For the ninth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2015."
Though some restaurants have long lives – in Milwaukee one thinks of Mader's or Karl Ratzsch's, for example, many more seem to come and go, victims of poor economies or bad management or changing culinary tastes, among other reasons.
Here are a few from the past that I miss...
Joe Wong was well-known in Milwaukee's Chinese community, but thanks to his popular restaurants, he was a familiar face to non-Chinese here, too. Wong immigrated to the U.S. in 1916, landing in Madison and studying engineering at Wisconsin. Fortunately for Milwaukee, Wong came here, where his dad had opened a restaurant Downtown. Later, the Wong's added a place on Third and North.
In 1945, Joe Wong opened La Joy at 4720 W. Lisbon Ave. and for decades it was perhaps the best Chinese restaurant in town. I visited a few times and each time it felt like a great treat and a splurge. I remember the food being delicious and the atmosphere being mysteriously dark.
Though La Joy (and its building) are gone, its owner's name lives on, immortalized in the name of Wong's Wok, founded by his grandson's Paul Wong and Edward Chin.
For about five years, I worked second shift Downtown at Milwaukee's daily morning newspaper, the defunct Milwaukee Sentinel. Thankfully, for some of those years there was a pizza by the slice restaurant just west of the old Grand movie house on Third and Wisconsin called, I think, New York Pizza Express. I remember eating a lot of pizza in the place, that had a long counter along the right side and a seating area a few steps up in back.
During those same years, I lived just off Downer Avenue and I spent a lot of time at The Chancery, especially on all you can e…Read more...