Today, we attended the East Town Association’s Heat it Up Event, a Bloody Mary & Chili tasting at Cathedral Square Park in downtown Milwaukee for the fourth year in a row.

Location:

Heat It Up takes place in a fenced in area in Cathedral Square Park. Each establishment has a table under a tent and participants line up in front of each one to claim their samples. You don’t get to experience the actual atmosphere of the restaurant (and they don’t get the benefit of you potentially buying additional food/beverage), but it is easy for the participant. You maximize your tasting time and you’re surrounded solely by people who share your passion.

Price/Samples:

Heat It Up cost $30 (plus a $2.50 convenience fee online) to attend, but for that price, this year you UNLIMITED get samples of  10 bloodies and 9 chilis (Who’s On Third also had chili, but it wasn’t listed on the ballot).

However, this was down significantly from last year when they had 16 different bloodies and 17 chilis to sample.
East Town Heat It Up 2015

Heat it Up offers the awesome combination of Bloody Marys AND chili.The samples are ample-sized and, even though only a couple of places offered a beer chaser, excellent. In my opinion, they are a fair representation of each establishment’s actual Bloody….BECAUSE THEY ALLOW ACCOUTERMENTS (unlike the some other events).

Voting/Winners:

Chili:

Mikey’s – First Place
Mark’s Chili – 2nd Place

Milioke – 3rd Place*
Bloody Mary:

Camp Bar – First Place

Millertime Pub – 2nd Place*

St. Francis Brewery – 3rd Place

*Indicates OutForBloodies choice

There are so many bloodies and chili samples circulating, and so many factors to consider, so we’ll give you a quick rundown of each of the contestants below.

Heat it Up

Pro Tip: You’ll notice something that looks like a cupcake pan/muffin tin in these photos. That’s because it is a cupcake pan… It’s tough to eat or drink when you’ve got a bloody in one hand and chili in your other. Add a chaser and you’re pretty much out of luck. This is a genius way to hold your samples while you’re standing around. 

Miller Time Pub

The No.1 Bloody from 2013 was from Miller Time Pub and it got my vote again this year as well. (Last year’s winner, Benelux, was not present this time around.) A beefstick, shrimp and jalapeno popper among other items make this a meal in itself.

Miller Time Pub had excellent bloodies and chili (again) this year.

Miller Time Pub had excellent bloodies and chili (again) this year.

St. Francis Brewery 

St. Francis once again had a verde mary, using tomatillos; however, last year they called it a “Packers Bloody Mary” and it included an entire (cold) Klement’s Sausage and a Wisconsin Cheese Curd.

This year, they had bacon, cheese and a wasabi pea in their green version and had similar fixin’s on their standard version. They also served beer chasers. I like the green because it is different, but it wouldn’t be my favorite. The red version had a nice flavor.

St. Francis Brewery Bloody Mary

 

 

The Pfister

The Pfister has always finished strong and when you see the fixin’s and shorty of Miller Lite, you’ll know why:

Pfister Bloody Mary

Camp Bar

The winner at last week’s Chilin’ on the Avenue in Wauwatosa, Camp Bar was also present here. Again, good flavor, but it doesn’t stand out to me as the best.

Camp Bar Bloody Mary

Millioke

Millioke’s Bloody Mary touted “3 roasted pepper au jus” and you could definitely taste the pepper. It also included garlic as a fixin’. I wasn’t a big fan of this bloody, it tasted very strong. However, the chili was delicious, made with pumpkin ale and short rib. They can keep the cheddar cheese pork rind, though!

Millioke Bloody Mary

Millioke Bloody Mary

Mikey’s

Mikey’s tried to impress with a pulled pork sandwich and chunk of cornbread on their bloody mary, but the flavor was way harsh. Not a fan at all. The chili, however, was very good.

Mikeys Bloody Mary

Cafe Hollander

Everyone knows we are fans of the Lowlands Group. Last year, Benelux took home the #1 prize. This year, Hollander had a presence instead. Here, they offered their basic bloody mary, which was, as always, very good.

Cafe Hollander Bloody Mary

Who’s On Third

A simple bloody mary, but I wasn’t a fan of the flavor. It seemed like the mix/vodka ratio might have been off. The pickle was also unexpectedly a bread and butter pickle, which threw me for a loop.

Who's On Third

Cafe at the Plaza

We weren’t a big fan of this bloody mary either, but the chili (with cornbread on top) was excellent.

Cafe at the Plaza

The Belmont

This one had an unidentified spice in it… maybe paprika someone suggested? Either way… good on the cheese curd. In the bloody, not so much.

Belmont Bloody Mary

So there you have it…. Even down about half the vendors, this event is a great deal and was sold out again this year. I highly encourage you to check it out next year—and to stop in to each of these establishments to do you own tastings in the meantime!

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