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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Marketplace Commentary

If you're looking for something grilled - but your grill is under 25 feet of snow - Bobby recommends this T-Fall Optigrill.

In Marketplace Commentary

Come for Mission Belt's humanitarian efforts. Stay for the well-fitting, stylish belts.

OnMilwaukee.com recommends, Feb. 22, 2014


It's time for another round of recommendations from OnMilwaukee.com, this time featuring a nifty new grill and not one, but two fashion tips.

T-Fal Optigrill – I've tried all kinds of kitchen gadgets that were meant to make better food AND make my life easier – grills and wafflemakers and sandwich makers and this and that. The problem with a large proportion of them? Impossible to clean. Any convenience created by using these contraptions was undercut by the frustrating inconvenience of properly cleaning them after use.

When I wanted to have access to a grill this winter while the outdoor barbecue was quite literally buried under snow, I came upon T-Fal's Optigrill, which – in addition to a range of other useful attributes – is incredibly easy to clean because its two grill plates direct any fat into a run-off tray. The tray is easily emptied and cleaned, and the plates pop right off and can go in the dishwasher.

Add the fact that the Optigrill is fully automated (though you can also fly solo with the manual setting) to perfectly cook chicken, steaks, burgers, fish and more to the desired temperature, and I'm all aswoon. There's even a setting for food straight out of the freezer. I've used it for chicken, steaks and burgers with great results, and I'm plotting some shrimp on this indoor barbie this weekend. The Optigrill lists for about $250, but I just saw it on sale on Kohls.com for $180. – Bobby Tanzilo

Mission Belt – For me, belts serve a rather utilitarian function. They help keep my pants comfortable and where they are meant to be while providing an element of style. I don't really need a belt to keep my pants up, but – of course – they are an essential part of any wardrobe. This being said, I've never really put a lot of effort into buying belts. I own three or four, one that's "nice" as I bought it for my wedding, but none that I've loved as much as my recent purchase of a Mission Belt.

I saw these belts online and researched a bit as the "mission" of the company piqued my interest. What is the Mission Belt? A belt without holes that just works and fits perfectly. And the company gives a buck from every belt bought to organizations that help fight against hunger and poverty. These things are great: super stylish, really nice leather and a buckle that's simple, yet innovative. Learn more about the company here and, trust me, you'll love this belt. – Jeff Sherman

Busted Tees – I am probably not what one would call a fashionable young man. Jeans and a t-shirt work just fine for me. However, I like to make sure that t-shirt is at least fairly cool, and to do so, I check out Busted Tees.

The website – run by College Humor – specializes in clever, pop culture related t-shirts. Sometimes, these kinds of joking shirts can be childish – I'm thinking of those shirts that say "If you're reading this, you're stupid" or something like that. The designs on Busted Tees, however, are actually quite clever (a shirt with a picture of Freud saying "Yo Mama," another with an image of Robert E. Lee done up like a high school yearbook photo with the caption "Most Likely to Secede") and pretty stylish as well. Even if people don't get the joke or reference, it'll still be a nifty and quite comfortable look.

If you're a fan of a TV show, movie, band or meme, there's likely a t-shirt on Busted Tees for it. There's one featuring an Underwood presidential campaign logo for you "House of Cards" fans, one with a logo for Kel's Orange Soda from the '90s Nickelodeon classic "Kenan & Kel" (a loose use of the word classic, but still) and – most tempting for me – one with Benny the 1980s-something space guy from "The Lego Movie" with the words "SPACESHIP!" behind him.

Some of the shirts have already passed their pop cultural expiration date (anyone still laughing about "What Does The Fox Say?"), but there are more hits than misses on Busted Tees. It's a great site for a pop culture nerd – like myself – to show off his or her geekiness while looking good in the process. – Matt Mueller

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