Good food abounds here in the Badger State. But if your dining options seem overwhelming, pare down your list to restaurants featured on the Food Network. Launched in 1993, the Food Network offers a wide variety of food-centric shows, such as "Beat Bobby Flay," "Carnivorous" and "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Here are five Wisconsin restaurants that made the cut.
Delta Diner is famous for being in the middle of nowhere. (The "middle of nowhere" being a spot in northwestern Wisconsin's Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, in between Ashland and Superior.) The 1940s-era diner is also popular for its blue-plate specials with an inventive twist.
Guy Fieri, host of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," raved about the Norwegian pancakes with jalapeño peppers when he visited the diner for his show. Locals clamor for the buttermilk biscuits with red-eye gravy, a concoction made with ground espresso beans.
Franks Diner, opened in 1926, is a popular breakfast spot and Kenosha landmark. The lunch car diner was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," where Guy Fieri indulged in Franks Garbage Plate. The restaurant's signature dish consists of five eggs mixed into a medley of hash browns, green pepper, onion, meat and cheese. The meal is served with a side of homemade bread, crafted from wheat bran, yogurt and honey.
Celebs such as the Three Stooges, Lawrence Welk and Mark Ruffalo have dined at Franks, also known for its spunk. Check out the bottom of the menu, where you'll find admonitions to be nice or leave, close your mouth when you chew and never drink a beer bigger than your head.
Featured on "Outrageous Food," hosted by Tom Pizzica, Pizza Doctors in La Crosse is all about crazy pizza toppings. Its nightly "Exploratory Surgery" dinner buffet contains traditional pizzas, plus unusual pies flavored like gyros, Big Macs or sauerkraut-topped brats.
During his show, Pizzica indulged in Thanksgiving Dinner and Spicy Bloody Mary pizzas. The La Crosse restaurant also sells a selection of gooey dessert pizzas topped with Heath bars, peanut butter cups, Skittles, marshmallow cream and more.
The Elegant Farmer's roots stretch back to 1946, when a dairy farm family sold their extra fruits and veggies at a roadside stand. Today the cows are long gone and the business has evolved into an upscale market featuring a bakery and gourmet food-and-gift shop. The stand-out item? Its Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag, voted America's best apple pie by various publications and shows.
The pie drew Bobby Flay to Wisconsin for an episode of "Throwdown." (We won't reveal who won.) The Elegant Farmer also has a deli selling additional notable fare, including a Chipotle French Dip sandwich and a Grilled Cranberry Turkey Wrap.
Burgers and fries make up the bulk of the menu at Anchor Bar & Grill in Superior. And that's just fine with the restaurant's fans. In addition to typical burger options such as a bacon burger and cheeseburger, you can nosh on inventive creations like the olive burger, topped with cream cheese and green olives, and the cashew burger, smothered in Swiss cheese and cashews.
If you're extra hungry when you arrive, go for the Gally Buster, a one-pound burger with three slices of cheese. The restaurant was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."