Update: Heartland Cafe takes shape – and asks for your help

(Photo courtesy LE Baskow)
The former Admiral Benbow Inn (4210 Admiral Way) is continuing to take shape as the Heartland Cafe – as reported here in October. Tonight, in addition to the photo of the new exterior touches, we have two notes from co-owner Jay Wergin. First, the latest answers to the most common questions (“when are you opening” and “what are you serving”):

Opening date? We still need to install a kitchen and build a bar… minor complications. Outside of that, the inside is transforming into an artsy, campy style …like no other seen in this area. As it has been announced that we will be serving ‘Midwestern Comfort Food’ we would love to hear from the West Seattle Blog readers, what they hope to find on the menu that translates into ‘Midwestern Comfort Food’.

Jay’s a Wisconsin native and mentioned a few food examples the first time we heard from him, but that’s just the start. So what do YOU think “Midwestern Comfort Food” means? Add a comment with your thoughts! He also has posted in the WSB Forums with an even-more-specific request — he’s looking for old photos from the Admiral Benbow’s heyday.

142 Replies to "Update: Heartland Cafe takes shape - and asks for your help"

  • Dale January 3, 2010 (5:35 pm)


  • JumboJim January 3, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    Are there any restaurants around town that serve any type of individual-sized casseroles? I always think casserole when I think comfort food. Chicken soup too, of course

  • Wendy January 3, 2010 (5:44 pm)

    OOoohhh…..I lived in the Midwest for 18 years before moving back home to Seattle. Comfort food: Shepard’s Pie for sure. Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie, Apple Pie, Sticky buns….shall I go on? ;)

  • Danielle January 3, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    Being from the midwest myself, I think of a typical sunday night dinner growing up: Pan-fried chicken, (not deep-fried) mashed potatoes and pan gravy, and corn. Maybe a buttermilk bicuit and honey. Yum!!!

  • JRR January 3, 2010 (6:03 pm)

    Former Wisconsinite here, too. So, I say: hotdish (tater tot, macaroni, green bean — both vegetarian and meaty versions), Chicago dogs (and not-dogs), cheese curds, venison, morels… the list goes on. I’m super excited for this place to open. Will there be any Leinie’s on tap?

  • Lynn January 3, 2010 (6:03 pm)

    Meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy (actually, anything with gravy); chicken pot pie; pot roast.
    How about jello, served with mayonnaise on top? Now, that’s Midwest — awful, but still a tradition.

  • Penny January 3, 2010 (6:13 pm)

    I was born and raised in Iowa. When I think comfort food, I think pork chops, roast with carrots and potatoes, mac ‘n cheese of course, meatloaf, and stuff smothered in gravy! Now that I’m a vegetarian, I would hope that there would be a couple veggie items on the menu, by using Field Roast or some other substitute (even grains into a meatloaf or veggie casseroles). There are a lot of vegetarians/vegans here in Seattle, and we like comfort food too!!! Oh, and ghoulash is a must – good idea. I haven’t had that since I moved away many, many years ago.

  • David January 3, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    How about Made Rights? Yum!

  • bebecat January 3, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    Oxtail stew with parsnips and rutabaga. Stuffed flank steak. Yum! My mom was from the mid-west and she was a great cook. Miss her. :(

  • mark January 3, 2010 (6:18 pm)

    Midwestern Comfort Food? That’s simple.

    Vienna Red Hots on a David Berg Bun
    Old Style Beer (from Lacrosse Wisc, of course)
    More Cheese
    Sausage and cheese

    While not a pure Midwestern menu, it would have a Wisconsin taste.

  • mae January 3, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    Friday night fish fry!

  • Needs a change in West Seattle January 3, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    Home made pie would be great! Hate the store bought! Pan fried anything, chicken, chicken fried steak (the real kind! Not the frozen yuck!) Pork chops cutlets, Not much for mac and cheese … good salads (not bagged!) I’m not from the mid-west … BUT am tired of the dead food we have here in West Seattle, NOT to say there aren’t a few good places! Just too much of the same old same old! … we need restaurants and cafes like on “Diners and Dives!” good food that’s different!

  • gidget January 3, 2010 (6:36 pm)

    just please have a few vegetarian options!

  • Kate K January 3, 2010 (6:36 pm)

    I second the meatloaf and mashed pototoes.

    How about perogies?

  • Emily January 3, 2010 (6:38 pm)

    Cincinnati-style Chili (or just chili in general)
    Grilled-Cheese Sandwich for lunch
    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Diana January 3, 2010 (6:40 pm)

    Potatoes. Sauerkraut. Roasted root vegetables. Anything corn. Pie.

  • BGJ January 3, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    Brats and Sauerkraut!

  • K January 3, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    beer cheese soup! And of course, Cheesecurds

    And if you can get Leinie’s Honey Weiss on tap (I can only ever find Sunset Wheat around here) I’d be there every weekend. Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin born and raised!

  • Andy January 3, 2010 (6:47 pm)

    Another request for veggie options/alternatives. It’s always a bummer when a place can’t be bothered to keep a gardenburger or veggie sausage patty in the freezer. Might be a stretch for a midwest place, but worth asking.

