Foodie Monday: Hill of Beans Fish Fry and Pie

Whew! Where did the week go?! Last week flew I suppose due to our being very busy. On Tuesday I drove my new jewelry inventory to the gallery in Iowa where I’ve been a consignor for the last eight years. I took a friend with me and we had lunch out in Prairie du Chein at Simply Cafe. I asked at the gallery where we could eat because the small cafe across the street from The Left Bank Gallery and Shop was closed for renovations. I quickly had to punt but at the suggestion from the gallery, I immediately recognized the name Simply Cafe as I had done some preemptive research on where to eat the day before.

Spring Ice out where the Black River meets the Mississippi. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2020.

The cafe was cute and friendly, becoming very busy just after we placed our order at the counter. I had soup and salad and my friend had salad and panini. We both seemed to enjoy our food. I would definitely go back when I’m in the area.

Wednesday, I drove to our cabin on a lake in northern Wisconsin to meet my husband. He had gone up on Monday to do some drywalling on a bedroom and family room downstairs. It drastically adds to the living space of our four-season cabin. This is a good thing, as we will be moving there mid-summer. We continue to clean out and transfer necessary belongings from our primary residence until the property sale closes and changes hands. If you’ve ever moved, you know it is a busy time. We are doing our best to keep things moving along and not get bogged down or distracted by the little things that happen along the way.

On Friday, we went to the Hill of Beans restaurant near the Ice Age Trail and Timm’s Hill – the highest geographic point in Wisconsin (1944 ft.). We go to Timm’s Hill several times a year to hike to the fire tower and look out over the beautiful North Woods. We go with guests we have to the cabin, especially if they’ve never been – even if they are native Wisconsinites. Our state has many natural treasures and it is good to share them with others.

Friday night I was also able to catch a PBS airing of Decoding the Driftless which has little to do with this post but fed into the natural wonders that abound in this state. Our cabin is in North Central Wisconsin, not the Driftless Area where our primary residence has been for the last 23 years but it is beautiful nonetheless.

Raspberry Cream Pie. Hill of Beans. Ogema, WI © Carol Labuzzetta, 2022

At the Hill of Beans, we both ordered the very popular Friday night meal, a fish fry! it was delicious and satisfying. After dinner, my husband was talked into having a slice of Raspberry Cream Pie for dessert, which we shared. Hill of Beans is a popular spot in the summer and fall for tourists to have ice cream, pie, or even morning coffee. I can actually picture myself going there to write in the morning as I watch the fog lift over the small lake. I think we might become regulars there – finding just the right spot for a local satisfying meal in a mom and pop restaurant is quintessential Wisconsin if you ask me!

View from Timm’s Hill Lookout. Fall 2020. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2020.

For some odd reason, I looked up Hill of Beans, and do you know that it means something that doesn’t amount to much or isn’t worth anything? I think the person or family that named this restaurant in the North Woods of Wisconsin has a sense of humor, don’t you? It’s definitely a place worth stopping, not a typical Hill of Beans at all!


Mangia bene!

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