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Milwaukee Road Trip, and not a bratwurst had [pics]

Milwaukee Road Trip, and not a bratwurst had [pics]
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  • Post #121 - September 8th, 2014, 11:52 am
    Post #121 - September 8th, 2014, 11:52 am Post #121 - September 8th, 2014, 11:52 am
    I've made my way up to and thru my favorite quick-trip from the city on multiple occasions this summer. Got lots to post about but will do so in increments of threes with similar stops in each. First up is the city's thriving farm to table with housemade cocktails scene. There will be bratwurst this trip.
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    Blue Jacket

    One of my favorite cocktail bars visited on the trail since they've become a big thing. I love the setup of the place which has lots of light when they open the front window and let the breeze come thru on a nice summer night. The theme here is the Great Lakes and sailors so you can expect lots of gin based cocktails made with Midwest spirits. Their daily grog has been awesome each visit I've been in. Equally as good are their fried Brussels sprouts which might be the best vegetable dish I had this summer. Topped with some shredded Parmesan cheese these are all about the perfect crispiness they achieve when making them. Perfect paired with a local beer.

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    Fried Brussel Sprouts
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    Odd Duck

    I know there's a few mentions of this spot on here already and I'll go ahead and give it another. The trendy type menu is meant to be shared, whats nice is the prices don't reflect the trend. Said menu looked pretty good so we took a table out back in the spacious patio area. I thought it was a really chill spot with some tasty plates of food to go with the vibe thus I left very happy with my meal. Surprisingly the best bite might of been the plate we ordered off the non-meat part of the menu. The eggplant fries were a real winner but the housemade bratwurst dish was no slouch either. That would be great paired with an Oktoberfest on a crisp cool evening. I'll be back.

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    Hawaiian Spearfish Sashimi, Watermelon Relish, Fingerling Potato, Sesame Soy Vinaigrette, Radish Sprouts

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    Honey Drizzled Eggplant Fries, Turmeric, Sesame Seeds, Fresh Mint

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    Grilled House Bratwurst, Butter Poached Red Potatoes, Red Cabbage, Dill, Mustard Emulsion
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    Wolf Peach

    Stopped into here this past weekend as I've been meaning to check it out but never got the chance. We had an excellent meal amongst the fresh grown produce they upkeep in the garden out back in the outdoor dining patio. I highly recommend sitting there if the weather is right although I loved the inside design and layout. It really impressed as did the food. Who knew there were so many great non-meat items on offer in MKE? Times are changing and the crispy cauliflower dish we got to start was part of the reason why. Everything in it worked in perfect harmony. The pinwheel trout was even better as the tomatoes which were grown right next to where I was sitting were as good as they'll get in 2014. Sitting in a potent corn broth this was one of my favorite dishes this summer. I almost swore off pork belly recently as its become the trendiest most un-original dish on every hip $$ place to open in the last few years. I'm glad I asked if this was extra crispy with no chewy fat to spare and got a yes because it was my favorite preparation using pigs belly to date. The rich gravy was reminiscent of a perfect plate of Veal Marsala. One of the best meals I've ate this year. I'll be back for sure.

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    Crispy Cauliflower, pickled chickpea, tomato, olive, caper, parsley, aleppo pepper

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    Pinwheel Rushing Waters Trout, Roasted Pepper, Garden Tomato, Corn Broth, Amaranth

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    Milk Braised Pork Belly, lone duck mizuna, easter egg radish, fennel, lavender salt
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    Blue Jacket
    135 E National Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53204
    (414) 312-7098

    Odd Duck Restaurant
    2352 S Kinnickinnic Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53207
    (414) 763-5881

    Wolf Peach
    1818 N Hubbard St
    Milwaukee, WI 53212
    (414) 374-8480
  • Post #122 - November 6th, 2014, 9:59 pm
    Post #122 - November 6th, 2014, 9:59 pm Post #122 - November 6th, 2014, 9:59 pm
    Next post up! Been hitting up a few MKE taco spots here and there on my travels up the lake and thought I might as well throw them up on here, along with one of my favorite dives in town.
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    Bel Air Cantina

    I've visited many of the modern upscale taquerias that have taken the country by storm and can say that we have it pretty damn good in Chicago. I say so because at least half of the time if not more than, the place ends up disappointing. Whereas in Chicago even the not so popular yuppified taco spots tend to be better than many of the rest I've tried elsewhere in the States. No difference here. While the building which it sits in on the river is really cool and a great place to drink on a nice day, the tacos here are expensive (more than $3) and average at best.

