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Milwaukee recs needed - beer in particular

Cocinero Cubano Sep 4, 2011 11:48 AM

Dear Wisconite Hounds -

I'm heading to Milwaukee for business this week and am staying through the weekend to see the Brewers v. PHillies game on 9/11. I'm looking for recommendations for places to eat good and cheap local fare. I'd like to hit a few joints that aren't over the top and serve good Wisconsin/Milwaukee food; brats, cheese, and beer.

I'm particularly interested in sampling good locally brewed beers, so please suggest any specific types I need to try while there. I'll be staying at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center but won't have a car. I"m willing to walk far and cab it too if the menu on offer is worth it.

Thanks much for your help.

Cocinero Cubano

  1. e
    exvaxman Sep 4, 2011 12:59 PM

    I updated this a couple of times since the origional post - if you read it please re-read it.

    I am not as familiar with downtown anymore, but north in Glendale - All just off of I-43 and a few minutes north of downtown and easy by bus:
    I am partial to Sprechers Brewery. They also have a decent tour.
    http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/index.php
    Try their root beer as well. While there, you can walk two blocks east to Solly's for a Butter Burger (Wisconsin Thing). Several national lists have Solly's in there
    http://www.foodspot.com/Clients/WI/Milwaukee/SollysGrille/default.aspx?accid=16455
    From there hit Kopps for Custard (just down the road from Solly's - a hike but I've done it many times)
    http://www.kopps.com/
    Kopps supposedly was the inspiration for "Happy Days" at a now closed location in Shorewood, according to two of the origional writers for the series (Who wrote the episode on Love American Style that became Happy Days - they lived in Shorewood). It was not based on Leon's as others have claimed.

    Since you are going to Miller Park, there are two tours nearby - Miller Brewing, and Palermo Pizza. Palermo's requires reservations, and is a hike, but doable to Miller Park. My kid who lives on pepperoni was drooling watching the huge pepperoni slicer.
    http://www.palermospizza.com/index.aspx

    I have two local favorite Brats - Usingers and Meisfield's (Meisfield's is from Sheboygan). Usinger's is easier to find in local eateries. They also have a store on Old World 3rd street, not that far from you to order things to be sent to your home. http://www.usinger.com/

    The Safe house is not that far away from you and a good experience :)
    http://www.safe-house.com/

    Otherwise, Old World third street, Water Street, Lakefront Brewery.

    Here is a link for the brewery tours:
    http://milwaukeebrewerytours.com/

    Indian Summer is at Summerfest - you have to do the summerfest grounds just to say that you have in certain circles :) .... They also have all of the food you would wish - including brats.
    http://www.indiansummer.org/
    They also have the traditional Cheese Curds.

    1. e
      exvaxman Sep 4, 2011 02:34 PM

      From OnMilwaukee.com:

      Milwaukee Public Market
      400 N. Water St., (414) 289-3107
      milwaukeepublicmarket.org
      We highlighted C. Adam's above, but don't forget that while the market isn't meant to be a suburban food court, it's full of wonderful dining options such as Aladdin, Sushi-A-Go-Go, The Green Kitchen, St. Paul Fish Company and Margarita Paradise. Shop, eat, drink and sample!

      They have the beer, cheese, confections, etc. You can also walk the 3rd Ward from there (lots of dining options - do a Google search on Milwaukee third ward).
      Probably not what you came for, but the cheapest fried oysters and lobster in town are at St. Pauls in the market.

      -----
      Milwaukee Public Market
      400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

      1. k
        KoolWhip Sep 5, 2011 07:58 AM

        This is one of those posts where where dozens of recommendations come to mind. For beer, I really like most of brews from Lakefront (which does a really great tour if you have time). One of my favorite beers is Riverwest Stein, which is also available on tap at Miller Park. I also recommend Knotstock, made by Furthermore Brewery. It' s brewed with black pepper, tastes way better than it sounds and goes great with food.
        For cheap local fare, there's tons of great options, I'd check out Conejito's, which is right over the 6th street bridge from where you're staying. It's the ultimate cheap dive, pretty good Mexican food served on paper plates, nothing over $5. Some would call it a local institution. Also, Food Truck Fridays at Cathedral Square is within walking distance from you hotel over the lunch hour if that fits into your schedule.
        Finally, as for brats, check out the Usinger's retail store on 3rd street. Brats here aren't really restaurant fare, more for backyard grilling and yes, tailgating. My final tip would be to take a walk around the parking lot before the game. If you're not familiar with Milwaukee, you'll be surprised how friendly we are. Simply striking up a conversation and showing a sincere interest in what people are cooking will probably earn you a free sample!

        1 Reply
        1. re: KoolWhip
          Fowler Sep 5, 2011 11:24 AM

          " If you're not familiar with Milwaukee, you'll be surprised how friendly we are. Simply striking up a conversation and showing a sincere interest in what people are cooking will probably earn you a free sample!"

