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Sara, I agree with gmi3804 about Lake Park Bistro (great views of the lake and a great Sunday brunch as well) and Coquette's, the latter being my personal favorite, as well as being within walking distance of Summerfest if you're an urban walker.

The Bartolotta family that owns LPB also runs the Tuscan-inspired Ristorant Bartolotta. About 10 minutes from downtown, this would also be a great choice.

For more casual fare, Cempazuchi on Brady St. serves good Mexican, and Trocadero is a great bar/restaurant, both within 5 minutes of the Summerfest grounds.

Enjoy Madison, there are some great eats up there as well; ask me if you'd like to know more.

NewYorkTexan, I've never been to Summerfest, so I can't comment. However, Milwaukee is a small enough "big" town that you can drive from downtown where Summerfest is held to the far reaches of the city within 10 or so minutes north and west, 15-20 south, so everything is easily within reach.

And Ron, I don't dislike frozen custard per se. Just theirs. :raz:

Edited by Michael M (log)
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We were in Milwaukee for a night last week and dinned at the Three Brothers on St. Clair. I have been stopping there for 30 years. The food never wavers, nor do the crowds. Little Changes.

I had goose that was delicious. The highlight of the evening was watching what was probably one of the original owners - a beautful gray-haired gentleman- come out of the kitchen serve and chat with guests. It was obvious he was very proud of his food and traditions (no credit cards, reservation books for years pilled on the bar, etc.)

He asked me about the goose but was more concerned with the sharpness of my knife. "If that is not sharpe enough you tell me and I will sharpen it for you. You can't get good knives anymore."

When I mentioned I had been dining with him for 30 years - infrequently because we have lived in Seattle for the last 28 years - he said, "I remember your face."

He obviously didn't. But what a treasure he is: his food, his character and his resturant.

dave

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Coquette is the perfect option--thanks much. And sure, I'd always love to hear about Madison restaus. I've been to L'Etoile, which I like alot. I'll be living on Hancock, right near downtown, plenty of opportunities to eat out I hope!

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Great place to live to be in the middle of things, sara. If you like L'etoile, try Harvest next door; much more updated decor, nicely done food, good service, though we did have a humorously inept waiter once.

Magnolia (Cafe?...or something similar) is a newer breakfast/lunch place we really liked on one of the zillion roads that shoot off the capitol circle - highly recommended.

We enjoyed Sa Bai Thong Restaurant (Thai) on University, but were more excited by Lao Laan Xang, a Loation place on Williamson. Food is similar to Thai.

Also worth visiting is Bandung Indonesian on Williamson St., as well as Himal Chuli on State. I've never been impressed by Madison's higher-level eateries outside of L'etoile and Harvest, but then I never eat much beyond the downtown area.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A few notes from our recent Milwaukee excursion.

Usingers is the ultimate tease. I heard great things about Usingers sausages. Their huge sign painted on the exterior wall, several stories in the sky was a beacon to me as I looked for a lunch destination. Image my disappointment as I entered the store and found that it is only a retail location with no dining facilities. They only sell raw sausages and deli meats.

Frustrated and hungry, I stumble across the street to an imposing looking restaurant, Maders. It turns out that Maders opened in 1902 and is one of better known German restaurants in town. The interior is a classic almost stereotypical German restaurant, dark walls, ornate bar, etc.

Started with the Sauerkraut Balls. There were ok, not a lot of seasoning. I could have ordered a Usinger sausage, but the Sauerbraten Sandwich seemed interesting. It was sliced roast beef topped with a gingersnap sauce served on toasted rye. Overall the sandwich was good but the "homemade" potato chips were soggy and not very interesting. For under $8, the sandwich was a very good deal. Had a local beer, but I do not remember which one.

During Summerfest I went to the Maders booth to finally get my taste of Usingers. I could not resist starting with an order of Rueben Rolls. Corn Beef, Sauerkraut and swiss cheese stuffed in egg roll wrapper and deep fried. It was an incredibly paring with a cold beer....WOW they were good, I was addicted. After a few more Rueben rolls/beer combos, I ordered a a brat. The Usinger bratwurst was very good, but the rolls they were served on were soggy. I imagine a music festival during a brutal rainstorm is not the ideal setting to evaluate their product.

Edited to add Kopps' frozen custard. Their custard is excellent, you can taste the quality ingredients. Next time I want to try the Sprecher root beer float.

