Monday, October 03, 2011

American Gods and Roadside Attractions Tour: So...About Kenosha


So as much as I'd never given Milwaukee a thought as a destination consideration, it was just as much of a surprise to the residents of Milwaukee that we'd go to Kenosha - "that shithole".

Apparently, Kenosha isn't much of a tourist draw and Chocolate Jim gave us no amount of crap for why we were actually going to go to Kenosha.

But see? Here's the thing. Acr0nym and I have a very dear friend named Mar (who I've referred to here as Spux but I don't think he'll mind me using his actual name for this particular post). And Mar? Is a foodie. Also? Mar really really likes cheese (but less than me but then there are few serious cheese lovers who love cheese quite as much as me).

So, when I discovered that there was, in fact, a cheesy tourist place in Kenosha called Mars Cheese Castle a mere 30 minutes from our motel? I would have never forgiven myself if I'd not gone there to get cheese and souvenirs for Mar - Chocolate Jim be damned!

Mars Cheese Castle - Kenosha, WI

Hans Gothwökkit imitating Wallace..."Cheese, Gromit!"

And, after all, a tourist stop is perfect for what we were...tourists.

Hans and a very large gouda...mmmm...gouda

However...there was another reason we went to Kenosha. It's almost...embarrassing really. know how there are things that have become pop culture icons over the years...things that people talk about, wax nostalgia about, obsess over...even though they aren't particularly good?

Yeah. Well...

White Castle is one of them. And Acr0nym and I had never been. And Kenosha? Had a White Castle. So lunch consisted of the world famous sliders.

OMG! OMG! OMG! White Castle!!!! I can't believe we're here!

Hans thinking that perhaps his eyes were bigger than his stomach.

Turns out, White Castle doesn't taste all that good or feel all that good afterward. But I'm happy to report that I've finally had me a White Castle feast. Now? I never ever ever have to go there again. Thankyouverymuch.

Alrighty then...if you'll recall from my last post, we were told about, and treated to, the tasty tasty goodness that is Great Lakes Distillery the night before at Club ?. So I was bound and determined to take something locally distilled - preferrably the absinthe - back home with me as gifts for my lovelies along with the chocolates and the cheese.

Acr0nym did his Google-wah magic and decided that the Piggly Wiggly carried said Great Lakes Distillery products. And, since there happened to be Piggly Wigglys in Kenosha and, because I have this weird "thing" about words that tickle such word/phrase being Piggly Wiggly (oh please let me say it for you the next time we meet in meatspace!!!)...I really REALLY wanted to shop for Great Lakes Distillery products at a Piggly Wiggly.

Hans at the Piggly Wiggly! Piggly Wiggly! Piggly Wiggly! Heh

Unfortunately, we only found the vodka there and, because I'd tried the gin (and knew it was excellent) but also because I wanted to specifically bring back the absinthe, we declined on the vodka and asked a courtesy clerk where we might have better luck finding an excellent selection.

She recommended Tenuta's Italian Delicatessen and Liquors.

Tenuta's, it would become obvious, is a popular lunch and shopping destination - particularly on a lovely late summer Sunday afternoon. There was a very old man - he may have been the first born child of Methuselah - outside playing old time love songs on an electric keyboard from a Big Note (you know, the kind where each note is as BIG AS YOUR HEAD?) songbook and several people out on the patio enjoying what looked like pretty serious panini sammiches. Too bad we'd just had White Castle. Ugh.

Inside, the place was a zoo with all kinds of shoppers, narrow aisles crammed with any manor of stuff, as well as a fine selection (or so it appeared to my untrained eye) of cigars.

We found the liquor easily enough. However, we were also faced with an interesting liquor setup that neither Acr0nym nor I had ever faced. All the liquor, every bit of it, was locked up in cabinets and you had to ring a bell for someone to come get what you needed.

We couldn't find the Great Lakes Distillery absinthe but we did find the gin. So we rang the bell. And then we waited...

And waited...

And waited.

We probably rang the bell a half dozen times before a skinny little kid finally came and retrieved the bottle we wanted. Since we'd wasted so much time just waiting for the liquor, we didn't poke our noses into any of the other aisles. We paid for our purchase and then headed out...

Onto the little country roads of Wisconsin.

Kenosha, for its part, doesn't appear to be all that awful. We did, in fact, drive through a nice little residential area on our way to Tenuta's where there was, in one yard, a large bouncy castle set up for a party of some sort (it was a castle sort of day...clearly). That speaks highly of its residents, don't you think?

But I can kinda see why there wouldn't be a huge draw from the population of Milwaukee. It was sort of like how the people of Denver feel about Aurora. Not bad, per se, but why would you go there unless you absolutely had to?

We had to. That's all. Isn't that plain to see?

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