Date of Visit: 3-25-2012
Time of Visit: 10:00 AM
Legends in Central Wisconsin have long told of the first hardy settlers in the area and how they drove their dairy herds from the Southern plains all the way up to the richest milking lands in the country. From Holsteins and their non-prejudistic black and white spots, to Jerseys with "R" pronunciation impediments, the majestic herds drove on through the rain, sleet, snow and darkness of night until they reached the lush and fertile grounds of the promised land. Although the journey was beset with difficulties, the settlers were instrumental in laying down the first building blocks of what is now the greatest cheese and butter producing region in the country.
The cows were so happy that they rewarded the people with milk so rich in cream that the only thing to do was to make a pound of butter for each and every inhabitant in the area. This land was the frontier to butter giant Land-O-Lakes and paved the way for that cute little squaw on their butter package that if you fold the picture just right and cut out the top of her blouse, it looks like her breasts are hanging out!
After years of stockpiling butter instead of nuclear warheads, and an unfortunate event where the dairy section of the food pyramid became a side note on the new "food plate", a new avenue for butter consumption had to be found or we would risk sliding into a recession worse than the one that befell gyros. Luckily, restaurateurs across the nation heeded the call of the wild and have collectively managed to keep dairy farmers in Wisconsin operational. Now, any new charge must have a leader, and the restaurant leading the charge for butter consumption in the country is the Frontier Restaurant in Amherst, Wisconsin.
I had the opportunity to visit this restaurant for breakfast on a beautiful Saturday morning where everyone, it appeared, was there to ensure I had the most wonderful eating experience of my existence. . . they failed. When a place is busy, I always expect a bit slower service and don't fault the staff, but personality is another story. Tina greeted us with the exuberance of an ocean tube worm and I could tell right away we were sliding off the borderline in a hurry!
The decor was predominantly country and I found myself surrounded by wood. The tongue in groove kind and a host of other. We ordered at 10:11 am. I happily requested the 8-ounce chopped steak, over easy eggs, hash browns and home-made raisin toast, while my breakfast companion opted for the bacon and eggs plate. The drinks arrived six minutes later (that's 10:17 for those that can't add very fast) and then the food came at 10:33 a full 22 minutes after we ordered it.
My egg whites had the consistency of a dried out Trojan, the steak was overcooked but was still juicy and had great grill marks with a small amount of seasoning. Too little for my taste. My companion's eggs were omelet like and were accompanied by tough bacon. Now I was out of coffee. I pushed my hash browns to the side and instantly regretted the move. The rush of butter to the center of my plate must have created an imbalance in the space time continuum and I instantly understood why everyone in town was here . . . to save the cows!
My home made raisin toast, which I had been looking forward to trying, suffered a similar fate as the hash browns. I picked it up and managed to squeeze out about a teaspoon full of the oleo from each slice! Needless to say, I did not eat most of my breakfast. Tina asked me if I wanted a box to take home my leftovers, but I politely declined as I feared a return of the Blob and I knew Steve McQueen wouldn't be there to pull me out!
Ghee, even though my experience with the Frontier Restaurant and their eternal stick-of-slick was not to my liking, there are many other folks who enjoy the establishment, so who am I to spread any ill feelings? Try them for yourself. I now wish I had taken that box from Tina because I am planning a trip to Mexico, and if I get a sunburn, I know I will hear my mother say, "Just put some butter on it!"