we investigate some seriously cheesy local appetizers

photos by Andrea Paulseth

Inside: Cheese and goodness.
Inside: Cheese and goodness.

Cheeseheads unite! Well, I guess you don’t have to be a Packer fan to appreciate cheese in its finest form: as an appetizer, breaded and fried. Here in the Chippewa Valley our local restaurants don’t stop at plain ole’ curds. So I went out on the town and sampled some of our eccentric cheese-filled appetizers, so now there’s no excuse to not try something out of your comfort zone.

Mogie’s Spuds O’Plenty

Regulars are obsessed with this appetizer, and after trying them, you will be, too! The crisp outer breading serves as a great shell of just the right amount of crunch to complement the awesomeness of what’s within. The mixture of soft, chopped-potatoes and creamy, delectable cheese is a combination you can’t miss out on. (Like tator tots meet cheese curd.) Break them open to let the steam and watch the cheesy goodness slowly ooze before diving in. Dip ‘em in ketchup or their buttermilk ranch sauce for a refreshing coolness in your mouth. Bring some friends along and take on the deadly trio of cheese apps: spuds and curds (white cheddar and jalapeño).

Cancun’s Queso Fundido

Queso fundido literally translates as molten cheese, but after a taste I’m pretty sure it should just be cheesy fun. This appetizer drips of cheese. Seriously. You eat this appetizer by spooning this gooey mess of their cheese and sausage concoction onto a warm soft tortilla. The cheese is thick (comparable to grilled cheese consistency) and inside is ground Mexican sausage to roll up perfectly in your tortilla or on chips (after you run out of tortillas). And you’ll want to mop up every delicious bite. But keep a glass of something near you, cuz the sausage has a fiery bite!

Dooley’s Broccoli Bites

Some customers might look this appetizer over in favor of their most popular menu item, their homemade original recipe cheese curds, but they are sure worth a try! Or maybe just get both. These feature melt-in-your-mouth-cheese combined with small broccoli bites and bacon bits in a toasty breaded coating. The bacon adds a lingering smoky taste to the cheese that will leave your taste buds not in the mood to share with the rest of your table, and it’s served with a tangy honey mustard. Your momma always told you to eat your vegetables, but we’re not sure these count.

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