    Otherwise just make it good and the success will follow! Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • Junctionite January 3, 2010 (6:49 pm)

    Another vote for chicken pot pie, pierogies, mac & cheese, plus grilled cheese sandwiches and soup (tomato, chicken noodle). Also the Leininkugel on tap : ) When do you open?

  • E January 3, 2010 (6:54 pm)

    Pig’s Eye and a polka room!

  • Lisa January 3, 2010 (6:56 pm)

    Macaroni hot dish, cheese curds, walleye fish fry, leinie’s beer brats, and a big thumbs up on the beer cheese soup!
    My dad has been a vegetarian in Minnesota for twenty-five years, so it isn’t horribly un-Midwestern to include veggie options. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Good luck!

  • RogerTango January 3, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    With the Alki Homestead unlikely to return any time soon, if they do a decent ‘family style’ fried chicken dinner (all-you-can-eat, like AH had), I’m convinced people will be forming a line at the door

  • Gretchen January 3, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    Native Illinoisan here…

    pork chops and applesauce
    bacon green beans
    biscuits and spicy sausage gravy
    Meaty chili
    Horseshoe (Springfield, Il. classic of white bread toast, with a slice of ham or turkey sitting on top, a pile of french fries on that, preferably the skinny ones, and smothered in a beer/cheese sauce.)
    Lots of potatoes, scalloped, mashed
    Creamy casseroles
    Texas Cake
    Oh, I will SO be there!!!

  • Anita January 3, 2010 (7:03 pm)

    My Dad made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup every Sunday night. Macaroni and cheese of course. Tuna with the crunchy noodles that come in a can and mushroom soup casserole. Green bean casserole with french-fried onions (the crunchy ones in the can, not breaded slices). Puddings especially tapioca or vanilla with vanilla wafers stuck in it. Or am I just remembering a childhood in the 50s?

  • Gretchen January 3, 2010 (7:04 pm)

    oh and sunday crock pot meals of roast with carrots and potatoes. and lots of gravy.

  • leslie January 3, 2010 (7:05 pm)

    Great idea for a cafe as there are so many of us midwestern transplants out here! What about an italian beef sandwich? I grew up in northern Illinois and italian beef was seen commonly.

    Norwegian sweets too, although Ballard may fill this niche already!

  • Katy January 3, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    Fried walleye and perch, please! WS needs some great fish & chips!

  • Manitowoc Melissa January 3, 2010 (7:12 pm)

    Tater Tot Casserole! (Born and raised in Wisconsin)

  • hopey January 3, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    From a former Chicagoan… Pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy. Grilled cheese sandwiches with cream of tomato soup. Mac n cheese — and if you really wanna get authentic, make it with chopped-up hotdog pieces! Green been casserole with fried onion pieces on top. Beef barley soup.

  • Dan January 3, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    I am also from the midwest. Please consider potroast!

  • CB January 3, 2010 (7:28 pm)

    Mmmm… a second vote for pot roast.

  • Travis January 3, 2010 (7:30 pm)

    Pan fried chicken and mashed tates

  • Jasperblu January 3, 2010 (7:33 pm)

    Friday night fish fries.

    Chili (w/ meat)

    Tater Tot Casserole (cream of celery soup, hamburger, frozen veggies, tater tots)… baked! Mmmmm Mmmmm.

    Pan fried Walleye (fish).

    Green Bean Casserole

    Angel Food Cake (w/ strawberries and Cool-Whip)

    Lemon Meringue pie


    Cherry Pie

    Meat or poultry POT PIES

    Sausage!! (German especially)

    Pot Roast

    Beef Stew

    OK, now I’m STARVING!

  • Admiralite January 3, 2010 (7:36 pm)

    Brats! Mashed potatoes! Cornbread and chili! Bitburger Drive non-alcoholic beer. And please, let it be affordable. I’m tired of forking over 40 dollars for a meal for two in this neighborhood. (that’s without alcoholic beverages)

  • missing the midwest January 3, 2010 (7:41 pm)

    I had no idea there were so many midwesterners here! I am so happy! Just moved here two years ago, and miss all of the above food items terribly! Until now, I couldn’t even find anyone in Seattle who had ever heard of pierogis!!

    Pierogis, sauerkraut, polish sausage, mashed potatoes
    macaroni and cheese
    chicken pot pie
    beef stew or roast/potatoes/carrots in crock pot
    chicken noodle casserole
    cincinnati style chili (on top of spaghetti with cheddar cheese, sour cream, etc.)
    stuffed cabbage
    sweet tea
    pudding with bananas and vanilla wafers in it
    Thanks for asking for our opinions!!

  • jp January 3, 2010 (7:50 pm)

    How about the Benbows famous tomato,bacon,cheddar soup?

