The Homemade Cafe in Pepin, Wis., serves up tempting pies.

Feed Loader,

Check, please: Eats worth the drive

  • October 19, 2013 - 2:00 AM

Chef Shack-ers Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer step out of their celebrated food trucks on weekends and head to Lake Pepin, preparing ever-changing seasonal menus that make the most of locally raised ingredients (they fire up their wood-burning pizza oven, too). Other pluses include an ultra-charming setting, well-made cocktails and super-nice service. Dinner Friday and Saturday, all-day brunch Sunday.

6379 Main St., Bay City, Wis., 715-594-3060

Sunday is the last day of the 2013 season to enjoy Julie Elwell’s better-than-homemade cooking at her Homemade Cafe, so plan accordingly. Nothing fancy, just big-hearted breakfasts (don’t miss the pancakes) and hearty lunches (a prizewinning Reuben, worth-the-drive burgers) and a case filled with some of western Wisconsin’s most tempting pies. Breakfast and lunch, cash only.

809 3rd St. (Hwy. 35), Pepin, Wis., 612-396-5804,

Apple season is prime time at the Smiling Pelican Bakeshop, because baker/co-owner Sandra Thielman knows how to draw out the fruit’s sweet-tart qualities through her skillfully prepared (and wildly affordable) muffins, tarts, panna cottas and pies. Savory appetites will flip for the quiche, and if counter man Dave Meixner is featuring one of Thielman’s staggeringly good banana cream pies, by all means order a slice. Or two. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun. Cash only.

W3556 Hwy. 35, Maiden Rock, Wis., 1-715-448-3807


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