I’ve been trying to find a place that made me feel like I was back home in
Louisville up here in Milwaukee. You know, that place where you step inside
and think “Oh my goodness, I have found it, no I have found YOU. I have found you and I am home.” Well, took me a few months (mainly because of
work being so crazy) but I think I finally found my spot. BelAir Cantina reminds me of everything I
loved about Louisville. First off it was packed, at 8pm on a Tuesday
night. Always a good sign. Second, I’m not one to classify people into
groups or stereotype, but this was my kind of crowd. Mid to late 20s, cheap but good beer in hand,
what most I suppose would call hipsters if you had to pigeon hole. When we arrived there was a 45 minute to hour
long wait (It was $2 taco Tuesday after all), but the hostess took our name and
number, told us she would txt us and that we were more than welcome to try and
find a spot at the bar, or walk across the street to the bar there. This setup is mutually beneficial for everyone
involved. Fink’s gets the customers who
are waiting for a table, BelAir doesn’t end up with angry people waiting, and
the customer get’s to enjoy a nice beverage in an invitingly small bar and then
enjoy tacos next door. Win, win, win.
Side note, the two are owned by the same people. So anyways, we had a few beers and then
received that glorious txt. It’s like
the new age dinner bell, ringing to let you know that you may now come and get
your grub on. Still packed, we sat down,
ordered some Tecates and then went over
the menu. Not all of the tacos on
Tuesday are $2, but a good selection are.
When our waiter returned with our beers we were ready to order. 3 tacos meant a side of rice and beans, so
that’s what I did. Ordering Carnitas,
Zihuatanejo Shrimp, and Pollo Verde tacos and choosing the pinto beans I was
ready to enjoy. I don’t think it took
that long, even though the place was packed.
It could have been long, but if you have good conversation, and a beer,
really time is all fairly relative at that point. When the food arrived I took a bite of each
taco. I prefer to eat things like this
in order from least enjoyed to most, so that the most enjoyed is the last taste
I have. So I went shrimp, carnitas,
pollo. The shrimp tasted a little too
overdone for me, the slightly rubbery way shrimp gets when you cook it that
extra minute too long. The carnitas were
a bit dry, good flavor, but needing some of the salsa on the table. The pollo had a good flavor and I added a bit
more salsa verde to them as well (by this time I couldn’t eat the corn
tortillas anymore, so I just ate the meat so I didn’t explode from being full). I’m not normally a pinto bean eater, but I
have to say these were extremely tasty.
Overall it was a good cheap meal, great environment, and a little bit of
scene up here in the cold.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Any place that has a beer book is alright by me. My parents and I ended up at Cafe Benelux for dinner after a suggestion from some coworkers. To drink I ordered a Bier Pallettes with 4 taster sized beers, all which were great. As an appetizer we decided on Pork Belly Sliders (my father wanted tater tots, I over-ruled). Served on pretzel bread with a cilantro sesame slaw and a sambal aioli they were delicious, the best part of the meal according to my father. He eventually chose the bier battered walleye, which he said wasn’t that great, he wished the fish had been flakier. My mother went with the kulminator, a grilled cheese with 4 cheeses, bacon, and tomatoes on 9-grain bread. Following the waitress' advice she got the farmhouse tomato soup. Both were great, the soup having a perfect hint of basil in it. I fell for the basque mussels, steamed with tomatoes, chorizo, chilies and scallions. They were fantastic, actually fan-freaking-tastic. I used the bread to soak up the leftover jus, then I used some frites after that was gone, it was worth it. Overall good atmosphere, good beer, really good food.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
If you have read any of my previous blogs you know the following things: I love local, I think the best way to experience a new city is through their food, and I don’t judge a book (or in my case a restaurant) by the cover. My first venture out into the
Milwaukee epicurean realm was . Yes I am fully aware that this will now make
my fourth blog about gyros, but as I explained before
I freaking love these things. I also know
what you are probably thinking. “But HC,
gyros are not quintessential ‘ Gyro Palace Milwaukee fare’
and they don’t originate in Wisconsin.” Yup, I know.
But that’s what my stomach wanted, and I don’t argue with it, no point,
it doesn’t listen at all. This is not
the best looking restaurant, tucked away in a little strip mall on the south
side. The inside just has a walk-up counter and some booths, nothing special and not all together too inviting. I honestly didn’t mind, I was grabbing to-go
on my way to work anyways. So I ordered
a gyro and took it to the arena. Opening
it at my desk I was so excited. This was
the most meat I had ever seen on a gyro, ever.
It was tasty, the tzatziki meeting all of my qualifications; creamy with
just the right amount of cucumber mixed in.
