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Milwaukee Restaurants


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I am off to Milwaukee next week for the Greater Milwaukee Open. In the last couple of years I have haunted Hama for sushi and Sanford's for dining...I would appreciate suggestions...especially restaurants near the tournament as I am staying about 5 mins. away. Thanks.

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If you like German food, try John Ernst. I'll have to try to get in touch with my Milwaukee relatives to find out more. Maybe my cousin has finally got his teppan-yaki grill set up. Yes, a teppan-yaki grill in his home, I could hardly believe it either when he asked me where he could get one.

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If you like German food, try John Ernst. I'll have to try to get in touch with my Milwaukee relatives to find out more.

Southern Girl - I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but John Ernst has closed its doors. Mader's, a long-standing Milwaukee favorite (and John Ernst competitor) is still open for business. It also serves better fare.

Also consider Pieces of Eight and the Boulevard Inn.

I am a Milwaukee native, so I would also like to recommend Kopps, the most wonderful burger and malt stand on earth--an unbiased opinion, indeed!

The following link may be helpful:

http://www.mkemenus.com

Have a great time at the Open!

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Southern Girl - I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but John Ernst has closed its doors.  Mader's, a long-standing Milwaukee favorite (and John Ernst competitor) is still open for business.  It also serves better fare.

Boy, am I behind the times! :shock:

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Although it's been several years since I've lived in Milwaukee, there are still a fair number of decent (although not outstanding) restaurants in the northern portions of the city. Most of the best spots are closer to downtown, with some of the best ethnic restaurants scattered across the town.

You might want to try the River Lane Inn in Brown Deer, which is quite close to Brown Deer Golf Course. They focus on seafood. The Riversite in Mequon could also work. Cafe Siciliano (f/k/a Manacci's Cafe Siciliano) is a decent Sicilian restaurant in Mequon. It's a bit pricey, but pretty darned good.

Pandl's in Bayside offers a good fish fry on Fridays (it's mandated by Wisconsin law that all restaurants in the state offer a fish fry on Fridays :rolleyes: )

Although not right near the golf course, any of the Bartolotta restaurants would work well.

You should try to go to Three Brothers on the south side for some Serbian food. When I lived there, Milwaukee had 4 Serbian restaurants. I hope they all are still in operation, but Three Brothers always had a warm spot in our heart. It's housed in an old Schlitz Bar (from the days when the breweries actually owned the bars). It's not fancy at all. Be sure to get a burek.

Finally, Karl Ratch's has always and continues to set the standard for German food in Milwaukee. It's downtown and somewhat fancy, but worth a trip. A law school classmate of mine used to be the restaurant's roaming violinist -- one of the few restaurants that still have one of those annoying features!

I agree with Kopps. I actually prefer their chicken sandwiches to their burgers, but they have awesome (and well-priced) custard. If their flavor of the day is cashew caramel crunch, get it! Looks like I need to start planning my annual trip to Milwaukee!

By the way, it should be fairly crazy in the city, with the All-Star Game there (as well as with Summerfest going on). There's always a party in Milwaukee. Have fun!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The Boulevard Inn is the paper to Pieces of Eight's rock.

Varmint has definately covered all the bases in the suburbs and the neighborhoods, and he's absoluely right about his take on what is decent vs. outstanding.

Downtown, you may also want to try Elsa's on the Park. It isn't haute, but neither are a majority of the place that we have mentioned. It is great for upscale hangin' out, and it takes lighter fare to a new level. It's also open late.

Please don't discount Kopps. My favorite flavor of custard is vanilla, and a chocolate malt is a must-have

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've never eaten a meal in Milwaukee, but recently I overheard a conversation about a place called Mr. Pizza. I don't know anything about the food, but apparently they have an interesting wine list, with something like 200 wines by the glass. The conversation in question was at Pride Moutain vineyard, where it was revealed that Mr. Pizza was apparently one of the few places in the midwest where those wines could be sampled.

