Tag Archive | "Restaurants"

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Getaway to the Riviera Maya

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Nicole Schneider

At the magical intersection of Kinnickkinnic Avenue, Lincoln Street and Howell Street sits a modern Mexican restaurant known as the Riviera Maya. Upon entering the restaurant, you will notice the extravagant murals and pictures that decorate the walls. These, along with mood lighting and stone tables, help set the tone of the Riviera Maya.

Starting with drinks, you could try Jarritios, which is fruit-flavored Mexican sodas, or Horchata, which is a rice drink with a taste of cinnamon. Riviera Maya also has a full bar, and what would go better with Mexican food than a margarita?

To start off your meal, you can have some tentempies or appetizers. Some favorites include guacamole, totopos con salsa, which is chips and salsa, and totopos con moles, which is a sample of their specialty moles with chips. Riviera Maya has peanut, almond, pumpkin seed, sesame seed and chocolate-peanut moles.

For a main course, you can choose from their Mexican favorites like tacos, tostadas and flautas with your choice of meat or vegetarian filling. They also have Mexican hot subs and several vegetarian entrees, including stuffed cabbage rolls. Each entrée comes with rice and a cup of spicy tortilla soup.

If you are still hungry after the meal, you can choose from the homemade strawberry cheesecake, homemade chocolate cake or the fabulous traditional flan.
The Riviera Maya not only gives you the full stomach satisfaction, but the feel and décor of the restaurant takes you away to a place that feels so authentic. If you are looking to stop in sometime, jump on the Route 11 or the Route 15 bus heading south and get yourself a wonderful dinner!

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Taste of Milwaukee

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Molly Petitjean

As a kid, I read a ridiculous amount of books. So many, in fact, that instead of being yelled at for not doing my chores or running around outside, my parents would yell at me for staying in my room and reading too many books in a day. I averaged three novels a day in the summer; meaning twenty-one books to check out on my weekly library trip. Clearly, I was surprised when my friends were talking about their favorite books as kids and they mentioned one that I had not heard of.

The Westing Game, written by Milwaukee native Ellen Raskin, was awarded the 1979 Newbery Medal and was apparently quite popular with my friends. Since I would not be the only one to have not read this book, I bought it online and gave it a shot. I loved it! Raskin, who grew up during the Great Depression, is a master of character creation. Each of the 16 heirs is more than they seem. This interest in characters came from her summers on Lake Michigan, acting out scenes with her sister. It is clear that she incorporated several of these childhood roles into the players in her novel.

Set in Milwaukee, this mystery takes the reader through an evolving investigation of paper tycoon Sam Westing’s murder. In his will, Westing names 16 heirs and promises the pair who can find his murderer a $200 million inheritance. Each pair is given a set of clues and a two-week deadline to discover which of them is the murderer. All of the heirs have different connections to Westing, and all are eager to uncover the others’ connection to the millionaire as they find out that one of them is the murderer.

Despite being a children’s book, I had great fun reading this twisting tale of greedy heirs and clever deceit. Because it was set in Milwaukee, there were several landmarks that were interesting to read about in this national best seller. Things like Lake Michigan, Pulaski, the paper trade and UW-Madison will ring particularly familiar to Wisconsin readers. The characters did not have the same depth that most adult novels require, but the quick 216-page novel flew by as I tried my best to solve the puzzle.

It was easy to figure out the clues because the reader is the only one with all of them, but it was harder to decipher what they meant. Who was the murderer? Was it the servant’s child with the debt of an expensive education to repay? Or maybe the eccentric elderly delivery man? The Chinese restaurant owner with an axe to grind? His lonely wife who wants only to return the country her husband forced her to leave? Was it the wedding crazed housewife? Or could it be the doorman, laid off from the paper company’s staff years ago? In fact, who is the mysteriously dead Sam Westing?

This page turner is a great read at any age and goes to the top of my list of fun novels. Take a break from your physics textbook and turn your brainpower toward a mystery with the price tag of $200 million. Give The Westing Game a try; it is easy to get lost in. Like Raskin says, “A book is a wonderful place to be. A book is … a surprise package – and within the wrappings is a whole new world.”

