Posts Tagged ‘Wauwatosa’

This weekend, we checked out one of Wauwatosa’s newer establishments, Crafty Cow.

Crafty Cow is a family owned bar and restaurant with three locations: Oconomowoc (2014), the Bayview neighborhood of Milwaukee (2016), and East Wauwatosa (2021). They specialize in craft burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as craft beer and craft cocktails.

We were excited to try their “award-winning” Bloody Mary, but unfortunately came away less than impressed:

Spice & Mix: “Award-winning house recipe made with veggie-infused vodka”

Fixin’s: Lemon, Lime, Bacon, Cheese Curd and Pickle (Menu notes olive also but we didn’t get one.)

Chaser: None offered.

Price: $11.

For a place with such a great-looking food menu that prides itself on the craftsmanship of its craft cocktails, I have to say we were very disappointed with this Bloody Mary. The cheese curd was dumped in the Bloody, floating to the bottom on its own, not a toothpick in sight. There was also no chaser offered, which is weird since you’d think they would be pairing it with a craft beer… it just seemed thrown together, almost like they didn’t even care.

Yes, it was brunch time on a Sunday, but the restaurant wasn’t busy at all. In fact, I had to get up from the table to find our server at one point to request more silverware.

As far as food goes, we both had the avocado toast and it was a generous portion with a unique spin (roasted brussels sprouts) and we will say that it was very good and very filling.

We had also dined at the restaurant when it was a previous establishment and we liked what Crafty Cow has done to update the decor.

However, overall, unfortunately we weren’t impressed by the Bloody Mary, the prices, or the service. For more bang for our buck and much better bloodies, especially on a Sunday during a Packers game, we’re heading to the other new burger joint in the neighborhood instead: Badger Burger Company.

We recently stumbled upon a great soup and sandwich spot in Wauwatosa called Tosa Bowl & Bun.

An affordable deli with a soup du jour by day, Tosa Bowl and Bun also offers many dinner specials as well as take and bake and catering options.

We were so happy to find a good soup spot in the area and even happier when we realized they publish their daily soup offerings in calendar format online so you can plan ahead.

Those things alone make this a great spot to grab lunch, especially during these trying winter months, but add in the cute decor that is more than a nod to the building’s bowling alley roots (think tables made out of the wood from the lanes) and $4 Bloodies on Saturdays and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Yes, that’s right. Just $4 gets you this:

Photo Dec 16, 2 21 53 PM

Spice: Not too spicy, but tasty.

Mix: Unsure

Chaser: A shorty of Miller High Life.

Fixin’s: Two olives

Price: $4 on Saturdays

Now we wouldn’t come here specifically for this Bloody Mary, but we would come here especially for the soups….so if you’re offering a $4 Bloody, who would we be to turn that down? It’s pretty average and low on the fixin’s, which would normally be a hindrance, but at that price point, who can resist a Bloody Mary to pair with their tomato bisque?

We highly recommend you check out Tosa Bowl and Bun–it will become one of your regular lunch spots!

We recently dined at Ruscello, the Mediterranean-style restaurant located inside Nordstrom’s Department Store in Mayfair Mall. There, we enjoyed lunch and a Bloody Mary.

Photo Dec 03, 12 21 38 PM.jpg

Spice: Good flavor; lots of spice, but not too spicy in terms of heat.

Mix:Homemade.

Chaser: None offered

Fixin’s: Two Olives, Lemon & Lime

Price: $?

This was a day when the “hair of the dog” was needed–and much appreciated. You can tell that Ruscello at least doctored up a mix (if they didn’t make their own), by how many spices were visible within the drink. Despite the many spices, it didn’t have any odd or overpowering tastes and was not too spicy in terms of heat. I would’ve liked to see a chaser included and/or more fixin’s, but other than that, this was a solid beverage. Thanks, Ruscello!

 

We recently paid a visit to Lucky Joe’s Alchemy and Eatery a relatively new “speakeasy” type establishment in the Wauwatosa Village.

When the restaurant first opened over the summer, it was intended to be the speakeasy sister of Lucky Joe’s Tiki Bar in downtown Milwaukee; however, soon after the Wauwatosa bar opened, the Tiki Bar closed.

We were big fans of the Tiki Bar and love to try new places, so we visited the Tosa location about 1-2 weeks after it opened, looking forward to the speakeasy vibe on a weekend evening.

Unfortunately, we had a disappointing experience and chalked it up to their newness, so we decided to give them another try, this time, for brunch.