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    The Fried Avocado Taco was alright but it wasn't what I was hoping for
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    Cempazuchi Comida Brava

    Another new school Mexican restaurant, I preferred this visit to an East Brady street favorite. Like most of these places the inside is really pleasant on the eyes with lots of bright colors and skull art abound. We plopped down at the bar and enjoyed their house margarita and and order of the Tacos de Tio Isreael. This was a plate of three tacos made with fried lake perch rolled in blue corn meal served with a chipotle mayo and lime cabbage slaw with a side of beans and rice. Much more original than the common piece of fried tilapia.

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    Cornmeal Crusted Lake Perch Tacos
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    Taqueria El Charrito Taco Truck

    Milwaukee has a thriving taco truck scene. Some of them even specialize in things other than tacos such as tortas and hamburguesas. This truck here is a favorite of mine, but not for the tacos. Though before I get to it I should note that the tacos here are actually pretty damn good and well worth the $2 asking price. The steak is just tiny chopped bits but they're well crisped and it's the little things that can take a taco from average to above average. Such as the inclusion of some avocado and also a properly griddled tortilla.

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    Carne Asada con Aguacate

    My go-to order from here is the charro beans. Loaded with steak, bacon, al pastor, cheap chopped wieners, onions and other little odds and ends they've been better at night, probably because they sat around all day but at a buck and change a cup these really hit the spot after a few games of mini bowling.

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    Charro Beans
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    Koz's Mini Bowl

    Mini Bowling? Yep at one of my favorite dives in Milwaukee. Koz's, like so many other taverns in town, sits on a residential corner and more times than not you'll find the El Charitto taco truck sitting outside. Inside is an old school Wisconsin style tavern with a surprise in the back.

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    The Bar

    This turn back the clock drinking spot has it's own four lane miniature bowling alley. Same as it ever was, pin setters included. The first time I came into here after a day of drinking at the Brewers/Cubs game I fell in love with it and try and stop in each trip up the lake that I take. The problem is Milwaukee has a couple handful of amazing old school drinking establishments, cant get to them all each trip.

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    Mini Bowling Alley

    I took Jefe and Laikom here on a ride we took recently and as everyone who goes there does, we had a grand ole time. Luckily I didn't ask that there be wages placed on the games as Laikom turned out to be a regular bowler, thus spares and strikes were common for him. Once you get the hang of the roll here it can be pretty easy to put up your best score ever. Games are a couple bucks per ten frames and make sure to tip your pinsetter as there's faster ways of making money and they're choosing not to go that route. Milwaukee, great place to drink...and eat.

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    Chicago Softball Sized Bowling Balls
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    Bel Air Cantina
    1935 N Water St
    Milwaukee, WI 53202
    (414) 226-2245

    Cempazuchi Comida Brava
    1205 E Brady St
    Milwaukee, WI 53202
    (414) 291-5233

    El Charitto Taco Truck
    * Parked across the street

    Koz's Mini Bowl *
    2078 S 7th St
    Milwaukee, WI 53204
    (414) 383-0560
  • Post #123 - November 10th, 2014, 8:43 pm
    Post #123 - November 10th, 2014, 8:43 pm Post #123 - November 10th, 2014, 8:43 pm
    Suggestion for a future trip up here -- a Longman & Eagle partner, a former Odd Duck chef and another guy finally opened The Vanguard in Bay View a few days ago. I haven't been there yet but people I know are raving about it even with the limited menu they're starting out with. I'm kinda curious about their "house Cheez Wiz"...

    Link to some local press

    The Vanguard
    2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
    Milwaukee, WI 53207
  • Post #124 - November 15th, 2014, 10:43 am
    Post #124 - November 15th, 2014, 10:43 am Post #124 - November 15th, 2014, 10:43 am
    phaseolus wrote:Suggestion for a future trip up here -- a Longman & Eagle partner, a former Odd Duck chef and another guy finally opened The Vanguard in Bay View a few days ago. I haven't been there yet but people I know are raving about it even with the limited menu they're starting out with. I'm kinda curious about their "house Cheez Wiz"...

    Thanks for posting this; I wouldn't have found this place otherwise.

