Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Lunch With Friends at J & J BBQ!

I am back from a week in Illinois visiting my children and grand baby!  I had a wonderful time!  We went to Chicago twice and the rest of the week was spent shopping, shopping shopping!  I found so many amazing deals for my new guest room and fashion posts!  But I will share more about my trip in the weeks to come.

For today's travel post, I want to cover a little trip I took in my own neck of the woods right before I left for Illinois.  I met up with two good friends to have lunch at this quaint BBQ restaurant in Nelson, Wisconsin called "J&J BBQ".

I love BBQ sandwiches and I have been wanting to go to this restaurant for ages!  It's only 20 minutes from my home, but for some reason I could never seem to get there.  So when the girls and I were deciding what to do for a get-together I suggested this place...and I'm happy they agreed!


 It's hard not to miss this cute little gem.  It's painted a very bright red with a yellow accent color.  And during the warmer months, it's usually packed full with customers!  You know it's a good restaurant when you see lots of people inside!


This restaurant is listed as the #1 out of 5 restaurants in Nelson.  But that's not saying much as Nelson is a very small town.  I read a lot of the reviews on Trip Advisor, and the majority are positive with a average rating of 4.5 stars.  Some people didn't like the atmosphere.  One person referred to it as "townie".  I found that one hysterical.  What do you expect to find in a small Midwestern town?  A five-star gourmet restaurant?  Plus, I couldn't disagree with the reviewer more:  I LOVED the atmosphere of this restaurant.  I found it absolutely charming!


It is packed from floor to ceiling with quirky signs and nick-knacks that are fun to look at and read.  They are also available for purchase.  You definitely have a lot to look at and you won't get bored if the conversation at your table wanes.


The restaurant had an old-fashioned charm with the hardwood floors, counter tops, and furnishings.  I loved this antique hutch filled with food items available for purchase.


 How long has it been since you've seen a pay phone like this?


This is the main dining room.  There are old fashioned booths along the wall and vintage tables in the center of the room along with a unique barrel table with a soda cap top (you can see the top of the table in the photo below).  There is also a larger over-flow dining area that is not as colorful as the main dining room.  I didn't photograph it as there was a group eating in there and I did not want to be intrusive.


Here is the barrel table with the service counter in the background.  The restaurant also serves ice cream and chicken to go!


So by now your probably thinking, "Enough about the decor, how was the food?".  Absolutely DELICIOUS!  I visited the restaurant with two girlfriends and we each ordered something different.  They graciously allowed me to photograph and taste their food orders for the blog.

First up, my order:  I had the Southern BBQ Pork Basket.  My two sides were beans and potato salad (you could pick your sides).  I absolutely loved everything in my basket!  The pork was so tender it melted in my mouth!  And I loved the flavor of the beans and potatoes.  My only complaint would be the bun choice.  I liked it, but I would have preferred a more traditional style of bun like what Danna's BBQ in Branson served.


My friend was smart and ordered a BBQ Brisket dinner.  She asked for a container to go, and when the food was delivered to her table she immediately split it in half to take home to her son.  This was what was left on her plate AFTER she split it.  Her actions gave me the idea to come here with my own husband and split a dinner!

Would you believe I had never heard of a Beef Brisket until I watched a episode of "Young Sheldon"?    I found out in that episode how long and difficult cooking a perfect Beef Brisket is, and it made me wonder what it tasted like!  My friend gave me a small piece of hers, and it tasted just like prime rib to me.  And this meat also melted in my mouth it was so tender!

She chose Cole slaw, corn bread, and fries as her sides.  I didn't try the corn bread, but the fries and Cole slaw were perfect!


My other friend ordered a Pulled Chicken Wrap with a side of fries.  I couldn't believe how huge it was!


My friend opened up her wrap so I could photograph the inside.  It was a chipotle wrap filled with hickory smoked chicken, lettuce and tomato.  She let me have a piece of chicken and like all the other meat I tasted, it melted in my mouth! Yum!

All the meats are smoked right on-site for 4 to 8 hours!  No wonder they melt in your melt!


If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping in and visiting this restaurant.  The prices were reasonable and the service was great too!

Finally,  I wanted to show you some "Galentine's" Cards I made for my girlfriends.  We met two days after Valentine's Day, so I made them these cute cards and I put them in cellophane bags with a couple of dark chocolates.  I made little tags using my Cricket Expression.


