Posts Tagged ‘milwaukee’

We recently visited Mad Rooster Cafe on Miller Park Way in Milwaukee.


We’ve previously enjoyed both breakfast and lunch at this establishment, but had not had the pleasure of trying their “Mad Mary,” described on the menu as “our special blend of homemade bloody mary with Smirnoff vodka, unbelievably garnished! A meal in itself!”

We decided we were overdue, so we ordered up a Mad Mary with our omelette.

Mad Rooster Cafe

MIX: Housemade

CHASER: a Miller High Life pony (we declined on this particular visit because it was before 10am and we were also ordering breakfast… Not that that has stopped us before)

FIXIN’S: Lime, lemon, deviled egg, stuffed olive (bleu cheese?), pickle and celery stalk

PRICE: $9 (or $8 w/0 chaser–also these are specially priced on Fridays)

The taste of the this bloody was light and refreshing and I enjoyed the egg as a garnish, even though the yolk fell out and dissolved in the beverage; however, I would not bill this drink as a meal in itself as we’ve seen much grander bloodies in our day.

They get bonus points for the salt on the rim as well.

The verdict?

There’s no question that we’ll be back here for breakfast again, as this place is one of the few good and true places to get a nice sit-down breakfast in the city and we’ll probably order this bloody mary again in the future too, but Mad Rooster Cafe not a place we’d go specifically to have a bloody mary, if that makes sense.



Speaking of places we can’t believe we haven’t reviewed, the Wicked Hop takes the cake!

Located in Milwaukee’s popular Third Ward, the Wicked Hop is one of the best brunch spots in the city.

In fact, it’s located at the corner of Sunday Brunch and Bloody Mary! (We love this, right outside their restaurant.)

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The ultimate intersection. #BloodyMary #Brunch

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We’ve had their Bloody Mary several times, but somehow, we’ve failed to review it. For that, we apologize as we’re depriving you of one of the best bloodies in the city!

Wicked Hop Bloody Mary

MIX: Housemade

CHASER: From their site: “Buddied up with everyone’s favorite — Lakefront Riverwest Stein beer chaser!”

FIXIN’S: Again: “Our house recipe served with peeled coldwater shrimp, Old Wisconsin beefstick, MKE midget kosher dill pickle, mozzarella whips, Walnut Street portabella mushroom and a Spanish green olive.” They also let you purchase Extra Fixin’s for $3 more (We inquired: it’s an extra portion of what already comes on it, not additional items).

PRICE: $10 regularly (You can get a Virgin Mary, or a Topless Mary (no fixin’s) for $8)

Wicked Hop is known for their Bloodies and they also have a popular brunch. Get there early on a Saturday and sit in the bar to take advantage of this offer:

Half hoppy

Or, if you can get there during the week, we highly recommend going on a Tuesday where the Bloody Marys are $5 (sans chaser):

slider poster


On our most recent visit, we had just posted our above photo on Instagram and Facebook when we noticed a very similar photo appear in our feeds…comedian Amy Schumer, in town for a show at the Bradley Center, had visited the Wicked Hop and indulged that same day. We’re sorry we missed her, but we’re glad that someone pointed her in the right direction!

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Milwaukee I love you!!

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One more thing… The Wicked Hop also boasts “The ‘Glass’ Slipper,” which is, by their description: “Our house recipe bloody mary fitted in a 96.628 oz. plastic German boot laced with all the accessories. Buddied up with 6 chasers of everyone’s favorite — Lakefront Riverwest Stein. Finish it all and we’ll give you the commemorative boot.” The price listed is: Market, whatever that means. We haven’t been brave enough to tackle this one yet, but you’ll be the first to know when we do.

Be sure you check out Wicked Hop when you’re in Milwaukee, you’ll be bloody glad you did.

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.


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.


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).



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’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 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!

We recently visited Dicken’s Grille in West Allis, Wisconsin.

We had been hearing a lot about Dicken’s lately from people in different circles, so we knew there had to be something there.

We learned that they offer specialty bloodies on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm (we learned this the hard way, stopping in at off-time last winter), so we stopped in one Sunday during a Packers game.

