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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

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In Dining Blogs

As usual, Diablos Rojos has the Midas touch. (PHOTO: Eron Laber of Front Room Photography )

A great first trip to Cafe Hollander


Have you ever been meaning to try a new restaurant, but months later, haven't had the time to get there? That was my experience with Café Hollander, which isn't really that new anymore.

As a fan of the old Gil's Café (but more when it was a coffee house in the mid '90s and less when it got all upscale toward the end of its run), and just about anything the Diablos Rojos group creates, Hollander has been on my list for some time. But last Friday, my wife and I picked a movie across the street at the Downer Theater, and gave ourselves just enough time for a quick dinner at this unique Milwaukee restaurant.

I've gotta say, it turned out to be one of the more pleasant casual dining experiences I've had in a long time. Aesthetically, the restaurant makes the most of the unique corner building. We were seated right away, and despite our server's apologies for taking too long, he actually placed our orders and delivered our food in lightning speed. He could barely have been more attentive and friendly.

Both of us ordered a cup of their delicious white cheddar ale soup for $3.50. With a topper of rye croutons, it was easily the best beer cheese soup I've had, and actually tasted more like fondue than a simple soup.

For my entrée, I tried the maple chicken salad for $10. It featured toasted pecans, crisp bacon bits, caramelized apples and mixed greens tossed in maple vinaigrette, and topped with a marinated grilled chicken breast. Quite good.

My wife had the spinach and cranberry salad ($8). It was baby spinach tossed in lemon vinaigrette, pecans, cranberries and blue cheese crumbles. She, too, enjoyed her choice.

We were out with plenty of time for the movie, and both of us look forward to returning for a brunch or a more substantial meal. I only wish I had gotten to Café Hollander sooner -- but it was well worth the wait.


Talkbacks

T15 | Sept. 18, 2007 at 12:40 p.m. (report)

Agree. Went there for brunch on Easter with my mother and we had Great food and service. I heard from two people that there service was terrible back then. I thought I would have to try it myself. Must have been growing pains at first but it was a great experience. Great coffee too.

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