    Hot Doug's is clearly an influence, from the judicious application of interesting toppings and sauces, to the rolls, even the thinner cut of the fries. From what I saw, I'd say they're about 80% there. I'd like to go back to try it before midnight, as a few of the sausages we sampled were a bit dry -- I chalk that up to the late hour and the general craziness surrounding the grand opening. The sausages themselves had tons of flavor, though, and the fantastic camel sausage (on special) really showed what this place can do.

    By the way, this place is LOUD. As in, Kuma's called and asked them to turn it down. Again, could have been the time we were there.
  • Post #125 - May 4th, 2015, 9:05 am
    Post #125 - May 4th, 2015, 9:05 am Post #125 - May 4th, 2015, 9:05 am
    Another attempt in getting some others to share some stuff over here, the board has been pretty sluggish of late but it did pick up in the last week, maybe we can continue forward with the momentum? Talking to all the people so quick to support their favorite GNR's but give little to the board outside of that. Step your game up. Today's trip to MKE is a sausage centric one. I'd say encased meats is something most people would associate foodwise with the biggest city in the state of Wisconsin but that said theres not many famous well known places pushing 100 year old recipes. Though there seems to be a recent boom in the trade.

    phaseolus wrote:Suggestion for a future trip up here -- a Longman & Eagle partner, a former Odd Duck chef and another guy finally opened The Vanguard in Bay View a few days ago. I haven't been there yet but people I know are raving about it even with the limited menu they're starting out with. I'm kinda curious about their "house Cheez Wiz"...

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    The Vanguard

    The Vanguard has become my go-to food/drink spot while up here which is quite often with a recent consulting gig I took at the casino. Everyone I've stopped in with really seems to enjoy the place as I have yet to hear any complaints. As mentioned up above The Vanguard is co-owned by a Longman & Eagle partner, who like many others, decided to make the move north. So far so good.

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    a peek inside

    The menu has switched up a few things here and there but as long as they keep doing what they're doing it's all going to be great. The combination of craft sausages and draft cocktails is so Milwaukee you just know this place is going to deliver the goods. The drinks are all $8 and for the most part have been satisfying while the sausages range in price from 4-8 dollars per link. What I really respect about this place is all of the encased meats are made on-site. My one minor gripe is the choice of S. Rosen's buns. Milwaukee and the entire state of Wisconsin is a bakers paradise, there has to be better. The Sheboygan Hard Rolls for one. The different sausage creations all have flavor inspirations from around the globe. Some stick close to the old world way (Housemade Brat) while others read like they were made at Midnight after catching the Munchies while watching a marathon of 'That 70's Show.'

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    Red Hot Zerkel (Pork Sausage / Powered Flamin' Hot) house cheese whiz, onion ring, pickled jalapeno

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    Piri Piri Pork (Pork Sausage / Piri Piri Sauce) pickled cactus, bleu cheese, hot sauce

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    Kilig (Pork Sausage / Palm Sugar / Soy Sauce) lime, bean sprout, basil, cilantro, chili sauce, hoisin

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    Jamaican Lamb Currywurst (Lamb and Pork Sausage) served on a bed of fresh cut fries, Jamaican curry, caramelized onion, scotch bonnet jam
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    Goodkind

    Next stop up is Goodkind, also in the Bay View neighborhood. These guys were one of the pioneers in the recent rotisserie cooking trend as they were doing it when they opened a couple years back. The machine sits in the partially open air kitchen which sits inside the redone house it calls its address. Classic Midwest vibes inside as they stay open late (1a) and have an impressive beer list as well as original house cocktails. I've enjoyed plopping down at the bar a couple times. The food is always on point, though we did have a calamari dish that was too heavily salted one trip in.

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    Spicy Crab Pasta - Bucatini | San Marzano Tomato | Dungeness Crab | Rapini |Pepperoni | Basil Oil

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    Hungarian Gyula Sausage - Duck Fat Cabbage Noodles | Dill Pollen Sour Cream
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    Mekong Cafe

    Last stop is a spot thats been serving a wonderful selection of Thai, Laos and Vietnamese Cuisines since 2008. You'll want to zero in on the Laotian part of the menu and Grandma Chanta’s Special which happens to be her old family recipe sausage. It's made with sauteed Laotian herbs and served in your choice of chicken or pork with steamed vegetables and an extra funky Laos style papaya salad. It definitely hits the spot. Anyone got anything to share over here or have I fallen on deaf ears? It takes a village.

