The Rustic Roost in Iron River, WI

March 1, 2009 12:01 am Published by 6 Comments


Bacon is alive and well in the northwoods of Wisconsin. No place is that truer than at the Rustic Roost restaurant & lounge in Iron River, WI on U.S. Highway 2.


From the outside, the Rustic Roost is a modest looking establishment. Its kind of a combination restaurant, bar, motel, and mini golf course and at first glance had me a bit befuddled. Once inside though, my opinions were soon changed.


Take a look at the photo above. Even the broccoli salad had real, fresh pieces of bacon. I knew instantly that this place was going to tickle my bacon fancy (just try to top that bacon euphemism Mike 🙂 ).


Upon taking my order, waitress Judy (that’s her in the photo with my grandfather) informed me of two interesting tidbits about the Rustic Roost. First, the original building has been in the same spot since the 1940s and second, all the bacon is from a local supplier. Nostalgia and fresh, local bacon…a winning combination if ever there was one.

In fact, all the bacon served at the Rustic Roost is from Jim’s Meat Market right there in Iron River. Jim’s Meat Market opened in 1981 and is USDA certified so they can ship tasty treats throughout the U.S. There’s even a rumor floating around that the bacon is from a local hog form in Oulu, Wisconsin but I couldn’t get verification of that statement.

Okay, okay…on to the meal.


I ordered the bacon cheeseburger. A simple affair by any bacon connoisseur’s standards sure, but sometimes the basics can surprise you. The burger was served with chips of two varieties, potato and dill pickle.


Upon close examination the burger was perfectly prepared. A hearty slice of melted cheddar cheese covered two thick, tasty pieces of that local bacon which were lovingly arranged atop a grilled hamburger patty.

Following the usual Bacon Today meal sampling protocol, I tore off a piece of the bacon slice for an unadulterated taste. Fantastic! Perfectly cooked, mildly salty, and very meaty. I immediately assembled the burger and chomped down.


My plate was spotless within ten minutes of receiving the meal. This one earns a Smaste™ rating of 40.12. Simple, tasty, and full of bacony goodness. (that’s my mom, me, and grandfather in the photo in case you were wondering)

mel-tillis-autographHey, the place is even so good country singer Mel Tillis has eaten there — as evidenced from the autographed photo with the signature “Good Food” hanging on the dining room wall.

You can’t go wrong with a good old fashioned country music endorsement now can ya?

Now here’s one for the bacon rumor mill…

Mel Tillis may love bacon. Discuss amongt yourselves.


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  • Busman says:

    Corey! Dude! Nueske’s Meats is in Wittenburg WI, not far from Green Bay, and if you can get there on your travels, they have the best applewood smoked meats and BACON! It costs a little more (OK maybe a LOT more) but it is the BEST Bacon on the planet! IMHO

  • Mike Kirsch says:

    Okay, Corey… how about… I knew instantly that this place was going to…
    “Trip my bacon fantastic”
    “Get my meat a-sizzlin'”
    “Jump start my bacon heart”

    Your move, sir…

  • Larry Simmer says:

    My wife and I stopped to have breakfast on our way to Marquette Mi. We travel a lot and the service and meal that we were served were great. We will be sure to stop again,

  • Cathy says:

    Would like to know more about your lodgeing faclity. We stayed just down the road from you but we ate there every day. They have great trails up there would like to came back and maybe stay with you. So please email me and let me know the prices of your cabins.

  • nickoli says:

    I have stayed there a handful of times, great lodging, great food & drinks, and wonderful friendly service! Its affordable and a great get away from the busy city of Minneapolis. I look forward to the yearly four wheeling trip every year!!!

  • Ron Zehren says:

    …Rustic Roost is still in my Heart and all the times we have ate there for over 40+ years.
    Now all my folks, wife, brother, are gone I still come back as one-person and remember all the breakfasts to dinners, and especially those huge-walleye-pike fillets, served by the Sweetheart-Lady, named “Kay”… Have pictures galore of all their entrees and delicious salad-bar, and know I have to come back for “the-Bacon”..
    Our cottage on the Chain, Eagle Lake Road, on Murray-Lake, (Flynn to the old-timers) are memories from Heaven!! Thank you Wisconsin! Regards,..
    Ron B. Zehren South Lake Tahoe, California

    PS Go Pack! Go Brewers!

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