This story originally appeared in the January 30th edition of The Smart Reader.
20 reasons to love Kenosha Restaurant Week
Kenosha Restaurant Week is a nine-day celebration of our community’s delicious dining scene. Enjoy a culinary adventure as you dine around the greater Kenosha Area, exploring a diverse selection of local restaurants offering delicious multi-course meals at tasty savings. It takes place February 1 – 9. There will be special menus for Breakfast or Brunch ($10), Lunch ($10), and Dinner ($20 and $30).
I’ve come up with a list of 20 things to love about Kenosha Restaurant Week:
1. It’s a great event for foodies; you can try a variety of food experiences at many different places. Be adventurous!
2. It’s also an ideal event for anyone who likes a good deal. And who doesn’t? Start the new year off right by saving money!
3. Be A Tourist In Your Own Town and learn what great dining options there are right here in Kenosha County. Challenge yourself to go to at least three, five, or even ten different restaurants.
4. Some places debut a new item or offer something that’s not always on the regular menu.
5. Pick up a Passport at a participating restaurant, then dine at three or more restaurants during Restaurant Week to win prizes.
6. Treat yourself. I don’t know about you, but I don’t eat multi-course meals every day. Take advantage of the opportunity! It’s all included in one price.
7. Some restaurants offer two meals for the Restaurant Week price. Dinner for Two – now that’s a deal!
8. It’s a reason to get out of the house during the winter.
9. Reconnect with friends over a delicious meal now that the busy holiday season is behind us.
10. Support local businesses. We’re talking small businesses, family-owned businesses who are contributing to the local community.
11. Explore a restaurant you’ve never been to before.
12. Be there for your favorite go-to restaurants during this week that shines the spotlight on them.
13. Enjoy a nice meal with your family – I set aside one lunch hour during every Restaurant Week to dine with my dad!
14. Win prizes through social media giveaways. Follow on Instagram and Facebook!
15. Feel good as an ambassador. Restaurant Week means great publicity for the community; Milwaukee television news stations often cover the event.
16. Enter your best food pix in the ongoing Picture Your Kenosha Photo Contest that we offer.
17. Enjoy an early Valentine’s Day date with that special someone.
18. Restaurant Week draws tourists to the community. Tourism, in turn, makes a positive impact on the local economy.
19. Make it a play day! Combine a meal out with another event, like the Snow Daze Festival in Downtown Kenosha on February 8, or the Lakeside Players production of Little Shop of Horrors, that opens February 7 at the historic Rhode Center for the Arts.
20. And this may just be my favorite reason – let someone else do the cooking! (And dishes!)
Kenosha Restaurant Week is produced by the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Find all the Kenosha Restaurant Week details – including the participating restaurants and their featured menus – at VisitKenosha.com/RW.
By Meridith Jumisko
As well as being a regular contributor to The Smart Reader, Meridith Jumisko is Public Relations Director at the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Contact her at MJ@VisitKenosha.com or drop her a tweet @MJ_Kenosha
To hear more about Kenosha Restaurant Week (February 1st – 9th), tune in to Happenings Q&A on Friday, January 31st at 1 p.m. when Rhonda Bell of Twisted Cuisine, Tricia Nelson of Bristol 45 Diner, Riki Tagliapietra of Grease & Honey will join the conversation. Find the show on your radio dial at AM1050 WLIP or streaming live online at wlip.com.
How to eat out and still eat right
These restaurants sure look tempting! The big question is, how can you maintain your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy, but still get out and enjoy Kenosha Restaurant Week? Well, if you keep these tips in mind, you will have no problem enjoying yourself and keeping your scale happy. Try these strategies to enjoy a meal out during Kenosha Restaurant Week while sticking to your healthy eating plan:
Do your detective work
These days, you can find healthy foods almost everywhere. The trick is to know what you’re getting into before you get to the restaurant and are tempted by enticing menu descriptions. All the Kenosha Restaurant Week participants have their menus online (vistikenosha.com/RW). You’ll be able to choose the destination with the healthiest options, and go into the eatery ready to order the best meal.
Make a plan (and stick to it!)
If you know you are heading to one of our great restaurants for dinner, eat a light lunch. When you are at the restaurant, eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you are no longer hungry. Fast eaters often are overeaters.
