Bay City Smokehouse's chefs slather slow-roasted meats with signature sauces in a relaxed, Green Bay Packers–themed atmosphere. Hickory smoke envelops succulent ribs with plumes of piquant flavor ($16.95 for a half rack; $19.95 for a full rack), and secret-recipe Sassy Sauce imbues tender beef brisket ($11.95) and pulled pork ($11.25) with zesty spices and Dorothy Parker’s best bon mots. Other classic American fare such as creamy spinach and artichoke dip ($7.95) join the half-pound Ranchero burger ($7.95), which corrals jalapeño poppers, lettuce, and ranch dressing into a kaiser-roll stockade. Darts and a pool table dapple the floor of the lively sports bar, where 20 large televisions beam sports games across the room and vibrant wall murals depict great moments in Packers history, such as the day the color green was invented.
The roller-skating staff at Sonic Drive-In sidles up to cars bearing fresh American fare, ranging from coney dogs to hamburgers to onion rings. The Sonic burger simmers with a quarter-pound of pure beef nestled on a bun with your choice of toppings. Tasty add-ons include crispy, handmade onion rings, chili cheese tots, and mozzarella sticks, covered in italian breadcrumbs and easily used as a microphone substitute to sing along with the local weather report. Banana splits satisfy sweet teeth with a freshly peeled spear of fruit cooling under real ice cream and scrumptious toppings.
Sometimes, the seats seem to vibrate at Pearly Gates Bar and Grill. Maybe it’s because of the bikes revving outside, or perhaps stomachs are the culprit, rattling chairs as they clamor for grilled-to-order steaks, beer-battered fish, and build-your-own pizzas. Either way, this neighborhood bar buzzes with activity seven days a week, hosting bands, Packer parties, and another Wisconsin tradition: the meat raffle. The taps funnel more than a century of history into each mug, recalling times when breweries dotted Lake Michigan’s shores and the scent of hops powered Model Ts. In addition to flaunting community pride, the bar salutes the nation’s troops with a collection of American flags and yearly fundraisers for Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 224 and Desert Veterans of Wisconsin.
Eschewing the cramped quarters that pubs so often try to pass off as coziness, The Ravine Pub & Grill pairs a low-key, neighborly vibe with a dining room that can accommodate banquets or wedding receptions of up to 500 people. The restaurant’s servers put that space to good use as they ferry large plates of American comfort fare back and forth from an expansive island bar, where hanging overhead lights cast their glow on homemade soups, 6-ounce burgers, and fisherman dangling baited forks over plates of steamed haddock. Draft brews and stacked sandwiches teeter as Packers fans slam tables after touchdowns, and hot slices of homemade pizza make for satisfying late-night snacks on Fridays, when the restaurant stays open until 11 p.m.
Vintage Liquid Emporium refuses to be pigeonholed by catering to a broad clientele of craft-beer lovers, oenophiles, and cocktail enthusiasts. Owners Billy Duranceau and Matt Layden crafted a welcoming art-deco ambiance abounding with beverage options and geometric shapes. Duranceau told Alex Morrell of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, "What I like to do is take a really old-school approach and talk to somebody, find out what they like and just make something up for them they’ve probably never had." For some, that is a unique, hand-muddled mixed drink. For others, it is a draft beer from local craft companies, such as Titletown or Central Waters. For wine connoisseurs, it could be a glass of Pennywise petite syrah from Napa.
They may be seated close to one another at the United Nations, but the similarities between Italy and El Salvador tend to be few and far between. Tell that to chef Sandra Vieau, however, and she is likely to disagree. Vieau recently purchased Cassandra’s Ristorante, a traditional Italian restaurant that she proceeded to transform into a melting pot of Italian and Salvadoran cuisines. Today, the menu is the very definition of eclectic—a meal that begins with an empanada appetizer is likely to end with a roasted turkey and avocado sandwich or a spicy seafood paella. Fine paintings and mosaic-topped tables lend a hint of the exotic to the interior, as does a map that shows the best places to spot a jaguar in Italy.