The Bloody Marys at Dicken’s are essentially build-your-own… they start at $6 for a pint and the price can fluctuate based on the options you choose.

You get a say in your Vodka/Liquor, Bloody Mix, Spice, Garnishes, and Chaser, all by filling out a little slip of paper and handing it to the bartender. Here’s an example:

Dicken's Grille Bloody Mary

MIX: You choose! We definitely wanted to try their house mix, without any extra spices. It wasn’t bad at all, just nothing special. We also wanted to try Ben’s Bloody Kentucky since that was new to us  as well. We liked that a bit more and will probably stick with that or Zing Zang in the future.

CHASER:You choose! You can even upgrade to a full mug for just $.75! So say you’re having bloodies with someone who just wants to have a beer… you could be kind and just give them your chaser… or keep it for yourself.

FIXIN’S: Four tremendous options to pick from! We can vouch for the Lambeau (perfect for a Packers game!), Meat & Cheese and Surf & Turf, as our party was able to try these three. Apparently, they have limited offerings of the Racing Sausage bloody mary each weekend, so it is recommended that you get there early if you want to try that one (and we do, so we’ll be back!).

PRICE: Starting at just $6

We were very happy with our visit to this hidden gem (or maybe not-so-hidden anymore!) in West Allis. The people were friendly, the prices were fair and the drinks were flowing.

We loved our Lambeau Bloody Mary and will definitely be back for this again (cheesehead wedge cut off in photo!):

Lambeau Bloody Mary

We also enjoyed the Meat and Cheese option:

Dicken's Meat and Cheese bloody mary

as well as the Surf & Turf Bloody Mary:

Dicken's Surf and Turf Bloody Mary

We’ll be back again, banging on the door when they open to try that Racing Sausage option another time.

Besides the excellent Bloody Marys, Dicken’s also offered free chips, cheese and salsa during the game, shots for Packers scores, beaded necklaces for fans, a lengthy beer list and special sandwiches available for purchase.

If you’re a true Bloody Mary enthusiast like I am, you’ll want to be sure to add this one to your list!


We recently visited Comet Cafe on Milwaukee’s East Side.

Comet has been around for over 20 years, specializing in comfort foods like home-style meatloaf, cheesy-gooey sandwiches (like the Classic Cheesy Tomato, which I tried) as well as breakfast everyday until 3pm. They are also well-known for their free baskets of bacon during happy hour, Bacon Night on Sundays and their bloody marys.

Comet has appeared on many Milwaukee round-up lists of the best Bloody Marys, but I had somehow never made it there…until now.

I headed down to Comet around 11am on Labor Day with a friend planning on grabbing a quick drink, not really thinking it would be difficult to get in…. We were surprised to find ourselves saddled with a 40-minute wait just to get in the door. Even bar seating was not first-come, first-serve. Since we had already driven down to the East Side, we were committed to making this happen. We decided that if we were going to go through the trouble of a wait and getting seated properly, we might as well eat there, too.

We were finally seated (inside, at the bar) and it took another 10 minutes or so for our server/bartender to address us after a busperson brought us water. We decided we had one shot to order drinks and food, or we’d be waiting even longer. We also contemplated asking for the check up front, too, but decided against it.

Anyway, at long last, our Bloody Marys and food arrived:

Comet Cafe Bloody Mary

MIX: Housemade

CHASER: a Miller High Life pony

FIXIN’S: Lime, olive, mushroom and bacon


From the description: “Our house-made bloody mix with Rehorst Vodka. Comes with BACON (of course!) and the cutest little chaser ever: a 7 oz Miller High Life Pony!”

This bloody mary had a nice overall “fresh” flavor, but was not very spicy. It tasted more like pizza or marinara sauce. We had also read reports that this bloody mary was made with Guinness, but we detected none of that and wonder if the recipe has changed over the years.

Aside from the bacon, the garnish was pretty standard. We enjoyed the bacon but found it to be a little limp for our drink on this particular day.

