Every month or so, my dad and I take a trip to Monroe, Wisconsin, the Limburger Cheese Capitol of the US. The population is like that of my hometown, but it seems to have a different feel. The city is about an hour and a half drive and makes for a nice short day trip.
Where we like to eat
My dad enjoys Amy’s Coner Cafe, a quint hometown restaurant with a long counter with built-in stools, booths, and a few tables and chairs to enjoy your meal. Often, it was busy on Saturday morning, or we had to wait for a place to sit. Once, we even shared a table with a few people; that was fun.
Amy’s offers a breakfast and brunch menu and is not open for dinner. If you are looking for an old-school place to eat, this is it!
Baumgartner’s is a fun place to go as well, for they don’t judge you if you have a beer with your soup and cheese sandwich at 9:30-10:00 in the morning!
Baumgartner Cheese Store and Tavern celebrates the Swiss history of Monroe with decor interlaced with whimsical signs. If you come in for a drink and food, you will have the choice of several beers both on tap and in containers, plus a full bar. They offer cheese and other sandwiches for food, including their famous Limburger cheese sandwich, soup, or chili.
Before you leave, check out the merchandise area and bring home something fun. You can have your server attempt to get your dollar bill to stick to the ceiling for fun.
Places to visit
When in season, we explore the farmers’ market or the Flea Market at the fairgrounds.
Marv’s Farm Toys and Antique Store
Marv’s runs a low-tech store; bring cash because he doesn’t take cards, and you probably figured out he doesn’t have a website. The retired carpenter gathered farm toys and other treasures that, for the right price, he will let them go home with you.
The store’s location: 1512 1/2 11th street Monroe, WI, phone (608) 558 2185 and is only open on Saturday’s
Direction’s to Marv’s to the best of my ability.
Getting to Marv’s can be tricky; his shop is in an alley that runs parallel with 15th Ave and 16th Ave, and access to the ally is off of 11th ST and 12th St. The best way to find Marv for the first time is to look for 1512 11th Street you should see a sign for Marv’s. Walk down the alley, and once you pass a set of stairs, you should find Marv’s door.
Minhas Brewery, Winery, Distillery, and Restaurant
The retail area includes brewery and beer branded clothing and beer accessories. If you want to bring some suds home with you, the brewery sells their brews plus the overruns of contract beers they brew.
My favorite brews include
- Hubber Premium
- Hubber Bock
- Rhinelander Special
Distillery and more
Across the road from the brewery are the Minhas Distillery, Winery, and restaurant.
I have purchased a few things from the distillery; the sample bottles work well for travel. I have not been to the winery or restaurant.
We follow beer procuring with cheese gathering at Alp and Dell Shop or occasionally another local cheese shop. Apls and Dell is an award-winning cheese producer, plus they sell other cheesemaker’s cheese.
Not in Monroe but on our way, there.
This journey’s first or last stop is Kauffman’s Country Store outside Beloit, WI, for spices and candy novelties such as gummy chicken feet. What determines when the stop takes place is who is behind the wheel. If I am driving to Monroe, we stop on the way there, but if my dad is behind the wheel, it becomes a return trip stop. (We both have our reasons for why we go there when we do, but over time we learned not to argue the point.)
We don’t often change things up too much, but for an occasional guest. Sometimes if the flea market is going on, we go to that, but that is about the only change.
Why we go to Monroe
What makes us happy and possibly the root of this Wisconsin pilgrimage (the gathering of beer and cheese) is the time we spend together.
Our conversations are often about work, how jobs can be stressful. We never solve any world problems, but we spend time together. I think that is what our Monroe trip is all about.
What you can get out of this tale
Bitterness can engulf much of our lives, often caused by politics, work, people, or a multitude of other worries. We need time to be grateful, even for the trivial things in life. It amazes me how quickly we become depressed and bitter.
I am thankful for the time I can spend with my dad. Not everyone has this privilege anymore. I am very grateful that I can travel as much as I do, I am lucky, and I know that.
If we are more grateful and look for the good in things, we can improve our outlook on life. We can improve our lives by having an event to look forward to, such as a road trip with your dad or another cherished person. Often what brings joy to our life can also bring joy to someone else’s as well.
What do you need for a trip like ours:
- A destination
- Patients and understanding
- Your listening skills and a good story
- A full tank of gas
- A decent car
- Someone you love and any excuse to spend time with them will do