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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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Hollywood was in town shooting scenes for "Trouble with the Curve," last week at the U.S. Bank Building.
Hollywood was in town shooting scenes for "Trouble with the Curve," last week at the U.S. Bank Building. (Photo: J. Adams)
Here's the set from the shoot.
Here's the set from the shoot. (Photo: J. Adams)

Hollywood hits Milwaukee to film Selig movie cameo

Did you see the cameras set up on the Galleria level of the U.S. Bank Building, 777 E. Wisconsin Ave., last week?

We're told that Hollywood was in town shooting scenes for "Trouble with the Curve," directed by Robert Lorenz and written by Randy Brown.

MLB commish Bud Selig, whose offices are in the tower, made a cameo appearance in the shoot for the film that stars Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake.

"Trouble with the Curve" is about an aging baseball scout, played by Eastwood, whose failing eyesight is forcing him into retirement. He decides to take one last job and hits the road with his daughter to scout some new talent.

The film is currently in post-production and is scheduled to arrive in theaters in September. Milwaukee's Mindpool Productions filmed the scene which will be the final one in the movie.

 

Uno has two locations in southern Wisconsin.
Uno has two locations in southern Wisconsin.

A lesson in good restaurant customer service

Yesterday, on a trip to run some errands, the skies blackened and were shot through with lightning bolts. It was time to seek shelter, and because we were pushing the kids' dinner time, it was time to seek sustenance, too.

Being in a suburban landscape of strip malls, we found ourselves in a booth at an Uno Chicago Grill, a place we rarely visit, watching the trees sway wildly in the wind and watching with trepidation as the restaurant's lights occasionally flickered in the storm.

The food at Uno is OK. It's not the best, nor the worst I've ever eaten. But whoever the manager on duty was last night dished up some top-notch customer service.

When one of our pizzas arrived without the spinach that was ordered, we pointed it out to our server, who happened to be tableside at that moment. He apologized and ran to the kitchen to get another pizza made.

In the meantime, the manager came over to apologize and tell us that he'd he happy to box up the errant pizza, if we wanted, and to, well, apologize again. He was sincere, clearly ready to meet our demands – though we made none – and honest.

(And he was savvy. He couldn't miss the kids at the table and he took the opportunity to make sure we knew that Tuesday was kids eat free night.)

We didn't need dessert comped or a coupon for a free cocktail. We just wanted a pizza with spinach it and it arrived about as quickly as one can.

Mistakes happen and I think in most cases, but certainly not all, customers want just what this manager provided: an acknowledgement of a mistake, a rectification of the mistake, an apology and the appearance that he genuinely cared about our experience in his restaurant.

Maybe we'll go out to eat again tonight. I hear it's kids eat free night.

A giant, delicious slice and a garlic roll for $3.89.
A giant, delicious slice and a garlic roll for $3.89.

A week of pizza by the slice: Times Square

Don't let the strip mall attached to a gas station location fool you, Times Square Bistro and Pizzeria, 605 S. 1st St., in Walker's Point, plates up a formidable slice of pizza.

I've heard anecdotally that the owner of another pizza slice joint in Milwaukee, who is an outer borough boy like I am – though not the same borough – said that Times Square had the most authentic New York-style slice, at least until the speaker opened his place.

I would definitely agree and would be tempted to go further and say it's still the most authentic.

The cheese and sauce intermingle in that New York way; you know, where you can't exactly tell sometimes where one ends and the other begins, creating just a red, white and orange speckled design that is a hallmark of deliciousness. Then there's the perfect blend of salty cheesiness and sweet sauciness.

The Times Square slice was the most unusually shaped, being wider than it is long – a whopping 12 inches wide by 8.75 inches long (at the edge, which is how I've been measuring all of them).

The shape, and the thin, soft crust made this slice something of a challenge to eat on the go, but I'm happy to deal with that minor snafu for such a really satisfying slice.

This one rang up at $3.89 a slice for cheese (toppings are extra), with a garlic roll on the side. I'll make the suggestion here that Times Square start making zeppole and trading the garlic role for one or two of those.

I'm glad I saved Times Square for last because it was a really stellar way to close out a week of pizza by the slice.

A tasty, but diminutive slice from Whole Foods.
A tasty, but diminutive slice from Whole Foods.

A week of pizza by the slice: Whole Foods

Today's slice comes from Whole Foods Market, which sells slices for $3.50 each or two for $6, regardless of toppings.

I visit Whole Foods daily, because it's close to my office, and I have the pizza weekly. I like it. The crust is thin but doughy. Unlike traditional New York-style pizza, it lacks the rim of dough along the outside edge, but that's OK.

The oven gets nice and hot and the bottom of the crust usually has some super-tasty dark spots without burning the cheese up top.

Whole Foods also makes a nice variety of pizzas, from basic cheese to one-topping options like pepperoni or sausage to more complex multi-topping ones like the vegan, spinach and feta and others.

Turnover is good here, too, which means the slices are pretty fresh and don't generally need reheating. They sit under heat lamps, which could be a problem if they've been out of the oven too long, but that rarely seems to be the case.

The main problem at Whole Foods has been shrinkage. I haven't measured the pies but experience tells me that they've gotten smaller over time and, consequently, so have the slices.

For example, today's cheese and pepperoni – which has thin slices of large, mild pepperoni on top – measured a mere 7.75 inches by 8 inches, making it, by far, the most diminutive of the slices I've had this week.

Tomorrow I wrap up the week with a visit to a South Side place.