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Jalisco: a southwestern oasis

Posted on 21 November 2008 by Victoria Caswell

If you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican food, and think that La Perla is overrated, look no further than Jalisco, 2207 E. North Ave.

When I went on Friday night, it wasn’t busy, but the staff was enthusiastic and happy to serve. The décor is very southwestern, which was a welcome surprise after walking in from the cold and windy winter outside. It made me imagine I was in a warm desert far away from the already cold Milwaukee nights.

Since I am a creature of habit, I ordered the same thing I always order at every Mexican restaurant, cheese and bean enchiladas, rice and beans. Although this is something that should be the same everywhere, I think it was above average at Jalisco. I consider myself a connoisseur of salsa, having a recipe of my own, and Jalisco’s salsa definitely added something to the palette. It had whole bits of tomatoes, and peppers that created a perfect texture.

If I had any complaints about my experience, it would be the jukebox. The second we walked in I could tell it would be annoying because no matter where you are, there is always that one person who plays songs just to be funny—with my luck that person beat us to dinner and played an R&B song that almost ruined the mood for me.

When I inspected the jukebox, I found that it consisted of a wide range of songs by all Latino artists. It blew my mind how the other people there found the most obnoxious song, and we chose the most traditional.

I’ve heard other guests say Jalisco has average margaritas, however, since I didn’t have any, I can’t give my opinion.

I can honestly say that I was so full from dinner that I could barely move—and I even had some leftovers for breakfast the next day.

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The Knick: Casual but classy

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Remington Tonar

A few weeks ago New York Times travel columnist Maura Casey spent 36 hours in the Brew City, exploring the main attractions that Milwaukee has to offer. Among the host of restaurants she mentioned was The Knick, thae only one in her article that I had not dined at. As an amateur connoisseur of Milwaukee restaurants, I made time last week to satiate my taste buds at The Knick.

The restaurant itself is nestled into the side of The Knickerbocker Hotel on Juneau (map), and from the outside looks more like a bar than a restaurant. While not as graciously austere as The Knickerbocker’s other restaurant, Osteria del Mondo, The Knick manages to create a casual but elegant and welcoming atmosphere. The service was younger and the décor slightly whimsical in its color scheme (the poor attempt at Halloween decorations didn’t help); both of these observations made me question the quality of the establishment’s food.

To begin my party ordered a bottle of the ever popular Muller Riesling from The Knick’s modest wine list, and made our entrée selections. The menu was heavily inundated with seafood items, so I thought it best to order a seafood dish, thinking that the chef staff might specialize in preparing sea-dishes. I ordered the seared scallops, the perfect dish to test the ability of the person with the tall white hat in the kitchen. When our food arrived, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the quality of the scallops, which I order frequently when dining out. They were, without a doubt, some of the better scallops I’ve had in the downtown Milwaukee area. Although my friend’s steak did not measure up to Bacchus, 925 E. Wells St. or Sabor, 777 N Water St., those of us who ordered seafood were very delighted.

The prices are slightly beyond what most college students would like to pay for dinner (my scallops were over $22), but if the goal is quality food in a relaxed atmosphere, then The Knick is the perfect venue.

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Miss Katie’s: The Diner Elect, from presidential candidates to state senators, everyone likes Miss Katie’s

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Nicole Schneider

When you first walk into Miss Katie’s Diner, Hilary Clinton is looking you square in the eye and smiling—a full-sized cardboard cut out of her, that is. Entering Miss Katie’s is like going through a time warp straight to the set of “Happy Days.” In fact, among the ‘50s and ‘60s décor is a poster advertisement for “Happy Days: A Musical.” Also decorating the restaurant are American flags and flowers of red, white and blue.

This patriotic theme reigns supreme even on the menu with the Presidential Appetizer Special, as served to President Clinton and Chancellor Kohl from their visit in 1996. Other starters on the menu include Miss Katie’s homemade chili and soup of the day.

Depending on the time of day you go and what kind of food you are feeling, you have multiple options. It could be any one of the three meals a day, but Miss Katie’s serves breakfast all day so if you are craving French toast or a skillet, you are in luck.

