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.
Casa Anna Cheese Store is arguably Wisconsin’s cheese epicenter. Consider: the shop is situated inside the historic Park Cheese factory, which has produced italian cheeses for more than 70 years. Store shelves sag with the weight of more than 130 types of cheese, including cheese curds, aged cheddar, and smoked gouda. And cheesehead paraphernalia is sprinkled throughout the shop, paying tribute to a cheese-based economy rivaled only by the moon's. It’s all part of owners Lewis and Cindy Blank's mission to support and showcase local cheese artisans. In addition to stocking blocks of cheese, they also assemble take-and-bake pizzas loaded with layers of the Dairy Land's best.
Pizza Ranch is a great alternative to a meal at home. Not only does it save the kitchen the agony of turning into a disaster zone, but the food is bound to make everyone in the family happy. Along with a popular lunch buffet, Pizza Ranch's chefs prepare specialty pies on thin, original, or skillet crusts. Patrons can pick and choose from BLT pizzas, buffalo chicken, bacon cheeseburger, prairie pizzas (also known as veggie pizzas), and more. Starters of chicken fries, cheesy ranch stix, and hot wings make meals complete while also giving kids a distraction from fighting over the last slice. Family meals can also take a different turn with Pizza Ranch's chicken dinners that can be paired with sides of coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, or green beans.