  • toddinwestwood January 3, 2010 (7:53 pm)

    Kokomo IN.

    pork chops swimming in a vat of saurkraut.

    meat loaf with egg in the middle.

    tuna mac casserole

    cheese burger mac casserole


    lebanon balogna

    Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Style, Linenkugel,

  • Wendy January 3, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    oohhh…..how could I have forgotten Tater Tot Casserole???

  • Heather January 3, 2010 (8:24 pm)

    Pierogies, for sure. And kraut. And veggies options would be very welcome and not hard to do.
    I had no idea there were so many midwesterners here…does the heart good.

  • Lou January 3, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    I’m not from the midwest but wanted to chime in anyway.

    I’ll second, third, or fourth the following
    mashed potatoes
    mac n cheese
    italian beef
    fried chicken

  • olive January 3, 2010 (8:28 pm)

    Shoefly in the junction has both veggie and meat pot pies – full size and individual

    Just fyi

  • E January 3, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    Pie! Lots of pie!

  • nmb January 3, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    I’m from Nebraska. A restaurant serving “midwestern comfort food” should serve lots of meat and potatoes, but no vegetables, except for tasteless salads made with iceberg lettuce.

  • coolmama January 3, 2010 (8:38 pm)

    As long as I can wash it down with cold pint of Leinie’s I couldn’t care less what’s on the menu ;)

  • sam January 3, 2010 (8:57 pm)

    lienenkeugels on tap and if you serve pizza you absolutely need to have GREEN olives…non of this kalamata nonsense.

    also fried chees curds would be a plus.

  • westseattledood January 3, 2010 (8:59 pm)

    Tater tot casserole! Yum!
    Pork chops with sauerkraut and rye
    Creamy/cheesey Vegetable (especially root vegies) gratins
    German Sausage
    Grilled Sharp Cheddar on dark rye with sliced onion and a German dill on the side
    Puffed wheat cereal

    Welcome to WS!

  • Laura January 3, 2010 (9:04 pm)

    Ooooh I love Tater Tot hotdish!
    Tuna noodle casserole w/chips on top
    Pork chops w/mashed potatoes, applesauce and green beans
    Pan fried chicken
    Oh yeah – the breaded cube steaks (can’t remember what they are called)

  • Kingston January 3, 2010 (9:15 pm)

    Sigh, it all sounds great, but we have gluten and dairy allergies in our family – I don’t suppose you will have any options for comfort food lovers like us…?

  • Amanda January 3, 2010 (9:15 pm)

    Wow. I am missing Wheaton, IL from this list…. I second pot roast. And meat and potatoes, hold the other green veggies. Pork chops for sure! I’m hungry…. Cool building by the way.

  • nmb January 3, 2010 (9:19 pm)

    By the way, Heartland Cafe owners, my sister sent me a State Farm cookbook for xmas last year (her employer). It’s a collection of classic midwestern meals submitted by State Farm employees. I’ve never made any recipes from it as they all sound disgusting (lots of Velveeta cheese, cream of mushroom soup, etc.). You can have it if you want.

  • westseattledood January 3, 2010 (9:21 pm)

    Oops. Forgot buckwheat and/or corn pancakes!

    My dad was from No. Dakota :)

  • newnative January 3, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    I lived in Indiana for a couple of years and discovered chili mac. It is spaghetti with chili on it. Then there is warm apple pie with a slice of American cheese.

  • bridge to somewhere January 3, 2010 (9:42 pm)

    I’m from Indiana, and I strongly second David’s suggestion: maid-rite sandwiches (also called “loose meat sandwiches”).

  • Junctionite January 3, 2010 (9:43 pm)

    How about Vernors and Faygo also, transplants from Michigan looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  • Agen January 3, 2010 (9:46 pm)

    Snicker salad (apples being the part that makes this a salad)

  • Cody January 3, 2010 (9:47 pm)

    Im a South Dakota transplant and I love me some Tater-Tot Casserole! 7-up salad anyone? :)

  • PDieter January 3, 2010 (9:54 pm)

    Just serve a good breakfast and you will fill the old Admiral Cafe void.

    As for the rest of this, I’m at a loss.

    Will there be meat raffles on the weekend?

  • Sue January 3, 2010 (10:00 pm)

    I definitely agree with pierogis. Repeating what I wrote on Facebook: This Minnesota restaurant just screamed “comfort food” to me during a recent visit – I could eat here everyday: http://www.cornerstonecafe.com/ – their cream of chicken w/wild rice soup and a grilled cheese sandwich … mmmmm

  • Kelly January 3, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    Yes! Vernors and Faygo –especially RedPop! How about some pasties — those are some good old Yooper comfort food! I agree with the many others who said that some vegetarian options would be appreciated.

    My family always had those jell-o salads with fruit, but I wouldn’t miss those if they weren’t on the menu.

  • TLP January 3, 2010 (10:08 pm)

    Former Chi towner here – a great addition would be cheese fries. The kind that has the sticky (not runny), somewhat granular, thick and salty kind of cheese. And a some good Italian sandwiches, please!
    I’ll also second that if you can come up with some killer breakfast ideas you’d be in the money -West Seattle pales in comparison to home for good weekend breakfast/brunch.

