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 Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats

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wanderingjew

  • Total Posts: 7410
  • Joined: 1/18/2001
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
  • Roadfood Insider
Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Thu, 06/23/11 8:27 PM (permalink)
After 9  months of purgatory, I just completed my first real road trip.
 
Unlike my previous trips- this trip is actually going to be divided into two trip reports.
Part I and part II will represent different themes of this trip. 
 
For the first time, after owning my digitial camera of 5 years (and which I don't intend to discard anytime soon) I just discovered I can control the shutter speed and add more light, I also learned I can control the intensity of the flash when needed, however on this trip I tried to avoid using flash as much as possible, unfortunately when lighting was completely minimal or when the lighting was completely garish, I didn't have a choice.
 
Thursday June 9
 
Although I was hoping to get an early start with a 6:05 AM flight, my trip almost came to an abrupt end when they nearly cancelled flights to where I was heading due to inclimate weather. After departing and returning to the gate twice, we finally took off and I landed in Chicago at almost noon time, over 4 hours late.
 
After grabbing my checked luggage and getting a rental, I finally arrived at my first destination.
 

 
Lou Malnati's
 
Although my  intention was to visit the original location in Lincolnwood, due to arriving late and being welcomed by heavy traffic and no direct route, I ended up visiting the Southside location which the website described as being "soulful". Well as long as they don't put chitlins or ham hocks on my pizza, then that is perfectly ok with me.
 
The decor was tastefully done, with a nod to Chicago's African American sports heroes.
 

 
I got the Malnati's Chicago Classic which includes sausage surrounded by chunky tomato sauce, a heaping helping of gooey mozzarella, housed on their famous butter crust.
 
Here is the ultimate money shot.
 

 
I ordered a small pie 
 

 
(and yes, believe it or not, I actually finished it!)
 
Lou Malnati's was just as good as I remembered, but I wondered if the original location would have been even better?
 
After lunch, I checked into my hotel in the Lincoln Park/Lakeview area and took a walk exploring my surroundings. Oh I forgot to mention, it was 91 degrees and humid in Rhode Island the day before, it was now 50 degrees in Chicago and gray.
 
After enjoying a brew at Goose Island Brewery (after getting lost thinking I was on Clark street but was actually on Broadway) - good that meant extra walking for me- I took the short train ride to downtown. and enjoyed this view of Wrigley from the train station
 
 
I arrived at my dinner stop
 

 

 
Gene and Georgetti's
 
Classic old school Italian. Sinatra playing in the background.  And a classic Roadfood
ambience
 

 

 

 
My dinner began with crusty Italian Bread
 

 
and a delicious salad
 

 
but it was the main course that deserved the most attention
 

 
Shrimp De Jonge- 
 
A generous portion of shrimp drenched in a thick garlic sauce bursting with flavor. 
Truly my first highlight of the trip and a top 10 contender for the year. 
 
And although I just "picked" at them. 
 

 
the fried potatoes were also really good.
 
After dinner I walked back to the subway station to get to my ballgame that evening.
 

 
The White Sox vs the Oakland Athletics at US Cellular field.
 

 
Unfortunately my camera died after this shot. I didn't realize I needed new batteries and didn't bring any with me.
 
I did manage to get this shot of the scoreboard from my cellphone
 

 
After the 7th inning stretch, the White Sox were winning. I was exhausted as I was up since 4 AM. I left in the 8th inning and took the train back to my hotel. 
 
Much more to come
<message edited by wanderingjew on Thu, 06/23/11 8:36 PM>
 
#1
    buffetbuster

    Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Thu, 06/23/11 9:39 PM (permalink)
    Great start WJ!  Love the shot of the Shrimp de Jonghe.  How was the service at Gene & Georgetti's?
     
    #2
      billyboy

      • Total Posts: 2363
      • Joined: 1/23/2005
      • Location: New York City, NY
      Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 12:22 AM (permalink)
      Lovin' it already, WJ!  Someday I'll make it to the Windy City and my first order of business will be an Italian beef sandwich and  some deep dish pizza.  Can't wait to see the rest of the report!
       
