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 - November 4, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Matteo's Italian Ristorante|
|Rick Rodriguez discovered Matteo's Italian Ristorante after seeing it in his entertainment book, so he drove to Waukesha to check out this classic spot, which serves up pizza along with numerous other specials.|
|Dining - October 25, 2015|
|Rick's Picks: Top 10 pizzas in Milwaukee|
|Rick Rodriguez spills the beans on his top picks for Milwaukee pizza.|
|Dining - October 7, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Il Ritrovo|
|Rick Rodriguez has been waiting to go to this Sheboygan Neopolitan pizza spot for 10 years.|
|Dining - September 2, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Zarletti Mequon|
|Zarletti Downtown is one of Rick Rodriguez's favorite restaurants, so when a new location opened in Mequon - and featured Neapolitan style pizza - he put it on his list to visit.|
|Dining - August 5, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Coach's Pub & Grill|
|Rick Rodriguez visits Coach's Pub & Grill, where he samples their pepperoni and cowboy pizzas.|
|Dining - July 1, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Paisano's Italian Restaurant|
|Rick Rodridguez first learned about Paisano's in South Milwaukee from a Google search for South Side pizzerias, but recently a co-worker recommended them, so he decided to pay a visit.|
|Dining - June 3, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Bari Pizzeria|
|Rick Rodriguez's constant search for Milwaukee's best pizza takes him to West Allis, where he samples some slices at Bari Pizzeria.|
|Dining - May 6, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Mangia Wine Bar|
|Mangia Wine Bar received a major remodel a little over a year ago and features a wood burning pizza oven behind the bar, where patrons can enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail while pasta and pizza dough are being made just a few feet away. The combination of Executive Chef Jason Gorman and a wood burning pizza oven warranted a drive south to Kenosha for pizza.|
|Dining - April 2, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Vinchi's|
|Bay View has become a popular part of town to eat and drink over the past few years. It's also a place where one can find a pizzeria in the back of a small tavern with a completely different name and a completely different owner. Such is the case with Vinchi's Pizza, which has been located inside The Bubbler at 3158 S. Howell Ave. for the past three years.|
|Dining - March 4, 2015|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Cranky Al's|
|My first experience with Cranky Al's, 6901 W. North Ave., was during the Chili'n on the Ave event in Wauwatosa a few years back. Since then, I've been hearing about their pizza and their doughnuts - the crullers in particular.|
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