  • hopey January 3, 2010 (10:13 pm)

    Oh! I didn’t even think about dessert… you *must* have green jello salad, made with crushed pineapple, walnuts, and sour cream, chilled in a ring-shaped tupperware mold. I’ll give you my mom’s recipe if you want.

  • k January 3, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    i second all of it! it will be great to have a taste of home right here in west seattle.

  • A January 3, 2010 (10:25 pm)

    Fried Cheese Curds
    Friday Fish Fry
    Frozen Custard
    Salad Bar

  • dsa January 3, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    Is heartland Scandinavian? I’ve lived in WS 65 years and most of the above dishes sound like what mom and grandma made. I’m looking forward to your opening.

  • bluebird January 3, 2010 (11:47 pm)

    I always thought we had tator tot casserole growing up because we were poor. Had no idea it was because we were from Wisconsin and there were other people who ate it too.

  • TK January 4, 2010 (12:14 am)

    Will someone please share this whole tator tot thing with me. I thought they were called mexi-fries? LOL Seriously though. I never knew you could do much more with them than dip them in ketchup.

    Heartland is much more German and Irish than Scandinavian In fact German is the largest single ethnic population in America. I do know that little tid-bit.

    I see a lot of people mixing up southern food for mid-west. And most of those dishes sound very “welfare” to me. What I know of mid-west food is my great g-ma who was from Iowa, she cooked depression food. But she also lived through the depression. Is it mid-western or depression style… don’t know?!?

    • WSB January 4, 2010 (12:56 am)

      If anyone who is a tater tot fan has NOT yet had the tater tots at Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor), please rush there. They were among our nominees a couple years ago in a WSB discussion of “Dishes to Die For,” and as a result the Skylark menu to this day mentions that the tots were featured on WSB. (Well, don’t rush just yet – Skylark’s closed Mondays but back in action tomorrow night – open turntables – and Wednesday – trivia and open mike.) – TR

  • Full Tilt January 4, 2010 (1:39 am)

    Breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. I lived in Indiana from 3 to 11 and I can still remember those giant pork tenderloin sammiches.


  • cathyw January 4, 2010 (6:03 am)

    pastie/pasty (sp?) pies from the UP!

  • Penny January 4, 2010 (6:38 am)

    Green beans with bacon and potatoes!

  • slh January 4, 2010 (6:48 am)

    I’ve recently heard about a “butter burger” from Wisconsin friends…

  • coffee January 4, 2010 (7:11 am)

    Turkey Wild Rice Casserole. I worked at a place in Minneapolis and we served this by the load. Its creamy, comfort, and yummie on a cold day. I have the receipe if you want. Also from South Dakota and the worlds best German sausage is made in Hosmer, Heisers German Sausage. On the rare return visits I bring a cooler back full of it. Dont forget pickeled herring on that salad bar, and omg, yes, pudding! I also have a cookbook from the midwest that you are more than welcome to borrow. It was a giveaway in the early 90’s and I have made several things from it and its good. Some good Kuchen for breakfast please.

  • lina January 4, 2010 (7:25 am)

    tater tots!

  • LatteRose January 4, 2010 (8:03 am)

    From Chicago here – steak & eggs!
    And as noted above, lots of pie!! Apple!

  • CMP January 4, 2010 (8:04 am)

    Tater tot casserole is awesome. There’s a restaurant in Portland called the Delta Cafe that makes a good one, but it’s definitely more on the southern side. I found a Hot Pot cookbook at the Admiral library that has a tater tot casserole recipe in it. While I think it was a tad bland, it’s definitely comfort food and worth checking out…just throw some Cholula in it. Someone listed the main ingredients in an earlier post, I just can’t recall where.

    My favorite dish I discovered during college in Kansas is biscuits and gravy. No one around here can seem to get it right. And serve ranch dressing with everything…that was the condiment of choice for all of my friends.

  • David January 4, 2010 (8:41 am)

    Great comfort food from the Midwest (midwest Quebec, that is): Poutine! Can’t think of any other place that has it on the menu.

  • Annazon January 4, 2010 (9:04 am)

    Grew up in Green Bay and Door County, WI.

    When I think of home, I think of:

    *Lake Perch Fish Fry
    *Whitefish (baked or fried)
    *Fried Cheesecurds
    *Butter Burgers (ala Krolls – Green Bay people know what I mean!)
    *Chicken plate (fried or roasted chicken with the fix’ins)
    *Cherry Pie
    *Brats and Kraut
    *Swedish Pancakes w/ Swedish Meatballs (ala Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay)
    *Lingonberries and Limpa Bread
    *Sticky Buns (aka Pecan Rolls. I made about 20,000 of these at my summer job as baker at Grandma’s Swedish Bakery, Wagon Trail Resort, outside of Sister Bay, WI)

    Additionally – I for one am not the biggest Leinie’s fan. I’m a born and bred WI girl, so I won’t turn down a beer, but Leinie’s is not a treat for me. Now, if you could get some New Glarus Belgian-style beers, I would be YOUR biggest fan!

