One of the many things I love about doing the MBIP blog is that I get invited to places. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but there was a time in my life that when I showed up somewhere the general reaction would be: “Oh no, it’s him! He’ll drink all of the beer and never shut up!”
However, since I’ve started the blog, now and again I’ll get something like this in my incoming message box on facecrack:
That was sent by P.j. Vick last November and we were going to take a road trip to Big Art’s Yokel last week, but then an ice storm happened so I made a Steak-Umm sandwich here at the MBIP World Headquarters. Well, this week the weather is better and so it’s time for a road trip to the wonderful town of Tremont! And like all road trips, this one starts with a knock on the door...
Two knocks? There’s usually three, what’s going on here...oh no, it’s Art Garfunkel. Look, just because we’re going to a place with your name in it doesn’t mean you can come along. Plus you’re in black and white! Go out and get some sun, maybe go hang out on that bridge over troubled water that you’re so fond of! Let’s try this again!
Three knocks, now that’s more like it and peering in from the side of the door is MBIP Pal, Contributing Writer and the official MBIP Wheelman for these road trips, Scott Turley. Time to hit the road to Tremont!
Off we go into the somewhat grey and freezing yonder! It’s a short trip to Big Art’s Yokel, we made it in less than a half an hour and we weren’t even speeding! I quit taking that stuff in 1981!
Big Art’s has a nice roadhouse look to it from the outside and when you walk in it’s very impressive! I love the big L-shaped bar in here and as you can see, Scott’s already found his spot at the bar.
There’s the woman who invited us, P.j. at the bar with owners, Art and his wife Becky. It turns out that P.j. not only works here, she’s been friends with Art since grade school! And it’s definitely a family affair here, in the next picture is bartender Jill and Art’s sister, Lou, who’s the evening and weekend chef and she’s going to be cooking our steaks this afternoon. The last picture is a preview of some of Lou’s cooking, it’s chicken livers, onions and french fries. From the looks of that dish we’re in for a real treat today!
Check out the pictures in here, just like Rod the Mod sang, every one of these tells a story. The top three photos are Art’s parents, Big Art and Ginny. Big Art bought this place back in 1961 and when he passed away in 2015, Art took it over. The two newspaper articles are about the two times that Big Art’s has caught on fire, the first time was in 1982 and the second time was shortly after Art took over the business in October, 2015 and in February of that year the place pretty much burned to the ground. Art promised his Dad that he’d keep the place running and take care of his Mom and that’s exactly what he did. With help from friends and family they rebuilt The Yokel Inn and it had a grand re-opening in October of 2016, you can read all about it right here. The last two pictures are from a very old newspaper article when the place got christened The Yo-Kel Inn. When Art rebuilt the place he re-named it Big Art’s Yokel in honor of his Dad. The whole place has been remodeled, so let’s take a look around in here while Lou is cooking up the steaks!
Only two things remain from the old Yokel Inn and that’s this Miller LIte clock and a framed sample of the old wallpaper in here. That definitely looks like wallpaper from the ‘60’s!
It’s really nice in here and there’s a row of gaming machines across from the bar that would impress a certain Lou I know (inside joke alert!) It’s a long shotgun space with dining tables and comfortable booths directly behind the bar. There’s a nice salad bar in the back and lots of specials and events happening here.
The bar in here is really cool! I love all the wood on the walls and it gives the feeling of a comfortable lodge. There’s a quintet of beers on tap including Milwaukee’s Best, which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen on tap before! There’s a nice selection of bottled beer and the one that had “420” printed on the label caught Scott’s eyes and he ordered one up hoping there was a special 420 ingredient in the beer! Since I was behind the bar I took a shot of Art, Becky and P.j. from that vantage point!
And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for, here’s Jill with this week’s steak dinners! They look fabulous! Scott got the NY Strip with french fries and he immediately dug in and gave it a thumb’s up! That’s dangerous to do when you have a knife and fork in your hands so I appreciate his effort!
I got the ribeye and it was so delicious! Lou cooked it perfectly and it was melt-in-your-mouth tender, juicy and tasty! A really top-notch steak!
For my side dish I got the au-gratin potatoes and they were unbelievable! I love au-gratin potatoes and these were some of best I’ve ever had. They’re made from scratch by Lou and there’s a nice and crispy cheese crust on the outside and inside are slices of potato in a thick and rich cheese sauce. This meal was so good!
After I had cleaned my plate, Art brought out one of the specials of the evening, a giant dish of homemade lasagna! That looks unbelievable, but the food parade didn’t end there...
Here’s Lou with a homemade chocolate cream pie. The entire pie is made from scratch, even the whipped cream! As stuffed as we were, Scott and I had to try it and it was a sweet way to end the day! Thanks to P.j., Art, Becky, Jill and Lou for a wonderful afternoon and a delicious steak dinner! This was a fun and friendly afternoon and I highly recommend you take the short trip to Tremont and try out Big Art’s Yokel! Thanks, as always, to Scott for driving and hanging out for the day, it was a blast as always! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Four Elsie The Cows—Big Art’s Yokel has amazing steaks and so much more home-cooked delights! Go for the steaks, stay for the lasagna, au-gratin potatoes and chocolate cream pie!
22461 State Route 9
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