I used vintage images from Crafty Secrets to make my card.  These stamps are no longer available as the company went out of business :(.

Even though I made these cards for Valentine's Day, these would be great as general Friendship cards as well:  especially if you change the papers/colors.


I embellished this card with store bought felt hearts and heart ribbon.  The sentiment tags were made with a MFT banner die.


With both cards, I did a window layout.  I cut a square opening using Spellbinders dies, then I popped the outer panel up on dimensionals and decorated the edge of the square with a scalloped die cut.


My next card has the same layout, just a different Crafty Secrets image, paper, and embellishments.


For this card I used a felt heart button!


I covered the heart in the image with red glitter glue.


I had so much fun making these Friendship cards and hanging out with my friends this day!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

32 comments:

  1. Lovely cards, amazing food! I wish I could have gatecrashed your Galentines lunch, I would have tried a little bit of EVERYTHING on your plates, asking permission first of course!
    Longing to see what you picked up in Chicago for the guest room. I haven't got further than saving Pinterest pics so far for mine 😖. You are ahead of the game, young Amy!
    Hugs, x.

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    1. Thank you! I wish you could have been there too! I would love to have a blogger meet up with you! Yes, the room is progressing nicely. I ordered a headboard and that is suppose to be here tomorrow. Now I just have to find a new mattress!

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  2. I live in Madison, am a lifelong Wisconsonite and I have never heard of Nelson! Your post made me hungry. I love the décor of the restaurant- I like quirky places!

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    1. Oh Michele, if you live in Madison you really need to visit my neck of the woods. Nelson is one of the cities located on the Mississippi river, there is a really cute cheese factory there too. There are several other photo worthy towns in this area: Alma, Fountain City, Stockholm, Pepin, Maiden Rock, etc. that all have scenic views of the Mississippi. People come from far away just to take the scenic drives, especially in the fall. It's very popular with bikers too!

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  3. Cute, cute cards, you clever person! And now I'm hungry . . .

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  4. I'm not a meat eater, but my husband would LOVE that place. Great photos and review!

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    1. Thanks Cherie! Yes, it's a meat lover's paradise!

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  5. Did the pay phone actually work? Shared your post ♥

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    1. You know, that's a good question! I don't know. I didn't try it. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. We have a place called City BarBque and they have the best brisket. I have always wanted to make one but am so afraid of ruining a big piece of meat. Your cards are so cute.

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    1. Thank you! After watching that "Young Sheldon" episode and seeing how complicated it is, I don't know if I'd ever have the courage to try either!

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  7. It looks like a fun restaurant and the food looks delicious. Such pretty cards too! Love those vintage looking images!

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  8. Amy you sound like you had an amazing time away - and that food was making my mouth water! If I lived in the US I'd be the size of a barn! The galentine cards were really cute too - you are certainly much more creative than me :) Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I've shared this on my SM.

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    1. Thanks Leanne! I do have to watch what I eat. If I go out and eat a meal like this, I really cute back the next day. I also didn't eat dinner this day.

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  9. The restaurant certainly had character which I love and the food looked amazing - I would definitely need a long run after that! Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Midlife Share the Love Party. have a great week! #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks Sue! I didn't go for a run, but I didn't eat dinner or much other food the next day!

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  10. Wow, that place looks like a super cool place to eat. Very cool. #MLSTL

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  11. I really love the retro vibe of this place- and the food sounds awesome!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  12. So cute Amy! I am glad you had a great trip visiting family. I love stops that have so much character like this little restaurant! They always have the best food too.

    xo

    Katrina

    www.katrinagwenrose.com

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    1. I so agree Katrina! Great character and great food!

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  13. Oh man that looks so amazing. Restaurants that look like this are usually the ones you want to go to!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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  14. Looks like a nice place to stop for something to eat. The food looked yummy! Your cards are adorable! I'm still wondering about that pay phone :) Thank you Amy for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty 25! I shared your post on Fb, G+, Pn, and Tw ♥

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    1. Thanks Dee, haha! I'll tell you what, next time I go to this restaurant I'll see if the phone works and let you know! :)

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  15. What a great post! Who says "townie" decor can't also be great?

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    1. Thanks Heather! haha! You're right! Why not?

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  16. I adore places like this!! It's always fun to see such quaint items. The food looks great, too!

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