      #3
        MiamiDon

        Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 7:43 AM (permalink)
        Glad to see you out of retirement, wanderingjew
         
        Genuine Shrimp de Jonghe and Chicago Deep-dish Pizza are on my bucket list.
         
        #4
          agnesrob

          • Total Posts: 1790
          • Joined: 6/4/2006
          • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
          Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 8:07 AM (permalink)
          Yay! I always look forward to your trip reports! Great start. That deep dish pizza looks so good! Why oh why do I read something like this before having breakfast!!
           
          #5
            wanderingjew

            • Total Posts: 7410
            • Joined: 1/18/2001
            • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
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            Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 9:03 AM (permalink)
            Buffetbuster
             
            The service at Gene and Georgetti's was nothing short of excellent. The staff was very attentive, however I got there early (just after 5pm) and it wasn't that crowded yet.
             
            Billyboy
             
            One thing about Chicago, if I lived there I would probably weigh 500 lbs- there is something about those rustbelt cities  and their local food that just really draws me to them. It's no wonder why this is my favorite part of the country from a food perspective.
             
            Miami Don

            It's good to be out of retirement- although I will be heading back there after the summer is over (at least until next year's glee club event)
             
            agnesrob
             
            I always wait until after my morning ritual of hot oat bran and egg whites  (I'm not joking too) before looking at trip reports.
             
            #6
              brisketboy

              • Total Posts: 1058
              • Joined: 6/11/2007
              • Location: Austin, TX
              Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 9:19 AM (permalink)
              WJ, I grew up where you walked and I still miss the places you visited even though it's been 30 years since I left. Always a pleasure to read your posts.
               
              #7
                wanderingjew

                • Total Posts: 7410
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                • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
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                Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 10:42 AM (permalink)
                Thanks brisketboy,

                Chicago is such a walkable city- and that's a good thing considering all the great food. The following morning I ended up walking 2 miles (just to get a cup of good coffee!) and then walked at least another 4 or 5 miles in the evening, but we'll get to that in the next chapter
                 
                #8
                  Sundancer7

                  Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 11:11 AM (permalink)
                  WJ:  Thanks for your write.  Chicago is also one of my favorite stops.  I have been there way too many times.  I have always enjoyed Chicago and particuarly downtown although the good food is out of the city.
                   
                  Paul E. Smith
                  Knoxville, TN
                   
                  #9
                    waltpiii

                    Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 12:13 PM (permalink)
                    Great Report!!
                     
                    Walt
                     
                    #10
                      Mosca

                      • Total Posts: 2936
                      • Joined: 5/26/2004
                      • Location: Mountain Top, PA
                      Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 12:31 PM (permalink)
                      Thanks man. Next time we're in Chi, we're going to trace some of your steps, I think Mrs Mosca would go wild over that shrimp.
                       
                      #11
                        ann peeples

                        • Total Posts: 8317
                        • Joined: 5/21/2006
                        • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                        Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Fri, 06/24/11 1:58 PM (permalink)
                        Now you know, Dale, which part of the report I am holding out for! Otherwise, fantastic to see the first leg of the trip.
                         
                        #12
                          ChiTownDiner

                          Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 4:50 PM (permalink)
                          Solid choices for those opening stops...all except The Cell!!!
                           
                          #13
                            ChicagoIrish

                            • Total Posts: 71
                            • Joined: 2/15/2008
                            • Location: Chicago, IL
                            Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 5:40 PM (permalink)
                            Hope you were able to visit the original Intelligencia on Broadway, my favorite coffee in the city!
                             
                            #14
                              wanderingjew

                              • Total Posts: 7410
                              • Joined: 1/18/2001
                              • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
                              • Roadfood Insider
                              Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 5:57 PM (permalink)
                              Paul,
                               
                              Yes, some of the best roadfood joints are outside of the city. Other than a morsel in chapter 2, you'll have to wait till chapter 4 for some more Chi Town style roadfood.
                               
                              Ann

                              Thanks- and yes! Stay tuned for chapter 3.
                               
                              Chi Town Diner
                               
                              If only the Cubbies were in town!
                               
                              Friday June 10
                               
                              After breakfast courtesy  of Dr Atkins (yes Atkins bars) I have to hold back somewhere! I made the rounds of two chicago coffee houses- Intelligentsia and Noble Tree Coffee Roasters.
                               