  • Ross January 4, 2010 (9:10 am)

    Another request for Horseshoes!


  • lg January 4, 2010 (9:17 am)

    I’m from springfield, IL home of the horseshoe sandwich. I’ve never seen it outside of Illinois, but everyone who has one loves them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_sandwich

  • MAS January 4, 2010 (9:23 am)

    Another vote for Maid Rites. Beer soaked hamburger just has to be good food.

  • Miles January 4, 2010 (9:24 am)

    I lived in Green Bay for 18 years, and Indy for 20 years. I second Full Tilt!

    By far my favorite Hoosier standard that you can get in about any restaurant is a Tenderloin sandwich. Pork loin pounded flat and batter fried, twice as big as the bun, with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Yum!

    I’ve never seen it anywhere else outside of Indiana…….the butter burger mentioned above is from Kroll’s across from Lambeau Field in Green Bay and it’s as scary as it sounds, but there is always a time and a place!

    About the best Wisconsin beer I’ve had is from a smaller place in Milwaukee: Sprecher. It would be great on tap.

    Finally Steelhead Diner at Pike Place Market has great Poutine with Beecher’s curds…….

  • eva January 4, 2010 (9:39 am)

    coney dogs!!! flint or detroit style!

  • nate January 4, 2010 (10:07 am)

    It wouldn’t be a Wisconsin Friday night without a fish fry!

    Leinie’s is OK if you’re watching the Packers on a Sunday afternoon, but Friday nights deserve a better beer. For my $ I’d go with a New Glarus or Central Waters brew:

  • displaced Hoosier January 4, 2010 (10:18 am)

    I say take some hints from Midwestern state fairs! Giant tenderloin sandwich, cream puffs, flavored milks. Sausage gravy, hash…I’m all for anything casserole-ish, pot pies, meatloaf, mac and cheese and definitely Sprechers!

    Maybe they can sponsor Euchre nights!

    Glad to see so many Midwesterners here.

  • westseattledood January 4, 2010 (10:21 am)

    Just a little more, please…

    Chicken and dumplings rendered lightly in fresh broth.
    And, yes to wild rice soups and casseroles! Very “flyway”/Minnesota.

  • Kelly January 4, 2010 (10:26 am)

    Ah, yes, euchre nights! I second that!
    And good breakfasts—I’d be there!

  • villagegreen January 4, 2010 (10:29 am)

    Minneapolis here – I second coffee’s Turkey Wild Rice Casserole suggestion. It doesn’t get much more ‘comfort’ than that. Also, the obligatory: Tater Tot hotdish, Tuna noodle casserole, Pork chops w/mashed potatoes, Green Bean casserole, and Meatloaf.

    Also, just returned from a Minnesota holiday visit and anything resembling a Jucy Lucy burger from Matt’s Bar in South Mpls would be awesome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jucy_Lucy

    Oh yeah, I much prefer Grain Belt over Leinie’s!

  • Heidi January 4, 2010 (10:39 am)

    I’m from Ohio, and my request is homemade chicken and noodles, made with fresh chickens and handmade egg noodles. This is what my grandparents made every Sunday, served with mashed potatoes and green beans. This type of “blue plate special” food would be very welcome!

    Also second the request for pork tenderloin sandwiches – none to be found out here.

    Another must-have is homemade pies and light rolls.

  • gb January 4, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Please let them serve Grain Belt beer!

  • cd3 January 4, 2010 (10:53 am)

    Chicago gal here – would love to see: french fries with melted cheddar cheese and chili on top

    brats with great grainy mustard on a whole wheat roll

    awesome cole slaw

    macaroni and cheese

  • Blockwatcher January 4, 2010 (10:57 am)

    I would love to see St. Louis style buttercake on the dessert menu!

  • momon35th January 4, 2010 (11:02 am)

    What you need is a good old Lutheran Women’s cookbook from the 1950’s. I have a few and they are a lot of fun and pretty disgusting too!

  • Can't Wait! January 4, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Most requests sound great! … except Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup!!!??? Come on people you can get that at any cafe in the area!!! Who needs it!!???

  • Miles January 4, 2010 (11:36 am)

    How about a “Fiddler.” Down in Southern Indiana along the Ohio River they serve whole catfish and call them fiddlers.

    And another favorite: an 8 pack of Little Kings Ale in 8oz. longneck bottles to wash it down.

    Sounds like maybe doing theme month (like Endolyne Joe’s does) highlighting foods from regions of the midwest. This list is getting pretty long…….

  • jayman January 4, 2010 (11:59 am)

    The list is getting long but the feedback from our community has me feeling kiddy …how we long for the food we grew up with and came to love …even if it sat on our plates in rebellious independence of youth. Keep the suggestions coming and the Heartland Cafe will do it’s best to fulfill the best of them.

  • AnotherIdiotInWS January 4, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    Sooo… along with all the fried foods, it would be nice to see a place that serves a hearty salad… or even more than a single choice for salads. :-)

  • rlv January 4, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    This former Wisconsin girl’s picks?:

    Homemade pie. Leinenkugels. Cheese curds.