Lucky Joe’s AE currently serves a “eat what you’re given” brunch, which consists of two ham sandwiches, cheesey mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs, plus your choice of a Bloody Mary or mimosa for $14.

Lucky Joe's Brunch

This seemed like a good idea, so we headed there on a brutally cold Sunday morning. Perhaps the weather kept the crowds away, but we ended up being the only people in the place the entire time we were there.

The brunch was very good and filling, but as-is, for us, it is not worth returning. If you only love exactly what they provide, this is the place for you… But we like options, and frankly, we were also disappointed with the bloody.

Lucky Joe's Bloody Mary

MIX: Jimmy Luv’s

CHASER: Miller Lite

FIXIN’S: Beefstick and pickle

PRICE: $14 (includes Brunch)

A place like this prides itself on its craft cocktails, so we were really hoping the Bloody Mary would be something special. Jimmy Luv’s and modest fixin’s left us wanting more. You get a ton of food (we had to take half ours home) for a great price, but I would have paid more for a great Bloody Mary. They should think about creating a house mix and infusing their own vodka, or at the very least adding so flair in the fixin’s.

We want so badly to like this place and to see businesses succeed in this community, but our first two trips have left something to be desired. We will give it one more shot on a weeknight happy hour-perhaps that’s when they’ll shine.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a brunch option, you certainly can’t go wrong with this one. Our waitress also hinted that they might be expanding their menu as well, which would be very welcome.

 

 

 

One weeknight, we stopped at Mo’s Irish Pub in Wauwatosa for Happy Hour and had a Bloody Mary, along with a wide array of appetizers.

The Mo’s in Wauwatosa is the second Mo’s Irish Pub location, with the original being downtown. Mo’s has now expanded to Texas and Indiana as well, as it is quite popular.

We’ve had Mo’s Bloody Mary in the past, but couldn’t remember reviewing it for the site. We looked back and it appears that somehow we’ve missed posting about Mo’s, so we’re making up for it now.

Mo's Irish Pub Bloody Mary

MIX: Housemade with Guinness

CHASER: Miller Lite

FIXIN’S: Lime, Lemon, Pickle, Olive

PRICE: $Unsure

We hadn’t been to Mo’s in probably over a year until we met up with friends there for Happy Hour. It’s relatively close to where we live, work and play, but not some place we frequent on a regular basis. We don’t dislike Mo’s, it’s just not one of our favorite, regular haunts.

It’s usually super-packed on the weekends, too, which can be a turn-off for us. And, as far as their Bloody Mary goes, is pretty nondescript. The flavor is decent (they’re an Irish Pub and the menu says they put Guinness in it), but the fixin’s are pretty standard and, even though we weren’t buying the round, we recall their drink prices being higher than other places.

Don’t get us wrong–Mo’s is a popular place (hence the super-packedness) and they have a nice menu–but this just isn’t one of our favorite places to grab a bloody.

Come instead to  listen to some live music on a weekend, or to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (when they really do it big).

Recently, I visited Cafe Hollander in Wauwatosa again.

Cafe Hollander Bloody Mary

Can’t believe we hadn’t tried the Godfather IV, which is made with Rehorst basil-garlic infused vodka with thyme and oregano and basil bloody mary mix and  toped with a caprese skewer and balsamic grilled aparagus, before.

It’s larger than your normal bloody mary (and $2 more than the next most expensive ones) and it was quite delicious.

On this same trip, we also tried the Buenos Dias (but with vodka):

Cafe Hollander Buenos Dias

However, after eating lunch and downing the Godfather, we hate to admit it, but we couldn’t even finish the whole thing!

Cafe Hollander

Seems like they change out their bloodies here on a regular basis, which keeps me coming back (again and again and again, obviously). Of the above list, I’ve now tried them all with the exception of the Southsider. I’m a big fan of the Milwaukeean and the Frenchie as well.  You can read my original Cafe Hollander post here.

Cheers!

 

Recently, I visited Cafe Hollander in Wauwatosa again.

Cafe Hollander

This time, I had the La Maria Verde. It was very good with quite a bit of kick! (Although, with a name like that, I expected it to be a) made with Tequila and b) be a greener hue.)

Cafe Hollander La Maria Verde

Seems like they change out their bloodies here on a regular basis, as the Hasta Manana is no longer an option (replaced by the Buenos Dias, I’d imagine). Of the above list, I’ve tried them all with the exception of the Buenos Dias and the Southsider. I’m a big fan of the Milwaukeean and the Frenchie as well.  You can read my original Cafe Hollander post here.

Cheers!