                              After completing a round trip walk of two miles in the process I was on my way to points north.
                               
                              First stop.
                               

                               
                              Paradise Pup
                               
                              In Des Plaines. Buddy Roadhouse insisted that I visit. The hours are limited 11 AM to 5 PM and Buddy warned me the lines could get ridiculously long during peak hours. I arrived at 10:30 AM and was the first in line.
                               
                              I perused the menu
                               

                               
                              but already knew what I wanted. By the time 11 AM rolled around there were already at least 20 people on line. 
                               
                              I ordered the Char Dog dragged through th garden and the Char Burger with Merk Cheddar and grilled onions.
                               

                               

                               
                              The hot dog, bursting with flavor held its own to the vegetable garden that was dumped on top of it. 
                              And the char grillled burger's flavor was enhanced by the rich cheddar and glistening grilled onions. 
                               
                              I literally had to eat and run- I had to pace myself today so that I don't  go into "overload" which actually happened later on the trip (chapter 4)
                              It took incredible self control to only finish half of my meal since I was heading to lunch # 2 in two hours. The two guys who were at the table next to me looked astonished when they saw me dump half of my meal. I explained why  and they understood. 
                               
                              Paradise Pup was truly another highlight.
                               
                              90 minutes later I found myself at.
                               
                              Solly's Grill
                               
                              in Milwaukee. It's been 8 years since I last visited Milwaukee- in fact that was my first trip report here on Roadfood. I really wanted to visit in 2008 to complete my "Rustbelt Ballpark" theme, but was short on time and opted for Toronto instead, since that was the last ballpark I needed to visit to complete my goal of visiting all major league ballparks.
                               
                              Anyway, I understand Solly's has new digs- I've never been to the original location however the new location seems to hold its own.
                               

                               
                              with various college banners adding the the decor.
                               

                               
                              Anyway, I'm sure you all know why I'm here
                               

                               
                               
                              For one of these- yes that's butter seeping out from beneath the bun. And all I can say is wow! I'm glad I won't have the opportunity to eat one these too frequently. 
                               
                              It was good, but almost "a little too much of a good thing" thankfully these were small enough that I was able to finish the entire burger.
                               

                               
                              half way through you can see the melted butter just congregating on the plate. 
                               
                              After this you think I'd be done? At least for the afternoon. Not exactly we are in America's Dairyland, therefore I had to stop here just "around the block"
                               

                               
                              Kopp's Frozen Custard
                               
                              Of course I checked out their flavor forecast on line before I started out on my trip.
                               

                               
                              can you guess which one I got?

                               
                              Grasshopper fudge of course. In fact If I recall, I'm almost certain this is what I ordered when I last visited 8 years ago.

                              Pure unadulterated creamy, minty moo with chunks of dark chocolate fudge in each mouthful. It doesn't get better than this.
                               
                               
                               
                              Of course  a reminder in the back of the parking lot of how this product is manufactured.
                               
                              Afterwards, I headed to the local mall,  I didn't quite expect temp's to only reach the 50's  and didn't prepare very well when I packed. After buying an additional pair of jeans and a hoodie I was good go to.
                               
                              I checked into my hotel in downtown Milwaukee  late in the afternoon and was headed to my next destination.
                               
                               
                              More to come......
                              <message edited by wanderingjew on Sat, 06/25/11 10:56 PM>
                               
                              #15
                                Sundancer7

                                Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 7:01 PM (permalink)
                                WJ:  I have been to Milwaukee many many times.I also visited Solly's and Kopps.  I got the bgutter burger at Sollys and It was delicous but the butter was overwhelming.  Kopps had super custard.  I enjoyed them both but I could only do Solly's maybe once a year.
                                 
                                Paul E. Smith
                                Knoxville, TN
                                 
                                #16
                                  Sundancer7

                                  Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 7:02 PM (permalink)
                                  Incidentally, I always stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott downtown and it was adjacent to a mall.  It was a fun place to stay and in addition to that, it was close to all kinds of great places to eat.
                                   
