An appetite for Appleton
Last weekend I was in Appleton on important business
so I had a chance to check out some places I'd found on line.
On Friday afternoon my first stop was Wendt's on the Lake
, located north of Fond du Lac on US-45 and the western shore of Lake Winnebago. Like many establishments of its type it started as a bar and eventually grew into a small restaurant with about 15 or so tables by my count. Our sales assistant here at work is from Fondy and has good memories of Wendt's.
Somewhere the road ends and Lake Winnebago begins, and the scenery is markedly different than what it'll be 4 months from now! While I was there a few fishermen came in off the ice and they looked quite frozen.
I arrived at the end of the lunch hour and had the dining area pretty much to myself.
Wendt's is known for lake perch so as far as I was concerned there were no other options.
I ordered the 5 oz. plate and the fish was hot, moist, and flaky. Whether it arrives fresh or frozen, it was well-prepared and not at all fishy - Wendt's reputation is deserved.
The choice of the smallest plate was deliberate, as I wanted to save room for dessert. And what's great for dessert?
Fried chicken, of course! My waitress was nice enough for offer me a 2-piece ala carte option in place of a full meal so I chose a drumstick and thigh, and they were both very good. The crust was exceptionally crisp and crunchy and the meat was nicely seasoned.
This afternoon the bar area seemed to contain mostly locals but I'll bet in the summer it's packed with a mix of vacationers as well. Wendt's is a prime example of a Wisconsin lakeshore gathering place that's moved up from being just a bar to a local dining destination.