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Wisconsin Parent

The Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Cafe: A Foodie Review!

May 12, 2013 11:54AM ● By Abbie Chaffee

A Foodie Parent's  Review of The Paoli Schoolhouse Shops and Cafe:

Sometimes, the foodie gods guide us to great eats without us really realizing what is going on.  On a bright and windy drive to Paoli WI, we decided to pull off at a charming schoolhouse turned café/boutique shop to investigate. Upon entering The Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Cafe, my husband and I briefly fretted that this establishment would be much too fancy for the liking of our uber-picky toddler. However in a brief moment, we were whisked away to our table and all our fears and doubts about this little bistro vanished.  I was instantly smitten.

The Schoolhouse Shops and Cafe in Paoli was amazing. The décor was absolutely lovely, the service was beyond anything else, the prices were totally reasonable, but most importantly the food was out of sight!

We made the naïve decision to stop in on the Saturday afternoon before Mother’s Day, which meant the place was rockin’! The crowded rooms didn’t stop the quick pace of the wait staff, and we even had more than one waitress pop over to our table to see if we needed anything while our actual waitress was busy delivering food to other tables.  It was absolutely delightful.

Now, to the best part: The Food! I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with mozzarella, arugula, and roasted red peppers (served on the famous Stella’s Spiced Cheese roll). Holy Cow! I probably should’ve ordered two because later that night all I wanted was another one of those tasty sammies (but that might be the pregnancy hormones). It was absolutely divine. Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

My darling husband ordered a School House Burger; topped with bacon and avocado, provolone, and baby arugula (served on a fresh ciabatta roll).  He dove face first into the tasty plate of burgery-goodness. I’m guessing it was delicious since not a crumb managed to escape.

Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

Now, what about the biggest food critic of them all? What did the ever-challenging two and a half year old JBird think of her grilled cheese on sourdough? Two thumbs up! I should note that there was no visible children’s menu BUT when we asked for a simple grilled cheese (for our grilled cheese fanatic) I was expecting just a sandwich on a plate for my little lady. Not only was there a pile of kettle chips, pickle, and generous helping of fruit BUT they served the sandwich in the shape of a heart (which of course was VERY exciting for the JBird). Plus, the price of that adult size helping for my wee one was only $5. You can’t beat that!

Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

We finished off our lovely afternoon lunch with a hefty piece of the Schoolhouse Café’s Vanilla Tres Leches cake. The hubby and I were able to snag a few delicious bites before JBird destroyed that cake; Very moist, very light, and oh so good.Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

Schoolhouse Cafe and Shops

The Schoolhouse Café would be the perfect spot for a special lunch with your girlfriends,  a very special place to go for a mommy-daughter lunch date with your favorite little lady, or just a great place to stop and grab a bite on your way to tour the New Glarus Brewery (one of our favorite places). The café also caters to small groups and events like bridal showers, baby showers, and intimate weddings. Aside from their tasty lunch menu, they are also open for dinner Thursday-Saturday evenings (a lovely and romantic place to visit on your next date night, perhaps?)


To learn more about the Schoolhouse Café, visit their website.  They’re only a short trip from Madison, and definitely worth the jaunt.