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how about Mimma's (not sure of spelling, sorry)

Mimma's is an OK Italian restaurant on Brady Street, which has a cluster of Italian restaurants/bakeries/grocers. It's a reliable place, but I wouldn't put it on one of my "Best Of" lists. We'd eat there fairly often, primarily because it was within walking distance to our house. Mimma's was a trailblazer, however, when they (or should I say, she?) opened the restaurant in the late 80s, as they introduced to Milwaukee a more contemporary type of Italian cuisine. Milwaukee was not much of a restaurant town until the 90s, so it took a number of folks such as Mimma (I've always loved her name) to show the city some culinary flair. For that reason, she is a well-deserved Milwaukee icon.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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how about Mimma's (not sure of spelling, sorry)

Mimma's is an OK Italian restaurant on Brady Street, which has a cluster of Italian restaurants/bakeries/grocers. It's a reliable place, but I wouldn't put it on one of my "Best Of" lists.

In terms of Italian food in Milwaukee, I think Mima's Cafe is worthy of closer examination and a "Best of" nod. There aren't many outlets for upscale Italian food in Milwaukee. The establishments that immediately come to mind are The Spaghetti Factory in Ceaderburg, and Bucca. Neither restaurant is terribly impressive. After that, there are a number of mom and pop type establishments. No other Italian cuisine in southeastern Wisconsin comes close to what Mima is doing.

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Would you believe after all those wonderful suggestions I ended up having to eat at the golf course (UGHHH!) on Wed. night and then Thurs. got out just in time to grab a quick bite of sushi at Restaurant Hama. We arrived at 8:30 and they stop serving at 9pm...no ifs ands or buts. I think there was more beer than sushi consumed by the crew in the limited time frame!

Perhaps next year I will get to enjoy a bit more of the Milwaukee dining scene. Oh , and Brats at the game on Tues. :wacko:

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Would you believe after all those wonderful suggestions I ended up having to eat at the golf course (UGHHH!)

A friend of mine worked the Kemper Open last year (he works for TPC). If you were ever in the kitchen at some of these big events, you might not eat at the course again. :shock:

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In terms of Italian food in Milwaukee, I think Mima's Cafe is worthy of closer examination and a "Best of" nod.  There aren't many outlets for upscale Italian food in Milwaukee.  The establishments that immediately come to mind are The Spaghetti Factory in Ceaderburg, and Bucca.  Neither restaurant is terribly impressive.  After that, there are a number of mom and pop type establishments.  No other Italian cuisine in southeastern Wisconsin comes close to what Mima is doing.

I don't disagree that Mimma's is good, it's just that there are better choices in the Milwaukee area. For example, try Bartolotta's in Wauwatosa, Cafe Siciliano in Mequon, Third Ward Caffe downtown, and the place in the Knickerbocker Hotel.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Thanks for the heads up... mynamejoe...after 20+ years on TOUR I have seen a few clubhouse kitchens...it was not by choice but necessity that I ate at the course...after 9pm and no food all day! The good news is I get to eat in the Player/Family dining room where they tend to be a bit more careful about what they put out...can you imagine an outbreak of food poisoning among the players...we have actually discussed this among ourselves...it is pretty surprising it has not occured at some point if one really thinks about it.

I hope if I do the Kemper next year you will put me in touch with your friend for some dining suggestions!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all!

I'm going to be returning to the homeland for a week long visit to Milwaukee in November. It's been a while since I've been to some good dining places in Milwaukee, can anybody offer any good suggestions?

The only suggestion that I've read so far is Sanford's.....which I think we'll be going to on Saturday night. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Think before you drink.......I think I'll have another!
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Any other suggestions?

Do a search for Milwaukee, you would find reviews/suggestions for Speed Queen, Kopp's which I suggest.

Out of curiousity seeing as you are going back to MKE, what places do you remember?

Edited by Sweet Willie (log)
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Sanford is excellent, I doubt you will be disappointed.