There was so much to this “sandwich” that I left half of it for
dinner. Overall not a bad experience,
not the best gyro I’ve tasted, but definitely the most filling. Next time I will go some where a little more
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the time to write. Work has transferred me to
so I no longer live in Louisville. My heart still and will always belong to the
Ville. However, I love being at Purdue,
my alma mater is always a great place to be.
Writing for me has always been a way to get my energy out. I’m able to leave my thoughts, frustrations,
feelings, and opinions on the page.
Today I realized that I miss writing this little blog and trying new
food. Sometimes people get caught up
with the everyday life and forget that the things which make you happy should
be brought to the forefront. So with
that epiphany I will be resuming my blog.
After being transferred to Purdue, I am now supporting in Milwaukee. No longer will I be visiting Louisville eateries, it’s the land of beer
and cheese for me. Stay tuned, stick
around, suggest somewhere if you would like and as always thanks for reading.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Never have I seen a restaurant so mismanaged as the Artists Colony Inn. I don’t mind waiting for a table, that isn’t a big deal to me, but when the reason I am waiting for a table is because of the way management has staffed, set up the dining room, and executed I tend to be a bit irritated. Honestly I should have known we were in for a bad experience when an older couple was telling the manager how disappointing their experience was and he seemed not to care at all. After we were sat it took the waiter a minute to come over, when he finally brought beverages he managed to spill water all over the place. At first I thought it was our waiter who wasn’t that great, then we began to slowly realize that wasn’t it at all. His section was huge, literally reaching from one wall to another and outside. He probably had at least 9 tables, and was not only taking orders, delivering orders but also busing as well. Looking around we noticed that it wasn’t just him; all of the staff was stretching super thin. How could the manager not have looked at the weather report, known that we were going to get a break in the crazy heat, and seen the possibility that they were going to get slammed? The disappointing part of the whole thing was that the food actually wasn’t too bad with the exception of my salad which I sent back because it tasted dirty. During the entire time we were there the manager never once did a table visit. He was too busy running in and out of the kitchen, busing tables, and generally looking displeased at his staff. Excuse me sir, but your lack of planning is no fault of the people who are busting their hump to try and work. Also, I might recommend that you get a couple 2-tops since most of your dinning room was being wasted by two people sitting at tables designed for four, sometimes six, people. The kitchen was slow, neither the soup and grilled cheese, or the pot pie that we ordered should have taken long at all. It is a shame when a waiter has to deal with a rough kitchen and a worthless manager. And it wasn’t just our table that struggled. We watched an elderly couple be almost completely ignored, wait about 45 minutes for some soup and have it immediately followed up by their entrée only to then again be left to the point that the man eventually got up, tracked down his waitress and handed her his card. I honestly would not return to this restaurant if it was the only one open in town.
Friday, July 13, 2012
I am making this city mine. Seriously I have walked all over the place. That translates to me getting hungry. So the other day in between hitting up the Botanical Gardens,
Smithsonian American Indian
(all located on my Smithsonian App) I became a bit famished. I picked a direction, walked a few blocks and
then flipped on my Urbanspoon App to see what was nearest to me. I ended up at the Sun Spot Cafe; a small,
convenient storesque, deli like restaurant. Grabbing a Dr. Pepper I ordered a gyro and a Greek
salad and sat down for a minute. My food
was ready pretty quick. The salad was
just ehh, I’ve had better. The gyro was
more a wrap then a traditional gyro, the pita being some sort of pita-tortilla
hybrid. The meat was fairly good but the
lettuce tended to mask the taste of the sauce.
On a scale from 1 to the best gyro I’ve ever tasted I give this a C (yes
I just made a scale based on numbers, experiences and letters, deal with it!). Smithsonian Natural
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I have been sitting in Ebenezers Coffeehouse for a good 3 hours now. Usually, as you can tell, I am not at a loss for words, but for some reason writing a “Statement of Purpose” for acceptance into grad school is blocking my brain waves. The words even seem daunting, Statement of Purpose, what is that? Of course I have a purpose, but now you want me to put it into words? Crap. Anyways I digress. Ebenezers is located on the corner of F and 2
with both downstairs and
street level seating. It is a cute brick
building with inviting decorations, coffee, non-coffee drinks, and food to
snack on. My iced vanilla chai was good,
just the way a chai should be, nothing life altering, but just simply good. Eventually I got hungry so I ordered an
Italian Cold Cut Wrap. The tortilla used
for the wrap was brilliant. The wrap in
general was one of the better ones I have had.
Overall I really enjoy Ebenezers, I’m sure if I lived here this would
become a normal hang out for me. Now
enough of the distractions, back to writing my STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. St