                                  Paul E. Smith
                                  Knoxville, TN
                                   
                                  #17
                                    JRPfeff

                                    • Total Posts: 2376
                                    • Joined: 12/1/2006
                                    • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
                                    Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 9:51 PM (permalink)
                                    Dale,
                                    I am really enjoying your report (even though I already know how it ends).
                                    Jim
                                     
                                    #18
                                      wanderingjew

                                      • Total Posts: 7410
                                      • Joined: 1/18/2001
                                      • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
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                                      Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sat, 06/25/11 10:54 PM (permalink)
                                      Chicago Irish. 
                                       
                                      You read my mind. This was my second visit to Intelligentsia and yes I did go to the original Broadway location. I also really  enjoyed Noble Tree Coffee Roasters, about a mile south on Clark.
                                       
                                      JRPfeff,
                                       
                                      Yes, you do, and you specifically know how chapter 3 went !
                                       
                                       
                                      Anyway, sorry to break up chapter 2 but stuff happens..
                                       
                                      Thanks to MilwFoodlovers  who recommended the next stop.
                                       

                                       
                                      Kegel's Inn
                                       
                                      A classic Old Milwaukee German beer hall famous for it's fish fry's. 
                                      You see I wanted to go to a place that would assure an early arrival at the Brewer's game this evening. Kegel's was perfect, it was only 2 miles from Miller Park which means I could walk there from the bar.
                                       
                                      Anyway, Kegel's bar just wreaks of character.
                                       

                                       
                                      Although I chose to sit in the dining area.
                                       

                                       
                                      The meal starts out with dense rye bread.
                                       

                                       
                                      You have several options for the main course including blue gill. 
                                      I chose lake perch because it just seemed right. 
                                       

                                       
                                      Sided with coleslaw and crispy, oniony homemade potato pancakes, this was a solid meal, although nothing really jumped out at me. My favorite fish fry to date is still the Oasis in suburban Pittsburgh.
                                       
                                      After a 2 mile walk, I finally arrived at Miller Park
                                       

                                       
                                      I was bummed to see that the roof was going to be down this evening due to the inclement weather they were expecting that evening.
                                       

                                       

                                       
                                      The Brewers played the Cardinals that evening and it was virtually a full house. In fact I ended up buying my tickets on stub hub and got a decent deal.
                                       

                                       

                                       
                                      This is my second visit to Miller Park, and my sentiments are still the same. The stadium has a very claustrophobic feel, regardless of whether or not the roof is down. I still think they should have kept County Stadium, it was a classic.
                                       
                                      The Brewers surprisingly beat the Cardinals That evening
                                       
                                      Anyway, after the game, I kind of lost my bearings leaving the ballpark and my 2 mile walk back to my car, actually turned more or less into a 3 mile walk.
                                       
                                      Driving back downtown, believe it or not, I was a little hungry again (Did the lakefront brew I had at the ballpark do that?)
                                       
                                      A few short blocks from my hotel. I ended up here.
                                       

                                       
                                      The Milwaukee Brat House
                                       
                                      Dark, dank and full of college kids....
                                       
                                      I think it's obvious what I ordered. 
                                       

                                       
                                       
                                      The German Style Usinger's Brat on a pretzel roll, swimming in grilled onions sauerkraut, mustard and a dash of secret stadium sauce. Biting into it, the brat snapped and was bursting with flavor, there were several side options too, of course I had to choose.
                                       

                                       
                                      The fried cheese curds. These were good, but not "Minnesota State Fair good" Will I find better? We'll have to wait and see.
                                       
                                      Anyway, the Brat itself was another highlight, probably the best I ever had.
                                       
                                      Chapter 3 tomorrow.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Sundancer7

                                        Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 10:53 AM (permalink)
                                        WJ:  Sure did look good to me.  I have had the perch on Lake Erie east of Cleveland and they were fresh.  I watched the lady clean them before I had them.  Small but delicious.  I have been in Milwaukee many times and most of the time, I stayed downtown at the Marriott Courtyard.  Plenty of great places around there.
                                         
                                        Sausage capital of the USA.
                                         
