Sometimes it is easier to satisfy a craving. Because if you don’t, you will turn into a very grumpy cookie monster.
That was how we solved the “What shall we have for dinner?” question last night. I had a culinary itch to satisfy. I wanted appetizers for dinner. If my husband can have breakfast for dinner, then I want to have my appetizers and eat them.
You don’t need a flight ticket and a passport to go to the American Midwest. Just make a dinner reservation at Betty’s Midwest Kitchen, and let your tastebuds do the tasting. It’s a restaurant that was founded and managed by a family for the happiness and satisfaction of your family!
Their menu covered a vast array of your typical American favourites, from hot dogs to steaks for your main course, with ice cream, puddings, and apple crumble for your just desserts. Let me take you on a culinary journey with a sprinkle of history.
Our first order was the pigs-in-a-blanket. Little sausages wrapped in bacon strips, and drizzled with what tasted like honey. Mmm, it was a basketful of sweetness and saltiness. Well, you certainly can’t get anymore American with this dish. There are many variations of it, but the origins date back to as far as the 1600s.
It was believed that the field labourers in England back then had what was essentially the same dish, except that theirs involved wrapping meat in dough. It was their idea of a quick and nourishing meal on-the-go. Now that’s what I call fast food!
Still, other legends had attributed its creation to the far east. There were claims that the Asian cultures used fish instead of red or processed meat, while the Americans preferred hot dogs and biscuits. Whatever the origins were, this little delight has become a favourite among the folks with the stars-and-stripes flag.
Next, we have the mozzarella sticks. Melted mozzarella cheese covered in batter, and deep fried. I would recommend this appetizer for folks who are on their cheat days. It might sound bad for you, but it tastes really great! Think about the chewy, stretchy sensation of the melted cheese, the crumbling batter as you take a delicate chunk of the stick. Ooh… I could have had more if it wasn’t for my feverish state.
Unfortunately for the cheesy goodness, the mozzarella sticks did not originate from the United States. There aren’t many records that state where it came from, but what is really known is the first documented practice of breading cheese and frying it in oil dated back to Medieval France. The idea of fried cheese has since taken many forms and gone by many names: fried curds, fried halloumi, smazeny syr, queso frito. It also depends where you see these names.
Well, well, look what we have here. The American hotdog. As described in the menu on the website of Betty’s Midwest Kitchen, the American hotdog comes with grilled pork bratwurst in a hotdog bun served with our own gherkins and onion relish and served on a basket of fries. Are you salivating yet?
It’s a risk on my part to say or impart any knowledge on the whereabouts and birthplace of the hotdog, but hey, if you’re feeling curious and want to put that itch to rest, be my guest and browse this link: Hot Dog History | NHDSC. You’ll be surprised how much you will learn from it, unless you already knew them yourself!
Finally, we come to our just desserts. Bread pudding with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. The order naturally uses vanilla ice cream. What you see here are two different flavours: vanilla and toasted almond fudge. The restaurant owner shared with us their new dairy addition of Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream, one of which was the toasted almond fudge.
A cushion of soft and steaming bread pudding served on a plate with two scoops of ice cream was the perfect way to end the day. Watch as your ice cream melts over the bread pudding, and when you take your first spoonful, you will wish you had more. Again, my feverish state last night overrode all my gastronomic sensations. Otherwise, I would have been able to enoy my just desserts.
Here’s my take on the place:
The service was excellent, as always. Not once have I been there that I was ignored or rebuffed. The restaurant is teeming with waitstaff, so much so you could have your choice of waiter, if you really wanted to.
The food was good; fresh, hot, and tasty. Being homemade and all (despite coming from a restaurant, LOL). By the way, we washed everything down with a bottle of Stewart’s root beer (and mine was a float).
The atmosphere was truly Midwest American. There were many porky figurines of various shapes and sizes dotted the cashier and the kitchen counter. Some were so adorable I felt tempted to nick a few! But each pig had been glued down to the ground to prevent thievery. Clever!