Bernie’s of Port Washington, Wisconsin is surely a destination for meat lovers offering an awesome variety of fresh and smoked meat products including “Old World” favorites. Bernie’s carries a variety of bacon flavors, all applewood smoked. We tried their apple flavored bacon (prepared in apple juice) first and were quite pleased. The apple flavor was just right; a bit of sweetness but not overpowering of the fine smoked flavor. The slices were cut thick and had a nice meaty texture, very similar to good quality side pork. The fat-to-meat ratio was excellent – even the lightest colored parts had a meaty body and there were very few areas of pure fat. Shrinkage was minimal and there was little liquid fat released in cooking.
Among the other flavors offered are: applewood smoked, black pepper, Hungarian, Serbian, and maple and brown sugar. If you like meaty bacon, all will be a hit. Those who like it spiced up a notch will appreciate a bit of good flavored heat with the Hungarian bacon (and be sure to try their Hungarian brats if you want some not-so-tame spice for the grill).
Bernie’s shop is modest in size, but we’re not sure how one could pack more goodies – meats, cheese, packaged sundries, domestic and imported beers, wines and top shelf liquors. Those heading north out of Milwaukee on I-43 to Door County or other parts north would do well to make a short diversion on Wisconsin Highway 32 to stop at Bernie’s and stock up on items for the grill, frying pan, pantry, picnic basket, and cooler. With a few basics you may have set out with already, you could nicely round out the menu for a full weekend or more with one stop at Bernie’s! Better yet, spend a little time strolling main street and the harbor area’s shops and restaurants and you may get the idea to make Port Washington itself a destination sometime soon.