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Worth the Drive: Oconto

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Dan Meyer

Dining

The best places to replenish the calories you burned while enjoying the outdoors…and then some.

American Staples
When it comes to local restaurants, there isn’t a more reliable dining style than classic Americana. Whether it’s burgers and milkshakes or chicken fingers and iced tea, the genre of American flavor is alive and well. If you’re dying for a great burger, Shake a Burger is the place to go. The classic burger joint will take you back to the days when great burgers were cheap and each restaurant had its own personality. If you’re looking for a sit-down, diner atmosphere, check out Crivello’s. The restaurant offers everything from pizza to perch platters to satiate your hunger after a long day in the woods or downtown district.

077-OCT-Angry-Eddy'sBig Servings and Lakeside Dining
Angry Eddie’s is also in the classic American style of dining, but it takes the style to a new extreme. Many of the names on Angry Eddie’s menu are memorable, but none of them come close to the instant classic Big Ass Pretzel, a pretzel so large you might want to bring an extra friend (or four) to help you finish it off. Angry Eddie’s offers massive portions to ensure that both you and your wallet will feel great after leaving the restaurant. Looking for seafood instead? Head over to The Dockside, located near Breakwater Park. The restaurant specializes in fresh seafood but carries options for all tastes. The Dockside is a great option for any visitors looking to end the day with a great meal along the shores of Lake Michigan.

First-Class Dessert and Dining
Wayne’s Family Restaurant looks relatively unassuming at first glance; the restaurant built in the style of a low-slung farmhouse fits in with the pastoral landscapes of rural Wisconsin. Don’t let appearances fool you, because a trip to Oconto without a stop at Wayne’s is nothing short of 077-OCT-Pieheartbreaking. More than 1,000 local residents voted in Oconto’s annual Restaurant Week Celebration, selecting Wayne’s as their favorite place in town. The restaurant features classic entrees, salads and breakfast favorites, but anyone from the area can tell you that Wayne’s is known for its blue-ribbon pies. That description isn’t an exaggeration: Wayne’s has won nearly two dozen blue ribbons at the National Pie Championships in Orlando, Florida. Without a doubt, a pie from Wayne’s is the perfect souvenir to bring back from Oconto.

Hometown Q&A
Caroline Imig is the mastermind behind Wayne’s Family Restaurant’s pies, winning more than 20 blue ribbons at the National Pie Championships in the past seven years. She won a blue ribbon for her Nut Pie at the 2017 Championships in Orlando.

077-OCT-Carol-Pie-Lady

How did you get your start making pies for Wayne’s?
I’ve been a farmer all my life, and my husband was killed on the farm. I saw the restaurant had an ad for a pie-maker and I thought, “Oh, I can do that, I bake pies a lot at home.” I applied here, and I’ve been baking pies here now for about eight and a half years. The last seven years, I’ve been going to the national pie championships. It has pie bakers from all over the country and Canada. I have 25 national championships so far.

Do you think the pies have become a bigger part of the community as you’ve become more successful over the years?
Yes, I think so. The restaurant has become very popular for the pies. We get a lot tour buses here and about once a month we get a pie bus, where they come just for the pie. It’s been exciting, I’ve enjoyed it very much. I love my work.

Do you have a favorite type of pie?
You know, I bake a lot of different pies, but I try to go by the seasons. Apple, lemon meringue, caramel apple and cherry are popular year-round of course. We also make a lot of different crème pies. I make over 100 different kinds of pies, but no, I don’t think I have a favorite.

What’s one of your favorite parts about the National Pie Championships?
There’s one part of the competition where you have to create your own pie. It can’t be anything that’s been published, so that’s always kind of interesting (laughs).

Up Next: A Slice of History and a Claim to Fame

 

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