Thursday, July 7, 2011

Experiencing new flavors in Door County

Today's souvenir bribe, I mean giveaway, is something else fun I found at the Door County Coffee & Tea Co. It's these two sample packets of chai, one each of the Green Tea Chai and the Chocolate Chai from Big Train, Inc. I'm usually a little nervous about chai powdered mixes since I've had some that were too watery, but these tasted nice and rich. I sampled the green tea flavor first and it was so delicious, I couldn't imagine the chocolate could taste any better. Well, it did, but just a bit! I absolutely loved these drinks and if you're a chai fan, I'll bet you will as well. So if you'd like to try them, just leave a comment to today's blog post before tomorrow at 7 a.m. EST and I'll have these headed your way!

I believe most people enjoy trying new food and drinks -- I say "most" because I do have a friend whose husband will hardly eat anywhere but Cracker Barrel on the road -- and when I'm on a trip I always prefer to eat somewhere new. During our visit to Door County, one morning we traveled up the peninsula to Sister Bay for a Swedish breakfast at the famous Al Johnson's Restaurant. I've never had Swedish meatballs and toast with lingonberry jam for breakfast before, and it was delicious! The meatballs were rich and thick, and the lingonberry jam reminded me of cranberries but with just a little something different. Fun! In addition to its Swedish menu, the restaurant is known for the grass growing on its roof and ...

... for the goats who like to graze there! The goats were camped out in this spot while we were there, and a waitress told us that overcast mornings like the one we experienced confuse the goats. They think when it gets dark they are supposed to go "home" to their housing behind the restaurant. After learning that, I was just glad to get proof they do indeed visit the roof!

One evening in Fish Creek, we experienced a meal Alex had been anticipating (me too, for that matter), a Door County Fish Boil. Have any of you northern friends (or travelers) ever been to a Fish Boil? I was quite intrigued! Here is my plate of Lake Michigan White Fish, boiled new potatoes, boiled Texas sweet onions, and cole slaw. I had tea to drink, of course, although I'm getting used to having it arrive unsweetened and then adding sweetener when up north.

Door County is also known for its cherries (who knew?), so everyone gets a piece of cherry pie with their Fish Boil meal at Pelletier's where we ate.

The white fish is obtained fresh locally and cooked over fire, a very unique fire!

Potatoes and then the fish are lowered into the kettle in wire baskets. Once the fish are in, the cook waits for the fish oils to rise to the top.

It all awaits the magic moment when the cook dramatically yells "Boilover!", throws kerosene or fuel oil on the fire and the massive flames appear, causing the fish oils to boil over the side of the pot. It is quite a sight to behold, and the result is the tasty meal shown above!

If any pyromaniacs, or the simply curious, are reading today and would like to see a brief video of the final moments of a Fish Boil, visit my YouTube video here!


  1. Oh my! I wonder if the first "boilover" was a mistake or intentional. :-)

  2. HOw interesting! I'd heard the term "fish boil" but never really knew what it was. We tend to have clam bakes in our part of the country (NE). Enjoyed reading about the goats too..overcast days me also.
    Have never tried flavored chai teas but am a huge fan of regular chai. Enter me in the Bribe, er giveaway. Thanks

  3. I've never tried green or chocolate chai (although I do make chocolate chai cake) - they sound good. The fish boil was interesting - something else new to me. That looks like a fun restaurant.

  4. Love the packaging for the Chai - nice bold colors for an interesting twist to Chai. Door County looks like fun! but, you lost be with the fish photos, alas, I'm not a fan of fish - the photos looked great, but well, the subject matter, that's another story. Enjoyed the goats! Sorry it was overcast and confusing to them!

  5. WOW! The "fish boil" looks more like a "fish fire"! LOL!

    The green and chocolate chai teas sound delicious! These might make wonderful lattes. I hope I win the giveaway!:)



  6. Big Train Chai is delicious. It also comes in vanilla flavor. In my neck of the woods I purchase it at Home Goods.
    I've never had a fish boil. I'm not aware of any restaurant that serves fish prepared that way in southeastern MI. I'll have to google it and see what comes up. Looks like you're having a wonderful vacation!

  7. I am thoroughly enjoying the photos and details of your trip to Door County. A fish boil is new to me, but certainly interesting. We love trying local foods when we travel.
    I am not a Chai gal, so you can leave me out of this giveaway. Not surprised at that, are you? :-)

  8. I think the only flavored chai tea I've had is raspberry. A "fish boil" is new to me. I don't order tea much up north because of it being unsweetened. Of course, northerners come south and think the tea is like syrup.

  9. Angela, what a diverse day for you: goats grazing on the roof, a fish boil, and new chai flavors! Would love to try the chai, so please put my "line in the stream".

  10. Chai is my favorite! I've never tried this brand, but would like to!

  11. The goats on the roof are cute. If you liked the lingonberry jam, you can buy it at IKEA and you can buy meatballs there too.

  12. Hello Angela, what a great post today - from the goats on the roof to the 'Boilover!' I am enjoying your trip photos & stories!

    Funny thing about Cracker Barrel - your friends husband sounds like my husband, he sticks to either Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans 'DOwn-on-the-Farm' Sausage Place, when we're on the road. (I like to try anything new, on the road). Also funny, they do lots of Fish boils in Minnesota, where my husband is from - they also are 'famous' for a 'Fish dish' called Lutefis (? sp?) I had always heard about this dish on Garrison Keillor's 'Prairie Home Companion Radio Show' & I didn't think it was real - oh no, it IS REAL! (Somehow, they treat the fish with LYE - let it 'STEEP' for a while then everyone 'partakes' in this fish-dish...) It tasted pretty awful to me!

    Thanks for the great photos & stories, Joanie

  13. My goodness, that is quite a flame. I had to laugh because if I ever travel in the south I would have to ask for unsweetened iced tea. I am guessing they wouldn't even have any.


Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment! It makes my day to hear from readers!