Saturday, September 22, 2012

old school wisconsin

On our way to Iowa and Kansas visiting over spring break, Matt and I stopped in Monroe, Wisconsin. On our first trip to the Mustard Museum (when it was still in Mount Horeb), we heard about the world-famous cheese sandwiches at Baumgartner's Cheese Store. I had envisioned drippy, toasty grilled cheese sandwiches featuring all manner of cheeses and dipped in the horseradish mustard that was sold at the Museum. In reality, the cheese sandwiches at Baumgartner's are...cheese...sandwiches. Rye bread. Cheese. Piece of butcher paper. Could any sandwich be more old school?

I ordered the Swiss sandwich and enjoyed the thick slice of locally-made cheese in the middle. I slathered half of the sandwich with the house horseradish mustard and the other half with a spicy honey mustard. I highly recommend the horseradish mustard--it takes the sandwich to a different level. The cup of chili was hearty and well-seasoned. Although we did not partake, the shop has a nice assortment of beers on tap and in bottles.

The decor in Baumgartner's added to the old Wisconsin flair. Crests hung prominently from the ceiling, representing Switzerland's counties. Apparently, employees at the shop toss a tack and a dollar at the (very high!) ceiling and get it to stick! There had to have been hundreds already. Every two years, they remove the dollars and donate them to a charity.

On our way back from our spring break trip, we stopped again to buy a couple of cheeses. We purchased an aged brick for Matt's grandpa and a piece of Hook's 5-year cheddar. Best sharp cheddar ever. This is a great little quaint stop if you're near Monroe!

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