  • Mark January 4, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Will you be serving Kopp’s style butter burgers? I really miss those from growing up in Wisconsin….

  • Chacha January 4, 2010 (12:46 pm)

    Grade-school years in Columbus, Ohio in the 1960s:
    Johnny Marzetti–elbow macroni mixed with ground meat sauce (Bolognese) and melted shredded chedder cheese on top. Loved that dish. Served in individual casseroles, it would be a great addition to a menu.

  • sam January 4, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    I third the vote for Maid-Rites.

    Also Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese on top

  • The Hepcat January 4, 2010 (1:01 pm)

    Jello with mayonnaise? Tater tot casserole? Tuna noodle surprise? Loose meat sandwiches?

    Do all Midwestern parents hate their kids that much?

    Why not just call it “The Obesity Cafe” and serve these up with a complimentary defibrillator.

  • KBear January 4, 2010 (1:01 pm)

    AnotherIdiot, by “hearty salad” you must mean one with plenty of sliced sausage and cheese on top! Choice of salads would be nice… like cole slaw, potato, pasta, or jello…

  • Tim January 4, 2010 (1:27 pm)

    I’m from Detroit and would kill to get a good Pierogi in this town!

  • star55 January 4, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    One more for good pot roast.

  • Dan\'a January 4, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    A nice selection of Salads and soups would be great. I would love to have more choices of healthy, yet hearty, food as well.

  • Trish January 4, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    Fried Catfish!! Yum.

  • glendafrench January 4, 2010 (3:00 pm)

    @ David re: Poutine, both the now defunct Ama Ama and the still going strong Shadow Land already serve Poutine, it actually has a strong showing at West Seattle restaurants.

    @ missing the midwest – as a Seattle native raised by native Illinois transplants, I would argue that it appears nearly 40% of Seattle is a midwest transplant. Start asking and you will see. And are you seriously missing the midwest?

  • Miss Erin January 4, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    I lived in Wisconsin for a while. I definitely miss a few things that I’d love to see on a menu!

    Deep Fried Cheese Curds
    Deep Fried Mushrooms
    Frozen Custard
    Cheese, Beer and Brat Soup
    Friday Fish Fry
    Apple Crisp

    If you could possibly import the entire Madison Sunday Farmers’ Market at the Capitol, I’d really love that too – but I’d be more than thrilled with the cheese curds or a Friday Fish Fry.

  • Silly Goose January 4, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    I agree with Roger Tango “The HomeStead” served some pretty great comfort food. My comfort food although don’t know if it is Midwest how about some good ole sweet potato pie!! Welcome to West Seattle so glad you are here.

  • IslandLvr January 4, 2010 (6:10 pm)

    Zucchini Pie
    Hot Dish
    Fried Cheese Curds
    Jello casserole with sour cream and pretzels
    Fried Pickles
    Pork Roast
    Mac n Cheese
    Twice baked potatos
    Standing Rib Roast

    Tritto past posters on Euchre night!

  • Eric January 4, 2010 (6:26 pm)

    I’m a West Seattle native, but I like Leinenkugel Beer — it seems to be a natural choice for a place with duck sausage and potato salad on the menu.

  • Free Lunch January 4, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    Will there be booze? My memories of the midwest require self-medication!

    A tough call will be what to top the tuna casserole with. We always went the crispy chow-mein noodle route rather than crushed potato chips. I think my mom liked the international flair…

  • Wendyl January 4, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    Pasties with gravy, dutch applie pies, poutine, kraut,brats, cheese – fried or baked

  • Wendyl January 4, 2010 (8:28 pm)

    Also, bring back the stacking of emptied beer cans (PBR, Bud, Rainier or Schlitz) on husky football game days.

  • Mary T January 4, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    Got nothin’ to say but I love love love that logo — and color!

  • Gibby January 4, 2010 (10:21 pm)

    I am glad to see other votes for Pasties! I make them from my grandma’s recipe, but I know that plenty others out here would love the Yooper treat! Plus you can make them vegetarian if you choose!
    I would also suggest bringing in some microbrews from Midwestern states. I know it will be tough to out-do the local favorites, but there are some good ones.

  • (required) January 4, 2010 (10:46 pm)

    Hey, Chi-towners — remember the “Heartland Cafe” in Rogers Park? (See http://www.heartlandcafe.com/.) Hopefully the new pad in West Seattle will have live music and take a page out of that playbook.

  • artsea January 5, 2010 (6:32 am)

    I think the blog readers have pretty well covered it. Now let’s wait and see if the owners are listening to us. In the meantime, a reminder that a lot of the suggested dishes are served daily at Webster’s Charlestown Cafe. Their Mac and Cheese is great. Just lettin’ ya know.

  • forestlawn January 5, 2010 (10:28 am)

    When I think of the midwest (Iowa in my case) I think of Maid-Rite loose meat sandwiches. They’d nicely fill the slider niche.

