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 Lak
e- 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....
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
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>