Skip the soda and the bread
Enjoy a glass of water, 100% juice, or black coffee with your meal to help cut out those unnecessary calories. Ask your server to remove the bread basket, before you know it you’ve scarfed down several pieces of buttered bread before your main meal arrives.
Take a walk
Make a physical activity a part of your dining experience. Enjoy a walk through our beautiful neighborhoods after dinner. Or, deliberately park your car a few blocks away so you will have to walk for your dinner and back after.
Balance your plate
Include healthier selections from all the different food groups such as lean protein foods, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Ask for dressing on the side so you can control the portion size. For sandwich toppings, go with veggie options including lettuce, tomato, avocado and onion. Round out your meal by ordering healthy side dishes, such as a side salad or fruit.
Watch the wording
The way a dish is described on a menu can give you clues to how it’s prepared. Look for words including “grilled,” “broiled” or “steamed,” meaning the food is cooked with less fat, and avoid dishes with descriptions such as “fried,” “breaded,” “smothered,” “alfredo,” “rich” and “creamy.”
You don’t have to finish everything
The cook isn’t peeking though the door and will be heartbroken if you don’t finish every bite on your plate. When you start to feel full – stop! You can always take it home, or it can be disposed of – you are not five years old anymore and need to “clean your plate.” You are a grown-up and can make your own decisions!
Ask, ask, ask
Don’t be afraid to ask your server to help you healthy-up your meal. Ask for a salad in place of the usual fries or chips. You can also ask for items to be prepared with less oil or cheese. Ask what vegetarian dish the chef can prepare for you or if it’s possible to make grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Many restaurants are happy to comply.
But don’t forget to enjoy yourself
If you have taken all (or most) of these steps, that will allow a visit to the ice cream shop for a single-scoop dessert. After all, life is too short – we all want a little sweetness in our life on occasion!
By Jason Hedman
Here are all the participating businesses for Kenosha Restaurant Week. Click here for a full menu of specials!
The 1844 Table & Mash
5706 Eighth Avenue
Ashling on the Lough
125 56th Street
Boathouse Pub & Eatery
4917 Seventh Avenue
12304 75th Street
Bristol 45 Diner
8321 200th Avenue
5621 Sixth Avenue
The Café at The Stella
5706 Eighth Avenue
Captain Mike’s Beer & Burger Bar
5118 Sixth Avenue
2129 Birch Road
Century Pub & Eatery
5511 Sixth Avenue
Choo Choo Charlie’s Shriner Diner
5414 13th Avenue
The Coffee Pot
4914 Seventh Avenue
The Daily Dose Café
6010 40th Avenue
Elsie Mae’s Bakery & Cannery
5819 Sixth Avenue
508 58th Street
The Garage Sports and Burger Bar
3001 60th Street
Grab’s Burger Bar
2324 18th Street
Iguana Wana Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar
9080 76th Street
Italian American Supper Club
2217 52nd Street
Jack’s Cafe at Jack Andrea
2401 60th Street
Johnny’Z Pour House
10936 Sheridan Road
Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub
510 57th Street
Kenosha Brewing Co.
4017 80th Street
La Fogata Mexican Grill
3300 Sheridan Road
Mars Cheese Castle
2800 W Frontage Road
Mason’s Eatery & Pub
7000 74th Place
The Red Oak Restaurant
4410 200th Avenue
Robin’s Nest Cakery
5537 Sixth Avenue
Rustic Road Brewing Company
5706 Sixth Avenue
5623 Sixth Avenue
Scoops Ice Cream & Candy
5711 Eighth Avenue
Slip 56 Bar & Galley
506 56th Street
The Spot Drive-In
2117 75th Street
Tenuta’s Delicatessen and Liquors
3203 52nd Street
tg’s Restaurant & Pub
4120 Seventh Avenue
5501 Sixth Avenue
Tuscany Bistro Bar & Grill
7410 118th Avenue
7546 Sheridan Road
Union Park Tavern
4520 Eighth Avenue
5140 Sixth Avenue
3322 Sheridan Road
Wine Knot Bar & Bistro
5611 Sixth Avenue