  • squareeyes January 5, 2010 (10:36 am)

    Polish night! Kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut, and pierogis – three kinds: potato, farmers cheese, blueberry (that last one’s dessert). Okay, you can stuff ’em with sauerkraut too…

  • ArborHeightsMom January 5, 2010 (6:44 pm)

    Also a Chicago transplant, would love:

    -Pork chops in sauerkraut
    -Fish fry
    -pie, but please please please only homemade
    -German strudel called a Kringle, I think??
    -Rueben for good measure

  • monica January 5, 2010 (7:39 pm)

    fish fry, cheese curds, pie…. check out the menu of http://www.theoldfashioned.com

  • indiana native January 5, 2010 (8:24 pm)

    polish sausage with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and corn, beer brats with baked beans, round steak rolls with bacon and onion, (american style) Chop Suey, Friday night fish fry……takes me back!

  • indiana native January 5, 2010 (8:49 pm)

    potato pancakes with grape jelly, bacon and jam sandwiches and apple dumplings…I am getting good at this game!

  • Jessica January 5, 2010 (9:32 pm)

    I live in wesea and am a former sconie (a.k.a. Wisconsonite) and would like to see some of the following:

    -Italian Beef
    -Deep Fried Cheese Curds
    -Fish Fry with Coleslaw (preferably no mayo in the slaw) and potato pancakes
    -Frozen Custard, Frozen Custard, Frozen Custard – don’t forget the Frozen Custard
    -Pot roast, mashed potatoes
    -Brats and kraut
    -Leinies Red!!!!
    -Tater Tot Casserole
    -Cream Puffs

    I live a few blocks away and would love to have the taste of home nearby.

    P.S. My mom has a great Italian Beef recipe if you lookin’ for the best of the Midwest – Hey!

  • Jay Wergin January 5, 2010 (10:07 pm)

    I was born and raised in Green Bay, WI. so many of the dishes mentioned so far are familiar to me.

    As we will do our best to fulfill your wishes, there are certain things we just can’t duplicate …such as as a fish fry that contains your typical lake fish, perch, or walleye. Or that wonderful Chicken Booyah, served at church picnics, cooked all day over a wood fire. Or the fish boils from Door County. And some things I just don’t want to eat again… like cream chipped beef and white sauce over toast.

    What we can do, is do our best to replicate recipes that we all grew up on – which translates to “comfort food” – where ever you come from… And make the space as comfortable as possible – so you will come often and stay long. There is even a community table planned with seating for 12.

    We can hardly stand the wait ourselves for opening day.

  • Cheryl January 5, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    @David – Shadowland on CA Ave makes Poutine. And it’s pretty darned yummy too.

  • Full Tilt January 5, 2010 (11:41 pm)

    To be fair, Lorretta’s in South Park has a pork tenderloin sandwich. Its good, but needs work.

    Chipped beef on toast. God I remember that. My old man called it “Sh*t on a shingle”. I would devour that again in a second. Only once though. I don’t remember it being that good, but nostalgia is strong. Like the other day I listened to an entire Cindy Lauper record. Won’t do that again for 20 years.

    • WSB January 6, 2010 (12:30 am)

      I think my grandma used that phrase. She emigrated from Wales as a war bride, wound up on my grandfather’s family’s farm in Indiana for more than a few years before they journeyed West … (As for what she might have thought of Cyndi Lauper, grandma left the planet the year before “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Hm.)

  • Miles January 6, 2010 (7:34 am)

    My wife and I moved to West Seattle five years ago from Green Bay. My wife’s a born and raised cheddarhead but I just lived there for 18 years. The funny thing is when my in-laws come from Oshkosh every year they bring us a big load of Door County Coffee and they take home a big load of cheese (Beechers and Tillamook!) Really!

    Oh I forgot my real favorite from Green Bay (that no one’s mentioned) are the whole beef tenderloins you can get for five bucks a pound! Every wedding I ever went to in Wisconsin served chicken and “beef tips!”

    Good luck Jay! And are you looking forward to game #3 Packers vs Farve???

  • Ms Bette January 6, 2010 (8:06 am)

    I’m east coast raised, but DH is part Minnesotan. He would vote for Cherry Pie, chicken fried cube steak, and yuker night. J&J – you rock!

  • C.E. January 6, 2010 (11:54 am)

    Having grown up in “Sconie” and having parents who were good cook’s ( more hit’s then misses).
    What I miss is, Friday night fish fry, Saturday Night prime rib, Great lasagna, Fin & Haddie (smoked haddock in milk sauce), Kielbasa baked with sauerkraut & potatoes , Chicken wild rice soup ( like at the Loon Cafe) CHILI, Fresh Italian,German,Polish Sausage cooked anyway, Cheese Toastwiches,Oh yeah, Hot-dishes.

  • SchmiesDesign January 6, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    #1: FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FRY-good slice of rye bread on the side and some creamy creamy coleslaw.

    #2: Buttered corn on the cob. Mmmmmmm.

    #3: Lightly lightly battered WHITE CHEDDAR deep fried cheese curds. AKA: the best. Many use the heavy battered yellow cheddar, just not the same.

