Archive for September, 2018

Milwaukee, WI: Brunch

Posted: September 19, 2018 in Uncategorized
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Recently we visited a restaurant aptly named Brunch in downtown Milwaukee for…well, brunch.

We enjoyed surveying the wide selection of fare including entrees called “The Dad Bod” and the “Elvis Sandwich” but ultimately settled on the Avocado Toast.

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And you can’t go to a place called Brunch without ordering a Bloody Mary.

Brunch apparently makes several infused vodkas and you can even order a Bloody Mary flight to sample each of them, but on this occasion we simply wanted to try their main drink.

 

Spice: Not really.

Mix: Unsure… it had a hint of spice, but the base was also a little sweet, almost like Sacramento

Fixin’s: Beefstick, Pickle, Olive, Cheese Curd

Chaser: Add on a Rhinelander Shorty for $1

Price: $8

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Overall, we enjoyed our food and drink at Brunch and the menu has such a wide variety of delicious breakfast options that we’ll have to come back again… however, the construction in the area makes it difficult to get to and the service at the time we went was a little slow. We will definitely give this place (and perhaps their Bloody Mary flight!) another shot, though–maybe at their Brookfield location.

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The East Side’s Tomato Romp

Posted: September 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

Today, I had the pleasure of being a celebrity judge in the East Side’s Tomato Romp.

There were eight bars participating in the challenge and for $25, people could taste a 5oz sample of each bloody and turn in a ballot to cast their vote.

I have attended the Tomato Romp in the past and personally, while I love a great bloody mary event, the main issue I have with the Tomato Romp is the fact that it is sponsored by Absolut Vodka and garnishes are regulated…therefore, you don’t actually get a good idea of the bloody served at each bar in terms of taste or accouterments.

Nevertheless, we made it to each bar and here’s our take:
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Landmark Lanes: Landmark Lanes was nothing special.

Photo Sep 08, 11 17 36 AMHooligan’s: Hooligan’s was our favorite of the bunch. Their bloody had a distinctive chili powder taste and we were diggin’ it.Photo Sep 08, 12 17 14 PMThe Bloody Mary at Kawa was decent; they had a beer from Minnesota as the chaser.

Photo Sep 08, 12 35 12 PMIzzy Hops had two offerings: A spicy and a mild, which we appreciated. We tried and enjoyed them both.

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Vitucci’s was our least favorite. It was just lacking any sort of flavor or originality.

Photo Sep 08, 11 27 05 AMVon Trier was tried and true. We stopped here and initially did not get a chaser, but when we came back with a friend later, he received one. This one had a definite “seafoody” taste. Perhaps they use Clamato?

Photo Sep 08, 1 30 55 PMAxe Bar was the bar with the longest line; it felt like it took forever to get in.

Our final bloody (not pictured) was at Vintage.

Again, very hard to determine which bars we liked the best with the restrictions put in place. I am not sure I would want to head all the way to the East Side for any of these bloodies based purely on today’s experience. However, of them all, Hooligan’s was my favorite because it had a very distinct taste.

Finally, the last part of my day was the best part as I got to take place in a tomato fight which helps raise money to fight hunger.

This was a very fun and unique experience where I was able to get down and dirty and just chuck rotten tomatoes at other people. I really enjoyed this aspect of the event and would definitely do it again.

I want to thank the East Side, the Tomato Romp and the Marcus Center for having me as a guest celebrity judge for today’s event. It was super fun and easy and I enjoyed the experience.

In the future I would hope that they would let their bars/restaurants showcase their true bloodies a bit more with garnishes and alcohol, but overall, I think the participants very much had fun.

On a trip to Washington, D.C. we visited Arlington, VA and paid a visit to Tupelo Honey Cafe. Now we have dined at a Tupelo Honey in Georgia before, but it was on a Sunday before noon, so we weren’t able to imbibe.

Anyway, we had heard that this location’s Queen Mary Bloody Mary featured a “golden” bloody mary mix, so we headed there expecting a yellow-hued drink.

