Social Circle: What type of restaurant does Milwaukee need or need more of?
Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
Milwaukee certainly has no shortage of great restaurants, but Brew City still harbors a few dining blind spots. So this week, OnMilwaukee.com asked the Social Circle what types of eateries the city still lacks, and the responses were varied and abundant, from Vietnamese to African to a White Castle.
What kind of food would you like to see available in local restaurants? What is Milwaukee still missing?
Lisa May Antell: "A White Castle."
Bill Begos: "Vegan."
Nick Berg: "Conveyor. Belt. Sushi."
Sarah Berg: "Korean chicken wings, like Crisp in Chicago or Bon Chon in New York City. Sweet, tangy, crispy. Mmmmmmm!"
Jill Braun: "Food carts. Most carts are organized into what are called "Pods" (very popular in Portland). There can be anywhere from four to 12 carts in one area with picnic tables. Great location would be the lot where Pizza Man was located."
Heidi Calaway: "More health food. A menu that includes like all gluten-free, power juice bar, organics, free-range, etc."
Michael Canter: "Ruths Chris (Steak House)."
George Christenson: "Bistros."
Derek Collins: "Fresh & Easy. These stores rock in L.A. Bigger than a Quik Trip but smaller than a grocery store. And their to-go meals are amazing and reasonably priced!"
Celesté Contreras: "Full-on juice bar. Not just carrots. Not just apples."
Frank Datzer: "A retro dinner place with live music and dancing – like the old '40s nightclubs."
Emilio De Torre: "Affordable tapas, Korean BBQ (don't worry still love you Seoul), more falafel joints, street food at street-food prices not restaurant prices, Jamaican food, udon/ramen noodles houses (not this $10 faux gourmet stuff). Good food that working folks can afford. Dim sum!"
Amanda Louise DeGrave: "More healthy, swanky options. It's hard to find food that is low-sodium, calorie conscious and nutritious."
Emily Dunn: "I'm just going to come right out and say it: I've never had a really good piece of pizza in Milwaukee. I'm new here, so I'm sure there is good pizza out there, but I haven't found it. (And please don't say Ian's – that's fine drunk/novelty pizza, but not otherwise all that great)."
Jill Engel-Miller: "Vietnamese, preferably on the East Side."
Kevin Groen: "Cheap sandwiches in the Third Ward without all of the Milwaukee Public Market madness."
Elizabeth Howe: "We don't have any '50s retro diners anymore. I mean actual, intentionally retro diners. Jukebox, poodle skits and huge burgers."
Charles Jason: "More Thai restaurants outside the East Side."
Damien Jones: "More creative, affordable cuisine like burger joints. soul food and Jamaican food."
Rhonda Kambandu: "African."
Jeff Kilsdonk: "More good BBQ. I mean GOOD BBQ, not Chili's. Like Texas-style."
Tammy Kolbe: "I say bring back the good salad bars. Fecal matter be damned."
Ryan Lee: "Cajun!"
Claudine Lienau: "We need a Sheboygan-style diner. Breakfast, Sheboygan-style steaks and burgers on Sheboyan hard rolls, dinners. We have them in Sheboygan and need one in Riverwest!"
Lisa Mahan: "Vietnamese."
Harriet McKinney: "Kosher."
Christal Meredith-Korfhage: "Famous Dave's on the North or East Side."
Arno Michaels: "I would like to have African Hut back, please."
Tarik Moody: "Dim sum! A city without good dim sum is doomed. Full-fledged Korean BBQ like Honey Pig BBQ."
Pablo Muirhead: "Rumah makan Indonesia. Ayo, laper!"
Matthew Norberg: "Korean taco vans."
Dax Phillips: "Two thoughts: dim sum and a soup-and-salad-
Wlysabeth Reichman: "Vietnamese, Thai, Korean."
Lauryl Sulfate: "I second the soul food suggestion. Something like soul vegetarian in Atlanta would be amazing!"
Monica Thomas: "Pay-what-you-can Panera."
Tyler Traband: "Tibetan!"
Emily Zimmers Weiss: "Cheap, New Orleans take-out."
Patty Zastrow-Jankowski: "After I came back from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico I wanted to open a Caribbean restaurant here. I just don't know how popular that would be."
El Pollo Poco or Baja Fresh. In-n-Out would be popular too but that will never happen.
More Mexican restaurants that can get beyond the same old-same old taco-burrito-enchilada with a plop of beans and a plop of rice mentality. Where are the Oaxacan moles? Where's all the Baja seafood? How about the Yucatan area? In fact, how about more Latin restaurants in general? Antigua in West Allis is awesome but how come there aren't more places serving food from Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and so on?? It's tacos and burritos everywhere. BORING.
To Jeff looking for BBQ. Try Ashley's on National or Smoke Shack in 3rd Ward for your BBQ fix. Both are amazing.
Miss Katie's Dinner at 1900 w. Clybourn is a 1950s diner--juke box with older songs, some waitresses wear poodle skirts. Great menu and all food made from scratch in their kitchen. Not expensive. I eat there weekly. Try it! also, we do not need more Famous Dave's. I ate there once--food was awful--have not and will never eat there again. We do not need more national chain restaurants in Milwaukee. Locals are best and profits stay here. And agree, we need more high quality African restaurants. I like pounded yam that one dips pieces in a sauce--available anywhere in Milwaukee now? African Hut had it.
Roti Mediterranean Grill or Piada Italian Street Food. Both take the concept of a Chipotle but do it with Mediterranean and Italian. Both are very good!
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