Sign in | Register now | Like us on FacebookLike Us | Follow us on TwitterFollow Us

Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Sat
Hi: 65
Lo: 40
Sun
Hi: 59
Lo: 49

Hi: 70
Lo: 53
Advertise on OnMilwaukee.com
John Pipkorn lost everything in a fire on Oct. 18.
John Pipkorn lost everything in a fire on Oct. 18.

Help a firefighter in need

My friend (and Milwaukee's best bartender) Paul Kennedy of Tonic Tavern shared a sad story with me, and I'd like to share it with you, too.

John Pipkorn is a Mequon firefighter – a 25-year veteran who's risked his life for others – and now he needs some help. On Oct. 18, his own house caught fire, and his wife suffered serious injuries while jumping from a second story window. She's still in the hospital.

Sadly, Pipkorn's family is drastically underinsured, and has lost everything in this fire. Two of their cats died in the fire, which completely destroyed the house, while their dogs survived by hiding in a shed.

Now the Pikorn family, which has given so much to the community, needs your assistance. Obviously, money will help, but they need clothing, dog food, people food and more.

Plans are still coming together for an official benefit, which will take place on Sat., Nov. 17 at the Mequon VFW Post, but in the meantime, Paul is collecting donations of supplies at Tonic, 2335 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. If you have questions, you call e-mail Paul at p-kennedy@att.net or Beth Brahe at bethbrahe@gmail.com. You can also call Dale Schoessow, who is setting up a relief fund, at (414) 254-0369.

Obviously, I don't know know the Pipkorn family, but I really believe that firefighters are some of the bravest, most selfless people in our community. It would be great if Milwaukee could rally around John and his family and help them out in this time of need.

We've got our eyes on the prize!
We've got our eyes on the prize!

It's an honor just to be nominated

When I found out the OnMilwaukee.com has been awarded as an finalist in the 2012 Eppy Awards, I was, as expected, delighted.

We've won our share of awards over the years, and in fact, this nomination from Editor & Publisher Magazine – the industry source for professional journalism – has named us finalists in both 2003 and 2008. Locally, we've won several Milwaukee Press Club awards, but the Eppy is a big one. In our industry, it's the top award for excellence in digital media.

We'll find out next week if we win.

But even if we don't, it's such an honor to be considered among the country's best web sites. Locally, I think Milwaukeeans appreciate how hard we work – and have worked since 1998 – to deliver the city's best daily online magazine. To get kudos from this prestigious panel of 68 judges is an extra bonus. Milwaukee tends to fly under the radar nationally, and we're excited to share our story on such a big stage.

Because it's times like this that I reflect on what a small business we really are, despite our ever-growing numbers.

Yes, an amazing 400,000 monthly unique visitors read and enjoy what we write every day. Yes, we're well into seven digits of annual, profitable revenue. But we're also a team of just 13 or so full-time employees. We build our own software, write our own stories, take our own photos and sell our own ads. We're an independent media company, doing great things, in an era of bigger and bigger media players.

It's just so nice to be recognized along big players like ESPN.com, CNN.com and more.

Many thanks, as always, to our our hard-working employees, our advertisers and our readers. We wouldn't be here without you.

We'll let you know if we win on Oct. 30.

Oh Del's, please come to Milwaukee!
Oh Del's, please come to Milwaukee!

What I crave from the Milwaukee dining scene

For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2012."

I don't really have a lot of complaints about the Milwaukee dining scene. For a city of its size, Milwaukee has amazing restaurants, chefs and diversity. In fact, per capita, one would be very hard-pressed to find a city that's better.

My biggest complaints, I guess, is that I don't have enough time to try everything.

But if I had to nitpick, there are a few additions I'd like to see in town. In no particular order:

Legit 24-7 fast food Mexican chain: One of my favorite parts about visiting Phoenix each spring is Filberto's, and Milwaukee really has nothing like it. You know that you'll get quality, cheap Mexican food any time of day or night, and with a zillion locations, they're close to everything. (No, it's nothing like Chipotle.)

Bagels in Bay View: I really love bagels, and the only thing that keeps me from eating more of them is their scarcity near my house. On the weekends, I can schlep Downtown or to 27th and Oklahoma for Einstein Brothers, but I'd love to see a real bagel place on the near South Side. And if it wasn't a chain, even better.

Jamba Juice: Speaking of chains, a couple smoothie places popped up in Milwaukee a while ago, but none had the staying power of Jamba Juice. Apparently, there's one at Carthage College in Kenosha, but I love smoothies, and would love to see one closer to home.

High-end Chinese food: When I lived in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, there were a handful of high-end Chinese food places, and I'm not talking about P.F. Chang's. I adore Chinese food, but I think with a few exceptions, Milwaukee doesn't do it very well. I don't expect a Chinese Mexican fusion place like Las Vegas' China Poblano ... just somewhere with a l…

Read more...
Many of this year's winners leveraged their social media fans to get out and vote.
Many of this year's winners leveraged their social media fans to get out and vote.

The "best of" popularity contest

For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2012."

I see just about every piece of feedback to our annual "best of dining" poll, and not surprisingly, a lot of it is negative.

That's not because people don't enjoy voting and reading the results. In fact, this is some of our most-read content all year long. Rather, more people tend to comment critically, instead of supporting. That's just how it works, and we're fine with that.

The biggest complaint? We hear from many readers who don't agree with a restaurant that wins, that "it's just a popularity contest."

Well, yes. Yes, it is.

Obviously, of the thousands of votes cast in poll, the most popular restaurant wins. Sometimes it's the best one. Sometimes it's the one the most people have heard of. Clearly, deciding who's the "best," is very subjective, which is why we also weigh in with our own editors' picks. Sometimes we agree with our readers, as was the case when we both selected The Odd Duck as best new restaurant. Sometimes, we don't, like when our readers chose The Cheesecake Factory for best restaurant in the northern suburbs, but we chose Three Lions Pubs.

In many cases, we know full well who will win a category before the voting even starts. Some candidates win by such a huge margin every year that we wish we could take them off, just so another place could have a chance. But that's not really fair, is it?

"Popularity," it seems, comes from a number of factors. Who advertises the most seems to be the most logical one, but speaking as the owner of a company that derives most of its revenue through advertising, we don't actually have a ton of restaurant clients (most of our advertisers are larger regional and national clients). In fact, the restaurants that spend the most i…

Read more...