While in Milwaukee, we voted to have lunch at MADER'S RESTAURANT which is well-known for its German cuisine. As you walk in, you can see just how big this place is. There are little rooms everywhere, all decorated with an incredible collection of medieval weaponry, woodcarvings and an impressive collection of beer steins. The menu offers an extensive offering of German specialties prepared in the German tradition. Hans and I both had the Reuben sandwich, which came open-faced, with a generous portion of corned beef and saurkraut, topped with melted cheese along with a side of french fries. Hans also had the five-cheese onion soup which he said was absolutely delicious. Mader's also has an extensive wine and beer list and children's menu.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Dinner: 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday Brunch: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
This place is great. It's run by a Nigerian family who specialize in variety of West African dishes from Nigeria, Camaroon, Cote d' Viore, etc. The banfis, slow cooked stews, are highly recommended. There is a kasava pie for dessert that simply cannot be missed. The owners are very welcoming and friendly. A great restaurant and a great experience. I bring out of town guests here all the time.
Mercado El Rey has three locations on the South Side of Milwaukee. The closest to Downtown is on Cesar Chavez Drive. The largest and most varied lunch menu is at the one on 35th and Burnham. El Rey's lunch counter cannot be beat. You'll find the full array of Mexican favorites done very well, and a selection of specials (I had the goat meat last time) that never disappoints. The prices are amazingly low. One of the few places where one can get fed well for under $5.
The coffee and food at Alterra is excellent, but their lakefront location is a truly unique experience. The coffeehouse is located in a pumping station built in 1888 of Cream City brick. In one section of the shop you can sit and nibble on your sandwich overlooking the gigantic pump that lies about twenty feet below floor level. It's in an interesting place to look around, very industrial-chic.
Last visit 6/27/09, our waitress said they had just been voted the best German restaurant in the country but I don't know who was doing the voting
Karl Ratzsch's is Milwaukee's German fine dining restaurant. The 1st time we visited we were standing outside the restaurant perusing the menu and trying to decide whether to eat here or go back to Mader's and some folks that were headed into the restaurant said this was the best German food in the city, how can you ignore a recommendation like that?
We are always heading to Summerfest or something else that is casual in the summer and are usually wearing shorts or casual clothes, some of the other diners are quite nicely dressed, others are as casual as us.
The service is usually very good, on our most recent visit (6/27/09) it was a little slow but the waitress knew their dishes and was very friendly. There was lovely piano music on our last couple of visits and the decor is lovely.
This is not an inexpensive restaurant, the entrees that we tried were $24-$29, high for a German restaurant even by Chicago standards. If you want to try this place but can't swallow the prices, there is an early dining menu for $16.95 during the week, Mon-Fri until 6 pm and a lunch menu during the week.
We always find street parking, after 6pm most of the meters do not need to be fed. We managed to find a spot a few blocks away. They do offer valet parking as well.
Favorite Dish: I tried one of the specials, a Westphalian schnitzel-wiener schnitzel topped with a layer of very tasty ham with melted swiss cheese and a mushroom sauce. It came with a side of homemade spatzel mixed with mushrooms, onions, cheese and tomatoes. The whole meal was excellent! David tried Trudy's Sampler, sauerbraten & wiener schnitzel with a potato dumpling. He also thought his dish was excellent.
We ordered the exact same thing when we returned for our 2nd visit plus we added a yummy bread pudding that we split.
On our 3rd visit, I tried the Chicken schnitzel parmesan, very similar to the Italian version of chicken parmesan but over a bed of spatzle, it was very good and a very large portion.
Milwaukee has a whole bunch of brewpubs, several located in the central downtown area near the hotels. Right across the street from one another are the Water Street Brewery and Brew City BBQ, we decided on Water Street Brewery mainly because it was on the same side of the street we were on.
Favorite Dish: The menu has a wide selection of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, entrees and pizzas. Water Street Brewery brews their own beers, a list of which you can find on the attached website.
I opted for the bbq chicken pizza which was very good, the pizza filled my whole plate so I took 1/2 home to eat later. The pizza is covered in bbq sauce with red onions, cilantro and chicken. We also tried the herb-garlic mushroom appetizer which was OK but not one I would repeat.
After visiting the Pabst Mansion, we headed out to find a bite to eat. My first choice of German was overruled so we headed to the section of town where there are lots of Mexican restaurants, around National and 5th Avenue. Someone had recommended La Fuente to me so we decided to eat there.
The place was busy for a Saturday afternoon, no wait but quite a few patrons. The dining room decor is fairly typical for Midwestern Mexican restaurants with pinatas hanging from the ceiling, a large mural on the wall of a scene from Mexico. It's not a fine dining restaurant but it seemed clean.
Favorite Dish: I tried a combination plate of an enchilada, tostada and taco, my friend tried a combo plate with an enchilada, tostada and flauta. It's a nice way to try several different items.
