After reading two fairly recent posts on The Heavy Table (Twin Cities Pie Tasting where SPC ran away with the win and a great post about being in Stockholm and what to do) about Stockholm, WI’s Stockholm Pie Company, I decided to surprise The Wife with a nice Sunday drive through Miesville and Red Wing and then down part of Wisconsin’s Great River Road to get some pie. After finally breaking the surprise to The Wife, she provided a slew of information which we could use on our drive to further explore and enjoy it. While I originally had no intention of writing up the pie place as it’s been done many times before, the overall trip was one that is definitely worth your time, regardless of season, and one we both highly recommend you try.
The drive itself is scenic and beautiful. It begins on US-52 and heads through Miesville and into Red Wing before crossing the Mississippi into Wisconsin. The drive through the rolling farm fields of Miesville turns into a bob and dodge through the river bluffs of Red Wing. Crossing the bridge into Wisconsin is wonderful, as is the availability of beer on the forbidden day. Once you’re on the Wisconsin Great River Road, you’re driving through twisting curves with steep and wooded river bluffs on one side and gorgeous Lake Pepin on the other. The vista views available from numerous overlooks and wayside rests may be unparalleled anywhere nearby. A previous trip at sunrise along the road several years ago brought with it a sunrise I will never forget.
The area along highway 35 is steeped in history and a wonderfully done audiobook tour of that history is freely available for you to enjoy while you take the drive. While the trip to Stockholm seemed to roll quickly by even though we were driving the speed limit and making numerous stops to enjoy the sights, without the audiobook the return trip seemed to stretch on forever.
Once we arrived in the tiny town of Stockholm, home to a very large arts festival which draws nearly 9,000 people, we were surprised at just how tiny it was. Home to less than 100 residents, the downtown took up maybe 1/4 of a city block total. There were several restaurants, many kitsch shops, an Inn and even an Amish furniture store. The town appears very dog friendly with several water dishes out and one store having a sign which told you when the resident canine was in. While we enjoyed wandering the shops, the main reason for our visit was to eat the treats available at the Stockholm Pie Company.
Offering 15 or so different pies at a very reasonable $3.50 a slice ($1 more for a single scoop of ice cream), we chose French Silk with ice cream and Coconut Cream along with two sodas and a 6″ cherry pie ($6.80) to take home. We sat at a small counter with red leather stools and spun around a few times before digging in. The coconut cream pie was heavenly. The whipped cream on top was nearly like ice cream itself, not light and fluffy but heavy and tasty. While I am not generally into crusts, this one was flavorful and tasty and I didn’t leave a single little crumb on the plate. The Wife’s French Silk was like none I’ve ever had before. Not light and smooth, this was heavy and dense–almost like fudge. The Wife ate far more of it than I did but gave me the last bite noting that it was just too filling for her to take any more.
On our way home we stopped for some Spotted Cow at a gas station, taking the last six-pack, and headed back through Miesville to stop for lunch at King’s Place. Always a treat, we ordered some fried green beans and two burgers (Miesville Burger for The Wife and some burger with coleslaw, a hot dog, swiss cheese and sweet chili for me). While The Nook still has my vote for best burger in the state, Miesville is definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been and it was certainly a great way to top off a nice Sunday drive.
Have you ever been to Stockholm or any of the other cities along 35 in WI? What do you like best about the Great River Road? Where do you like to eat or shop? What wayside rests or other scenic overlooks do you frequent? Even if you haven’t been there, what other areas do you like to take day trips to? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.