I’ve driven past signs for this diner a number of times on my way home from Gerd’s family’s house. I’ve always wanted to stop, but I’ve either just eaten or was in a hurry to arrive home that I’ve never made it. Some time back, M.Giant went there and wrote about it, so I decided the next time I was passing through, I would stop and check it out. It’s like halfway between Wisconsin Dells and the border of Minnesota. The sign says it’s (Almost) World Famous, which always cracked me up.
I walked in and was happy to see it’s truly like an old dining car. It’s designed to look like it, in fact, with a domed ceiling and much longer than wide. Oddly, there’s a banquet/party room off the back with some additional seating for overflow, which is nice. And of course, counter seating on round stools like a real diner is required to have. It’s also very bright and clean and has oldies music playing on the speakers.
The super friendly waitress came over to bring me a menu and get my drink order, and I went with a strawberry shake. I also ordered a “Four on the Floor Sampler” for two reasons: 1) it’s a basket full of fried appetizers, 2) because I’ve got friends in a band called “Four on the Floor” – in which all four musicians play a bass drum on stage. The sampler had onion rings, cheese curds, chicken strips, and cheesy taters (seriously that’s what they were called). Everything on the menu appears to be named after a famous oldies singer or an old-timey song, so it’s got some fun kitsch going on.
The food came out pretty quickly, since there were only three other tables occupied in the place. The fried stuff looked both over-fried and under-fried. There were onion rings that were yellow, almost to the point of recently battered and also onion rings that were really dark brown (I almost didn’t know what they were until I cracked one open like a lobster claw). The chicken strips were a little overcooked and tough, and I’m not sure what the cheesy taters were suppose to be. They were like little hash brown bites but with next to zero cheese inside. The cheese curds were awesome though. That’s about 25% good... hmm…
The cook forgot one of my chicken strips apparently, so the waitress berated him (nicely) and made him cook me another one. She brought it out on its own plate half way through my meal. It wasn’t a big deal, I assure you, but it was nice that she went out of her way to make sure I got the proper number of strips.
The meal came with dipping sauces – BBQ sauce, Buffalo sauce, and some white sauce that I couldn’t tell if it was seasoned ranch or seasoned mayo. Weird. I used all the BBQ sauce, but not much of the other two. I ended up leaving a couple cheesy taters on the grease covered waxed paper, but I forced down all of the fried cheese curds. I’m a firm believer of Gerd’s personal mantra, “No Cheese Left Behind.”
But the strawberry shake was fantastic. Part in a sundae glass and part in a metal mixing cup. Tasted like real ice cream and my straw kept getting stopped up with real strawberries, which is fine by me. Really, this shake might have changed my mind about this place.
Overall, the experience at Moe’s Diner didn’t thrill me. I’m glad I stopped and ate there, but I’ll probably skip it like I have a dozen times nit eh past year or two.
Top 5 things about Moe’s Diner
1. Strawberry shake
2. Super friendly staff
3. Lots of stuff I should have ordered on the menu besides the sampler
4. Deep Fried Cheese Curds
5. There’s a giant chicken and a giant cow in the parking lot
Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd would have forced me to stop here and then complained about it, I can see the argument in my head right now. Somehow it would be my fault, even though she made me stop there. hahaha
2. Over- and under-cooked onion rings
3. Chicken strips were tough
4. Not sure on the white-ish dipping sauce
5. I was way full and grease covered when I drove out of the parking lot