                                        Paul E. Smith
                                        Knoxville, TN
                                         
                                        #20
                                          MilwFoodlovers

                                          • Total Posts: 3095
                                          • Joined: 3/31/2001
                                          • Location: Milwaukee, WI
                                          Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 2:06 PM (permalink)
                                          It's been  maybe 3 or 4 years since I've visited Solly's so I guess I'm due for a return trip. Like my father and grandfather before me, I've always gotten my Solly's "on a pillow"; their term for a section of a French bread. I've watched as dining companions hamburger bun falls apart and bingo, they become converts to the pillow for their next visit. I'm sorry that Kegel's beauty doesn't translate to the fish. They are servicable but nothing special. I do think their hassenpfeffer is a treat but it remains the only dining choice that I could rave about. Still, like the Three Brothers, food isn't the only reason to visit certain restaurants. Great report Dale. I can't wait for the next report. I was not allowed to have a salad at Gene and Georgetti's that looked like yours. (oops) Our waiter, who I believe knew both Cain and Abel personally, firmly told me that we would be having blue cheese. Period. End of discussion. As good as their Shrimp de Jonge is, I don't think I've ever tasted better lamb chops than at Gene and Georgetti's.
                                          <message edited by MilwFoodlovers on Sun, 06/26/11 4:47 PM>
                                           
                                          #21
                                            ann peeples

                                            • Total Posts: 8317
                                            • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                            • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                            Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 3:33 PM (permalink)
                                            County stadium was awesome. Dale. I have not been to the new stadium, nor do I have any wish to do so.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              wanderingjew

                                              • Total Posts: 7410
                                              • Joined: 1/18/2001
                                              • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
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                                              Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 6:21 PM (permalink)
                                              Paul
                                               
                                              I stayed at the Hampton Suites downtown on Wisconsin Avenue. Not sure if you noticed, but in the photo  of the Milwaukee Brat House sign, you'll see the Usinger's Factory sign is just "steps away"
                                               
                                              Mike

                                              Interesting that you can have the butter burger on a piece of french bread- that  sounds like a good idea. I'm glad I tried it the traditional way first, though.
                                               
                                              Don't get me wrong, the Perch at Kegel's was fine, however I found the slaw to be pedestrian and although the rye bread wasn't flimsy, prior to visiting  I read that Kegel's served the traditional salted rye rolls. I guess I was looking forward to this and was surprised to get the rye bread instead. I don't know if you now have to ask for it, or if they no longer serve it, I guess I should have asked but  I didn't. I'm still wondering  if overall (inclusive of the sides)  the fish fry at Wegner's St Martin's Inn, or even McBob's would have faired better?
                                               
                                              Ann
                                               
                                              Miller Park is probably one of my least favorites of the new major league ballparks. Comerica Park in Detroit is another park I wish they hadn't built- they should have renovated Tiger Stadium instead.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Sundancer7

                                                Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 8:17 PM (permalink)
                                                WJ:  Regardless, I enjoyed your post and pics and even if the ball park is not your favorite, it is still very nice.
                                                 
                                                Paul E. Smith
                                                Knoxville, TN
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  wanderingjew

                                                  • Total Posts: 7410
                                                  • Joined: 1/18/2001
                                                  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
                                                  • Roadfood Insider
                                                  Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 8:37 PM (permalink)
                                                  Saturday June 11
                                                   
                                                  The morning began with a brisk 5 mile r/t walk overlooking Lake Michigan.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Not sure what this building is but it looks really cool
                                                   
                                                  I ended up at a local coffee house chain called Alterra's on the Lake- Another good coffee house which I'll end up adding to my coffee house list- their brazilian dark roast was exceptional. After coffee I ended up taking a long detour through the Brady Street Historic District which I believe was Milwaukee's traditional little Italy.
                                                  I believe some of these signs have historical significance.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  My stay in Milwaukee this morning was brief, I was heading to Madison for lunch. I deliberately got there early to enjoy the Saturday Farmer's Market.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  I've seen the State Capital from afar but finally had the chance to observe up close.
                                                  The square was packed with vendors and shoppers.
                                                   
                                                  I did several double takes- the first one was this
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Whoopie Pies???!! In Wisconsin???!!! 
                                                   
                                                  I'm surprised I didn't melt or self combust!!!
                                                   
