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 - September 3, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Divino Wine and Dine|
|Early last year, there was quite a bit of buzz over the transformation of Palermo Villa into Divino Wine and Dine, 2315 N. Murray Ave., and equal buzz about Dean Cannestra taking over the space after closing his previous venture, Libiamo.|
|Dining - August 6, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Tony Maronni's|
|I started working for my current employer six years ago. A few months after I started, one of my team members invited us all over to his Sussex home for a Packers party. Among the popular party foods were pizzas delivered from a nearby pizzeria. The pizza was good enough - and the name was catchy enough - for me to remember them both all of these years later.|
|Dining - July 2, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Capri di Nuovo|
|Rick's quest for the perfect pizza brings him to Capri di Nuovo, the revamped and renovated rendition of a recently closed popular West Allis Italian restaurant.|
|Dining - June 4, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Mario's Italian Grill|
|Rick's search for the city's finest pizza offerings takes him over to Mario's Italian Grill, a remodeled George Webb's near the airport.|
|Dining - May 7, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Crossroads II|
|This month, Rick Rodriguez's endless pursuit for the perfect pizza took him to Crossroads II, home of pizza, subs and ... hot ham and rolls?|
|Dining - April 2, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Tenuta's|
|I've been hearing about Tenuta's, 2995 S. Clement Ave., in Bay View from a few friends over the past few years, so I thought I'd finally pay a visit.|
|Dining - March 5, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Pizzeria 3301|
|Palermo's updated its cafe at Pizzeria 3301 with a wood-burning oven made in Italy using ashes from Mount Vesuvius and by sending its executive chef to Washington to become a certified pizzaiolo. But does the pizza live up to these lofty measures?|
|Dining - February 5, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Caradaro Club|
|Maybe I should have started with the Caradaro Club, but better late than never.|
|Dining - January 1, 2014|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Lalli's Pizza|
|Nine years ago, an office discussion turned to favorite pizzas, and a co-worker announced that his favorite pizza was Lalli's Pizza, 8826 W. North Ave. A couple of weeks later, I tried Lalli's pizza, and I really liked it. I recently visited Lalli's Pizza again, and I enjoyed the pizza as much as I did on my first visit, which speaks to their consistency.|
|Dining - December 4, 2013|
|In search of the perfect pizza: Mama's Pizza|
|In my last job, I spent some time on Milwaukee's Northwest Side and drove past a few businesses that looked to have some history. One of them was Mama's Pizza and Italian Cuisine.|
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