          That is simply some of the best advice I have ever read on this board. My friends and I have tailgate partys at Miller Park and if someone from out of town comes up and expresses a genuine interest in what we are doing we immediately welcome them and next thing you know they have a drink in one hand and food in the other hand. It does not matter which jersey they are wearing as long as they are sincere.

        2. Fowler Sep 5, 2011 11:37 AM

          Hi,

          I will also pile on and recomend Lakefront Brewery. Fun tour, excellent local beer and a fairly good fish fry on Friday nights.

          Enjoy your stay!

          1. b
            bte576 Sep 5, 2011 06:02 PM

            Lakefront Brewery is always great and does some good seasonal beers and its not only Oktoberfest season for them, but also Pumpkin beer season.

            There is also a tour at the Milwaukee Brewing Company and you can sample their beer at the Milwaukee Ale House. Beer is good and you get to try quite the assortment on their tour.

            The Hinterland Brewery restaurant doesn't have a huge selection, but their Luna Coffee Stout is particularly excellent. While the food there definitely isn't cheap local fare...they have been doing a daily homemade sausage for about $5 and they are delicious. Maybe something for a beer and snack stop...

            The Cheese Bar at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart on third street has great cheese and should have some good Wisconsin Beers on tap.

            As far as bars with good beer lists...I'm sort of drawing a blank for places right downtown, but if you're cabbing, The Nomad on Brady, Von Trier and Hooligans (good bar food) on North and Stubby's at North/Humboldt all have good selections. The Bay View area (just south of downtown) has the Sugar Maple with 60 American Beers on tap.

            If you can't make it up to Sprecher, the table tennis bar/restaurant, Spin, in the third ward serves only Sprecher on tap. It's also just an interesting place to stop in...

            As far as Wisconsin Beers go, you'll have to try some New Glarus beers if you haven't as they have a real following and do not distribute out of state.

            If you have a favorite beer style, let us know...maybe we can make a specific recommendations of what you should look for.

            -----
            Milwaukee Ale House
            233 N Water St Stop 1, Milwaukee, WI 53202

            Sugar Maple
            441 E Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

            1. Cocinero Cubano Sep 6, 2011 09:42 AM

              This is an update to my original post. First off, my thanks for these swell replies. My colleagues and I are over the moon about them and look forward to sampling the local fare. Apologies up front if any locals get sick of seeing a bunch of DC types around their places.

              I want to ask if any one can recommend good Italian places to try? I was given to understand recently Milwaukee has a large Italian population; Sicilian I believe? Anyway, my thanks for any additional thoughts.

              Cocinero Cubano

              6 Replies
              1. re: Cocinero Cubano
                Fowler Sep 6, 2011 09:53 AM

                The best Italian restaurant in the Milwaukee area and one of the best restaurants overall in the state...

                http://www.bartolottaristorante.com/

                1. re: Cocinero Cubano
                  Fowler Sep 6, 2011 09:55 AM

                  Also very good Italian and a bit closer to where you are staying...

                  http://www.thirdwardcaffe.com/

                  1. re: Cocinero Cubano
                    Living4fun Sep 6, 2011 10:17 AM

                    Glorioso's on Brady St is a fantastic Italian store and deli. I would recommend visiting their store. Here is a write up that appeared in Onmilwaukee.com:
                    www.onmilwaukee.com/market/articles/gloriososnewdigs.html , www.gloriososonbrady.com
                    The Pasta Tree is another favorite Italian restaurant.
                    www.pastatreerestaurant.com

                    -----
                    Pasta Tree
                    1503 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

                    1. re: Living4fun
                      c
                      countgrog Sep 6, 2011 10:24 AM

                      was there last year and had a great time. I reccomend a Friday Fish Fry somewhere.
                      also go to the Safehouse if for nothing else the experience

                      1. re: Living4fun
                        Fowler Sep 6, 2011 11:29 AM

                        Glorioso's is an excellent idea!

                        1. re: Fowler
                          r
                          rjlebed Sep 6, 2011 12:10 PM

                          While at Glorioso's make sure to stop at Sciortino's for Italian cookies or Cannolis!!

                    2. i
                      INDIANRIVERFL Sep 6, 2011 10:41 AM

                      Across from Usingers on Old World Third is one of the better German restaurants in town, Maders. Down the street from them is the spice store. Nationally known for freshness, variety, and their special mixes. A few doors past them is the Hofbrau Haus. Small place that serves the real deal from Munich.

                      Being a minority up there, I can only stress how warm and outgoing the locals are. Even when I wear my native clothes. Tropical shirt, shorts, boat shoes, and a Pittsburgh Steelers hat.

                      -----
                      Mader's German Restaurant
                      1041 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203

                      1. e
                        exvaxman Sep 8, 2011 03:34 PM

                        I just found out that Oktoberfest is going on in Glendale this friday/sat
                        http://oktoberfestmilwaukee.com/

                        Small, but fun.

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