 

Club Tap is the quintessential neighborhood bar. It’s a small, one-room space that is more long and narrow than it is short and wide.

It’s not a hip, popular place to visit and they don’t serve food.

But it is a bar within walking distance of many in the Pasadena and Swan Neighborhoods and you can count on them to be open pretty much anytime; they boast that they are open 365 days of the year. They even open by 9am on the Fourth of July to serve those coming out to watch the Independence Day Parade.

Recently the bar was taken under ownership by those who own Lalli’s Pizza, a carryout and delivery establishment next door to the Tap. The bar closed for about a week this summer and the locals eagerly anticipated the much-needed renovations were were sure they would be making.

No dice. When we came back, the place was the same old tap with just a few new faces behind the bar. However, one night a friend of mine was in there and noticed they were touting a Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar on Sundays. We noted we would have to give it a try.

The Tap has always been pretty much your beer and on-the-rocks type of bar. You won’t find any frozen drinks and since you’re more likely to end your night there then head there to watch a college football game on a Saturday, it’s a not place you’d seek out for a good Bloody Mary.

Recently, while looking for a place to watch a Packers game, it occurred to us that we still hadn’t gotten around to trying the BYO Bar at the Tap.

When we walked in, there was no sign of it, however. When we asked, we were were told, “Oh yeah, we have that, but not during Packers games.” Yeah, because that makes a ton of sense… There were only about 7 people in the place as it is. You’d think they’d want to sweeten the deal to make Club Tap a destination for sporting events like these. But, true to form, the Tap is a tell-it-like-it-is, we-don’t-care-what-anyone-else-thinks, take-it-or-leave-it type of place. They have never been and never will be a place that tries to impress. At least they’re not trying to be something they aren’t?

I say all of this lovingly, mind you. I have a love-hate relationship with this bar. So we went ahead and ordered a Bloody Mary anyway.

Club Tap

Mix: Homemade and very good!

Chaser: Yes–Miller Lite

Fixin’s: Two Olives and a Pickle

Price: $7

This Bloody Mary was actually quite tasty. And while we were some of the only people in there during the game, we did enjoy the free Lalli’s Pizza and breadsticks at half-time and the free shots for when the Packers scored. The bartender was friendlier than those we remember from the past and all in all, we had a decent time during the game.

If it were me, I’d advise them to add the Bloody Mary Bar back on all Sundays, especially during Packers games and maybe advertise the free pizza & shots deal a bit better (or at all). They might find that slowly their perception starts to change and they might even attract people from out of the area.

 

 

Last week, I wrote about the Growler Gallery, a bar/store adjacent to Ray’s Wine and Spirits that has several different craft/specialty brews on tap at any given time. Customers can taste the beer and purchase it to take home in different size “growler” vessels. The gallery and tasting room has become quite the hangout, so they’ve added the option to purchase pints, flights and limited snacks during specified times/sporting events. And then last weekend, something amazing happened. Ray’s began offering Bloodies! RaysWhen I inquired about the mix, I was told it was Kaleb, of the beer specialists’, wife, Nic’s, recipe. In follow up, today, that fabulous recipe was posted online.

 

Thanks to Kaleb and Nic for sharing this with us! I encourage you all to check it out.

Cheers!

As if the local liquor store in Wauwatosa wasn’t already the best around… within the last year, Ray’s Wine and Spirits has added a Growler Gallery and, as of last week, they are also serving up Bloody Marys on Sundays: Rays2 For those of you unfamiliar with the Growler Gallery, it is a bar/store adjacent to Ray’s Wine and Spirits that has several different craft/specialty brews on tap at any given time. Customers can taste the beer and purchase it to take home in different size “growler” vessels. The gallery and tasting room has become quite the hangout, so they’ve added the option to purchase pints, flights and limited snacks during specified times/sporting events. And then last weekend, something amazing happened. Ray’s began offering Bloodies! Rays Mix: Homemade

Chaser: Yes, choose from what’s on tap!

Fixin’s: Pickles, two olives, beef stick and string cheese

Price: $6

This Bloody Mary was quite spicy & flavorful. When I inquired about the mix, I was told it was Kaleb, of the beer specialists’, wife, Nic’s, recipe.  I was told she runs saucedblog.com, but that site is currently not working, so unfortunately I don’t have a way to thank her directly for her delicious addition to one of my favorite stores. Nic, if you’re reading this, will you share your recipe with our readers?

I’m already a regular at Ray’s Growler Gallery and now you can bet they’ll be seeing even more of me.

I highly encourage you to check them out!

Cheers!