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Life as a Transplant Townie

COFEEE AND SO MUCH MORE:  Bridge Street Brew is the place of choice.  Whether you need to start the day with a coffee, lemonade or smoothie, it can only get better with a selection of their unique breakfast items of scones, crepes and baked goods.  If it’s later in the day make sure to visit again for a sandwich wrap or fresh salad the Big Sky or Hunger of the Pines to be my recommendations! Other than this place, who else has the unique offering of cilantro-mayo?  Enjoy outdoor seating and enjoy the view of our downtown’s Main Street (Bridge Street) or enjoy a seating option indoors of a comfy chair or café tables.  Here the family-owned business team will treat you how you should be treated and give you one of the best friendly welcomes Chippewa Falls can provide.

LUNCH WITH THE LOCALS:  Olson’s Ice Cream.  Although hands down would recommend this place for a cup or cone of ice cream deliciousness, be sure to stop by during the lunch hours and place your order for local conversation and service.  Although a simple meal, it’s probably the best grilled cheese and soup combo in town!  Lucy’s is another great stop.  Homemade soups and sandwiches keep life simple but special. Looking for more of a variety?  Check out the Rumor Mill’s lunch soup, salad, hot bar and dessert buffet.  Seriously though, who else would have Tatortot Hotdish be on the rotating weekly menu – and have it be as popular as it is? 

FAMILY MEAL GO-TO:  Chippewa Family Restaurant.  There’s nothing on the menu that won’t grab the attention and please the taste buds of all family members will be excited to have.  Here you’ll be treated with the highest level of Midwestern respect and even better genuine and friendly smiles.  Being family owned, the owners and family leaders proudly support the community.  Commonly hosting benefits, fundraisers and donating to worthy community needs, this team is appreciated for so much more than their eating selections and service.  Planning to get a cup of coffee? Be sure to learn the tricks and trade of the green and red table coaster – you wouldn’t want to stand out not knowing when to flip it for more!  And save room for dessert – a large selection of pies that simply cannot be passed on.  Favorite meal item of recommendation you ask? Chicken Dumpling Soup, for sure!

DRINK WITH A VIEW:  This one is a good tie between the Chippewa River Distillery and The View.  Where else can you enjoy outdoor seating, a beverage and a view of the beautiful scenic river?  Obviously make sure to ask for the local favorite, a Leinie’s, or a locally made spirit drink of choice.  You’ll get extra lucky on a night with live music.  Acoustic, classic rock or another genre there won’t be a disappointed attendee in the crowd with the weather we are blessed to have.  Another fantastic setting for a local weekend escape is in the outdoor seating areas of River Bend Winery, Autumn Harvest Winery or the patio of Leinie Lodge.  Having these locations not only continues to put Chippewa Falls on top of the list, but adds a little extra in the view that accompanies you too.

CARRY OUT CHECKLIST:  Bomb Tacos and Mahli Thai for sure.  If you drive by both at normal speed, you may miss their locations on Bridge Street – but you won’t want to miss the authentic flavor of either.  Royce and his team at Bomb Tacos are some of the most creative culinary local experts announcing new taco flavors each week.  Don’t expect white linens or anything fancy by the brief walk through ordering process but the meal received deserves to be in the top restaurants menus… well, they are kind of famous – at least within the Chippewa Valley polls!  Looking for more adventure in carryout convenience – Thai it is.  Recently remodeled to keep up with customer demand, be sure to stop by Mahli Thai for a some of the best Thai food you’ll have in the area.  With eateries like this it’s worth carrying it out and bringing it home to eat in the convenience in your home or in a local park setting.

WANT TO BLEND IN WITH THE LOCALS?:  The Ritz it is!  Pull up a stool and {respectfully, of course} join in on the conversation.  Very common the first two that will welcome you to the establishment with a local friendly smiles are the owners themselves! Have you never been to a meat auction – check the schedule and plan a time to make the dream come true.  Don’t be surprised if late-summer there’s produce on the table as surplus to give away from someone’s garden for your choosing to take home.  Another great stop is The Snout.  Commonly referred to as a Biker bar, I’ll be honest – other than friendly smiles and warm hello greetings I’ve never been intimidated by any Bikers who may be there.  Most commonly you’ll find local citizens who will look forward to casual conversation.  Be sure to stop by a time Dane is bartending.   If you happen to swing by when he’s on duty, make sure to tell him the ‘PTO’ Moms sent you! His Moscow Mules made with fresh limes are the best.  Ever try a pickled egg?  Give it a try here!  And considering they are homemade and may even be served with a pickled sliver of onion too, makes the experience even better!  Hospitality, it’s what we do here in the Midwest.

Don’t ask about the finest sit-downs in the area.  I’m a busy wife and mom, with two active kiddos.  Someday I’ll be able to trade my concession stand popcorn from the evening’s youth sports game and leftover cold french-fries in for something gourmet.

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