Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'd walk a mile for a Camel

Camels, the first commercially available cigarettes sold in America, were introduced in 1913 by a man named R.J. Reynolds.

The cigarettes were more flavorful, and less expensive, than the other cigarettes that were then on the market. Within a year of their introduction, the company had sold 425 million packs of Camels

In the early days of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, they adopted the advertising slogan, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel”, and they used it for decades.

I haven’t smoked a cigarette since my college days (and THAT was a long time ago), but I’d venture a guess that there aren’t very many people today who would walk a mile for a Camel.

I’d also venture a guess that there aren’t many people who would ride 42 miles on their bicycles for a Reuben sandwich, but here’s a little secret:

I’ve done EXACTLY that!

For roughly six months of the year, I’ll ride one of my trusty old ten speeds north to Wisconsin.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll ride all the way to the The Brat Stop, which is located on Highway 50 just west of I-94 in Kenosha. From Evanston and back, it’s almost exactly 100 miles round trip.

Most weeks, though, I’ll take a slightly shorter route, so that I can sample a variety of different restaurants. Truth be told, my favorite restaurant in Kenosha is a little place called House of Gerhard a family-owned German style restaurant that has been in operation since 1964.

The restaurant was started by a German native named Gerhard Dillner, who moved here from Germany in 1954. Although it may not be as fancy as some of the German restaurants in Milwaukee, the food is good, and the place has an infinite amount of old world charm.

Today, the restaurant is run by their daughter Angie, and son-in-law, Dick Rudin, and their children, Sabine and Kyle, also help out on a regular basis.

Due to the quality of the food, and the hospitality at the restaurant, the House of Gerhard was selected as the 2009 Wisconsin Restaurateur of the Year

On my visit last week, I had the Reuben, but I’ve also enjoyed the Rouladen and the Grilled Bratwurst platter, all of which have been preceded by a large Hacker-Pschorr Weisse, a brew that is VERY satisfying after a long bike ride.

You probably aren’t as crazy as me when it comes to exercise, but one thing that I know we’d agree on is the fact that you won’t regret going a little out of your way for some really good German food.

Guten Appetit !

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