After Packers signed her husband, safety Jonathan Owens, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles asked for Green Bay must-do's. Locals wasted no time.
GREEN BAY - Simone, we’re so glad you asked!
There’s nothing locals like more than helping a new Green Bay Packers fan get the lay of the land, and if she just happens to be an Olympic champion gymnast, well, hey, we kind of flip out.
When Simon Biles tweeted photos of herself and husband Jonathan Owens at Lambeau Field, where the former Houston Texans starting safety signed with the Packers on Friday, she did two things to instantly endear herself to the city and the fanbase.
She gave a robust, all-caps “GO PACK GO” and she asked for recommendations on places to eat and things to do in Green Bay. As luck would have it, Packers fans are really good at both of those things.
Here’s hoping she’s prepared for the avalanche of suggestions that immediately began pouring in on Twitter. Not surprisingly, food and drink took priority.
More:What to know about Jonathan Owens, the Green Bay Packers' new safety and husband of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles
More:He ate at Chives, stopped at Frosty Tip, put 'meat on hold' at Maplewood. Sometimes Aaron Rodgers was just like us.
Local dining institutions like Kroll’s East, Kroll’s West, Union Hotel, Maricque's Bar, Redwood Inn, The Pancake Place ("stuffed hash browns"), Sammy’s Pizza and Zesty’s Frozen Custard were all accounted for, and Pila's Kitchen, Vintage Cantina, Toast & Co., Umi Sushi, Cheesesteak Rebellion, Plae Bistro and a host of other offerings were named, too.
You knew Chives Restaurant in Suamico, the favorite dining spot of former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was going to get mentioned. It did — often.
Biles and Owens are newlyweds (they married May 6 in Mexico and were on their honeymoon when Owens was signed), so nice date-night-out spots like Angelina (psst, don't forget the charming patio hidden out back), Republic Chophouse, Hinterland and Rustique Pizzeria + Lounge are sure to be appreciated.
Bonus points to Rustique, not just because it's housed in a chapel that's more than 120 years old and the pesto fries are a signature, but because Packers running back Aaron Jones was among those who chimed in to recommend it.
Supper clubs came up, of course, with one person noting that "real ones are worth the wait." WLUK-TV meteorologist Phil DeCastro called them "a true Wisconsin cultural experience" but also cautioned they are not for a quick night out. Regulars know, but first-timers might not, that before- and after-dinner drinks are a must.
There was Green Tea for takeout, Kavarna for coffee and Kwik Trip for ... everything.
Did somebody suggest cheese curds? Do you even need to ask?
Beer? Oh, come on. As one person wrote: "All the breweries."
Bratwurst? Yep, preferably "cooked in beer."
A few people took the shortcut and pointed her in the direction of Packers running back AJ Dillon, who has basically conducted a master class in how to embrace the local food scene (and all Door County has to offer). Quadzilla himself checked in, offering Biles and Owens some of his favorite places on his Dining with the Dillons Instagram with wife Gabrielle.
Someone else suggested getting Wisconsin native J.J. Watt, who played 10 years with the Houston Texans, in on the conversation.
Beloved destinations like Bay Beach Amusement Park, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay Botanical Garden, NEW Zoo & Adventure Park and Door County racked up all kinds of recommendations.
Biles has two French bulldogs with their own Instagram, Lilo and Rambo, so the many mentions of the Fox River Trail and Baird Creek Greenway could come in handy for walks.
People gave shoutouts to hairstylists, yoga studios and Air Force Gymnastics on Military Avenue, practical advice to “buy some warm clothing” and warnings to prepare to pick up a Wisconsin accent. Don't worry, someone wrote, you'll get used to all the roundabouts.
If there was any doubt about how excited Green Bay is to welcome Biles and Owens and to share all the city and surrounding area have to offer, just start counting the exclamation points in the responses.
A tweet from Jason Meyer (@jaymeyer20) maybe summed it up best: “600+ responses and counting, all with the same level of pride and excitement to share their favs in the area. That’s why I love and miss Green Bay :)”
Make that 1,400-plus responses and counting before the day was over.
Kendra Meinert is an entertainment and feature writer at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Contact her at 920-431-8347 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert.