Milwaukee

July 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

I used to live in the Milwaukee area…both in Greendale and Wauwatosa (Go, East! – and a shout out to the West side, since I worked in the school district on that side of town). When I first learned I was moving to the MKE area, I was HORRIFIED! I had spent summers in Chicago and personally, I thought MKE was a poor cousin, one of those ‘armpit of the earth’ cities. Well, as you can surmise, I found out MKE was a lot like Chicago, but on a smaller scale. It has a great lakefront, a beautiful art museum, Summerfest and all the other summer festivals (the fireworks at Festa Italiana rule), bicycle racing, decent shopping, parks, and of course, restaurants.

If you are visiting MKE, you can find all kinds of ethnic foods and in the late fall, take in the Holiday Folk Food Fair. Some of my favorite restaurants are Karl Ratzsch’s (German – try the sauerbraten), Beans and Barley (you MUST try the fruit tart and the veggie chili), Three Brothers (Eastern European), The King and I (Thai food, and if you like spice, you’ll love it), Balistreri’s in Wauwatosa (pizza with the works and deep-fried eggplant – fabulous!), Kopp’s Custard (heaven in a cone and they make huge and tasty burgers, too), and my adult kids’ personal favorite, Not Just Nuts on North Ave. The last time my son was there, he bought $50 worth of candy!

Kopp’s will always leave me smiling. For Mother’s and Father’s Day this year, my son had them resurrect a custard flavor they haven’t made in 18 years, just because it was our favorite! Thank you, Kopp’s! It was fabulous!

If you live in the MKE area and haven’t tried any or all of these restaurants, I’m surprised. There are plenty to choose from, but the above are some of my favorites. I wouldn’t be able to drive through the area without stopping at Bali’s and Kopp’s. I don’t think it’s possible and besides my family wouldn’t let me. Everyone needs a pizza and custard fix and why not have the best? I have yet to eat pizza anywhere else that tastes like Bali’s or custard that tastes like Kopp’s. There are people who prefer Gilles or Oscar’s, but not me. And sorry, Culver’s, but no cigar. We have Culver’s where I live and it’s just not Kopp’s.

So the next time you are headed to one of my favorite places on Earth – Door County, or just up Nort’, stop in a great place on a Great Lake and find something very tasty to eat or a neat place to visit! You can stop at Penzeys and pick up some spices, too!

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