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    Grandma Chanta’s Laotian Sausage
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    The Vanguard
    2659 S Kinnickinnic Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53207
    (414) 539-3593

    Goodkind
    2457 S Wentworth Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53207
    (414) 763-4706

    Mekong Cafe
    5930 W North Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53208
    (414) 257-2228
  • Post #126 - May 5th, 2015, 9:01 am
    Post #126 - May 5th, 2015, 9:01 am Post #126 - May 5th, 2015, 9:01 am
    Da Beef wrote:Another attempt in getting some others to share some stuff over here, the board has been pretty sluggish of late but it did pick up in the last week, maybe we can continue forward with the momentum? Talking to all the people so quick to support their favorite GNR's but give little to the board outside of that. Step your game up.


    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Image
    The Vanguard

    The Vanguard has become my go-to food/drink spot while up here which is quite often with a recent consulting gig I took at the casino. Everyone I've stopped in with really seems to enjoy the place as I have yet to hear any complaints. As mentioned up above The Vanguard is co-owned by a Longman & Eagle partner, who like many others, decided to make the move north. So far so good.

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    a peek inside

    The menu has switched up a few things here and there but as long as they keep doing what they're doing it's all going to be great. The combination of craft sausages and draft cocktails is so Milwaukee you just know this place is going to deliver the goods. The drinks are all $8 and for the most part have been satisfying while the sausages range in price from 4-8 dollars per link. What I really respect about this place is all of the encased meats are made on-site. My one minor gripe is the choice of S. Rosen's buns. Milwaukee and the entire state of Wisconsin is a bakers paradise, there has to be better. The Sheboygan Hard Rolls for one. The different sausage creations all have flavor inspirations from around the globe. Some stick close to the old world way (Housemade Brat) while others read like they were made at Midnight after catching the Munchies while watching a marathon of 'That 70's Show.'

    Image
    Red Hot Zerkel (Pork Sausage / Powered Flamin' Hot) house cheese whiz, onion ring, pickled jalapeno

    Image
    Piri Piri Pork (Pork Sausage / Piri Piri Sauce) pickled cactus, bleu cheese, hot sauce

    Image
    Kilig (Pork Sausage / Palm Sugar / Soy Sauce) lime, bean sprout, basil, cilantro, chili sauce, hoisin

    Image
    Jamaican Lamb Currywurst (Lamb and Pork Sausage) served on a bed of fresh cut fries, Jamaican curry, caramelized onion, scotch bonnet jam
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    The Vanguard
    2659 S Kinnickinnic Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53207
    (414) 539-3593



    +1 to all of the above.

    Vanguard quickly has become one of my favorite spots in Milwaukee since first going with Dabeef back in the fall. Wasnt sure about the draft cocktails, but the ones I have had there on a couple of visits tasted great and were boozy as hell(way better than recent "hand crafted" versions at Analogue, & Duseks in Chicago).

    Sausages I have had have been spot on. That Lamb currywurst is top of the list for ones I need to try.
  • Post #127 - May 5th, 2015, 10:12 am
    Post #127 - May 5th, 2015, 10:12 am Post #127 - May 5th, 2015, 10:12 am
    Thanks for this great update! We find ourselves up in Milwaukee a few times a year, and it's nice to add some places to the rotation.
  • Post #128 - May 5th, 2015, 10:25 am
    Post #128 - May 5th, 2015, 10:25 am Post #128 - May 5th, 2015, 10:25 am
    Binko wrote:Thanks for this great update! We find ourselves up in Milwaukee a few times a year, and it's nice to add some places to the rotation.

    Yes, great new information. Thank you.

    About 2 months ago I was expecting and preparing to spend more time in Milwaukee over the next few years but my son turned down Marquette and is going south instead. Still, we're there a few times a year and as far north as we live, it's an easy shot.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #129 - May 10th, 2015, 7:54 am
    Post #129 - May 10th, 2015, 7:54 am Post #129 - May 10th, 2015, 7:54 am
    Da Beef wrote:
    Anyone got anything to share over here or have I fallen on deaf ears? It takes a village.