We enjoyed our (huge servings of) food and left full, almost two hours later.

The verdict?

If you’re in Milwaukee, Comet is an institution and you should definitely check it out–just be prepared to wait. The Bloody Mary is pretty good, but if you’re just looking for a beverage, there are plenty of other quicker and just-as-good (if not better) options close by.


We recently visited Champp’s Americana in Brookfield, Wis. on a recommendation from a trusted friend. We were told their bloodies were huge with lots o’ fixin’s, just the way we prefer.

However, we stopped in on a Wednesday for dinner and found out the bloodies we were picturing are only available on weekends. (Indeed. Their website boasts “Ginormous Bloody Mary’s” from 11am-4pm.)We won’t knock ’em for that, seems to be a common practice.

Anyway, we’ll review what we got.

Champps Americana Bloody mary


MIX: Housemade

CHASER: Grapefruit Shandy (pick your own)

FIXIN’S: Lime, lime, pickle, olive

PRICE: $Unsure

This bloody mary had a nice overall flavor, but was pretty average by our standards. Looks like you get a much bigger glass, a beefstick and maybe some cheese on the weekends, but nothing over-the-top then either. That said, though, Champp’s is a great place to watch a game, so if you find yourself at Champp’s on the weekend, you should definitely give the Ginormous Bloody Mary a shot. We know we will.

We recently visited Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Milwaukee.

Although obviously known for their beer, we had to try their Bloody Mary.

Rock Bottom Brewery Bloody Mary

MIX: Housemande

CHASER: Their pale ale

FIXIN’S: Lime, olive and celery


This bloody mary had a nice overall flavor, but was pretty average by our standards. Not something we’d seek out for a brunch, but something we’d enjoy again while dining here.

We recently visited Schwabenhof Bar in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

This is a large establishment that does catering and hosts parties in addition to serving dinner and having a large bar.

The bar has a large assortment of German beer in addition to a cocktail menu.

The Bloody Mary was listed on the menu, so we ordered one up:


Mix: Zing Zang, plus added spices.

Chaser: Bud Lite

Fixin’s:  Lemon and 2 Olives

Price: $5

This was made with Zing Zang, which we like, so the flavor was good. The fixin’s were very standard, but it came with a chaser and it was only $5, so we can’t complain, especially for a place with such a simple menu.


We recently visited Scott E’s Pub in West Allis, Wisconsin on a Friday afternoon during Happy Hour. From 11am to 7pm, drinks are 2-for-1, including, as we found out, their Bloody Marys!

Scott E's Pub Bloody Mary

Mix: Their own–I asked for it spicy and it was very!

Chaser: Miller Lite

Fixin’s:  Lemon, Lime, Olives and Pickle

Price: $6 but it was during happy hour and 2-for-1 drinks applied to the Bloody!

There was not a lot that stood out about this Bloody Mary, but the taste of the base was good and they get bonus points for the mason jar. However, since most places do not include a Bloody Mary in their Happy Hour specials, this instantly elevates Scott E’s Pub in our books.

They also do $5 Bloody Marys on Sundays from 3-8pm.


This morning, I had brunch with friends at Burke’s Lakeside in Oconomowoc.

For just $12.95, you can access a full buffet with all kinds of breakfast and lunch foods, including made-to-order omelets and pasta.

The food was good, but we really came to try the Wisconsin Supper Club Bloody Mary, aptly named because is served with fixin’s on a Lazy Susan:

Burke's Lakeside Supper Club Bloody Mary

To get the full effect, you really have to watch this video, which offers a 360 view:

Here’s a slide show:

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Mix: They use Zing Zang.

Chaser: Lagunitas Ipa

Fixin’s:  See photos… bacon, hardboiled egg, pickle, pepper, celery, shrimp, cheese, pepperoni, pickled veggies, tomatoes, tater tots and shrimp

Price: $10

Burke’s is a pilgrimage every bloody mary fan needs to make at least once. The Wisconsin Supper Club Bloody Mary is only served on Sundays, so you’ll want to make the most of your trip and plan on staying for brunch. Cheers!