The southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin is the go-to spot for mountain bikers, trail runners and cross-country skiers in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas. And the LaGrange General Store is the spot to fuel up for the trip.
The small restaurant and coffee shop is part of the Backyard Bike and Ski Shop, which sells and rents mountain bikes, road bikes, cross-county skis and snowshoes. It sits at the edge of the state forest at the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway H, just south of the John Muir trailhead.
While you may not expect it from the outside, the restaurant features a pretty extensive menu of gourmet sandwiches, with plenty of both meat and veggie options. Some favorites: The Upstream, which features smoked trout with tomatoes, lettuce and onion on rye bread; The Italian Special on a French baguette; and a spinach feta croissant. You can also grab a quality salad to go.
In the winter months, try one of the store’s homemade soups, which really hit the spot after a few hours on the cross-country trails.
You can go for a caffeine boost with an espresso, cappuccino, latte, mocha or frappaccino. There’s hot tea and hot chocolate available as well as smoothies of various flavors and mixes of energy blends.
For dessert, there’s ice cream as well as baked goods to reward yourself for that long ride. You can even choose from a surprisingly wide selection of wine and beer.