Edited by NewYorkTexan (log)
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  • 2 months later...
The finest thin crust I’ve had in the Midwest can be found at Zaffiro’s Pizza 1724 N Farwell Ave. Think saltine crisp crust.

I sent a buddy from NYC and his son to this place, the following is his write up from another forum :shock: :

Maybe because we didn't expect it, or maybe because we were hungry, we both enjoyed the finest thin crust pizza we've ever eaten. The crust was wafer thin. Did I say we are New Yorkers who know pizza. This pizza was even better than the deep dish we enjoyed in Chicago. And as a matter of fact, this was even better than NY pizza.

Cost for 1 large pepperoni and cheese pizza, and 2 sodas, plus tax and tip = $18 We could have ordered a second. It was that good.

He does know pizza, he took me to a couple pizza joints in Brooklyn that were heaven. :wub:

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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I sent a buddy from NYC and his son to this place, the following is his write up from another forum :shock: :

Maybe because we didn't expect it, or maybe because we were hungry, we both enjoyed the finest thin crust pizza we've ever eaten. The crust was wafer thin. Did I say we are New Yorkers who know pizza.  This pizza was even better than the deep dish we enjoyed in Chicago. And as a matter of fact, this was even better than NY pizza.

Cost for 1 large pepperoni and cheese pizza, and 2 sodas, plus tax and tip = $18  We could have ordered a second. It was that good.

He does know pizza, he took me to a couple pizza joints in Brooklyn that were heaven. :wub:

Wow! :shock:

Those are some strong words... :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 5 months later...

Work has brought me to Milwaukee for a few weeks. What a great city!!

From what you all are saying, I need to get to Sanfords and Coquettes Cafe.

But what about steak? Staying at the downtown Hilton is nice, but I'm disappointed with the on-site Chophouse Restaurant.

I'm tempted to walk over to Mo's: A Place for Steaks tonight. Is this place worth the hype, or will my wallet be upset? Does anyone know of a discussion thread on this place?

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I lived north of Milwaukee for my entire life until this past september. I don't know what your price range is, but if you want to treat yourself to a beautiful piece of cow, eat at Bacchus. It's near your hotel and you will NOT be disappointed.

http://www.bacchusmke.com

If you want any other recommendations for restuarants while you're in Beer City, don't hesitate to ask.

If you want great milwaukee restaurant reviews, look at the dining section of:

http://www.jsonline.com

And one last thing...I SINCERELY hope you eat at Sanford. It will honestly be one of the BEST meals of your life.

Cheers.

Trevor Williams

-Kendall College-

eGullet Ethics Signatory

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Thanks everyone, these are great recommendations, and I'm looking forward to having a taste of Milwaukee over the next few weeks.

Mo's was good. Dining alone sucks, room service sucks, chain restaurants suck, but having a per diem and eG recommendations help :smile:

at Mo's, I sat at the bar, the bartender didn't miss a beat in service. They use one of those mini-bar tables to make the bar more eat-able off of (similar to those Outback uses). The piano was a nice touch.

The mozzarella and tomatoe salad with a balsamic dressing drizzle was a big portion for an app, and it tasted alright. Looked like standard beefsteak tomatoes, would've preferred something that looked/tasted more vine ripened, and the basil was a bit wilted, but whatever, I had a 24 oz. Mo's Signature bone in prime ribeye on the way. About Mo's... when I called around to a few restaurants and asked about menu/beef/how and things were prepared, the person who answered the phone knew everything. When calling the others (Chophouse and Butch's) answers required a transfer to the kitchen. Not a big deal, but just goes to show you how knowledeable people at Mo's are.

the steak was very good, medium rare, as expected. If I go back, I'll skip the roasted garlic steak accoutrement, and ask for a light salt/pepper seasoning (which wasn't even on the menu as a dressing, maybe they do that already anyway?).

Now if this place could get some Lienenkugal (sp?), we'd be set!

Looking forward to other. The Prix Fixe @ Bacchus looks promising, thx for the info and link KendallCollege.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

I fly in tomorrow get lunch, a meeting or two dinner, breakfast and lunch before I have to leave in the early evening.

Where to eat, What should goodies should I take home? Last time I was in Milwaukee it was to play rugby.

Other than the game, the avalanche and beer I don't recall much.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Where to eat, What should goodies should I take home?

Bring back cheese, sausage and beer.

Where to eat depends on what kind of food you're looking for. Upscale? I haven't been there, but Sanford has a fine rep. Ethnic? There are several good German places and the wonderful Old Town Serbian Gourmet House. Be sure to have some frozen custard. Kopp's is my favorite. Here is an account of a recent visit of mine.

