The Creamy Garlic Cheese Pool of David Reay’s Modern Diner + Tavern!

God damn, I took a bite and it brought me to a mystical potluck that some wizard hosted and shared with us that which is Crack Chicken…

Abram Dyke

Eater of Food, Drinker of Drinks

David Reay’s has been on the food stage for 3 years now; it has weathered the COVID winter and is ready to remind you what good weather and friends are like.  The outdoor area will be made available by the end of the week, to allow for the best river views.  It is named after David Reay Skogen, an Onalaska native who’s elevated the grocery world.

To me, David Reay’s is a combo stop. The surrounding park and the trails are amazing and allow me to feel less guilty for the order I am about to put in. On this last visit, I treated myself to their two biggest sellers. You will soon understand why they stand out.

Gourmet Mac & Cheese

A thing in which I am always in favor of, as it offers choices for toppings and sauces.

The choices are:

Chicken grilled or crispy
Pulled pork
Grilled shrimp


What I went with was shrimp, and it was what I needed.  This is a heavy-hitting cheesy garlic dream pool. This would be a Wisconsin leprechaun’s pot of gold.

The five cheeses allow for the full spectrum of what melted cheese can be. The cream sauce is obviously the smooth soothing component that keeps the family together.  Mozzarella, a softer cheese with a very low melting point, allows for shapely strings of white in which it and the sauce really combine. Parmesan to bulk up the flavor and thicken the texture. Shredded cheddar to give color, shape, and the sharp cheesy flavor I love. Lastly, feta which maintains its shape and gives you the other side of the cheese texture spectrum. It melts in the mouth to become one with its brother and sister cheeses.  I am also a fan of the toasted triangles to give a tasty vehicle to bring it on home (to my mouth). This comes with a side salad to give your mouth some lighter fare to play with while the main mission waits patiently.

The shrimp was cooked perfectly and of respectable size. Also, there were no shells, which my lazy buns loved.

Mississippi Crack Chicken

God damn, I took a bite and it brought me to a mystical potluck that some wizard hosted and shared with us that which is Crack Chicken. It’s savory, it’s slow-cooked, its chicken, cream cheese, homemade ranch, and chopped bacon. If that doesn’t sound like America, I don’t know what else would. That alone would win my heart but there are a few more things about this that really took it to a magical realm: banana peppers and the garlic black sesame seed bun (the other choice of bread is brioche, but trust me, my choice is where it is at).  The peppers’ brine cut into the hardiness and made it lighter. The crunch of the pepper was a welcome friend. The bun absorbed the flavor and moisture and still held its own. The bun was a beautiful boat to bring this whole affair into the harbor (again, my mouth).

Sweet Potato Fries

I ordered this with sweet potato fries, whose sweet crunch was a welcome contrast to the savory smooth of the sandwich. I fully intended on being a normal human and eating half of both, but they were so good, I couldn’t stop and now I need a nap.

I recommend checking out the parks or getting a river view spot while devouring these delights.  I am really in love with all of the changes that have been made in that area over the last few years. I can’t wait to see what else becomes of downtown Onalaska.

Abram Dyke

Abram Dyke


Hey I'm Abram, a La Crosse towny. I am a person who is always curious. I love food, geology, hiking, biking and drinks of all kinds. I plan on learning more and more about a lot of different things. In my free time I like eating, cooking, gaming, and hiking.

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