Door County SMAK: Al Johnson's

Okay, so we've had our fair share of Door County posts over the last week. I promise you this is the last one, for a while at least.

Al Johnson's

If you have heard of Door County before, it is safe to say that The name Al Johnson's may have come up in conversation. This Swedish restaurant is located in Sister Bay, Wisconsin and is famous for having goats atop its grass roof. This is absolutely the first thing most people mention when talking about the restaurant.

goats on the roof

Complete with a store, Al Johnson's has everything needed for a complete 2-hour Swedish overload. The absolute must however is to wake up and sit down for a breakfast of coffee and Swedish pancakes. Similar to crepes, these pancakes are more dense and moist than normal pancakes. Once you go Swede, you'll never go back! Most important is to top your pancakes with lingonberries - a berry native to the forests of my native homeland.

The other Swedish staple most think of is meatballs. Pour a little gravy on top and eat them with your pancakes and I am not sure you could get a more perfect balance of savory and sweet. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I was thrilled with the meatballs at Al Johnson's.


No matter what meatballs Al Johnson's prepares, the restaurant will always hold a dear place in my heart, perhaps solely due to my extreme pride in my Swedish heritage. I've included a recipe for Swedish pancakes before, so please be sure to try them out and let me know what you think.

Swedish Pancakes 


6 eggs 2 1/2 cups milk 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 1-2 tablespoons butter


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir ingredients together until batter is no longer lumpy.
  2. Preheat a non-stick electric skillet to medium heat.
  3. Pour a thin layer of batter on skillet, and spread to edges. Cook until top surface appears dry. Flip to other side and cook for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Roll each pancake up, and serve.