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Small town café gets big attention on the Food Network’s ‘Triple D’ show
By HOLLY KELSEY-HENRY
Photo: The Brick House structure dates back to the 1800s and is one of the oldest in Cable.
How does a chef with no formal training, living in Small Town Wisconsin, end up on the Food Network? Well – you create an espresso rubbed BBQ pulled pork sandwich that is so good its mouth-watering reputation winds its way to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives star, Guy Fieri.
That’s exactly what happened to Heather Ludzack, owner of the Brick House Café in Cable, Wis., (about an hour and half drive from the Twin Ports.)
Fieri, who is friends with Jimmy John Liautaud, of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, was visiting Liautaud at his cabin near Wascott, Wis., when the two visited the Delta Diner in Mason to film a segment of the show. While there, the Food Network star heard about the Brick House Café’s divine pork sandwich and the wheels were set in motion for a segment of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
“The producers of the show called me on a Tuesday and asked me questions for about three hours,” Ludzack explained. “I didn’t really think much of it - other than ‘Well this isn’t a bad way to start a Tuesday.’ ”
In fact, she knew little of the Food Network, noting that watching it stresses her out.
“As a caterer, I’ve been in situations where at the last minute I’ve had to create a dessert out of six ingredients from a stranger’s fridge, so I get absolutely no enjoyment out of watching other people do it,” she said.
Still, when Fieri and his crew showed up at her restaurant to film on July 13 and 15 last year, putting in two 12-hour days, (resulting in an eight minute segment,) Ludzack was thrilled.
“There were a lot of hoops to jump through and they told me everything had to be immaculate for high definition TV,” she said. “We also had to prepare every step of the recipes in advance – the raw pork, the pork with rub on it, the pork out of the oven, the pork cooled for tasting. Because we filmed for two days, every utensil had to be exactly the same each day and every detail had to be the same. It was exhausting.”
Still, when Guy Fieri parks his trademark red Camaro in front of your restaurant, it’s sure to be a boon for business.
The Brick House segment aired in November last year and five times since, and each time Ludzack and her staff see a spike in business.
As an added bonus, Fieri ended up truly impressed with the Brick House’ pulled pork and raved about the crčme brulee French toast, with vanilla, hazelnuts and pecans, topped with a caramel toffee brulee drizzle.
“He was very genuine and said he would tell me if he didn’t like my cooking,” Ludzack said. The star was also “wonderful on every level,” even taking the time to walk across the street to visit for a half an hour with Ludzack’s mother, who was ill.
“He was absolutely genuine and delightful,” she said, “and it’s been a huge boost to our business. We get calls from all over the United States. We’ve had people go hours out of their way to eat here. It’s been life changing really.”
About the Brick House
The Brick House Cafe occupies one of the oldest buildings in Cable, which dates back to the late 1800s. The building has worn several faces since its first appearance on the Town of Cable tax register in 1899 – the church parsonage, a private residence, apartments, business offices and an interior design shop.
Ludzack’s parents were married in the church next door and she was baptized there. Reverend Joe Jenkins and his wife, Lois, lived in the Brick House when he served as the pastor of the Cable United Church of Christ for more than 50 years. Cable’s original Postmaster General once lived in the house, a discovery made upon finding memorabilia from the 1929 Postmaster’s Convention during renovations after Ludzack purchased the building in 2003.
The walls of the Brick House are adorned with photos of the house through the years, along with a treasured photograph of Ludzack’s grandmother, Charlotte Reynolds, and her lifelong friend, Katie Flowers, walking hand-in-hand past the Brick House on their way to Sunday school in 1924.
The Brick House is located at 13458 Reynolds Street in downtown Cable. For more information, visit thebrickhousecafe.net.Previous BusinessNorth Exclusives Articles:
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