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Jan 26, 2012 02:05 PM

MKE visit

Heading to MKE for a few days in March, who has the best bratwurst? How about breakfast? Steak?


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  1. How far are you willing to travel? Any budget restrictions? What kind of atmosphere are you looking for?

    In the metro area...

    Blue's Egg makes an excellent breakfast.

    Five O'Clock Club, Eddie Martini, Jackson Grill and Carnevor all serve great steaks.

    I have never gone out for brats, but maybe some one can chime in with some recs.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Fowler

      I do not go out for brats either, but the Old German Beerhall and Milwaukee Brathouse friends have enjoyed. They are right by each other on Old World 3rd street. While you are there go into Usingers and get lots of theirs to take home.

      The wife recently had friends visit from out of state and the husband kept raving about the Packing House and how great it was. Personally I like Carnevor more.

      1. re: Fowler

        Thanks, I'm attending a seminar for 2 days but will be there for 4. I'll have a rental car and a map. Any atmosphere. Thanks for the recs.

        1. re: filetofish

          I like The Hinterland for a casual but great dining experience. Their menu emphasizes Wisconsin fare. They have a small plate dining as well as fine dining . The Harbor House gives you a great view of the Milwaukee downtown from the water perspective. They specialize in seafood. Roots is a wonderful restaurant with a great view of the downtown from over the river. The Iron Horse Hotel is a magnificent boutique hotel that captures the vibe of Milwaukee. Whether you stop at Branded for a drink or go to Smyth it is a great place to see.

          1. re: Living4fun

            Good places, but I doubt any of them have the best bratwurst, breakfast or steak the OP is looking for. I would eat at those restaurants but do not want the OP to think those are the best for what he/she is specifically seeking.

            1. re: Fowler

              Agreed , they are not known for bratwurst, but I don't go out for brats unless it's at the stadium. Well, Hinterland does make their own sausage and it is very good.. And each restaurant mentioned has steak on their menus and does a great job. And I guess I took the OP's post as looking something that represents the feel of MKE. I tend to try to go against what is stereotypically MKE thus recommending something out of the box, but yet giving a visitor a taste of what Milwaukee is today.

              1. re: Living4fun

                Thanks for the clarification, L4F. Like you, I always try to recommend something that is unique to Milwaukee these days. I guess I took the OP's requirements literally and that is why I replied with suggestions he/she was specifically asking for.

                If the OP asked for a taste of Milwaukee I certainly would have listed some of your recs in addition to others. Hopefully your fine ideas will open up their mind to other options.

      2. Thanks for the great suggestions so far. I'm staying at the Hilton on the river which has pretty good access to many of the places mentioned. I may even try a bit of BBQ due to a friends suggestion of the Speed Queen. I'll be there for 3 dinners, lunches and breakfasts.

        4 Replies
        1. re: filetofish

          Enjoy your visit. An area of Milwaukee that I am partial to is The Third Ward. There is a new , recently opened BBQ place called The Smoke Shack I can't vouch for it but I've seen pictures and read some reviews and it sounds pretty good.

          1. re: Living4fun

            Thanks, that menu looks outtasight...although my friend recommended the Speed Queen, I think I'm inclined to go to L4F's suggestion for one dinner. I've perused a few Hoppel Poppel locations and not sure yet. Bratwurst and beer will be at least one dinner, leaning towards the Hofbrau as I was at the actual one in Munich. I guess I don't really want to eat at a formal place. But, I do NOT eat at a chain....ever.

            1. re: filetofish

              The Old German Beer Hall features all the he beers of the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. They have a polka band some nights and the servers are dressed in traditional Hofbrau attire. It is a fun place, at least it was on the nights I have been there.
              Benji's is known for their Hoppel Poppel.

        2. Thanks to all who responded, great info. Please continue to comment folks.

          6 Replies
          1. re: filetofish

            Someone above mentioned Benji's. It is a deli in Shorewood, just up the lake from downtown. Great Hoppel Poppel.

            1. re: bethc3

              Definitely having Hoppel Poppel.

            2. re: filetofish

              As strange as it sounds, Milwaukee is not a good place to find a bratwurst in a restaurant. They are best had off of someone's grill in their back yard, tailgating, or maybe State Fair. There are some grocery stores and churches that will often set up a grill and sell them on the sidewalk, but March is probably a little early to find those. Otherwise, the best I can suggest are the bratwurst sliders at Saz's.

              Benji's IS the place for hoppel poppel. The Blue Egg is my own favorite non-neighborhood-diner breakfast in town. All the steak places named so far are pretty good, but I love the steak frite at Jacque's.

              I have heard about Smoke Shack but havent been there. There is some buzz about their prices being quite high though. For BBQ, Speed Queen has the highest profile, but Ashley's is highly under-rated. SQ does have some tables but is primarily a carry out place. Ashley's is carry-out only.

              I dont often do traditional jacket & tie fine dining, but Lake Park Bistro is the recommended (at least by me). But my favorite place for casual fine dining is Meritage, Cafe Perrin, and the previously mentioned Jacque's.

              I'm not sure where you are visiting from, so I dont know what you have in abundance, but Milwaukee also has some excellent Mexican & Vietnamese places too.

              I hope you enjoy your visit.

              5921 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208

              1. re: Fydeaux

                "Otherwise, the best I can suggest are the bratwurst sliders at Saz's."

                Wow, that totally brought back a memory...there is/was a place on the South Side that served brat patties. They looked like hamburgers but were actually round brat patties. I have not been there in ages and cannot recall the name of the place but I remember those brat patties as being especially good.

                1. re: Fowler

                  Meisfield's has the best brat patties IMHO, but you have to cook them