Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year's in Wisconsin Part 1 - Classic Slice - Quick Trips

Our friends, Erin and Brian (and their two daughters), used to live a few blocks from us and their annual New Year's Eve party was not to be missed. Some years we would roll right into town after visiting Rob's family in NC and go directly to Erin and Brian's for some great conversation, way too much food, and even more to drink. The kids would play Just Dance on the wii and the adults would join in. They had a fun basement and backyard so depending on the weather that year, the kids would take their crazy downstairs or outside while we all talked politics, religion, sex and laughed.

Sadly, their family moved a couple years ago to Wisconsin. This has been the story of our lives the last ten years. Especially the guy friends for Rob have almost all left. They don't go to the same part of the country either so we can all visit easily. Of the families who used to go to this annual party, one is now in PA, one in DC, one in CO, and the hosts are in WI. This year we decided to take the easy day trip up to Appleton, WI and stay for New Year's Eve.

Last time we went up to Wisconsin, we went through Madison on the way up and Milwaukee on the way back. This time we decided to go the Milwaukee route both ways. I scoped out some restaurants from an article. When you think of Wisconsin, what foods come to mind? Cheese? Sausage? Yep, there is plenty cheese and sausage to go around, but I was happily surprised by the vegan offerings too.

We were traveling with our canine house guest, Romeo. He is a special little guy and we've taken him on trips with us before. He's always up for an adventure and we rent a car big enough for him to stay in his crate (safety first!). I also love to find restaurants with parking close to a park or trail so we can walk the dog and it is a bonus to have visual on the car at all times. When traveling with a non-human, we take turns staying in the car with them so everyone gets a chance to eat, but everyone is also safe and comfortable. Our first food stop, Classic Slice, was easy to get to, right near a park, plenty of windows to see the car, and fun vegan food. Score!
Josie checking out her huge vegan pesto slice while Rob shows us one way to eat the Mediterranean slice.
Josie is our hardest traveler. She has gotten better, but she is the one who doesn't sleep on trips and she doesn't like to be stuck in a seat so she gets antsy and grumpy. She was not happy I picked out a pizza place since she likes pizza the least of everyone in our family. Josie was quickly converted and when she was done with her slice, she was already asking if we could stop at Classic Slice on the way home. As you can see from the picture, the "soy cheese" looks like tofu crumbles. It was very good, but not "cheesy". I'm not sure if they also offer Daiya or other vegan cheese, but we liked their homemade "cheese", just so you know what to expect.
My Anne Curry slice.
I had Rob order the curry slice for me since I really miss our local One World Pizza and their curry pizza. I pretty much would eat curry anything (vegan, of course). I love how they pile on the veggies, but I thought the curry was a little bland. I had a bite of Josie's pesto and I would go for that next time. I did thoroughly enjoy my pizza though and I felt great, not weighed down, after eating.
Parker's pizza as big (or bigger) than his head.
My growing almost 17 year old didn't think one "slice" of pizza would be enough so he ordered too. Two was great, but he was definitely stuffed. He ordered a spicy slice with cauliflower which I don't see on the menu. It was my turn in the car with Romeo, thus I wasn't there when they ordered so I'm not sure if it was on special that day or something, but he was very happy with his choice. He even asked me today if we could order pizza from Classic Slice and have it delivered to our home in Illinois.
A slice of vegan pecan pie.
Dema and Josie are always on the lookout for vegan dessert so we bought the last few slices of vegan pecan pie (quite the treat!) and went on our way. I'll tell you about a couple more dining experiences, other pleasant surprises, and our New Year's Eve in Part 2.