I thought the food was good but not great, I'm a little spoiled with all of the great choices for Mexican in Chicago/Northwest Indiana where there is a large Hispanic population.
As the saying goes - 'You havn't been anywhere until you've hit Rock Bottom' ! The Rock Bottom Brewery is located in the city core along the banks of the Milwaukee River. They have a great outdoor seating area as part of the Riverwalk renovations and we found ourselves drawn to its location on more than one occasion. Our first evening in town was spent there watching the activities while I sipped on their Raccoon Red beers. Later, after our Sunday stroll around town to take in the sights, we settled down for a great lunch. This time I had their half pound of beer-boiled shrimps in shell with cocktail dipping sauce ($9.95) and a Greenfield America Lite beer. This is a great spot to be on a Saturday night when the boats are active and people are strolling the river banks. The restaurant has other smaller tables serving bar snacks where you can sit right along the river edge and keep a closer eye on the activities.
Favorite Dish: The shrimp were good!
Located on the ground floor of the Hilton Center, the Miller Time Pub is a great place to go for either a quick snack or a full-blown meal. There are TVs located at strategic places around the ceiling showing about 3 different channels of sporting events. The organizers of the conference that we were attending booked part of the pub for the group's Monday evening outing - complete with finger food snacks and drinks.
Favorite Dish: I had a great chili for dinner one evening and on another occasion, when I was not feeling very hungry, a simple hot dog did the trick for me. We noticed that the pace of life in Milwaukee slowed noticeably on Sunday and we were not able to find ourselves a restaurant downtown that was either open or suited our fancy. It was back to the hotel and the Miller Time Pub to the rescue!
Mo's is prominantly located on the corner of a city block, with its large windows inviting one in for an ale or two. We had spotted the place on our first night in town but decided to try Riverwalk area instead. When we went back downtown on Sunday, we were surprised to find the pub closed - as were most of the other eateries in the area. We finally made it back there on our last night and enjoyed sitting in the corner watching the activities of the other patrons.
Favorite Dish: I thought that their menu was a bit limited, we had steak in mind but the closest we could come to that was a steak sandwich. Nevertheless, it tasted great and the Guinness did not hurt either! We noticed that there was a Mo's restaurant across the street - maybe that is where the 'full' restaurant is located.
Milwaukee's Italian grocery store, an institution for Italian food lovers is where it's been for the last 75 years or so. On E Brady St. It's got a great butcher store, cheeses, Italian things you don't see at the local mega-mart grocery. I found pavesini here.
You can also get something from the deli, a sandwich or what have you and sit outside at the tables on the sidewalk and eat it. Like I did with my cannoli(Only $2!)
And they also run a gold importing business, and sell gold jewelry, which is right next door.
I finally ate at Mader's, Milwaukee's best known German restaurant when the December 2006 VT invasion hit. We arrived just as they were opening at 11:30 on a Wednesday afternoon and they had no problem accomodating our group of six, I'd recommend a reservation if you are going on a weekend or weeknight.
Lunch entrees are reasonably priced at around $8-$14, double those prices for dinner. Although I really liked the atmosphere and the service, I found the food at Karl Ratzsch's to be much better and just slightly more expensive.
Favorite Dish: I ordered the Franconian chicken schnitzel, served over spaeztle. The sauce was a little too overpowering for the chicken but it was OK. Others in our group had reuben sandwiches, stuffed portabella (it was reported to be good) and the Bavarian platter (not a lot of flavor). I thought the three cheese onion soup was good and the desserts were good, Kat ordered a very nice creme brulee, Kris ordered a chocolate cake and I had a pistachio cheesecake topped with whipped cream and strawberries.
This is another of the many eating establishments located along the river, in this case just across from the Rock Bottom. The patio part of the pub (we never did go inside) has a few trappings to give a bit of a flavour of England. There was a nice ambiance, there always is if you can sit outside by a river and have a good meal !
Favorite Dish: It was a quick lunch-time meal, so I settled for their Ham & Swiss Cheese sandwich with chips. It really hit the spot - not too big !
GREAT MEXICAN FOOD AT GREAT (CHEAP) PRICES!! If you like mexican food, then check this place out... Food (served on paper plates) and atmosphere are excellent!! You won't be disappointed!
Favorite Dish: I like the steak and bean taco's, however the Mexican plate lunch is quite delicious....Don't forget to try the Mexican beer's and marguerita's!!!
This is our favorite Milwaukee restaurant. Good food, pretty good prices, and a fun atmosphere. The menu isn't too big, but everything I have had is good.
Cuban sandwiches, chicken or steak with rice and beans, plantains, and all the yummy Cuban stuff.
Favorite Dish: Probably the pounded steak (Bistec) with rice & black beans. My wife LOVES the appetizers here, particularly the Croquettas de Jamon, they remind her of Brazil.