If you are feeling like lunch at lunch time, don’t sweat it. Miss Katie’s has a variety of sandwiches and burgers to choose from. The most popular sandwich is Pitch’s Bar-B-Q Rib Sandwich, filled with rib meat simmered in Pitch’s famous sauce.

Drop by for dinner and almost any craving you have will be satisfied. Miss Katie’s has anything from Italian to BBQ and from chicken to shrimp. With their nearly endless options, everyone is sure to find something they’ll love.

After you’ve finished your meal, make sure you’ve left a little room for dessert. Miss Katie’s features your typical homemade diner delights, but when it comes down to it, a brownie sundae is extremely difficult to pass up. Miss Katie’s brownie sundae is made with perfect brownies covered in ice cream then coated with hot fudge, and finally topped with whipped cream. There is always cheesecake or another dessert if you prefer.

Don’t forget to check out the daily specials. Also, Miss Katie’s offers a Marquette value menu for dinners 5pm to 10pm daily for students and staff. Just bring your MU ID and your appetite to enjoy! Miss Katie’s is a splendid place to eat for any meal and won’t break your budget. In fact, it was featured on Rachael Ray’s $40 A Day.

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Wicked Hop: A restaurant as fun as its name

Posted on 09 October 2008 by Molly Petitjean

Located in the heart of the Third Ward, The Wicked Hop is sure to please everyone, no matter what you are looking for. Walking in, one is quickly greeted by one of the friendly staff and great décor. One student called it, “trendy and eclectic;” another said it has a “great, warm atmosphere.”

If you’re there to have drinks or watch a game, try out the Jackalope Lounj. With an amazing metal backsplash behind the bar and a huge 160 inch dual projection screen, it’s the perfect place to hang with your friends. After some drinks, head out to their main dining area or their patio where you can take a look at their menu. There is something for everyone on this varied menu; however it is a bit scattered. From bar food (think nachos, build your own burger) to bistro (salmon, pork chops) there are options for all of your friends.

Not ready to eat but want a change of pace? Cross the room to the second bar in the dining area. There are multiple TVs and another set of energetic bartenders.

The food got mixed reviews at our table. The biggest disappointment was the Tequila Chicken Wrap which was bland and dry. But the burgers are big and juicy – if you build your own, they give tons of toppings to choose from. The biggest winner of the night was the Black Magic-Marinated Bistro Steak which was given rave reviews.

One novelty The Wicked Hop has that amused all of the boys is that every urinal has its own TV set mounted on top so you never miss a moment of the game. There is also a TV in the girls’ room by the sink so they can check it out while in line to go to the bathroom.The casual atmosphere mixed with the high energy wait staff makes for a fun meal and a great night out. If that’s not enough, the prices are very college-friendly; their menu ranges from $4.95 to $15.95.

If you want to go: 345 N Broadway, Third Ward.
Bar: 7 Days a week open to close. Dining service: Mon-Sat 11-11, Sun 10-10 with brunch ending at 2:30.

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Sobelman’s voted Milwaukee’s Best Burger Spot… again

Posted on 09 October 2008 by Remington Tonar

Every October OnMilwaukee.com conducts online surveys to determine Milwaukeean’s favorite restaurants, and yet again Sobelman’s has arisen victorious in the Best Burger category. Since its founding in 1999, Sobelman’s has become a neighborhood favorite, and a local tourist attraction in its own right. The old tavern building housing the bar and grill is embedded on a hillside off of St. Paul Avenue, its parking lot heavily slanted.

Yet, despite the ominous looking parking arrangements, there is nothing ominous about their burgers. A perfectly toasted bun locks in the perfectly cooked burger, which is surrounded by three cheeses, bacon, grilled onion and yes, jalapeño peppers. Although it’s not listed on the menu, double and triple Sobelman burgers are also available, if you’re feeling particularly bold. Every burger comes with fries, and I would recommend a light beer to accompany this hearty meal. A camera in the kitchen allows patrons to watch their burgers being cooked from a screen set up in the bar area, which only works to exacerbate one’s craving for Milwaukee’s best burgers.