                                                  I then came across this interesting looking band.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  They put on a really good show, "American style roots music" 
                                                  However I ended up doing another double take.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Take a good look at the upright bass player, clean him up a little and tell me he couldn't be  Chi Town Diner's long lost brother?
                                                   
                                                  Anyway, the reason I came up to Madison was to meet the one and only Screaming Brad or Screaming Chicken, or good ol' Brad Olsen
                                                  Prior to visiting we talked about meeting in Milwaukee, however after realizing that Mr. Chicken lived closer to Madison, and after checking out rave reviews about 
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  The Old Fashioned 
                                                   
                                                  It was a go.  The Old Fashioned, a relatively new eatery in an old building is steps away from the Capital Building. Featuring classic Wisonsin cuisine and amazing beer selection, I was really looking forward to checking the place out.
                                                   
                                                  Brad called me while I was galavanting around the farmers market and told he was seated at the bar.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  There he is in the gray hoodie!
                                                   
                                                  I will tell you that this restaurant deserves the award for worst lighting of the trip with the red garish hue emanating from lights at the bar. But how's the food?
                                                   
                                                  Enjoying a good Scotch Ale that Brad recommended, I figured that I should have beer in my soup too!
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Beer Cheese Soup of course. (yes that's popcorn topping)
                                                   
                                                  The photo is courtesy of Screaming Chicken. Thinking I could rely on natural lighting. my photo ended up with a red tint, which I realized I can cancel out for the most part with flash.
                                                   
                                                  I enjoyed the beer cheese soup- more bisque than cheesy gloop, it was quite intoxicating (I guess it should be since it has beer in it!) 
                                                   
                                                  I then proceeded to my main course.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Sheboygan Brats- served with the classic hard roll accompanied by pickles, raw onions and a side of you got it- state fair style cheese curds- yes those curds are the real deal! The brats themselves were superb, but I'll admit I discovered I'm not a fan of the raw onion and pickle thing- I do prefer it "German Style" the way I had them the night before at the Brat House
                                                   
                                                  Besides eating,  we did have a few interesting conversations, about some of the local roadfood events in both Milwaukee and Chicago and about Madison in general. 
                                                   
                                                  Screaming Chicken will also confirm that I really don't finish my meals- as good as it was- I did leave a few things over.  
                                                   
                                                  After lunch, we said our goodbye, and I headed back to Milwaukee.
                                                   
                                                  Overall, I enjoyed The Old Fashioned, and would certainly return if I'm in the area, but would likely request sauerkraut, or grilled onions or both on those brats, the next time around.
                                                   
                                                  Relaxing for a bit when I got back to my hotel, I headed out for a late afternoon snack at 
                                                   

                                                   
                                                   
                                                  Leon's Frozen Custard

                                                  The neighborhood it was in seemed kind of iffy, but I thought the atmosphere and signage was classic Americana- better than Kopp's.
                                                   
                                                  Here is their menu.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                   but what about the custard?
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   

                                                   
                                                   
                                                  I went with the butter pecan- yes it was creamy and just loaded with pecans, but I think Kopp's has the edge.
                                                   
                                                  After driving back to my hotel, I was going to walk to my dinner destination, but had plenty of time to explore and walk around.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  And of course the famous Usinger Sausage Factory.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  and all I can say is....
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Heeeyyyy!!!

                                                   I guess he really did exist!
                                                   
                                                  I finally arrived at my dinner destination for the evening.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Karl Ratzch's
                                                   
                                                  Milwaukee's premier German Restaurant.
                                                   
                                                  And I was looking forward to meeting more new roadfooders.
                                                   
                                                  JRPfeff and his blushing bride Pie Diva,  were waiting for me in the bar. 
                                                  I ordered a Sprecher's- no, not the rootbeer- but the beer- I don't remember exactly what I had, but I'm almost certain it was a Pilsner.  A short time later, ann peeples and her hubby, Bob arrived. 
                                                   
