Small college town
I grew up in Neenah, WI just 5 miles south of Appleton. I left the area for college when I was 17 and then permanently moved away when I turned 23. I moved back to the area 9 years later and now I appreciate the Fox Cities more than before. Just getting to know people and becoming friends.
Eating my way through the Paper Valley
I like to come down to Appleton - to the Fox River Valley in general - in order to shop, to visit friends, and to eat. It's become the culinary mecca of northeastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
GingerRootz Asian "Grille" [sic] is a new Pan-Asian restaurant on the northern edge of town. It's a little more sophisticated than your standard midwestern Chinese or Thai place. I stopped in for an excellent lunch - and would like to come back for dinner.
It's at 2920 N. Ballard, not far off Highway 41. I hate that "e" that they put at the end of "grill" - how pretentious!
Another upscale restaurant that's opened recently in Appleton is "Patina," on College Ave. downtown. It's part of the new "Boutique" Copper Leaf Hotel - aren't we getting fancy? Actually, my friends and I were a little disappointed when we came here for dinner. They didn't quite manage to "execute" our main entrees with the finesse and flavor that is required. We thought that small details need more attention - for example, our server was very ignorant about wine. If they want this to be a fine dining experience (and with their price structure, that is clearly what they are aiming for), they still have some fine-tuning to do here.
Come to the Casbah? No, the Casa Blanca in downtown Appleton is actually a Latin American Restaurant, featuring cuisines from Cuban to Argentinian and places in between. It may be a little adventurous for the Paper Valley, but my friends Dmitri and Dana love it - it's become their favorite "date place" in the quad cities! On my last visit, Dmitri took me here for lunch, and I'd have to say I'm quite impressed. I had tortilla soup and a Cubano sandwich - both excellent. I'll be stopping in here again.
531 W. College, Appleton