Sobelman’s has certainly become a favorite among Marquette students. Its proximity and bar atmosphere make it a perfect dinner venue. However, surprising is the number of students who have never been to Sobelman’s, despite its reputation. Kara Mullikin, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, made her first pilgrimage to Milwaukee’s Best Burgers only a week ago. Mullikin says that she had always heard positive things about Sobelman’s, but never had the time to walk down there until recently. When asked what she thought of Milwaukee’s best burgers her response was, “soooo good.”

So, if you haven’t made the hike down to Sobelman’s, located at 1900 W. St. Paul Avenue, definitely put it on your to-do list; you won’t be disappointed.
Elsa’s on the Park came in second in the category of Best Burgers, and is located at 833 N. Jefferson Street in Cathedral Square Park across from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

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Cozy comfort from County Clare

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Nicole Schneider

In the quiet corner of Astor and Knapp, tucked away among the many glorious nineteenth century architectural wonders of Yankee Hill sits the cozy Irish Inn and Pub County Clare. Upon entering Clare, it may look and feel as though you took a Jumbo straight to Ireland, but, rest assured, you are still at home in Milwaukee. Decorated a darling green with Irish greetings and décor to match, the environment is warm and extremely inviting.

As you might have expected, the menu encompasses all of those favorite Irish dishes that make you feel like you are vacationing in an Irish castle. The Irish Inn and Pub that it is, County Clare serves an array of Irish brews. Clare also has your typical soda pops, and also serves Alterra coffee. Unlike other restaurants, however, County Clare has Lilt Irish sodas. Lilt makes “fruit crush” flavors, like pineapple and grapefruit, which is a surprisingly fun citreous blend of the two fruits.

Now getting to the food, the “Starters” portion of the menu has decadent appetizers like splendid dumplings or crispy Rueben rolls. Clare’s menu offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and a main course. The sandwiches are your typical authentic Irish dishes, like the Rueben and corned beef. Sandwiches are served with your choice of fries, the potato of the day, or cottage cheese. As for the main courses, these classics include Irish stew, salmon, steak, and my personal favorite, Shepherd’s pie. This marvelous pie is filled with seasoned beef, carrots, onions, and peas, and then topped with homemade mashed potatoes, not from the famine. It is cooked until perfectly golden brown.

Friday is for fish fry (try saying that three times fast!). Splendid ale-battered cod is perfect for any Milwaukeean, and it is served with coleslaw and fries. Also, a special served only on Sundays is the Irish Breakfast. From eleven to three you can get “Irish bangers,” which are Galtee sausages, a rasher, which is Galtee Irish bacon, scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, “Baby cakes,” Clonakiltee Irish Black and White pudding and a slice of bread. This breakfast is sure to fill you up, but make sure you leave room for dessert!

After you are finished with your meal, there is only one thing to do: get dessert! The Irish cheese cake is amazing if you like rich desserts. For a little lighter taste, you could try the Irish bread pudding, covered with a warm whiskey sauce and drizzled with caramel.

County Clare is a lovely getaway from the everyday, with great food and friendly faces. It is decently priced, usually $15 or less a plate unless you want a steak, which is only a little more expensive. If you are ready for some amazing Irish food, jump on either the Route 10 or 30 bus (map)and enjoy a great meal at County Clare! For more information, check out their website.

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Reasonably priced delights at Café Lulu

Posted on 10 September 2008 by Nicole Schneider

The Bay View neighborhood has much to offer; from the South Shore Beach to the Farmers Market, there always seems like a place to go or a sight to see. One place in particular is Café Lulu. At the intersection of KK, Lincoln and Howell sits the café that’s been open for roughly seven and a half years. Once you walk into the cute café, you are instantly embraced with the homey-old time, yet modern feel.

