Making the best of a bad situation/Milwaukee
Mon, 06/29/09 2:14 PM
Mariton and I were flying on Midwest Airlines to Kansas City. We arrived in Milwaukee on time at 7:30PM to make our connection, but our 8:45PM flight out had been pushed back to 11:30PM. At first we were both unhappy, because we knew we had a very late night ahead. Then it occurred to us that an opportunity had just arisen. I explained the situation to Enterprise Car Rental, who was nice enough to waive their typical one day rental price and offer us something more affordable for just a few hours. Kudos to them! We got in our car and took off for dinner. Because of its proximity to the airport, the first place I thought of was Nite Owl Drive-In. But, they were not open. More about that later..... The next thing I thought of was Polonez, which was also nearby. But just to make sure, I got out the GPS and looked under the Custom Points of Interest for the closest Roadfood spots. And Three Brothers was listed as less than three miles away. That is all I needed to know and we were immediately on our way. For those who haven't been here before, Three Brothers is a Serbian restaurant, located in an old Schlitz beer factory in a residential neighborhood. I love that globe on top of the building. Here Mariton poses out front. As you can see, this place has been here a long time. When we walked in, the dining room was 80% full. From across the room, the tall blonde waitress asked how many and if we had reservations. Of course we didn't, so this made me a little nervous for a second, but she waved us over and sat us in the back corner. I informed her of our situation and that we needed to eat quickly to get back to the airport and she smiled and said that would be no problem. Unfortunately, our schedule meant that we would not be able to order their signature food, the burek. Made of filo dough, bureks take 45 minutes to an hour to make. Still, there are plenty of other great options on the menu. We shared a couple of appetizers of a Serbian salad and a bowl of chicken dumpling soup. Mariton thought the soup was too salty (she thinks most American food is too salty), but loved the simple salad, so she stuck to that. I thought the seasoned soup was perfect, especially the one huge cream of wheat dumpling, so I was happy with this exchange. Our waitress also brought us a basket of rye bread. Neither Mariton or I are bread eaters, so we more or less ignored it. But an elderly gentleman, who had been sitting at the table next to us, walked over and told us we had to try the bread along with what was on the dish. What I thought was just a pat of butter, was far more. The gentleman, who turned out be be the owner, informed us that it was made of goat's milk and was neither butter nor cheese. I asked what it was called and he gave me the Serbian name, which begins with a k. Sorry I can't remember more. But this was ultra-creamy and was excellent on the chewy rye bread. We ate the whole basket! My dinner was the chicken paprikash. The plate looks surprisingly empty when it is delivered to you. But those are still some nice sized pieces of chicken and the meat was incredibly tender and moist. It easily tore away from the bone with the fork. I assumed the dumplings on the plate would be the same as from the soup, but I was wrong. These dumplings were thicker and spongier, but I don't mean that in a bad way. Mariton went for the roast lamb. As soon as the waitress set it down, her eyes lit up! This was one fantastic looking meal and it tasted even better. The lamb was also incredibly tender. I wish I had taken a picture of her plate after she was done, because all that was left was the bare bone. She stripped it clean. She absolutely loved her meal and I would not hesistate to get it for myself next time I am in town. She also ate the candied carrots and rice, but was ignoring the sauerkraut. So this old German was happy to eat it. Cut up into shorter lengths, it had a more subtle taste than typical sauerkraut. Our waitress, who did an excellent job of getting us in and out quickly, had already dropped off the check and we paid while we were still eating. When we finished, we ran to the car, since I had another stop in mind. All together, we were at Three Brothers for less than an hour. In my previous visits to Milwaukee, I have never been able to make up my mind which I liked better, Kopp's or Leon's. I love both of these frozen custard stands. The GPS determined Leon's was closer, so we were on our way. Secretly, I was hoping to go to Leon's, since I wanted to be able to see how great it looks at night, with all the glowing neon. The parking lot was so jammed, cars were backed up on the busy road trying to get in. I ended up parking at the bagel shop next door and walking over. Milwaukeeans really love Leon's! In previous visits, I almost always get their flavor of the day. But on this day, it was butter pecan. Being a nut frowner, that meant I was getting the chocolate instead, which along with the vanilla, they have everyday. Mariton did get the butter pecan. Here she is with the two cones in front. Here is a close up of the cones, already dripping and having been licked. What is great about taking someone to a place like Leon's is seeing their face after the first bite. Because I know Mariton thought to herself, "Oh, I've had frozen custard before". After the first taste, she had the "I can't believe how good this is look". The custard is so smooth, not overly sweet and impossible to stop eating. Not really sure why the frozen custard in Milwaukee is so much better, but it is. I gave a moments thought to trying to hit the Kopp's on W. Layton, but decided not to push our luck. We got back to the airport, dropped off the car and still managed to make an earlier flight to Kansas City. There is something special about an unexpected great meal (and dessert) that made this a particularly special Roadfood experience.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 07/21/09 3:50 PM>