We were sorely disappointed to receive a normal, red-vined beverage.

 

The menu even noted “golden” but when we questioned our bartender he looked at us like we were crazy. I mean, we are, but crazy for Bloodies!

Anywho, not a bad drink but definitely on the pricey end and a letdown after we had made a pilgrimage there specifically for the yellow drink.

Spice: Not really.

Mix: Dixie black pepper vodka or jalapeno-poblano-infused moonshine (we weren’t offered a choice, so we assume we got vodka…boo!); “golden” tomato bloody mary mix and good ole’ Demitri’s bloody mary seasoning

Fixin’s: According to the menu: pimento cheese stuffed olive, grilled shrimp, apple cider bacon, celery, green bean, pickled jalapeno, cheery tomato, lime salt rim (Don’t believe our shrimp was grilled and also, wasn’t sure the olive was stuffed…didn’t see a jalapeno either)

Chaser: None offered.

Price: $15.00

Again, very pricey, but this place offers way more fixin’s than other establishments outside of the midwest, so we kind of get it… but honestly, you should provide what is promised on the menu. I also think our bartender was in a rush… again, didn’t ask us our choice of liqour and the fixin’s were a little lacking.

Not sure we would ever dine here again and definitely wouldn’t pony up for this drink.

While in Washington, D.C. we had to try the crazy “Lox’d & Loaded Bloody Mary” at Buffalo & Bergen.

A almost $20, this Bloody Mary is NOT CHEAP; however, it’s not terrible considering it is your entire meal: a Spicy Bloody Mary, garnished with lox, cream cheese, capers, red onion on an everything bagel.

It’s not hard to see why this lovely vision was voted Best Bloody Mary by Washingtonian Magazine.

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Spice: Not really.

Mix: Unsure, definitely not the star of the show.

Fixin’s: Lemon, olive…. plus an everything bagel loaded with lox, cream cheese and red onions. Oh and a piece of lettuce for color.

Chaser: None offered.

Price: $19.50

Personally, I loved the gimmicky nature of this beast. I paid $20 and had a Bloody and a filling breakfast. The actual mix was nothing special, but it truly was fun to receive and I got many admiring glances from passersby.

The restaurant itself is in Union Market, which is a really cool collection of small shops and a ton of great restaurants/food stands.

I would not necessarily have this drink again, but I would go back to the market and check out some of the other spots–I was just too full to enjoy it after my meal in a glass!

We recently visited a new restaurant in downtown Elm Grove, Wisconsin called Zister’s. Housed in the site of the former Penelope’s, Zister’s brings a more modern appeal to Watertown Plank Road.

With its blatant appeal to the millennial brunch culture, this place is sure to attract the young and trendy crowd in search of Avocado Toasts, Benedicts and Mimosas (after all, as their slogan says, “Champagne is the new coffee.”

And, you can’t have brunch with out a Bloody Mary. On our visit, we tried the Ultimate Bloody Mary.

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Spice: St. George Green Chile Vodka

Mix: Zing Zang

Fixin’s: Lemon, Lime, Olive, Pickle and Bacon

Chaser: Miller Lite Shorty

Price: $10

We enjoy Zing Zang, so we didn’t mind them using a bottle mix. I think the drink was very tasty, but a bit over priced and lacking in the fixings to be called “Ultimate.” In our opinion, if you’re going to call yourself a brunch place, you should have at least 3 different Bloody Mary options on the menu, including one that truly is “ultimate” and unique to your establishment. (How about one with champagne, Zisters?!?)

Regardless, we still give this place a glowing review and will be back multiple times because we heart the menu. There simply are no other options like this west of the city.

We had the Avocado Toast and it was presented beautifully and tasted amazing:

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Again, we love that Zisters has come to the neighborhood; they also created a really great patio that we can’t wait to test out. We will be back soon and hope you take our Bloody Mary recommendations to heart as you develop your clientele. We would love to be a special advisor in your quest!