Archive for October, 2013

I recently had the opportunity, or rather, privilege, of dining at Carnevor, an awesome steakhouse in downtown Milwaukee and part of the SURG Restaurant Group.

In my experience, steakhouses have some of the best bloodies around. That insight, coupled with the knowledge that nothing I ordered at Carnevor could possibly be bad, led me to start my culinary journey with this:


Of course, this drink did not let me down. The stats:

Spice: The perfect amount.

Mix: Unsure

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  Three stuffed olives (bleu cheese, garlic) and a lime.

Price: $8

Overall, a very tasty Bloody Mary, but more than that, our dinner was spectacular.

I realize you guys read this blog for my libation opinions and not for my food recommendations, but trust me when I say that Carnevor is a place you need to check out at least once if you’re in the Milwaukee area.

Of course the steaks are amazing, but so were the ravioli and seafood appetizers, my seasonal sea bass special (you had me at pumpkin!) and finally, the S’Mores Dessert, described as “chocolate mousse, graham sponge cake and marshmallow ice cream.”


In fact, I thought it had to be kismet when this article featuring the dessert ran in our local paper the morning of my reservation at the restaurant. I’ve been searching for a dessert to replicate the taste of my favorite campfire treat, but to no avail. (I’ve made S’mores bars, S’mores dip, S’mores cupcakes… you name it.)

Upon seeing the article, I tweeted about it (and that it was going to be my first time visiting the restaurant) and Omar Shaikh, co-owner/President of the Surg Restaurant Group, connected with me on Twitter, promising to make my first experience memorable. And indeed, it was.

From the moment we arrived, the service was impeccable and the food was amazing. I’d like to publicly thank Omar and his staff for truly going above and beyond to make our dining experience a true pleasure. The popularity and reputation of the restaurant is a surely a testament to them.

And the S’mores dessert? Out of this world.


Last week we had a bowling tournament for work at AMF West Allis Lanes.

One of my coworkers so kindly bought be a bloody and of course I couldn’t miss the chance to review it for you!

Spice: The bartender asked my preference, which was nice.

Mix: Unsure

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  Two olives and a lime.

Price: $Unknown

I had very low expectations going in for this bloody, so unlike my recent trip to Vegas, I was actually not disappointed. It works in a pinch!

Club Paragon

Posted: October 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

One day after returning home from Las Vegas, I found myself at Club Paragon in West Allis, watching the Packers game.

While good Bloodies were few and far between on the Las Vegas strip, I walked right into a bar in Wisconsin and found myself staring down a build-your-own Bloody Bar.


Spice: It’s what you make of it!

Mix: I used Sacramento Tomato Juice, although Zing Zang was another option.

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  Beans, asparagus, pickles, olives, mushrooms, pearl onions, brussels sprouts, celery, lemon, lime.

Price: $4.50

Yep. A ‘Stallis bar just bested Vegas. For half to one-third of what most of those Vegas bloodies cost, I got all of this. Still no meat and cheese, but I’ll take it!

It sure is good to travel, but sometimes it is even better to come home.


I was departing Vegas in less than 24 hours and my quest to find the best Bloody Mary was in jeopardy.

I consulted my carefully researched list of other establishments. After learning from my experience at Hash House, I did a little more digging and discovered that yes, many of these specialty bloodies were only available on the weekends.

This posed a problem as my flight was early Saturday afternoon; however, I soon realized that nothing was preventing me from having a Bloody for breakfast before boarding the plane.

After confirming that they did in fact have the Bloody Mary bar I had read so much about, I quickly made reservations at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Hotel for 9am on Saturday morning.

From the moment I arrived, I knew that this Bloody was going to be the “Pièce de résistance” of the trip— we got a table outside on the patio, our waitress was nice, the food looked delish and the Bloody Mary cart was teeming with fresh ingredients and in full view.

Spice: You  play mixologist! The top of the bar is lined with every hot sauce under the sun. Also, add horseradish, Worcestershire, etc.

Mix: Choose from Clamato, Tomato Juice or a mix I had never heard of—Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy’s. I used this opportunity to try the new mix and must say it was very good!

Vodka; You call it! I chose Tito’s.

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  A wide variety to choose from, mostly consisting of fresh veggies such as: cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, pickled carrots, and peppers, plus lemons, limes and olives. (Notably missing to midwest folks: meat and cheese!)

Price: $11

This bloody was absolutely amazing—my compliments to the bartender—that’d be me! I had a ton of fun building my bloody.



I finally hit the jackpot in Vegas and just in time, too! I highly recommend Mon Ami to anyone looking for a Bloody Mary fix in Vegas. The only downfall is that the Bloody Mary cart is ONLY available on weekends.

Given the Vegas nightlife scene, one would really think that there would be a big market for Bloodies there; however, I found it really difficult to find a good one that was available on a daily basis.

