Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Homemade & Comfortable

award-winning Brazilian steakhouse transitions into homemade comfort food

Marcus Downs

The new facade of The Front Porch, formerly Picanha...
The new facade of The Front Porch, formerly Picanha ...

The king is dead; long live the king! It’s true, the space that once housed Picanha Brazilian Steakhouse – Eau Claire’s No. 1 restaurant (according to V1’s 2014 Best of the Chippewa Valley reader poll) – has closed its doors. But when one door closes, another opens – and in this case, the old owner is also the new owner. That’s right. Mark Reams has decided to take his award-winning team and try something different.

The new restaurant is called The Front Porch and specializes in Southern comfort food with a Midwestern flare.

“When you taste homestyle meals that are made from scratch, you recognize that it’s worth the time and effort." – Front Porch head chef Gary Goldsmith

The signature dish is a pan-fried chicken – the “only way to do fried chicken” according to Reams – involving a two-day preparation process of brining and marinating.

Additionally Mark is excited about a Southern-style chicken and waffle dish drizzled in a sweet and savory syrup, a “chili slinger” hash-brown hamburger topped with a fried egg and homemade chili, and hand-dipped Olson’s ice cream shakes and malts for desert. Don’t like ice cream? Then try a home-made pie. As with everything else on the menu, it’s made from scratch.

“There’s something on the menu for everybody,” Reams said.

Can’t wait to try a plate? No reason to wait – The Front Porch opened its doors Friday, May 8. For those of you who have been to Picanha, you may not recognize the place.

“We replaced everything Brazilian with a whole new look – new floors, new paint, and new decorations adorning the walls. It has a more casual feel,” said head chef Gary Goldsmith. “We put together a great menu with our favorite Front Porch recipes. When you taste homestyle meals that are made from scratch, you recognize that it’s worth the time and effort.”

The Front Porch may have been open just over a week, but Goldsmith says their Friday Fish Fry, which features cod and walleye, has been extremely popular already. As the word spreads, we could be looking at the next No. 1 restaurant in the Chippewa Valley.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.