                                                  First of all like Kegel's, the atmosphere at Karl Ratzch's is just classic Old Milwaukee. 
                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   
                                                  We started out with the Salmon Mousse appetizer, courtesy of ann peeples
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  I've never had Salmon Mousse before, I guess because it reminds me of Monty Python's Meaning of Life Movie with the "Mr. Death" scene. Well, it was actually much better than I expected, actually it was quite good, and wouldn't mind this as a last meal (or at least a last appetizer)
                                                   
                                                  I did get photos of some of the other meals at the table. I don't specifically remember what they were or who had them, but anyone else is certainly invited to elaborate.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                   

                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Ok, I know these are potato pancakes but I'm not sure who they belonged too.
                                                   
                                                  I started out with the liver dumpling soup.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Very reminiscent of the Liver Dumpling Soup I had at the Bohemian Cafe in Omaha 3 years earlier, although I thought these dumplings were much lighter. 
                                                   
                                                  Anway, I had the Trudy's Sampler as my main course.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                  Weiner Schitzel, Saurbraten , potato dumpling and red cabbage. 
                                                  I was very satisfied with my choice and particularly liked the Sauerbraten. It was fork tender and the ginger snap gravy was not overbearing but complimenting. 
                                                   
                                                  All of us had a great time chatting, like ann peeples said, it was like being with old friends or family- hey I guess we are all part of the Roadfood family.
                                                   
                                                  After my very rich and filling dinner, I walked back to my hotel and called it a night. I'll be heading back to Chicago the next day and have a very "challenging" and "rigorous" agenda to look forward to........
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  <message edited by wanderingjew on Sun, 06/26/11 8:46 PM>
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    ChiTownDiner

                                                    Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 9:34 PM (permalink)
                                                    He's the tattooed one....
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Davydd

                                                      • Total Posts: 6228
                                                      • Joined: 4/24/2005
                                                      • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
                                                      Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 10:43 PM (permalink)
                                                      wanderingjew




                                                      Not sure what this building is but it looks really cool

                                                      That's the Milwaukee Art Museum Quadracci Pavilion designed by Spanish Architect, Santiago Calatrava. It is one amazing building. I've visited this museum a couple of times and I attended a seminar by Calatrava in Las Vegas, NV. Calatrava blew me away with his design eloquence and process. He could sketch while talking to illustrate what he was saying better than that FedEx guy in the TV commercials, only he does it real without computer gimmickry. To quote from the museum's website about the pavilion...
                                                       
                                                      The graceful Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Highlights of the building are the magnificent cathedral-like space of Windhover Hall, with a vaulted a 90-foot-high glass ceiling; the Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan that unfolds and folds twice daily; and the Reiman Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects the Museum to the city.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        MiamiDon

                                                        Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 11:29 PM (permalink)
                                                        Davydd


                                                        wanderingjew




                                                        Not sure what this building is but it looks really cool

                                                        That's the Milwaukee Art Museum Quadracci Pavilion designed by Spanish Architect, Santiago Calatrava. It is one amazing building. I've visited this museum a couple of times and I attended a seminar by Calatrava in Las Vegas, NV. Calatrava blew me away with his design eloquence and process. He could sketch while talking to illustrate what he was saying better than that FedEx guy in the TV commercials, only he does it real without computer gimmickry. To quote from the museum's website about the pavilion...

                                                        The graceful Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Highlights of the building are the magnificent cathedral-like space of Windhover Hall, with a vaulted a 90-foot-high glass ceiling; the Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan that unfolds and folds twice daily; and the Reiman Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects the Museum to the city.

                                                        It's great to have an actual Roadfood Architect!
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          MiamiDon

                                                          Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Sun, 06/26/11 11:40 PM (permalink)
                                                          Nice job, wanderingjew.  I don't know whether I'd be man enough to order liver dumpling soup.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            smokestack lightning

                                                            • Total Posts: 301
                                                            • Joined: 2/16/2009
                                                            • Location: San Francisco, CA
                                                            Re:Big Shoulders, Beer Barrels, Beefs n' Brats Mon, 06/27/11 1:10 AM (permalink)
                                                            Great report.
                                                             
                                                            Grew up in Chicago area. I think Gene and Georgetti's is not only a great restaurant but a perfect textbook example of what  roadfood is.
                                                            Unique to Chicago.
                                                             
                                                            Summer, great food, baseball. What could be better.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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