Wisconsin makes great cheese and tacos.
Flashback to October 2021. Caitlyn and I were on a bike packing trip from Buffalo to New York City on the Empire State Trail. There was a moment, on the side of a highway, where Caitlyn just realized we had 80 plus miles of cycling ahead of us that day after already having 80 plus mile days the previous two days. I heard Caitlyn state after a long silence, “I think I need a break from these trips.”
Well, here we are not even a full year later, taking another bike packing trip together. We are addicted to the thrill of these trips. Each day is full of surprises, both good and bad, and we learn so much about ourselves on these journeys. We learn about our strengths and weakness and dial in on just the essentials.
Tacos, as we know, are essential. We were lucky enough to find tacos in Green Bay. Caitlyn and I stopped in Green Bay on our way north to Escanaba, MI. We lifted our bikes out of the U-haul and took a small tour of the city on the bike trails. Yes, we were cycling the day before our bike trip. I guess we wanted a warm up ride! Along the trail, we came across a bike shop called the Broken Spoke. The staff there was super friendly and helpful as they assisted Caitlyn with some bike adjustments. They also picked our lunch spot – Vintage Cantina. We were sold on the spot once we heard that the tacos and margaritas were superb.
Within a few steps inside, I felt the vintage vibe. We sat at the bar where I ordered the salty watermelon margarita. The margarita turned out way better than the salty watermelon energy Bloks I had brought for the long cycling days.
As for the tacos, I ordered three a la carte tacos. There were 19 different tacos to choose from on the menu. After much thought, I ordered the cauliflower, steak, and smoked chicken tacos. My absolute favorite taco I ordered was the curried cauliflower taco. I was intrigued by the crushed peanuts and coconut crema which both stood out when I ate this taco. The fluff of this taco was real. Despite the runny sauce, the crema was extra whippy. The coconut fluff worked well with the curry seasoned cauliflower. I give this taco a 4 out of 5 because it took risks that paid off.
My second favorite taco was the standard smoked chicken taco topped with onions and cilantro. The chicken had extreme grilled ends without losing any moisture to the middle. The taco just needed a sauce to tone down the salt, as well as more onions and cilantro. I give it a 3 out of 5 for quality chicken. I really wished I would have remembered to order this taco on a corn shell versus a flour shell. I think the corn shell would match this taco profile better than a flour shell.
My least favorite taco was the steak taco with pepper jack cheese, horseradish crema, and giardiniera. I don’t think I knew how much I disliked horseradish until trying this taco. I also learned that I am not a fan of giardiniera. Giardiniera is an Italian relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. Now that I know what that is, I think the combo of the two did not work for me. These two ingredients took over this taco so that the taste of the steak was masked. I give this taco a 1 out of 5 on my scale.
What Wisconsin had to offer so far was amazing cheese curds and rogue curried cauliflower tacos. I would definitely recommend Vintage Cantina to anyone making their way to Green Bay.
Price: $3.50-$6 per taco.