I was born and raised in Milwaukee, and I plan to stay in Milwaukee
forever. I'm the oldest of three children and grew up in the Riverwest
neighborhood. My family still lives in the same Riverwest house since
I graduated from Rufus King High School and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a business degree.
My true passion for Milwaukee probably started after I joined the Young Professionals of Milwaukee (now called FUEL Milwaukee) which just celebrated its one year anniversary at the time. The events that I attended, and sometimes organized, really opened my eyes to what Milwaukee had to offer, as well as its potential for the future. So for the past, present, and future FUEL Milwaukee corporate sponsors out there, that organization does produce results (editorial)!
I love all of the Milwaukee Sports teams, professional and amateur. I love the Milwaukee arts scene and all of the festivals. I love that you can find a free concert in the summer just about every day of the week. I love the various neighborhoods around the Milwaukee area and the unique characteristics that they offer. I love the people who take the time to tell us about those unique characteristics. I have to hold my breath and count to ten when someone tells me that there is nothing to do in Milwaukee. Then I prove them wrong.
Most of all, I love the Milwaukee dining scene. I love how it continues to evolve with modern dishes and new trends while the classic restaurants continue to remind us that great food doesn't have to be "fancy schmancy." However, I also love the chefs that create the "fancy schmancy" dishes and continue to challenge themselves and Milwaukee diners with dishes we've never seen before.
Our media provides attention to the new restaurants, which is great, but I don't like seeing the older great restaurants close their doors (Don Quijote, African Hut) because they've been forgotten, so I try to do my part to let Milwaukeeans know that they're still out there, too. I do that through social media, online reviews, and a dinner club I run for my friends, where we visit restaurants they haven't heard of before or try ethnic cuisine they haven't had before.
My dream is that one day I can mention a great experience in Milwaukee and not have someone respond with "have you been to Chicago?" I don't like those people very much.
|Dining - May 22, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Antonio's Pizza|
|On my many visits to the east side, I've driven past the intersection of Weil and Locust. I've noticed a pizzeria there before, but a few months ago, I noticed a name change. Antonio "Tony" Balsamo opened Antonio's Pizza, 1000 E. Locust St., around two months ago. I decided to stop in and see if he had the perfect pizza for me.|
|Dining - May 15, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Pietro's Pizza|
|The story of Pietro's starts with Filippo Tarantino who worked as a baker in Sicily and moved to the United States in 1959. He found his way to Milwaukee and worked for Grebe's Bakery until 1973 when he accumulated enough savings to open Pietro's Pizza, named after one of his sons.|
|Dining - May 8, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Filippo's|
|Filippo's Italian Restaurant, 6915 W. Lincoln Ave., is one of the many pizzerias on Lincoln Avenue that I've alluded to in past blogs. Several people have been asking when I was going to visit Filippo's, so I stopped in on a slow night to try the sausage, mushroom and onion on thin crust and a sausage and pepperoni on the regular hand-tossed pizza.|
|Dining - May 1, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Bobbana's Pizza|
|Five years ago, Manual Castellanos, Jr. was looking for a new opportunity after working as an auto worker at a GM plant. He found Bobanna's for sale so he and his family made the purchase. I decided to stop in and check out the Hawaiian pizza and Meat Lovers pizza.|
|Dining - April 24, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Gianelli's|
|The Bonanza Shopping Center is not even a glimmer of what it once was, but Gianelli's Pizza and Chicken Man are doing their best to keep some life in the building, and I think they're doing a good job. They blew me away with the texture and sweetness of their handmade sauce - and did I mention there were strips of bacon on my pizza?|
|Dining - April 17, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Ferrante's|
|In 1938, newlyweds Rosalie and Alex Ferrante established the first Ferrante's Restaurant in central Milwaukee. A friend and I decided to check out the popular restaurant opened by their kids in Mequon, and we were pleasantly surprised by a Texas Ranch Pizza.|
|Dining - April 10, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Papa Luigi's|
|I stopped in to the Cudahy location of Papa Luigi's Pizza, owned by Salvatore Purpora and his family. Customer service is a priority here, and I wanted to check out Papa Luigi's mysterious secret blend of spices.|
|Dining - April 4, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Sofia's Restaurant|
|Selman "Sal" Ismaili, Sr. moved here from Europe in 1973. Between 1973 and 1982, he worked in machine shops and restaurants until he bought Pizza Chef (now Sofia's) in 1982. Due to his passion for food, he created and developed his own recipes, via trial and error, until he was happy with the results.|
|Dining - March 27, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Armeli's|
|Native Sicilian Anthony "Tony" Armeli opened his restaurant in 1988 and still owns it today. The restaurant serves up a hearty Sunday night buffet featuring pizza, pasta, and broasted chicken. But their thin crust pizza must be seen - and eaten - to be believed.|
|Dining - March 20, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Lisa's|
|Lisa's pizza is a thing of beauty. If you like thin crust pizza, then you should visit soon. It's on my list of favorites and probably will be for as long as it's open.|
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