Sanford Restaurant

(414) 276-9608

1547 N Jackson St

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Old Town Serbian Gourmet House

414/612-0206

http://www.wwbci.com/oldtown

522 W. Lincoln Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53207

(closed Sunday and Monday)

Kopp's Frozen Custard

http://www.kopps.com

414/961-3288, 5373 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale WI 53217

414/282-4312, 7631 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield WI 53220

262/789-9490, Galleria West, 18880 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield WI 53045

LAZ

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2 places that may be worth a visit -- if you like burgers -- are:

Mazos Restaurant

Solly's Butter Burgers

And I've heard from a few friends that Zafirro's (1724 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, 414 289-8776) turns out excellent pizza but I've never been there myself.

I agree with LAZ's suggestion about Kopp's. IMO, it's the very best of the WI frozen custard joints.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I only had time for one meal.

It was at the Chophouse. It was very nice.

On the positive side is I will be comming back with some regularity for at least a year or two so I will have time to explore.

Thank you for your helpful comments.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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For your future trips, if you flying and find yourself hungry either as you arrive or are leaving, do not miss Jalapeno Loco on Howell avenue right near the airport.

Sort of Mexican comfort food with a slant toward Oaxacan specialties. Owned by a very nice couple, the place is well run with speedy service. The food is quite a level above most of the Mexican family restaurant food I have eaten. If they have the empanadas de camarrones with salsa cruda on the menu, try it. Other excellent dishes include their version of chiles en nogadas and shrimp del valle.

All that and it would be difficult to spend more than $15 per person, even with a beer.

5067 S. Howell Avenue...just north of the Milwaukee airport terminal.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would echo slbunge's comments about Jalepeno Loco. It is one of the best Mexican restaurants in town.

Other good ideas:

Sol Fire - Latin American Cuisine, great prices. Their version of Steak Frittes is outstanding.

Cubanitas - Great Cuban food downtown. Perfect for lunch.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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While the food was great, I can't recommend Mader's - I just can't justify the prices for German food. Yeah, it's good, the service is great, etc. etc. etc. But at the end of the day, you're just eating sauerbraten and it's really hard to justify $25 for a plate of saurbraten. (although it did last for about 2 days afterward).

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

We're headed to Milwaukee tomorrow for a show at the Pabst and would appreciate a dinner suggestion. We've always enjoyed Cempazuchi for both food and drinks but wonder about Cubanitas, or another fun not-expensive alternative? Mexican or other summery food and drinks would be most appreciated. Also, we'd need to be able to dine in an hour or so around 730 pm.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Sara

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I think I may be too late. I've only been to Cubinitas once but had a nice sandwich and good drink. Cafe Hollander is a new place on downer that has great Belgian beer and some good vittles. Roots Cellar might be good, although I've not been there - but I've heard others like it.

Sorry if this was too late. Hope you have a good show!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi, I'll be in Milwaukee for a couple of days in September, and I was hoping a Milwaukee member would be kind enough to give me the lay of the land, foodwise. I'm more interested in old-school than the newest restaurants. Have time for 2 each of the 3 meals of the day. Will have a car for half the time, but that's not really an issue. Am happy to cab it.

Thanks,

VICTOR

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Except for the immediate downtown, Milwaukee nor is any city in Wisconsin a cab town. Downtown Milwaukee is quite small actually and many good places are not in the immediate downtown area.

Stay away from Madar's, a tourist trap.

Karl Ratche's has been very good in the past but not sure at the present.

Sanford's always seems to get good reviews but never pleases me. His Coquette Cafe is better. The Casino has a high buck place, Dreamdance but we don't go to Casino's.

Jakes has a very good corned beef sandwich but it's in a not so great neighborhood.

There are lots of good Mexican Retaurants sprinkled around 16th street but the variablity of them makes it different each time one goes.

I wish I could be of more help but we generally go to Chicago for better eats as we live south of Milwaukee. Pick up a copy of Milwaukee Magazine and peruse as it is usually accurate.-Dick

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Victor,

If you are really interested in an old school experience, you really should go to Karl Ratzsch's elegant 103 year old landmark restaurant.

I haven't been there in a few years but have never been disappointed. I believe that Ratzsch's serves the BEST German food in the USA, and nothing else comes even close.

Look at the menus on their website and you will understand the reason for my enthusiasm.

Karl Ratzsch's Restaurant

Good luck,

Tim

Edited by tim (log)
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