By Brian Jewell
Unless you have an inside connection, you’ll be hard-pressed to get a ticket to a Packers home game for yourself, let alone a whole group of travelers. Green Bay’s football fans are so dedicated that almost every seat at Lambeau Field is occupied by a season-ticket holder. New parents in Green Bay often put their infant children’s names on the waiting list for season tickets, hoping to be able to acquire the tickets in time for their child’s 21st birthday.
So what’s the best way to have a Packers experience in Green Bay? Every time I’m in town, I try to include a visit to Curly’s Pub, the signature restaurant inside the stadium. Named for the team’s legendary first head coach, Curly Lambeau, this restaurant extends nearly the length of the football field, and offers a variety of guest experiences.
If you’re in a hurry, you can eat in the restaurant’s traditional sit-down dining room. If you have time to linger, there’s a sports pub where you can watch a game as you eat. The restaurant also features a game zone, with pool tables, darts and arcade games, as well as a private dining room that can accommodate groups.
Whatever dining space you choose, you’ll get plenty of Packers experience with your meal. There is team memorabilia on the walls throughout the restaurant, and the light fixtures are even shaped like footballs. Visitors with big appetites and a taste for competition can try the “Fan vs. Food” challenge: Anyone who finishes the one-pound “Lambeau Heap” bacon burger and accompanying waffle fries gets a free T-shirt.
I’ve never tried the colossal challenge; instead, I like to stick to local favorite foods. Wisconsin is famous for its bratwursts, and I’ve ordered those a couple of times during my visits to Curly’s. The menu features other local and regional favorites as well, including breaded and fried Wisconsin cheese curds and a Door County turkey burger.
The restaurant also gives visitors a chance to “Eat Like a Packer.” Each week, the restaurant features a pair of special dishes that are also being served in the official team dining room. Fans can enjoy the fact that they’re eating the same foods as their favorite players, albeit in smaller portions.