- Food and Cooking
Blue-Collar Cafe and Jams in Hixton, Wisconsin
Check Out the Local Flavor at the Blue-Collar Cafe
One of my favorite things to do when I'm on a vacation or stay-cation is to check out the local restaurants - with their unique flavors, flairs, and specialties. For anyone traveling Interstate 94 in Wisconsin between Madison and the Twin Cities, a must-stop halfway point is the little town of Hixton, Wisconsin, where you will find excellent food, friendly service, and a very spicy little treat - Blue-Collar Jams!
Read on to learn more about the Blue-Collar Cafe, where you'll also meet the people who create Blue-Collar Jams - delicious blends of fresh fruits and habanero peppers for a sweet, spicy blend of flavors that can be used to top fish and other meats, desserts, and more. I, for one, love my spicy PB&J!
More Places to Visit on your Tour of Wisconsin
If I had written this book, the Blue-Collar Cafe would be among the recommended stops to eat, but the author doesn't focus on restaurants. He focuses his attention and his readers' on the wide range of experiences that touring Wisconsin can offer. From breweries and pubs to natural wonders, from the "driftless area" to the big lakes' beaches, he is an excellent tour guide to the state.
While you're reading, check out the section on the Black River State Forest and surrounding areas (page 272), a short 20-minute drive from the cafe.
The Blue-Collar Cafe
A Favorite Feel-Good Eating Place
When I visit the Blue-Collar Cafe, my favorite meal is their egg salad sandwich with a side of peaches and cottage cheese. That may not sound very special until they start to ask you how you like it:
- Do you like mayo or Miracle Whip?
- What kind of cheese would you like? You can choose from about 10 cheeses (it's Wisconsin after all).
- What kind of bread would you like? Do you want that toasted?
They care about good service and good food. I also just learned from Aaron (one of the owners) that they've started using poached eggs, which makes a warm, creamier egg salad and ensures freshness for the customer's sandwich.
Where else can you get peaches and cottage cheese (the perfect combination) these days? It's comfort food, made to order, fast. And best of all, the atmosphere is excellent. While it's an old building, the people inside give it a homey, comfortable feel that can be hard to find other places. This picture is a sign that appears in a couple of places in the cafe. I think it fits their philosophy to a tee!
A Few Menu Specialties
- Blue-Collar Special - One day, they had run out of biscuits, but they still had some of their delicious sausage gravy (trust me... my mother-in-law is a sausage gravy connoiseur). A customer asked for hashbrowns, vegetables, smothered in sausage gravy, and it was an instant hit. It made the menu and you can get a full or half order anytime.
- Ari's Omelet - The owners' daughter, Ari, came up with her own omelet, and it quickly became a favorite at the cafe... bacon, onion, mushrooms, and American cheese, also smothered in their excellent sausage gravy. A must-try breakfast!!
- Bacon Cheeseburger - The Blue-Collar Cafe works to feature local foods when it can and this burger is no different. The bacon comes from a local meat processor and local farmers. It's paired with real Wisconsin cheese to top a locally produced juicy burger for lunch.
"We are definitely going to put this place in our GPS for our next trip."
- overheard at the Blue-Collar Cafe - man from Chicago
Find Your Way to the Blue-Collar Cafe
The Blue Collar Cafe is just one of many outstanding cafes across the state of Wisconsin, and every one has at least one recipe (usually more) that keeps people coming back again and again.
This cookbook compiles many of those recipes along with the stories and histories that make them special places. Those little extras make this book a great read in addition to being a great time in the kitchen!
Let's "Get Hot & Sticky"
I wish the technology gurus could make it possible to taste these jams over the Internet. I can't do them justice, but I'll try.
The owners of the Blue-Collar Cafe are also the creators of Blue-Collar Jams. They use fresh, local fruit ingredients whenever possible - everything from red, ripe raspberries and blackberries to strawberries, and more. Then they make a delicious jam that's not just jam!
They mix in habanero peppers for a flavor explosion - sweet then spicy (but not too spicy). Warm and mouthwateringly good, all the way down. Like I said earlier, I love these jams on my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and they're delicious on fish, meats, desserts, eggs, and more. Keep reading for a list of the jams currently available for order.
Do you like spicy jam?
Blue-Collar Jams You Can Order Today!
Blue-Collar Jams also gives good recommendations for food pairings for each type of jam.
- Raspbanero - Raspberry & Habanero - My absolute favorite flavor! 1st place, 2009 National Fiery Food Challenge and 3rd place, 2010 Scovie awards
- Strawbanero - Strawberry & Habanero - 2nd place, 2009 National Fiery Food Challenge
- Bluebanero - Blueberry & Habanero - one of my favorite kinds
- Orange/Pineapple Marmanero - Orange/Pineapple Marmalade & Habanero - 2nd place, 2010 National Fiery Food Challenge
- Negranero - Blackberries & Habanero - 3rd place, 2010 National Fiery Food Challenge
- Cranbanero - Cranberry & Habanero - Made with cranberries from local cranberry bogs