A few suggestions other than what Sweet Willie posted (which, mind you, are both outstanding):

Jalepeno Loco (Howell near the airport) : better than virtually all of the Mexican sit-down places on the near-South side, consistently excellent food (southern Mexico) and fabulous service, if they have the shrimp empanadas with salsa cruda on the specials menu, give it serious consideration

Pizza Man (North and Oakland): quite simply the best wine in Milwaukee and perhaps the best wine restaurant in the Midwest outside of Chicago; always a great daily selection of wines by the glass; decent pizza as well

Three Brothers (at the north end of St Clair in Bayview) : great Serbian food

Polonez (Packard in St Francis) : still serving good Polish food in their new location

Trocadero (Water St) : good sandwiches and salads, nice spot for lunch

Au Bon Appetit (Brady St) : good middle-eastern food run by a really nice Lebanese couple

That's a start. If you are looking for something particular (fish fry, Italian, sushi) let us know.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Well, let's see... these are a bit off the beaten path but worthwhile.

Have been to the Brady street district lately and enjoyed Vin Ferra (sort of a casualish gourmet place) and for Italian and excellent people watching, Mimas. Hi Hat is fun for a cocktail and tapas sort of dinner. I have been to some of the more high profile sushi joints and will just try to be subtle and say that Milwaukee is still in need of good sushi.

If you are a night life type, we went to two quite new bars this weekend that were very atmospheric and fun, both at North and Oakland. Cush is a hang out type place and then across the street (under a cafe called barley and bark or something like that, you kind of have to search for it) was a dance spot with good music called Mantra. Both had great energy and an ecclectic mix of people. Mantra had these velvet banquettes that were really comfy.

Milwaukee has really "blossomed" in the past few years. Hope you enjoy your trip!

Oh, not everything has changed though, for a juicy artery clogging burger and custard, KOPPS is still the place!

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Thanks for the suggestions!! We always hit Kopps on the way home after my parents pick me up from the airport....so that was already on the list. I must admit that I've thought about having family send some custard packed in dry ice!

Since I live in Texas I'm going to skip Jalepeno Loco, but thanks for the advice! Pizza Man and Vin Ferra sound great! Can anybody suggest any Italian places?

We're also looking for some jazz clubs too. When I was in college, Milwaukee was pretty sparse on the live music scene.....except for the nights that we'd go and see Pat McCurty at the Celebrity Club. I did some research and found that there's a place called the Velvet room. Anybody been?

Thanks!

Think before you drink.......I think I'll have another!
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I haven't been to the Velvet Room in a couple of years. The room is sort of warm and fuzzy with couches to sit on, etc. The drinks seemed to be geared toward the neo-martini crowd. I remember it being a nice place to have a drink and relax.

Vinifera is closed. There is a restaurant that has replaced it but I can't remember the name. The new restaurant is focused on seafood.

For high-end Italian, the two most popular places are Ristorante Bartolatta (State St in Wauwatosa) and Mimma's (Brady St). Honestly, I don't think that either are worth the money. The food is decent at both, the service is spotty, etc. I am usually left feeling as if I have been cheated. (As an aside, Lake Park Bistro is a Bartolatta restaurant that has a very good Sunday brunch.)

There is an Italian place in the Third Ward called Il Mito (Virginia St) that is pretty decent and I'm pretty sure they have live jazz. I'll do some investigating and let you know.

My favorite Italian (Sicilian actually) is Carini's La Conca D'Oro (Oakland Ave). Nicely prepared meals and good service.

A couple of Italian places that I have not tried but have heard some buzz about: Sala da Pranzo (Oakland Ave - on my short list of places to try), Calderone Club (Old World Third) for pizza, and Osteria del Mondo (Juneau Ave) for stylish food at a price similar to Bartolatta's and Mimma's.

<Edited to correct the most glaring typos!>

Edited by slbunge (log)

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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For corned beef there's Jake's on North Av. Not a great neigborhood but Jake's still serves the best corned beef in Milwaukee. Dancing Ganesha's for Indian, even though it's very expensive for Indian food. The little sides that come with the meal at most Indian buffets, each cost here but the food is uniformaly excellent. Coquette Cafe is the little sister of Sanford's and afford's a better value. I wasn't too thrilled about Sanford's. Hama in Bayside north of the city has the best Sushi in the area. One of my favorite's over the years has been Karl Ratche's but I just don't know if they are doing any good now with all the management changes. Of course as already mentioned, the custard at Kopps is the best. I dare you to eat a Double cheeseburger at Kopps! -Dick

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