If you’re a die hard Green Bay Packers fan, or indeed a rabid football fan of any stripe, then the Vince Lombardi Steakhouse needs to be on your list of pro football shrines. If you aren’t familiar with the great Vince Lombardi, take a few minutes to read up on his career and importance to the sport. Unique in both contents and history, the steakhouse serves up more than just an excellent meal. I was invited to a private lunch as part of a travel press group to learn more about this legendary man and enjoy a top notch meal.
One might expect to find a chain style restaurant filled with all sorts of Green Bay Packers trinkets and a gift shop selling cheap NFL merchandise. Quite the opposite. Walking through the doors visitors will discover the warm dark wood and brass ambiance of a fine dining establishment. The restaurant is loosely divided into a few rooms, each lined with personal memorabilia. Pictures of Vince Lombardi with players and friends line the walls; even some family portraits. In one small room, hand written playbook notes can be found. The most eye-catching treasure is a trophy mounted above a group of tables. The only replica of the Lombardi Trophy made from the original Tiffany molds is the centerpiece of the main dining area. All told, there are more than 400 pieces of memorabilia to see. I recommend booking an early reservation so you have a chance to walk around and see it.
NFL teams traveling to Wisconsin to take on the Green Bay Packers often stay at the Radisson Paper Valley hotel, where the Lombardi Steakhouse is housed. Of course, many players are excited to eat here. It’s a formal affair, so you’ll find the players dress for the occasion, though they will pound down a linebacker share of steak and potatoes. This is a great opportunity for NFL football fans to get close to their favorite players. Check the Packers’ game schedule, and make a dinner reservation for the previous evening. If you’re lucky, you’ll find several players enjoying dinner while basking in the glory of one of the NFL’s greatest coaches. Another option is to hang around in the hotel lobby outside the restaurant for a glimpse, or even to meet, some of the players.
How’s the Food at the Lombardi Steakhouse
Like I said, this isn’t just a tourist trap posing as a restaurant. Our lunch was amazing. Aged and perfectly cooked filet accompanied by onion straws, fresh bread, amazing redskin potatoes, and grilled Brussels sprouts. A delicious assortment of desserts will cap off the meal, that is if you can possibly eat another bite. It was nothing less than you’d expect from a high end steakhouse and prices were on par with its class, averaging about $20 to $50 for dinner. The star of the menu is the steak selection, but chicken, pork, and seafood dishes are also available. Don’t worry if it’s a bit rich for your budget, sandwiches and salads are also available for under $10.
Lombardi Steakhouse Directions and Hours
The Vince Lombardi Steakhouse is only open for dinner, so plan accordingly.
Restaurant Hours: Monday through Saturday 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Sundays 4:00pm until 9:00pm.
Located within the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. 333 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911
For reservations call (920) 380-9390
Visit www.vincelombardisteakhouse.com for menu and specials.
Created and headed by Vince Lombardi jr., The Vince Lombardi Steakhouse is an unique destination and important collection of NFL pro football history. Fans and players alike flock to this shrine to one of the NFL’s most notable coaches for a peek inside his personal collections and pictures. I highly recommend this restaurant for both the experience and the amazing food.