Love letter to Wisconsin

Wisconsin…It doesn’t get better than you, baby.

Especially when it comes to my favorite things about going home. Whenever I go back, I eat GOOD. On my trip to the motherland last weekend, I made a resolution to re-discover all of the things I love about home. You may think I feed my husband well, but folks, you got another thing coming…

Cousins Subs

Cousins has way more interesting subs than this little number, but for some reason, it’s all I ever want when I come home. A foot long ham and cheddar with onions, lettuce, oregano and mayo. Nothing fancy here dudes.

The thing that sets Cousins apart from any sub I’ve had elsewhere is definitely the bread. It’s not squishy and compact like Subway’s (which honestly, I’m cool with), but is instead crustier and crunchier. There are little tiny seeds on the bottom of the bread, and it’s a texture I am crazy about. Some people dig elaborate toppings on their subs, which is perfectly fine. I’m just a plain Jane kind of sub gal.

New Glarus Beer

I had my first New Glarus beer on a camping trip a few years back. My best friend’s mother actually introduced me to it, and I now always associate it with the good-time feelings I got from camping every year. There’s nothing better than popping open one of these badboys and chillin’ in a camp chair next to the fire. My particular favorite is Fat Squirrel Ale, aptly named for it’s nutty flavor.

Wanna try some? Time to make some friends in Wisco. The brewery only sells to locals, due to their teeny tiny craft distribution.

Home Cookin’ with the In-Laws

As I’ve mentioned before, I never put cherries on my ham before I met my husband. Maybe pineapple or brown sugar, but certainly never cherries. This is why I love my in-laws. They have comfort food down to a science. Fresh cooked asparagus with buttered cracker crumbles, homemade mac and cheese, corn on the cob and baked sliced ham with cherry topping. Man did I ever eat good that night! It’s thanks to my mother in-law that I also know the joys of corn casserole, butter fried cabbage and the best damn cheesecake you’d ever eat (I’m still needing to snag that recipe, btw).

Maria’s Pizza, or as I like to call it, the Holy-Grail-Religious-Experience-Of-All-Things-Pizza

If you don’t like sloppy, irregularly shaped, lightly sauced, air pocketed, cheesy so stringy you cut it with a knife kind of pizza, then stop reading.

I mean it. Shoo!

Okay now that those freaks are gone. Feast your eyes on my FAVORITE pizza in the whole universe.

Maria’s pizza is many things to Milwaukeeans. A hole in the wall. A city staple. One of the last cash-only restaurants in the land. But to most, it’s home of some of the best damn pizza you may ever eat. Now I know everyone has their pizza preference, and let me just preface this by saying I’ll eat whatever kind you put in front of me. I love it all. Cold college pizza that has been sitting out all night? Yep. Greasy garlic butter drenched Papa Johns? Mhmm. Orv’s frozen circle of garbage. Sure! Why not?

But you know, I might be biased. Ever since I was a little kid, my Grandma had been taking me to this very pizzeria. We’ve dined in and ordered out enough times for me to know that the Maria’s Special (Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions) is my benchmark for good pizza. Not to mention that dining in at Maria’s is one of my favorite restaurant experiences of all times (besides Ed Debevics).

Maria’s has 4 major attractions:

  1. Catholic shrines to Jesus and Mary. ALL. OVER. In eclectic frames, all slightly off center.
  2. Tacky floral and blinking light decor. For that extra festive feeling.
  3. Packer and Brewer paraphernalia. We’re in Wisconsin. There will be cheeseheads, oh yes, there will.
  4. The distinct poofy hairsprayed updo that each waitress wears, matched with red dresses and caked-on makeup. I feel like they had a meeting at a point in time to agree to always look like working Jersey broads from the 60’s.

So if you’re in Milwaukee, and you have some extra cash ($17 for a large.. and trust me.. you’ll have leftovers) and about two hours to kill (this pizza takes a loooong time to make), by all means go for it! If you hate it, I’m sorry. We can’t be friends.


Ps) Even my VERY PICKY, and VERY ADORABLE niece approves.

Until next time, here’s to you, Wisconsin.


2 thoughts on “Love letter to Wisconsin

  1. Goodness Ranario! You have a way to make a girl HUNGRY! I want that pizza and I want the in-laws’ asparagus and even the beer looks good… but I don’t even drink anymore. My point is… YOU MAKE ME HUNGRY and thirsty! You turd. But I love it. And you! I’ve never had their pizza… but I’m curious. Might have to look into it… soon!

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