Experiential Dining In Delta and Amazing Corn Maze


Episode 26: Experiential Dining in Delta and Amazing Corn Mazes

Bayfield County’s pumpkin farms and cornfields are the perfect backdrop for the ever-more popular corn mazes. Director of Tourism Mary Motiff tells us about two in Bayfield County, plus takes us to the Delta Diner. Located almost literally in the middle of nowhere, the perfectly restored diner has not only earned a national reputation for its unique menu, but it has become a destination for experiential diners. Plus, a preview of the County’s signature October event and other things to do on this episode of Bayfield County Wild.

A-Maze-ing Fun

October is the perfect time for family fun and corn mazes. Bayfield County has two very popular corn mazes: one in Oulu and the other at White River Ag in Mason, Wis. The Oulu Corn Maze has been around many years. Each year, the owners come up with a new design to make it more interesting for repeat visitors. Everyone gets a punch card that is stamped every time they get to a different station within the maze and then the card is turned in at the end for prizes, hot cider and treats. The weekend before Halloween, the maze is turned into a haunted experience for those who love to get spooked. At White River Ag, there are different activities for the kids, including a hay pyramid they can climb. More information about the corn mazes can be found on the Bayfield County Tourism website and their Facebook page, as well as the Oulu Corn Maze website and White River Ag Facebook page. Mary advises visitors to be sure to dress for the weather so everyone can enjoy themselves.

Experiential Dining in Delta

Located just 12 miles south of Iron River in the middle of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a perfectly restored 1940’s Silk City Diner from upstate New York called the Delta Diner. Opened in 2003, the Delta Diner has become much more than a popular eatery for locals and visitors alike; it’s a destination in and of itself that attracts foodies to Bayfield County.

Co-owner Todd Bucher says the Delta Diner location was once a gathering place for the community at the Delta Store for more than 50 years before it burned down. Todd and his wife, Nina, wanted to create another place where people could gather in the same spot.

The 48-seat diner has all the diner fare, but with ramped-up recipes that include spices and flavors that are not typical at a diner. Pedro’s Mex Benny features a dense and moist chili corn bake with local chorizo sausage from the Sixth St. Market ground into a chipotle sauce over perfect, over-easy eggs. The Norwegian pancakes are called “hotcakes” because pickled jalapenos are added into the pancake batter and carmelized on the grill, then the hotcakes are sprinkled with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon. This was one of Guy Fieri’s (host of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”) favorites when he visited the diner as a customer, then brought a film crew one year later to share his discovery.

Todd says his customers are a diverse crowd that carry the “E” gene, which is short for enthusiasm. His business model is unique in that he has created an LLC with 32-part owners who are members of the community and his customers. Diner employees start at a living wage of $15/hr., so there is no tipping. The successful model has made it possible for the diner to expand and provide more opportunities for when people come to the diner on a busy day. They now partner with Purple Door Ice Cream in Milwaukee to serve the best ice cream in Wisconsin, according to Todd, at a historic building on site. They’ve also expanded the Southeast corner of the property and added a Tin Tap House and Chicken Shack that they call the “Tap Shack.” The Tap Shack offers a craft brewing experience in partnership with Earth Rider Beer and an outdoor, island vibe, serving authentic Jamaican Jerk chicken, pork and festival rice. The Tap Shack is open on weekends through mid-October.

Next season, the Tap Shack will be open for more than 100 days and include new events and menu items. More information about the history of the diner can be found on its website and Facebook Page.

October Activities 

Oct. 4, 5 & 6:             Bayfield Apple Festival

Oct. 12:                      Annual Namakagon Cancer Walk

Oct. 18/19:                Fun in the Forest ATV Ride starting at Lakewoods Resort to  the Pioneer Bar and back

Oct. 25-26:                14th Annual Fall Brew Weekend at the Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield

View the full schedule of events on our website and Facebook page. 

november Preview

Get ready for a culinary tour of Bayfield County’s unique restaurants, plus an interview with Mark Phillips, owner of the Old Rittenhouse Inn, about their famous Wassail lunches and dinners as we start heading for the holiday season.

Affiliate Notes

Bayfield County Interactive Map

Did you know there are 150 different lodging options in Bayfield County? Find one that’s right for you using the interactive map at travelbayfieldcounty.com! With tabs for “Play,” “Eat” and “Stay,” you can easily find the information you’re looking for. View the items as a list or on a map. Each listing has a photo, a brief description and a link to a website or Facebook page. Formatted for use on a phone or on a computer, this helpful tool will make it easy to find all sorts of ideas to make your adventure in Bayfield County great.

Superior Body Massage & Spa

Established in 2006 in Bayfield, Superior Body Massage & Spa has become a favorite relaxation destination for locals and visitors alike and makes the perfect addition to any trip to Bayfield. With over two thousand square feet of beautifully designed spa space, they are easily able to accommodate couples and groups. Services include therapeutic and relaxation massage therapy, facials, spa treatments, waxing, manicures and pedicures, a private infrared sauna and now Vibrational Sound Therapy.