    Well, the thing is that I don't get up there all that often, so lately we've been alternating Ono Kine Grindz (not great this past time) and the Vanguard (consistently awesome), with maybe a trip to Kopp's thrown in for some extra empty calories. I did wonder about Mekong on the way to OKG; might stop in next time.
  • Post #130 - June 18th, 2015, 1:36 pm
    Post #130 - June 18th, 2015, 1:36 pm Post #130 - June 18th, 2015, 1:36 pm
    Another trio for the MKE database collection. Don't let your big city hardheadedness fool you, Milwaukee has lots of good food options. Tacos, Burgers, Sandwiches. These are things that are pretty much a part of my weekly diet. I can't ever get enough of each of them. Today the focus is sandwiches from three spots worth a stop.
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    Blue Star Cafe

    I know little of the food of East Africa but this little unassuming spot hidden aside a large newly built apartment building always caught my eye and the reviews were all positive so I stopped in for lunch a while ago. The menu is fairly simple with options like platters with a base starch and your choice of meat and also sandwiches, Kay-Kay and Crepes. The Kay Kay was described as a flatbread topped with your choice of meat and both it and a big plate of rice with goat meat were tempting but I wasn't all that hungry so I settled on the steak sandwich I read rave reviews on. Good choice, college kids know a good sandwich when they find one and this visit there was nothing but them and a few cab drivers inside. I don't know if Steak Sandwiches are a big thing in Somalia, doubt it, but I do know Somali food is common in Minneapolis and there's many connections between Minnesota and Wisconsin so it's not surprising to find a Somali restaurant in these parts. The steak was thinly sliced strips cooked in a marinade that the hot green sauce worked in perfect harmony with. The sambusas worked in the same way.

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    Steak Suqar Sandwich
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    Fritz's Pub

    I'd passed by this place for years and always wondered whether or not they were still open and then last summer I rolled by and spotted people coming in and and out and it was a Friday so I went in to try their fish fry. More on that in another thread but I've since gone back for the cheap cold Spotted Cow on tap and also an occasional plate of Serbian comfort food. This is a classic Wisconsin tavern my friends.

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    a peek inside

    Opened in 1978 by a newly located immigrant who used his nickname for the place they have a nice menu of home cooked food, both Serbian and American. The hours are odd though as they're only open on Friday's and Saturday's and on Saturday it's only from 12p to 4p. Friday you got from 1p to 9p. But should you make it into here the housemade Ćevapi called 'Chewaps' on the menu are very good and even better paired with their build your own Shish-ka-bob sandwich. It might not be served as a traditional shish kebab sandwich but the extra tender pork and the potent grilled onions on a sesame seeded roll most likely from Peter Sciortino's Bakery makes for great bar food.

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    Combo Plate: 5 oz. order of Shish-ka-bob & 3 Chewaps
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    Rochester Deli

    eatwisconsin wrote:Not to hijack the thread but the Rochester Deli in Waukesha, WI should be mentioned as a great corned beef (and pastrami) joint as well. http://www.rochesterdeli.com/

    I think their Reuben (my preferred way of eating corned beef) is the best in the Milwaukee region.


    Good call, and one I'm going to have to agree with. As much as I love Jake's Deli, the Reuben sandwich from Rochester Deli is among the best I've had anywhere. The housemade corned beef isn't sliced as thick but the grilled marble rye is what makes it stand out. That and the perfect ratio of everything along with the fantastic toasting/melting job. Good homemade soups too. Thanks for the rec.

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    Reuben Sandwich
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    Blue Star Cafe
    1619 N Farwell Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53202
    (414) 273-9744

    Fritz's Pub
    3086 S 20th St
    Milwaukee, WI 53215
    (414) 643-6995

    Rochester Deli
    143 W Broadway St
    Waukesha, WI 53186
    (262) 522-9611
  • Post #131 - December 9th, 2015, 1:04 pm
    Post #131 - December 9th, 2015, 1:04 pm Post #131 - December 9th, 2015, 1:04 pm
    Some Vanguard news, found on the web:

    Earlier today, the ever-popular restaurant unveiled its five new creations via social media. Needless to say, all five sound ....... great. Here they are:

    THE JACOBS (All Beef Link, onion, Giardinera, Melted Swiss, Side Of Au Jus)

    KHING KHAN (Lamb and Pork Sausage with Chilis and Lemongrass, topped with Red Curry sauce, Carrot, Cilantro, Jalapeños)

    OCTOPUS CHORIZO (Octopus, Chicken, & Pork sausage, topped with Queso Fresco, Corn, Salsa)

    POLISH FLAME (Beef & Pork sausage, Red Hot Gravy, Bleu Cheese, Celery)

    THE JERK CHICKEN (Jerk seasoned Chicken & Pork Sausage, topped with Pineapple & Cucumber slaw, Bleu Cheese)

    The new items are available now.

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