Archive | July, 2011

Sobelman’s Bar & Grill – Milwaukee

26 Jul

I know that on that Food Wars TV show, AJ Bombers beat out Sobelman’s for the best burger in Milwaukee. I find this ridiculously hard to believe. While I have not yet had the opportunity to head to AJ’s to try out their burger; in my mind there is nothing better than the Sobelman burger. Maybe some of the nostalgia I hold for Sobelman’s is wrapped around the numerous college memories this place houses. It is by all means, a Marquette establishment, which makes perfect sense as to why they would want to put a new location right on campus in the old Angelo’s location on the corner of 16th and Wells.

While their burgers are pretty damn good, they make an amazing bloody mary. I mean look at this picture, that is some serious garnishment to go along with the spicy liquid goodness that follows. Most times that there are numerous garnishments it’s because they’re trying to over compensate for the lackluster beverage. In the case of this bloody mary, that is not the case, thankfully. I like to think of it as a tasty appetizer to the enormous piece of beef I’m about to consume.

All that aside, I’m not writing this post to debate which burger is better, I’m here to inform the public that IF you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, Sobelman’s Bar & Grill is a necessary stop. The place is always packed. At lunch time you see the whole gamut of individuals here ranging from blue collar construction and factory workers to business suit executives. This really is the kind of place that reminds me of home; good honest food coupled with good people of all walks of life.– 1900 W. Saint Paul Ave. Milwaukee, WI


Balzac Wine Bar – Milwaukee

24 Jul

I got the opportunity to travel back to Wisconsin for the wedding of one of my closest friends. While I was there I needed to indulge on some of the fine fare that can be found in Milwaukee. One of my (and the bride-to-be’s) favorite spots in town is Balzac. This spot was heavy in my rotation when I lived in Milwaukee but they have spruced up their menu quite a bit from what I remember.

While I waited for my cousin Shawn to arrive , I decide to hit up the happy hour specials which was (ring the alarm): half of everything from the bar, including wine flights until 6PM. I opted for a flight of red wines which included the following wines.

  • Kukkula “lothario” red blend – Paso Robles, CA
  • X Winery Nova vineyard Zinfandel – Lake Country, CA
  • Five H Heritage red blend – Columbia Valley, WA

Balzac offers a fairly extensive wine list (for Milwaukee standards), with numerous wine flights and bottle choices. On Wednesday’s, they offer ½ off bottles, which is an amazing deal.

What I love so much about this spot is that they always have the most friendly staff. They’re always willing to offer suggestions, joke with you and even give you a complimentary pour or two.

The menu has evolved a bit in the two years since I’ve lived in the city. With that said, while I did live their I probably didn’t even know what kimchi was, or know that it would make great quesadillas! We opted to share the Manchego Bruelee, which is a dip of baked Spanish Manchego cheese custard, topped with caramelized Serrano ham and garlic crostini. This was incredibly rich and delicious and went well with the wine and the crunchy crostini. For my main dish I went for, you guessed it, the Kimchi Quesadillas.

These quesadillas were packed with house made kimchi with manchego and pepperjack cheese and served with a chili sesame sour cream. There is nothing that I love more than a little Korean-Mexican fusion (see my John’s Snack & Deli post).

On my next trips back I am looking forward to trying the Roasted Duck Nachos (chips topped with shredded duck, bacon, three cheese blend, scallion crème fraiche and pico de gallo) and Sea Scallops (seared and served with citrus mashed sweet potatoes, garlic spinach and Dr. Pepper Molasses). – 1716 N. Arlington Street (@Brady St.)