    #4 Leinnenkugel’s!! New Glarus Brews, Schlitz and Central Waters from Junction City are all a treat as well.

    #5 Brandy Old Fashioned cocktails. Supper Club style.

    #6 A good hefty Braut from Usinger’s in Milwaukee.

    Nice suggestions all. I am getting excited already. Wow.

  • Dan January 6, 2010 (5:09 pm)

    meat loaf

    ghoulosh (my friend from WI suggested this one. His Mom had a recipe, this is an accurate rendition of what she made:


    ·corn on the cob (but must be Silver Queen)

    German potato salad and baked beans

    fresh and only fresh cut french fries

    ·the fish fry has to be perch

    ·copious amounts of beer

    genuine malt

  • Carol January 6, 2010 (8:59 pm)

    I am from Duluth. How about oatmeal, sloppy joes, chipped beef on toast, sponge cake, strawberry short cake, fish sticks, mayonnaise cake, strawberry rhubarb pie, home made raspberry jam, home made bread

  • Crystal and Shari January 7, 2010 (11:30 pm)

    28 years hard time in the midwest, and 18 years respectively. Iowa, Indiana, Illinois —

    Maid Rites and Sloppy Joe’s
    Horshoe Sandwich
    Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich — and the BBQ pork steak, which I’ve never seen on any menu.
    Open-faced turkey or beef sandwich
    Fried Chicken with white gravy
    Sausage Biscuits and gravy
    Tater Tot Casserole
    Sh*t on a Shingle (Chipped Beef on Toast)
    Pot roast
    Cube steaks fried and then cooked in mushroom soup with mashed potatoes
    Rabbit and white gravy
    Deer Sausage & colby jack cheese & ritz appetizer
    Homemade Chicken, Turkey or Beef Noodle
    Tuna Noodle Casserole, mac and cheese
    Corn n’ Oysters
    White Beans w/Ham hock & corn bread
    Brown n’ Serve Rolls
    Sweet Tea
    Sherbet Punch
    Desert Bars & pan chocolate chip cookies
    Red Velvet cake
    Lemon Meringe Pie
    Homemade Ice Cream

  • Shane and Rebecca January 10, 2010 (8:56 pm)

    Moved here from Wisconsin and there’s some great feedback above so hope the owner is reading.
    – Leinie’s on tap!
    – Beer cheese soup
    – Brats (boiled in beer before cooked)
    – Friday Fish Fry with Walleye
    – Mac and Cheese with Wisconsin Cheddar
    – State Fair Cream Puffs for desert – yummy!
    – Anything on a stick!

  • Shane and Rebecca January 10, 2010 (8:57 pm)

    And Brady Old Fashioned like the one’s at Corper’s Five O’Clock club in Milwaukee!

  • marna January 14, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    Born and raised in Elmhurst, Il, 16 miles west of Chicago…only been here 12 years.

    ANY of the Vienna Beef products served on MaryAnn buns with the poppy seeds on top.

    Long neck Old Style if you won’t have it on tap.

    Deep Dish Pizza….butter or cornmeal crust with patty sausage (that would be a single patty of saausage that covers the entire top of the pie.

    Italian Beef Sandwiches….i’ve got the recipe if you need it.

    Pot Pies of any kind, as long as you give the bottom crust a few minutes in the oven before filling and adding the top crust…FYI Shoe Fly Pie!!

    Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    Brats boiled in beer…the only way they should be cooked.

    We look forward to your opening!

  • Angela January 16, 2010 (6:50 pm)

    I am from Kansas…..”The real Midwest”

    Me and my fellow friends of Dorothy are really missing fried Okra, hushpuppies, good mac salad, biscuits and gravey with real identifiable sage sausage. Heavenly hash and anything made in a jello mold. Zucchini bread or really anything made from Zuchini. Our mothers got quite creative with hundreds of pounds of zuchini we grew in our gardens. Dont’ forget roasted Parsnips Mmmmmm!

    For dinner you gotta have Pot Roast, Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Pot Pie, Shepherd’s pie and just about anything cooked on a casserol dish.

    Not my cup of tea, but…Hard boiled eggs, beets and spinach sprinkled with vinegar.

    Corn Fritters, apple fritters or anything else you want to mix in a batter and deep fat fry and serve hot swimming in maple syrup.

    For folks from the Volga who settled around Hays Wakeeney, Russel, Vistoria, etc. We want galuskies (cabbage rolls), Bierocks (cabbage, onion and ground beef inside homemade bread) and weenie beer “Coors”

    Pie…lots of pie, Rhubbarb, Mulberry, Apricot and
    Grandma cookies the size of your head.

    Good Luck, I can’t wait.

  • chris January 23, 2010 (6:01 pm)

    Fellow Wisconsinite here, miss my home town….Beer brats with Secret Stadium Sauce, brings back memories of old County Stadium. Friday Night fish fry, cheese curds and how about some pickled herring (but only for special occasions). Leinies and plenty of Miller products on tap. I think I may have found a new home away from home. Will you actually serve Bears fans?

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