I visit Gilligan’s; I’m a Wisconsin girl all the way.

The drinks at Gilligan’s can be ordered in a keepsake drink mug, if you like that sort of thing, which I personally do. The mugs come in a variety of bright and fun colors. Mine is hot pink, but you can also get blue, neon green, purple, etc. I bring my mug with me to refill, each time I visit. This bar also has a variety of specialty summer drinks. I recommend trying them out if you are adventurous and open to new flavors.

Gilligan’s has music on weekends. My father’s band, 40 Fingers, will be at Gilligan’s again this coming Saturday, if anyone is wishing they hadn’t missed this past week’s performance at this particular location. This upcoming weekend features the Bear Creek Band, on June 28th, Your Mom, on June 30th, and 40 Fingers, on July 1st.

The venue has two bars, one indoor and the tiki bar, out back. The bands play outside just off the lake in the tiki hut. There is a dance floor, but the floor is all sand, so it can be difficult to dance. The majority of the sitting area is hard floor and my family and friends tend to hang out up top near the tiki bar and dance on the more solid ground.

Gilligan’s is the place to be for good food, good music, and relaxing lakeside. For more information, please visit: http://gilliganschetek.com/

 

 

Carlos’n Charlie’s At The Flamingo

When in Vegas, there are plenty of dining options to choose from. There is no shortage of buffets, bars, or any other type of food you might have a hankering for. If you have a particular love for Mexican cuisine, and you like the bar scene, Carlos’n Charlie’s might be the place for you.

Carlos’n Charlie’s is similar to Senor Frogs, and they are located in the Flamingo. They have the DJ who plays a lot of fun party music, they hand out free shots here and there and they may even have a silly contest or two. People in this bar tend to get a bit wild and crazy, from my experience.

The food is good. I’ve tried several different items on the menu and all are wonderful. I particularly enjoy there appetizer platter, everything on it is quite tasty. The ribs are also great. You will not be disappointed by portions.

If you look on Groupon, you may find a voucher for food and two hours of unlimited drinking. This can be dangerous because they tend to pour their drinks a little strong. They give you a choice of tap beer or the frozen margaritas.  I like the margaritas because they are served in a glass you can keep and you can choose to mix flavors together.

For more information on Carlos’n Charlie’s, please visit: https://www.caesars.com/flamingo-las-vegas/restaurants/carlos-n-charlies-las-vegas#.WUrzM9yQxhE

Get Your Groupon On!

Whenever I am getting ready for a trip, or I need a night out for dinner, or a massage to relax, there is one place I look to without fail. That place is Groupon. I am sure that many of my readers will recall hearing me speak of Groupon in the past. Groupon is a site where you can get goods and services, as well as vacation packages, for a fraction of their original cost.

Groupon is located all over the US; some cities have caught on more quickly than others. My home town for instance, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has some Groupons available, but not enough to make me happy at this point. Places like Las Vegas, however, have all sorts of Groupon services and items to choose from.

To use Groupon, all you have to do is add the app to your phone, or go to their website: www.groupon.com. You then type in the location you are interested in, and voila, all sorts of things will pop up. One thing to note is that most goods can be ordered no matter your location, but the voucher will say if it has any stipulations.

When we go to Las Vegas or anywhere on vacation, I always check to see if there are deals on hotel rooms, restaurants, or things to do. Most often we will find several restaurant options. Something important to understand is that most likely the business providing the offer is only making a quarter of what they normally would on the service or item they are offering. Groupon gets the other quarter of the price, because the price is half of what it would normally be. With this in mind, please tip well if you are going to dinner, or to get a massage, etc.

If you purchase a Groupon, always make sure you keep the expiration date in mind. You want to make sure your voucher is good during the dates you are traveling before you purchase it. If your voucher expires, however, you can still use the amount you originally paid, toward the service.

For the business owner who is looking to use Groupon, there are things you should keep in mind. The purpose of Groupon is to help businesses bring in new clientele, however, depending on whom you are and what you offer, most often the people who buy Groupons do not return. They are simply looking for a deal and providing you with fast cash, though it is a fraction of what you would normally make on your provided service. If you are a massage therapist, this could be great for you. If you are a Reiki Practitioner, like me, and people don’t necessarily know what Reiki is, this will bring in some clients, but not necessarily the amount you would hope for.

As a business on the selling end of Groupon, I have had a lot of frustrations with the company. They wouldn’t give me what I wanted in my advertisement; they didn’t like to return my calls or emails. I requested a different account manager and never had my request met, and then suddenly my account manager was gone from the company and I was never told about a replacement. I am not saying this will be your experience, I am sure others have had great experiences; mine just didn’t go how I had pictured.

If you are dealing with Groupon as a client who has an issue, they are pretty great. They tend to rectify issues quite quickly. Usually if there is a problem with the Groupon, they will refund your money. Sometimes they will give you a credit. I have never been let down by the final outcome of my request for remedying an issue with a business.

If you love online shopping and deals, check out Groupon. They can save the average person quite a bit of money on a daily basis, especially if you are open to trying new things. Just be careful, Groupon can become a little addicting when you start receiving discount codes on a regular basis.

For more information on Groupon, please visit: https://www.groupon.com/

 

Fun At Big Swedes Resort In Holcombe, Wisconsin

This past weekend, while visiting family for Memorial Day, my father’s band, 40 Fingers, played in Holcombe, Wisconsin at Big Swedes Resort. I had never been to this particular resort before, but a lot of fun was had by everyone. The band played from 4-8pm. We danced, we had some drinks, and we enjoyed some wonderful food.

Big Swedes is a resort located on the lake. You can rent cabins, play volleyball, or sit and listen to music on weekends. This is a great place to celebrate the summer holidays.

The main bar and restaurant are decently sized and have booths, regular tables, and bar seating. You can sit down and enjoy a nice meal, or just have a cocktail or two at the bar. They also have some games available for those moments when you feel like doing something a little different.

The secondary building is a pole barn type structure that can be opened on all ends, if desired. The band played inside this area. There is a bar located in the opposite end from where the band is. Several tables and chairs are there for your listening enjoyment, but they do fill up fast, so arriving early would be to your benefit. The dance floor is decently sized and seemed to be plenty of space for those who wanted to shake their tails.

The staff at Big Swedes was nice, but not always very prompt. It felt at times as if certain staff behind the bar were too busy day-dreaming to notice someone wanted something. In one instance it appeared that my wanting to order food was an inconvenience, which is a little frustrating. I had better luck getting beverages out in the pole barn. The woman working outside was very helpful and prompt, she definitely earned her tips.

The group I was with ordered several different food items. We tried the cheese curds, the nachos, and a thin crust supreme pizza. All of the food was wonderful. I especially loved the pizza.

The music was great and the atmosphere of the pole barn was nice. I will definitely visit Big Swedes again sometime. Hopefully the slow service inside was an isolated incident.

For more information or to book your weekend at Big Swedes Resort, please visit: http://www.bigswedes.com/