Posts Tagged ‘Wauwatosa’

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!

Earlier this year, we visited  Camp Bar in Shorewood in advance of their opening a second location in Wauwatosa. We enjoyed their Bloody Mary and eagerly anticipated the opening of the Tosa establishment.

It took us over two weeks to get in–each time we thought about heading to Camp Bar, we found it overflowing with folks eager to try out the newest place on North Avenue. While we were happy to see them doing brisk business, we didn’t want to squeeze in at the bar or bump elbows with our neighbors for our first experience there, so we stealthily waited until a Packers Bye Week and headed over to check it out.

There, we had our pick of tables, the chance to sample the Bloody Mary and the opportunity to speak to Brad, the manager for a bit.

Camp Bar Bloody Mary Wauwatosa

Yes, I can now confirm: East Tosa is getting another great Bloody Mary to join the ranks of Juniper 61, Red Dot and the like!

Mix: Homemade

Chaser: Yes–a Rhinelander Shorty!

Fixin’s: Cheese, pickle, asparagus, olive, beefstick, pepperoni

Price: $8 (They also have a 22oz version for $10; they are $6.50 and $8 respectively on Sundays)

While chatting about Bloody Marys, Brad convinced me to try one of their Specialties as well. While their Bloodies are good, Brad admits their Old Fashioneds are really what they pride themselves on. Indeed, they have several special “Signature” versions on their menu.

I tried “The Stevie…” Ginger Brandy and Orange Bitters… out of this world! All old-fashioneds are $5 on Fridays, so you can guess what day I’ll be coming back next time!

Camp Bar

 

This weekend, we stopped at Walters’ on North to sample their Bloody Mary.

We’ve been here before, but have never reviewed this drink.

When ordering, we were asked if we wanted it spicy, medium or mild. I chose medium…but I’d hate to see what spicy tastes like. I could barely finish a quarter of my drink–the horseradish and hot sauce were so potent.

Walters

Mix:Homemade-you could definitely taste the horseradish and hot sauce!

Chaser:Yes

Fixin’s: Summer Sausage, Cheese, Pickle and Olive

Price: $?

I must admit, I was not a fan of this drink.

And, although the people here are friendly and there is definitely that neighborhood pub vibe, I’m also not a fan of the interior of this bar. With carpeting on the floors and that lingering smoke smell from over from 2010 when the smoking ban went into effect, I feel more like I’m in someone’s basement than a pub where I’d like to spend a lot of time. Compared to the other bars on North Avenue, Walters is very dated and in need of renovation. I felt the same way about Shepherd’s before it became Red Dot and now that’s one of my favorite places to go.