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The Al Johnsons Swedish Restaurant has been run by the family for more than 65 years and today it is an iconic landmark in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. It is the exterior of the restaurant that helps to draw in a large number of passing visitors. Have you ever come across a dining place that has goats on its roof? Well, here you will get to see a unique scene – the grassy roof of the Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant has a number of goats. Almost every day during summer a large number of people gather in front of the building to photograph and laugh at the creatures that prance around on the roof of the diner.
When Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant start?
It all started in 1973 when the Johnson family decided to fully renovate the Sweedish restaurant and bring about changes to make it look like a log cabin. There is a sod roof on the top and all the materials come from the Scandinavian nation of Norway. After seeing all these, a friend of the Johnsons’ remarked that goats should be put on the roof to give some character to the dining place. Little did he know that his words of ‘advice’ would be taken so seriously by the Johnson family?
They started importing the goats straight from Scandinavia and even today these animals are kept at a 40 acre farm located around a mile from the restaurant. The Johnson family follows a tedious routine every day of the summer. The goats are put in the back of the pickup truck and when these animals arrive at the restaurant they eagerly get on the roof. Now this is something expected. After all, the roof looks like a lush green pasture and ceiling curvature gives the false impression of a rolling hill. The goats have a meal above while the guests enjoy the dishes at the Al Johnson Swedish restaurant below.
What are the specialties of Al Johnsons Sweedish Restaurant?
There are not many restaurants in the State of Wisconsin that will make your trip enjoyable even when you are going there with family and kids. Al Johnsons is one of those restaurants that make every effort possible to make sure that your visit to the dining place is made worthwhile. Yes, you need to wait a little bit at this restaurant but that is understandable as the number of people simply keeps pouring in during lunch hours.
Among the food items one may order the Orchard salad which is a real big seller. They add salmon to this salad and when you have your meal you will agree that it is probably the best salmon in the state. One may order the fruit plate which comes filled with apple slices, nuts, fresh cheese and dried cherries. If you are coming here with kids then this plate will surely keep them busy for a while. The fried chicken is also a big seller in this restaurant. As you dig into the chicken it will make an audible crunch but the inside is very succulent, moist and full of flavors.
Do not ever think of leaving this place without tasting the Swedish pancakes. They are wonderful and worth every cent and must be tried with the lingonberries that come with it. Some of the prices of the dishes are a bit on the upside but, trust me, this place is definitely well worth it. The service is excellent and it would be unwise to miss this place if you are in or passing through Sister Bay.
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