As you look over the menu, so many unique options pop out. Starting with drinks, there is quite the variety ranging from coffee to soda, and teas, like peppermint, to Stewart’s Ginger Beer. My personal favorite would have to be the spiced chai, which comes hot or cold for whatever mood you’re in. As for the food, you could start like you would at most restaurants: with an appetizer. Lulu’s serves several types of pizzas, like the Greek pizza with feta cheese, tomatoes, olives and spiced with oregano or the Arribiata pizza garnished with fresh herbs, hot pepper flakes, cappicolla ham and Fontina cheese. If you prefer something lighter, try their home-made “spreads” with bread, such as hummus, Spanish White Bean or Olive Tadenade.
Next on the menu you will see the salads. Coined with the café’s name, the Lulu Waldorf Chicken Salad contains grilled and seasoned chicken breast, sliced on fresh spring greens with flame grapes, green apples and celery, then topped with their home-made honey-buttermilk dressing, and finally topped with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese.

After that is the sandwich section, split four ways: burgers, pitas, melts and baguettes and buns. A Mediterranean and Middle Eastern theme appears throughout some of these course choices, with dishes like the Moroccan Chicken and Mediterranean Steak Pita. The Mooney Tuna takes a different road than these themes, but that might be expected from Lulu’s slightly random and unique food choices. The Mooney is Cajun seasoned tuna grilled to perfection and placed upon a delicately toasted bun with lettuce and tomato and served with a side of their bleu cheese sauce. These dishes also come with Lulu’s home-made chips, “Asian slaw” or even both if you so desire.

Don’t forget to find out about the daily specials, though. These include sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts. If you miss Grandma’s pie, indulge in a piece while you are here, or just settle for a cookie if you are too full from your meal.

Café Lulu has a friendly, inviting atmosphere, whether you have been going there every day for years or it is your first time there. It is very reasonably priced, generally $10 or less for a dish. So put your UPASS to good use, hop the 15 or the 11 going south (yes, you have options!) From downtown, through historic Walker’s Point to Bay View. After all, Café Lulu did not win “Best South Side Dining” in 2003 for nothing. And for those of you old enough to drink, Café Lulu also serves cocktails! Check out www.lulubayview.com for information.

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Dining downtown: treats await off campus

Posted on 20 August 2008 by Victoria Caswell

Tired of cafeteria food already? Don’t worry; Milwaukee has many great off-campus dining options that can relieve the boredom of eating at the cafeteria.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make your freshman year is to not get off campus and explore the city. If you’re in the mood for some off-campus dining or shopping, here are some great restaurants that are just a short walk or bus ride away.

The East Side offers many different dining options, but one of the most notable restaurants is the Twisted Fork, located at 2238 N. Farwell Ave. The menu has everything from steak to burgers to pasta — all at affordable prices. The atmosphere is casual, but can be romantic, so it is perfect for a date or a night out with friends. It is also conveniently located next to the Oriental Theatre, an independent theatre that usually plays two to three movies at a time as well as monthly showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. So if you are in the mood for dinner and a movie, then the Twisted Fork is the perfect place. To get there by bus, take the 30 to Prospect and North avenues and walk a block west to Farwell Avenue.

The Third Ward is so close to campus that it would be a mistake never to experience it. Although the streets are lined with many awesome restaurants and shops, my favorite place is the Milwaukee Public Market located at, 400 N. Water St. With over a dozen different vendors ranging from cheese to Indian to fish, you will be sure to find something you like. To get there, take any bus that goes downtown (10, 14, 23, 30) and get off at Water Street. From there, walk three blocks to St. Paul Avenue.

One of the most interesting restaurants downtown is the Safe House, 779 N. Front St. This spy-themed restaurant is affordably priced for all of the character that it has. Although the food is nothing special — mostly hamburgers, sandwiches and salads — the atmosphere alone is worth it. To get in, you have to know the password — if you don’t, you have to prove you are not capable of treason. Inside, the walls are decked with spy gear, and there is even a back entrance when you leave. To get there, take any downtown bus, get off at Water Street and go north to Front Street. Good luck finding it, it is located in a dark alley and the name is not on the door.

These are just three recommendations, although there are many other great dining options in every corner of the city. Have fun exploring the city and discovering all Milwaukee has to offer; it’s an exciting city that has something for everyone.

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