Being a health-conscious foodie can be a challenge, because it’s not always easy to determine the history of how and where food is produced. The owners of Armstrong Apples Orchard and Winery have created such a narrative for their clients, growing fruit deeply rooted in their commitments to community and homegrown produce.
Sixteen years ago, they planted their first apple orchard, calling on friends and neighbors aged 8 to 80 for help. Since then, the farm has expanded and now grows 14 varieties of apples, peaches, pears, and grapes, which they serve fresh, baked into pies and turnovers, and pressed into their award-winning wine. Of these libations, apple wine is the owners' specialty, and it ranges from the very dry—best paired with meat—to the cinnamon sweet—best paired with Halloween costumes.
In addition to fresh fruit, baked goods, and adult beverages, the farm boasts entertainment for kids and adults alike, including a playscape and a zorb ball, which is a 12-foot high hamster-ball-like contraption that guests climb inside to travel across an open 5-acre field.
Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates made a deep impression on modern medicine?he inspired the oath that all physicians swear to before offering their talents to the world. Naturopathic doctor Renee Waters believes that "do no harm" is one of the most important precepts that Hippocrates ever penned. Since 1984, she has helped patients improve their health without introducing them to potentially harmful artificial drugs or invasive procedures, such as surgery or food-pyramid tattoos. Instead, she employs natural techniques, including reflexology and herbal medicine, to improve the function of major organs and leaves patients feeling cleansed and energized with detoxifying treatments. One of her most popular treatments is the Ultimate Healing Massage, which incorporates a scalp massage, lymph drainage, and acupressure work. Her naturopathic scope also includes iridology sessions, where she analyzes markings on patients' irises to evaluate physical and psychological health.
Though Villa Palermo Café is small, the eatery’s menu is an entirely different story. The chefs have tweaked pages upon pages of dishes, ranging from traditional Italian entrees and thin-crust and Chicago-style pizza to dishes culled from Mexican and Greek culinary traditions. They begin their work in the early hours of the morning, pouring and frying wafer-thin sheets of batter into crepes, which arrive filled with a choice of fruit and drizzled with butter or hot maple syrup. As the lunch hour approaches, they shift over to pizza, paninis, and burgers, and customizable pasta options allow customers to help in the creation of the meal without the embarrassment of wearing an apron with a slogan about kisses. Like any good Italian café, the restaurant also offers steaming cups of cappuccino topped with whipped cream and traditional Italian desserts such as pistachio cannoli and homemade tiramisu.
Housed in the historic Ramada Plaza Hotel, Cibo Steaks & Spirits hosts a team of culinary wizards who craft hearty bread-bound edibles by day and a dinner menu brimming with Italian-inspired plates by night. Noontime noshers can start with an order of mozzarella sticks ($5) or red pepper poppers ($5.50) before wrapping mitts around a lightly breaded buffalo chicken sandwich ($6) or a charbroiled brat burger ($6), which hides its identity crisis beneath a thick cloak of sauerkraut and mustard.
Two towering bears stand guard outside of Tabbert's Restaurant, their broad, wooden grins welcoming guests into the family-run establishment that's been cooking up comfort food since 1987. Owners Bill and Kay Tabbert attract both locals and people passing through with their famous breakfasts (served all day) that include fluffy buttermilk pancakes and savory corned beef hash. Later, they make room on the grill for burgers and steak dinners. Putting his own stamp on the family eatery, Bill and Kay's son Nick introduced brick-oven pizzas in 2010, so the aroma of freshly-baked pies melds with other Italian specialties in the evenings.
Years ago, the owner of Blessed Bee Cupcakes started her business in the kitchen of her own home. She lovingly sifted flour and beat fresh eggs for made-to-order baked goods. Word of her cakes and cupcakes started to spread through the community, and she was eventually able to open a bakery in historic downtown Fond du Lac. There, she crafts treats using local, seasonal ingredients; recent specialties include pumpkin pie spice cupcakes and vanilla bean cupcakes infused with vanilla bean seeds from Village Market. Patrons can also order specialty cakes decorated with smooth fondant or buttercream icing.