I realize by now that  fixin’s overloads and beer chasers are primarily a Midwest thing, but I’ve got to believe that in the city of excess, a Sobelman’s or O’Davey’s-style Bloody Mary would go over well there.Not once did I spy a beefstick, shrimp, bacon or cheese cube on my journey.

I’d be tempted to open up a specialty Bloody Mary bar there if I had any restaurant experience. I can see people making a pilgrimage to it and really having some fun with it. If you have the capital and wherewithal to do this, let me know, I’d be happy to help consult!

Regardless, Vegas, you redeemed yourself at the last minute. Until next time!

While I was in search of the perfect Bloody Mary, my traveling companion (my mom) was in search of the perfect burger.

We ended up at Gordon Ramsay’s newest Las Vegas restaurant, the aptly named BurGR, late on a Friday evening.

We each tried a different burger and then split them (Hell’s Kitchen and Britannia for those of you scoring at home) and we also split an order of the sweet potato fries.

The burgers were amazing (we liked the Britannia the best) and the fries were to die for. Mom definitely got her wish granted at BurGR.

So, while there, I decided to give their Bloody a go.

Spice: It had a little kick to it.

Mix: Homemade mix.

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  One olive, one lime.

Price: $12

Our experience at BurGR was awesome, and In the end, this was probably my favorite bloody so far on this trip. but I was waiting to be wowed, like mom was when she finally found the burger of her dreams.

To Be Continued.

When you tell people you’re going to Las Vegas, they tell you that it is awesome because the casinos dole out free drinks while you’re gambling. Don’t buy drinks at the bar, they say, just hang out by the tables or slot machines and a waitress will come to you—just give her a nice tip.

On my first trip to Vegas, this didn’t happen once so I was a little skeptical. Thus, this time around, like finding a good Vegas Bloody Mary, getting a comp drink on the casino floor was on my list of things to do.

And, like my Bloody Mary search, I was beginning to give up on Vegas in this regard, but then my luck changed. Waitresses approached me at two different casinos and, of course, I had to order Bloodies.

Here’s the Bloody I got in Treasure Island:

And here’s the one from Planet Hollywood:

These were basically a little larger than shot size and each contained an olive and a lime. You can’t really complain as these were “free” drinks and I was just happy to cross another thing off my to-do list.

But my best Bloody search was still eluding me…

I had lunch at Gilley’s, a restaurant in Treasure Island in Las Vegas and decided to try yet another Bloody Mary.

Spice: It had a little kick to it and a chipotle flavor.

Mix: Homemade mix

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  One olive, one lime

Price: $9 

While good, this bloody was average at best! 

I was very close to giving up my Bloody Mary search in Vegas and switch over to the frozen drinks that abound on every corner…to be continued.

I arrived in Vegas with a list of things to do/sights to see and on that list was to have a Bloody Mary at Hash House A-Go-Go.

Yes, I had done my homework (or so I thought), researching the Best Bloody Marys in Las Vegas. Hash House and their BLT Bloody was on several lists, so I went there first. Located near Harrah’s, I found the establishment in a relatively new building called The Quad.

Thus, I was expecting something like this:

And instead, this is what arrived:

The bartender, to his credit, could tell I was disappointed when my drink arrived. I expressed that I was expecting something different. “Oh yes, our specialty Bloodies are only available on the weekends,” he said. This was a Wednesday and I wasn’t going to have the chance to come back on the weekend.

None of the reviews I read mentioned this. The bartender knew that I was solely there for the bloody and felt bad about the mix-up, so he didn”t end up charging me for the drink, which was nice.

Here are the “stats” for this plain-jane Bloody at Hash House:

Spice: It had a little kick to it.

Mix: Homemade mix.

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  Lemon, 2 olives, mini pickle

Price: Unsure—no charge for the mix-up.

So far, I was 0-2  in my search for the perfect Sin City Bloody.

…To be continued.

This past week, I was in Las Vegas and decided to sample some of what Sin City has to offer.

My first Bloody was at the House of Blues, which is located in Mandalay Bay.

Spice: It had a little kick to it.

Mix: Homemade mix.

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  One olive, one lime.

Price: $5 (Happy Hour Special)

I learned pretty quickly that for all the excess that Vegas is famous for, when it comes to Bloodies, the Glitter Gulch is pretty pedestrian.

This one was decent, but disappointing, so I continued on my search… to be continued.

Last week, I played golf at Morningstar in Waukesha, Wisconsin. While there, I had the chance to sample their Bloody Mary.

Spice: It had a little kick to it.

Mix: Unsure, but they used bacon-infused vodka

Chaser: None offered.

Fixin’s:  Pickle, Two Olives

Price: Unknown

Although the photo does not do it justice because it was made in a to-go cup, this Bloody was pretty decent, but nothing special.