It was a beautiful morning in the Northwood’s when I received a call from my snowmobile buddy Ranger Dave. Let’s go to Stark and then travel down to the Harrison Hills he announced. I have no idea where Stark is or what it is. As it turns out Stark, population 0, is East of Rhinelander and the home area to Ranger Jim a.k.a. ‘Ke-mo-sah-bee’ which is spelled ‘quimo sabe’ and means ‘faithful friend’, think back to your Lone Ranger Days. Why is it that when we get to be our age, (I begrudgingly group myself into that catch–all phrase, even thought they are older than the Big Ragu) we come up with aliases for ourselves? I will need to ponder on that for a while.
Meanwhile our adventure continues as Ke-mo-sah-bee followed by his faithful friends Ranger Dave and the Big Ragu mount their Arctic Cats and set off for the Harrison Hills and lunch at it Nut-Zee’s. The snow is great as are the trails so it is a fast 35 miles until we arrive at our destination N9831 County Road B in Gleason, WI. Several years ago Don and Deb Ziemanski sold their restaurant in Mosinee and moved North to Gleason and retirement. Somewhere along the way Deb found a bar/restaurant that was for sale and the rest is history. As it turns out Nut-Zee’s is a gem in the Harrison Hills. We walk in and Deb greets us with a big smile and asks “how are the trails?”. We follow the standard snowmobile protocol of parking our helmets and coats out of the way in the assigned place, and then plop ourselves at the bar to order drinks and view a menu. As usual I am looking the place over and I am immediately struck by how clean everything is. While Deb is mixing the drinks we ask several question about the menu. The pork tenderloin sandwich is cut to order from the loin, they cook their own
briskets of corned beef and get this – they make 350 pounds of sauerkraut every year for their Reuben’s. Top that off with homemade garlic chips and you can feel your arteries slowly marbleize. I am glad I saw my cardiologist last Monday – I know I am good to go for this feast. As usual RD is asking for something hot, Don comes out and brings some ‘special’ horseradish sauce from Eagle River and warns him to only use a small drop. As he opens the jar I can see the paint on the ceiling start to melt from the fumes. RD puts a dollop on his pork, takes a bite and suddenly looks like Wyllie Coyote eating ACME peppers. I finally heard him say “man that’s is hot”, then he looks at Don and asks if he has any hot peppers. Don brings him something red and vile but after the horseradish there is no more heat or maybe no more taste buds. RD tells me the Pork Tenderloin is moist and tasty, my Reuben is succulent and the Kraut is outstanding, the Garlic Chips almost make my heart stop and Ranger Jim is raving about the Homemade Chili. The Little Marinara is going to love this place.
It is getting late and the snowy trail back to Stark, Population 0, beckons to us. As we mount our faithful charges I can hear faint strains of the New Riders of the Purple Sage singing Panama Red.
Nut-Zee’s has a diverse menu that includes Broasted Chicken, steaks, seafood, as well as the Traditional Friday Night Fish Frys, which I will be back for. Over the last few days I have spoken with several people who have raved about their steaks. I am not sure where the name Nut-Zee’s comes from, but I can tell you this, you would be nuts not to give this place a try. The Big Ragu gives this a 4.5 outa 5.