Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wisconsin Dells, day 2: Oatmeal redemption

Day two of Vegan MoFo, and I'm already feeling slightly overwhelmed! There are SO many neat blogs to check out. Hope everybody is enjoying it as much as I am! If you haven't checked out the temporary 2010 blog roll (the finalized "real deal" will be up tomorrow), then please click here! Ok....so here we go with day 2 in the Wisconsin Dells!

Ahh...Oatmeal. How familiar is that breakfast to vegans who are eating at a non-vegan-friendly eating establishment? Well, I'm with ya, folks. Here's my oatmeal-eating location of choice this morning:
 This is one of the restaurants inside the Kalahari. The server, Justin, was very nice and accommodating. He didn't look at me funny when I asked about the oatmeal or hash browns being prepared with any dairy (I always ask about the oatmeal, ya never know...), and after confirming that the hash browns were indeed fried with butter, he went to the back to make sure only oil was used. Yeah yeah, I could have gone without the hash browns, but I'm on vacation...so sue me!
I wasn't in the mood to pay $6 for a small bowl of fruit however (I never am, to be honest), so I didn't order that.
You sad, sad bowl of oatmeal.

Served with raisins and brown sugar. I will say though that they give you a bunch, so if you're dining with a fellow vegan or oatmeal lover (or both, maybe?), you can probably just split this. This breakfast, sans coffee or fruit, ran me about $7. I don't want to pay $2 for a cup of coffee when there's a coffee maker in my room. Don't judge me, folks. 

After that rather disappointing breakfast, I took JX to play in the indoor theme park. I'm terrified of heights, but he loves the Ferris wheel so I bit the bullet and went on it three times. Not once, not twice, but thrice. The anxiety was dying down a bit by the third time, but my fear of heights remains, you can be sure of that!
Feel free to refrain from telling me that this Ferris wheel "doesn't even look that high". I never said there was any rationality to my overwhelming fear of heights!
 Alright....now THIS is a little more my speed!!

So, after our indoor theme park fun, I decided that I needed some redemption from that anticlimactic breakfast. I consulted my favorite online resource, happycow.net, to see what my chances were of finding a veg friendly place in the Dells. Well, wouldn't you know...
 ...the only veg-friendly establishment in this city (well, besides Subway I guess?) just happened to be a short drive down the street from the Kalahari! Get in the car, JX...mama's got somewhere she needs to go. Right now.

 Normally I wouldn't even think about entering an establishment called "The Cheese Factory" (no relation to the Cheesecake Factory), but I'll make an exception in this case. All vegetarian. vegan-friendly! And yes, they have a separate vegan menu! Oh happy day! This place is really cute. I believe there's a history to this building, if I remember their website correctly. The owners are so nice and the atmosphere is very cute. The front half is almost all windows, so there is a lot of natural sunlight. Yay!

It seems like a great place to just relax with some coffee or tea...but not much relaxing is done on my part when there's a 3 year old involved. So, I kept it strictly business.

It was a tough decision, but I decided to go with the Vegan Chimichanga. Sounds too good to pass up, right? Right! Well it was mighty delicious....

Their "Romesco sauce" you see on the top there faintly reminded me of Buffalo wing sauce. And it went perfect with the chimichanga!! Oh man, this was a keeper. I would definitely order it again, but I'll get the chimichanga itself on a separate plate. The salsa and beans got the bottom of it a little soggy...I like my fried foods with crunch! 

And I was in for a pleasant surprise when the waitress told me that they have vegan chocolate cupcakes in their dessert case! The cupcake is not on the online vegan menu (you'll see it if you look under "bakery menu" though, which I had not), but I later noticed it on the actual menu there. So, was I happy or what?
The cupcake was a good size, the frosting was plentiful, and the whole thing was YUMMY! Oh my goodness this was the redemption I needed from that conniving bowl of oatmeal. Ahh, fried food and chocolate. Does life get any better?

So, if you find yourself in the Wisconsin Dells, make SURE to stop by The Cheese Factory. Check their website though, their hours are a little odd. I think they're closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays...or something like that? It's probably a good idea to plan your Dells trip around their hours, seriously.


  1. That chimichanga and the cupcake have me drooling over here! Looks so good!

  2. Haha, I recently went on a Ferris wheel for the first time in a looong while, and I discovered I'm more creeped out by heights than I'd thought. I don't mind it when I'm on a roller coaster or something like that, but the Ferris wheel was so slow and wobbly and... anyway, that's cool that you went three times despite your fears!

    I've never had oatmeal at a restaurant, too bad that yours was disappointing. But the restaurant with the vegan menu looks wonderful!

  3. The cupcake certainly makes up for that oatmeal.

  4. Oh man, the oatmeal just makes me sad looking at it. On the other hand, I'm practically salivating at the chimichanga. Now I know where to go if I ever find myself in Wisconsin.

  5. I want that chimichanga right now!

  6. OH YUMMY chimichanga!!!!! Happy MoFo!!!

  7. If you guys ever find yourself in the Dells, The Cheese Factory is pretty much a Godsend!

  8. I could eat at the The Cheese Factory every day when I am in the Dells. Love that place!

    Happy MoFo!

  9. ha ha, I'm sure your heart sank a little when the only veg-friendly spot was called "The Cheese Factory," but how wonderful that they served you such yumminess! Even a cupcake! how awesome!!!

  10. Wow, a restaurant in cheese country with an all vegan menu, complete with cupcakes?

    that would definitely make the oatmeal fiasco a distant memory for me!!!

  11. Well I should have read this post before I left a comment on today's post asking if you've ever been to the Cheese Factory. Duh. It's really good, isn't it? Did you know that it's operated by a cult of some kind? There are two more veg restaurants run by similar groups, in the area. At least there used to be. I think they serve Asian food.

  12. @ Andrea...very interesting, I didn't know that! I wonder if they've got ties to Supreme Master Ching Hai or something?