Monday, May 10, 2010

Going (Supper) Clubbin'

This weekend, Iwanski and I were watching “Discover Wisconsin,” a show about interesting tourist destinations in Wisconsin, that we Tivo every week. (We have traveled a lot in Wisconsin and love the natural beauty of the state, especially in Northern Wisconsin.)

Anyhoo, there’s a commercial that comes on during the show every week for Capital Supper Club beer, a beer made by the Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin. The commercial is set in a “supper club” in Wisconsin—and for those of you who don’t know, a “supper club” is basically just a restaurant that, according to Wikipedia, present itself “as having a high-class image, even if the price is affordable to all.” Also according to Wikipedia, supper clubs are mainly found in “the Upper Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.” Nope, there are no supper clubs in Illinois, at least as far as I know.

For a long time, Iwanski (who did not grow up a Cheesehead, as I did) thought that supper clubs were exclusive clubs, where you had to be a member to go there. I thought that was hee-larious, since I had gone to many supper clubs when I was a kid.

So anyway, this particular commercial for Capital Supper Club beer reminded me SO much of growing up in Wisconsin, and the tradition of going to a supper club or other restaurant on a Friday night. It was the Friday night fish fry! And my family would often pile in the car on a Friday night and drive to a fish fry at some local restaurant.

As a kid, I loved to eat fried perch (still do) and I really loved the salad bar (still do). But above all of those things, what I think I loved most of all was when we were sitting at the bar waiting for a table to open up, and I would get to drink a kiddie cocktail.

Remember those? It wasn’t until I was older that I found out that a kiddie cocktail was just 7-Up and maraschino cherry juice (or grenadine syrup). But I absolutely knew what one of the ingredients was—my favorite—lots of maraschino cherries. Yum! I love love loved kiddie cocktails.

Isn’t it amazing what little things it takes sometimes to make kids happy? I wish that nowadays, I could just be thrilled by drinking a kiddie cocktail. (Nowadays, an adult cocktail is a little more up my alley.)

And then, of course, after consuming mass quantities of maraschino cherries, it was time for the fried perch with french fries, and the iceberg lettuce from the salad bar, with lots of cheese and French dressing (that’s the way I liked it when I was a kid). Perhaps not the healthiest of meals, but then, I haven’t always been Miss Healthypants.

Tonight, Jonathan supplied Iwanski and I with a large portion of Coq au Vin, a rich, delicious French concoction that contains chicken, wine, Cognac, mushrooms, onions, and plenty of bacon and butter. (Yum!) It was sooo good, and Iwanski and I gobbled up the whole darn thing in one sitting.

I wonder what 7-year-old small-town self would think of my frou-frou French food, my love of Cabernet Sauvignon, and my 21st floor apartment in downtown Chicago.

I don’t think I could have ever imagined how my life would turn out. But I’m glad that I’ve spent some time in my life as a small-town girl in a Wisconsin supper club, sipping on kiddie cocktails.

By the way, the "Capital Supper Club" commercial is sooo cute--check it out!


Mom said...

I never heard of a supper club. Jonathon's dinner sounds way better than the supper club menu.
I did love - still love - kiddie cocktails with lots of marachino cherries.
Life is so exciting because we never know where we are going.

Buck said...

We weren't even allowed to have anything RESEMBLING an alcoholic beverage. Big Mama even forbade Coke.

I'm so glad you and Iwanski enjoyed the Coq au Vin.

Random Thinker said...

We have supper clubs in Michigan? I had no idea. Now I have to go find one.

Lisa said...

We used to drive by the Supper Clubs in the northwoods and I know the Goldens used to make a night of going to at least one during their annual trek north.

We used to go to something called a supper club in Cincinnati. Not only did they have food, they provided some dang fine off off off way off Broadway entertainment, too.

Ah, sweet memories.

P.S. Love that commercial

Sling said...

When I was a kid,7-Up and granadine was called a Shirly Temple..When I was tending bar,it was called a Princess Leia,..They probably call it a Miley Cyrus now,which frightens me terribly.

hkschroeder66 said...

Carla- remember when we used to go to the supper club and Dad would get so mad at us for filling up on the French fries instead of the fish? It probably drove him crazy thinking about his hard-earned money being spent on the cheap stuff. :)

Fantastic Forrest said...

You've certainly brought back a ton of memories with this post. And a craving for a whole bunch of things, including a kiddie cocktail. I remember those types of restaurants very fondly. They had them in Florida, too, when we visited there, with grand pianos.

Did you ever have a fish boil in Door County? Yum.

Barb said...

They still serve "Shirley Temple Cocktails" in some places. Growing up my mom would make ours with Tom Collins mix ~ but we were only allowed one cherry per drink. I still love those cherries but I know prefer my Tom Collins mix with vodka!

Citymouse said...

My kids still think the kiddy-cocktail is the greatest thing! When they were little I took them to the the longe at the 96th floor of the Hancok. I take all the exchange students there -- just a great thing.

rosemary said...

I always thought of supper clubs like those in the old 40's, dancing and dine 'n drink. I love maraschino cherries and i can tie the stems into a knot!

Maria said...

We have lots of supper clubs here on the prairie. Not too fond of them. Someone always seems to be onstage singing that song about memories from CATS.

Bad Alice said...

My girls love Shirley Temples (the 7-up with grenadine concoction) but they give me the cherries. Yep, they are overjoyed when they get to have one. Actually, I like Shirley Temples myself.