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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

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In Marketplace Commentary

Molly's loving the Bota box of wine.

OnMilwaukee.com Recommends, March 2, 2013


Got a hankering for a great burger? Can't find a good pair of jeans? Has the short battery life on you iPad got you down? Or are you just crabby because of that headache from last night's box of wine (admit it, now)? OnMilwaukee.com can cure what ales ya in this week's installment of OMC Recommends.

Cafe Lulu cheeseburgers – About the only thing I've had as a habit for all of my life is the search for great cheeseburgers. Well, this week I found myself in Bay View and a light went off. I had been hearing for a couple of years about the burger at Cafe Lulu. Bay View is not on my regular geographic run, but I know those who live there are as devoted as people anywhere in the city. So I stopped in and asked my server what she'd recommend. "The burger," she said. "The best in Bay View." And so I went with the burger, with cheddar and provolone, along with house chips. I couldn't have been more surprised when it came. It was a good-sized patty of Angus beef, done medium rare and with the cheese just melted at the edges. It had a soft and easy-to-manipulate bun and turned out to be so good it's moved into my top five in the city. And those chips with blue cheese dipping sauce are spectacular. The whole thing made me want to try a couple more of these Bay View places that keep on getting raves from residents. – Dave Begel

SO jeans at Kohl's – I loathe shopping for denim. Loathe it. Blue jeans are such a fashion essential – dress 'em up, dress 'em down, lounge around it them, wear them to the office – I've even slept in mine. (Not often. But, you know, occasionally.) And it's so hard to hit the jackpot with the magic combination of great material, fit and wash. I've found my denim soul mate in the SO line of jeans at Kohl's Juniors Section. They're cheap ($19.99), they fit great and I've had pairs that last at least two years before they start to wear out. Plus, they come in a myriad of cuts – boot, jeggings, skinny, flare, you name it. Yeah, they're from the Juniors Department, but the selection of sizes will fit almost any adult body. – Colleen Jurkiewicz

Golf Show, Wave, Marquette and Bucks – Lots to do indoors for the sports nut this weekend in Milwaukee. You can scratch that spring itch by visiting the Greater Milwaukee Golf Show at State Fair Park, which runs through Sunday. You've also got two days' worth of Milwaukee Wave games over at the U.S. Cellular Arena. They play tonight at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. They are the last two matches of the regular season before the two-time defending champs open the playoffs at home on March 10. The BMO Harris Bradley Center, too, will be rockin' on Saturday. You've got Marquette putting its 24-game home winning streak on the line against Notre Dame at 1 p.m., followed by the Milwaukee Bucks hosting the Toronto Raptors in a game with Eastern Conference playoff implications at 7:30 p.m. Lots to do - so do something! – Jim Owczarski

Bota box of wine – I've tried 'em all, and most boxes of wine deserve their "headache in a box" reputation, but the Bota box, in my opinion, is much better. Although about $3 more than other medium-priced boxes like Fish Eye, you're still getting the equivalent of four bottles of wine for under $20 and the quality is noticeably higher. The best aspect of the wine box is that, unlike the bottle, it stays fresh for weeks after it's open. Not that a box of wine ever lasts weeks in my house, but good to know. – Molly Snyder

Manhattan Solar Power Pack – About the size of an iPod Touch, this power pack offers great backup energy for iPods, cell phones, digital camera and more. You can charge it from a USB port but you can also juice up the lithium-ion battery using available light sources, as one side of the device is a small solar panel. Would I like it to be smaller still? Sure, but it's pretty small already and will fit in your pocket, purse or glove compartment. It comes with a small soft carry case full of adapters to fit it to a wide range of devices. It claims to offer 45 hours of backup power on a charge, but I don't have the stamina to confirm that. I need to sleep once in awhile. It'll be especially great for summer use, when I spend hours at a place like Summerfest, typing and photographing away and need extra battery life. Lists at $50 but you can get it for around $35 at cableorganizer.com. – Bobby Tanzilo

Third Shift Amber Lager – Though Milwaukee folks got an early taste of this new MillerCoors brew thanks to pre-distribution availability at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, I only just got to try it now that it's available darn near everywhere. It's honey-ish and nutty with a nice hint of caramel-y hop flavor, and I'd never have guessed it's a big-brewery product. Definitely shows that the big boys are watching smaller innovators and are perhaps more willing than they've been in a while to get cracking in the lab. Third Shift clocks in at 5.3 percent ABV and 159 calories. While it doesn't have the body or the complexity of Sprecher's amber (5.4 ABV, 162 calories), it'll more than do in a pinch. –Bobby Tanzilo

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