Looking for a non-chain coffee shop in the Green Bay suburbs? Or one that has good access on and off the highway? I frequently drive through Green Bay on my way to Milwaukee or other points south, and I've been looking for several years for a non-chain coffee establishment that is only a minute or two off I-43 or Wisconsin Hwy. 172. (And I prefer not to deal with all the traffic around Bay Park Mall unless I have to.) Jitter Bean meets my desires quite nicely.
It does admittedly look quite industrial from the street - more like a product distribution center than a coffeeshop. But the interior is quite nice and homey. And they have free wireless as well. They do some food items - muffin sandwiches and things of that ilk - but primarily it's a coffeshop through and through. And drive through as well.
There's been a lot of development in recent years in the suburbs of Green Bay, especially in the south suburbs out by the junction of I-43 and WI Highway 172. Bookstores, cheese shops, coffee houses and now this upscale bistro have now established themselves here, where only a few years ago cows grazed and the wheat waved in the wind.
Plae Bistro is the kind of bistro you would might have expected to find in the downtown area of a city. But Green Bay's downtown isn't too that well these days - it's no secret - and more and more of the interesting and successful entreprises are located on the outskirts of the built-up area. I'm not a big fan of that kind of development, but for the time being at least, it does seem the be the reality in the Green Bay region. At least it's close to the highway for easy access when I'm driving through the area - and close to an outstanding cheese shop as well.
Plae Bistro is located in one of thoose generally anonymous suburban style shopping developments that sprouted up between 2000 and 2007 (the real estate crash.) The interior is actually much more urbane and individualistic than you might expect. I was also impressed with the interesting and creative menu. On different stops here, I've enjoyed an excellent duck noodle soup, as well as a very good chicken salad. (Very good chicken salad is hard to find.) It looks as if they have quite a fine wine list as well.
Apparently, "Plae" is an invented "acronym" name whose letters stand for "A Place to Laugh and Eat."
Interesting combination of cafe and interior design showroom - many of the tables, chairs, lighting fixtures, paintings on the wall etc. are all for sale. Pleasant menu which features many salads, sandwiches and lighter entrees. Most of the seating is in "nooks" which offer semi-privacy, which makes eating out here a little bit like eating in at home. They serve breakfast lunch and dinner - and their breakfasts are particularly good. Located in Bellvue, a suburb to the south of the city.
St. Brendan's is a handsome Irish inn and restaurant in downtown Green Bay. The tavern has a full bar which is often very busy, and the restaurant serves a full range of Irish and American favorites. Of course they feature Irish Stew, a Guinness Pot Roast - and the Mussels are quite good, too. I'm also very fond of the decor. The windows are really lovely!
The restaurant and inn are operated by the same people who run the County Clare in Milwaukee. These places are really quite a bit better than your typical cliched "Irish pubs".
Traditional cafe and restaurant that serves three meals a day - including Breakfast all day long. Julie's is very popular with the locals. The pleasant setting overlooks a quarry-lake. Ample "northwoods" sized portions - it's good to come here when you are hungry!
Titletown Brewing Company is one of those brewpub operations. It's been heartening to see local brews sprouting up across America. Fifteen years ago they were as rare as sushi bars. Now every town of consequence has at least one decent local beer. (Sushi bars are a lot more common too!) The Titletown has the same old same old food that you find pretty much everywhere these days - but who cares, because the beer is fresh and tasty. Titletown is attractively located in an old Railway Depot in downtown Green Bay, right across the river from the Port Plaza shopping mall.
This is the best place you'll find on the river! Hagemeister Park was the first place the Green Bay Packers practiced and played. The restaurant is named after this park, although it is in the downtown area. The former Hagemeister Park is now part of the East High School grounds.
There is wonderful outdoor seating and they have live music on the weekends. They have so many beers on tap that there are too many to mention! They have a state of the art beer dispensing system that preserves the quality of the beer as the brewer intended.
Favorite Dish: There is an extensive menu. I've had and enjoyed their smothered burrito and I just recently had their bruschetta which includes deep fried mozzarella and balsamic drizzle! It is fabulous.
This was quite a different experience from what I expected from a sushi place. It seemed that 90% of every item on the menu was deep fried. With the exception of tempura, I am not used to seeing sushi rolls deep fried. I prefer the flavor of fresh sushi, not masked by breading and oil.
I thought that the prices were higher than expected.
Favorite Dish: Edamame and spicy tuna (one of the few items that weren't deep fried)
This small cafe/bakery is certainly a 'must stop' for any visitor to green bay. It is a breath of fresh air from all of the restaurant chains and less than memorable burger joints in Green Bay. The food is American with a hint of a greek flair.
Favorite Dish: Tip: Don't miss the chicken salad croissant, it's fantastic, not to forget the bakery which is equally great.
Moving to Washington Street in Downtown Green Bay. This restaurant has been packed to the gills since day 1. You'll often see it frequented by Packers. I've seen AJ Hawk there a couple of times now. This is the classiest sushi place in Green Bay. It will reopen in February 2011 in Downtown Green Bay
Favorite Dish: You must order the Godzilla. It is a tempura that includes a crab meat adornment that is out of this world!
Frank & Pat's was serving pizza here for over 50 years. Now it is called Crazy Pats, and not too long ago the interior was remodeled, and the dark, decades old atmosphere has been brightened up with white walls, new carpets and furniture. But they still bake their pizza in the big old revolving oven that is from another era.
Favorite Dish: It's all about the pizza: thin crust, tasty sauce, sliced into little squares. Very authentic.
The chef of this restaurant used to be a chef at one of the local country clubs. He then spent a few years near LA as a personal chef to a corporate exec. He is challenging the local high end restaurants with some very eclectic fare.
Favorite Dish: While I have only thus far had the cheese platter and wine, my friend Les dined on the Lobster pot pie which is supposed to be the specialty. He came away from the experience with a glowing recommendation for this fine dish.
I've been looking for a good independent coffee shop in the center of Green Bay for some time - and I've found it in The Attic, which doubles its attraction for me by sharing space with a Used Book Store. Open in the evenings (till 10 pm) six nights a week.
This isn't your average brewpub. They have a fine gourmet type menu. This isn't your average burger joint. The beer is pretty good too. Built in the old train station on the west side of town.
Favorite Dish: I like their wraps at lunch time. They also serve mashed potatoes with many of their dishes.
The buffalo burger is pretty good as well.
They have a turkey sandwich that is made with zucchini bread and has a cranberry chutney. It is out of this world. It's like eating a fine dessert!
A nice restaurant is the Black and Tan. It is actually located in Downtown Green Bay, directly across from the historic Meyer Theater.
Very nice atmosphere, great service and interesting food preparation. They have a non smoking lounge on the first level with fine wines, a martini menu and tapas. The second level is the fine dining area. They also have private rooms on the ninth floor for your own little private party.
Favorite Dish: Steaks and seafood are the primary dishes of interest. This isn't your standard supper club fare.