What the Hell is Broasted Chicken?

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Dec 22, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Thursday, September 8, 2011

At some point last night we realized that the day's distractions such as the purple lady in the 'hood as well as some more sights of the more natural scenic variety in Door County distracted us from two of life's necessities...food and shelter.   We had Iron Mountain, MI in mind for sleeping but food was a priority at this point.

Where does one eat in rural Wisconsin?   As well traveled as I am, I was just dumbfounded as to where to begin.   I was realizing my element is more of food stalls in Thailand than actual restaurants that are probably hit or miss in the US.  We rolled into Crivitz, WI in some Impala style and the choices seemed to be slim pickings at 8pm.   And straight from Crivitz's website:  "Located in south-central Marinette County, a short 55 miles north of Green Bay, Crivitz is the hub of the area tourism industry. In Crivitz you will find all of the services essential to making your visit extra special. From sport shops to gift and craft shops, to gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, when you visit the area you will find our businesses eager to serve you and your needs."

So where is all this crap when you need it?   All I saw was a gas station, bar and a place called the Island Cafe.  A light was on inside and it seemed promising enough with wifi out here in the bush and a full menu of comfort food.   Broasted Chicken caught my eye and I just had to ask what it is.   Turns out it is chicken fried in a pressure cooker.  Oh man the things one can do with a pressure cooker.   Come on Food Network.  You are failing us all in not showing us how to use a pressure cooker for this.  And to think my grandma just used a pressure cooker for its intended purpose of cooking healthy vegetables in a steamy environment.   Our very friendly waitress from south Georgia of all places told 20 minutes would be all it takes to fry up a batch.  I think Rachel Ray would be pleased.  This beats her shtick by 10 minutes and probably tastes better, too.   

Twenty minutes later a platter of local mom and pop goodness arrived.  Actually platter is too loose a word.  It was like a mecca to all things fried and unfit for daily human consumption.  And oh was it good.   The chicken was as juicy as it gets and the cole slaw was out of this world.   Having been living overseas where the art of decent french fry making remains undiscovered, I was excited to see a heaping mound of the grease sticks.   Now I know why midwest people are said to be corn fed.  

Yesterday I was worried that the country was turning into strip mall hell.   Today I am excited that this part of the world may be very well be safe from the monster mega chain invasion.  I tried something new that isn't even a concept on a menu at some fast food joint off the freeway.  Broasted chicken.  Who knew?   
We made it to Copper Harbor today all the way at the end of the Keewanaw Peninsula for the start of our Lake Superior adventure.   First off, only a whopping 1,200 people call this end of the world home.  To put that in perspective, I had classes in college with over 500 people.   Copper Harbor is also the end of the road for US 41 which starts down in Key West.  Yep, for all my Atlanta buddies, this is the same 41 that is Cobb Parkway! Only difference is we are worlds apart from the car dealerships, sleezy motels and trailer parks.

Four days of kayaking and camping on Isle Royale National Park await us, and the first step is a water safety course with Keewanaw Adventures. Since Lake Superior is basically an ocean, the waters can be unpredictable and unforgiving.  Water safety meant getting out on the water in a kayak and executing a flip into the cold, cold lake to demonstrate the rescue maneuver.   Yeah, we cheated of course with wetsuits for this, but cold is cold no matter what you have on.   But finding a kayak with the proper fit was necessary even before we attempted to go under water.  Evidently I am too big to sit in some of them correctly. Oh well.

Tomorrow morning starts the big adventure out on the water.  Isle Royale's remoteness keeps it the least visited of all the national parks, and that piece of trivia suits me just fine.  Motorhomes and complaining old people hobbling around blocking the trails make the more accessible parks laborious events.  Not trying to be mean or anything.  I just want some solitude and quiet while enjoying mother nature.   It's just what I need to detox Hanoi right out of my system (for those not in the know, I am living in Vietnam for work.  Life there is a freakshow adventure that could fill its own journal.)

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