I think 3:00pm is the perfect time for weddings to start. That gives my wife enough time to sleep in before she has to start getting ready. And it gives me enough time to eat a brunch large enough to hold me over to cocktail hour. For this particular wedding, we went to Nicolet Restaurant in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Nicolet Restaurant is located directly next to some train tracks in what must have formerly been a train station. It’s an interesting take on the old school diner motif of putting a restaurant in a train car. But this place looked so much like a train station that we almost missed it. Once inside, the place looks like a real diner, although everything had a slight feeling of newness to it.
I’ve eaten brunch in Wisconsin several times before, and there are two basic constants: the pancakes are really good, and you’ll get a lot of meat. Nicolet Restaurant does not stray from this Wisconsin brunch formula.
I had looked up the restaurant on yelp, and it seemed that the house special (notwithstanding the dish called, “house special”) was the Farmer’s Feed. The Farmer’s Feed is a mix of eggs, hash browns, veggies, and three kinds of meat. You order a single, a double, or a triple. I thought this meant 1, 2, or 3 eggs. But I was wrong. I ordered the triple, and I got a plate large enough to feed a small family.
With the Farmer’s Feed, you get a side of homemade strawberry jelly and “homemade toast” made out of fresh-baked bread. There was so much food and it was piled so high that I had to make a conscious effort to shovel it all in my face faster before it got cold. There were eggs, hash browns, mushrooms, peppers, onions, bacon, sausage, and ham. For a dollar more, I could have even gotten the whole thing covered in hollandaise, believe it or not.
My wife got the house special, which comes with two eggs, meat, and pancakes. There were about six options for pancakes. I thought my wife would get the chocolate chip, but she got the blueberry. The house special comes with four pancakes, which I thought was amazing.
“They were so good,” my wife remarked, several days later. The pancakes had a hearty body to them that let you know that these were no bisquick instant pancakes. The texture was great. The batter was delicious. And the bluberries were flavorful and abundant.
My wife and I don’t even particularly like pancakes, or anything sweet for breakfast for that matter. But these pancakes are not to be missed. We loved these, and Wisconsin’s track record of great brunches holds strong.