Did you know that despite closing its bricks and mortar place in Brookfield, The Venice Club is still rockin' at Summerfest? And this year, it celebrates 40 years on the grounds. Eggplant strips, we salute you.
But, today, when the gates when up I vowed to try some new-to-me and new to the Big Gig foods for lunch on the first day of Summerfest, a day when the air hung with fog and the Johnson Controls weather station read a balmy 62 degrees.
I went first to Burke's Lakeside, which has opened this year in the Ethnic Village, just west of the U.S. Cellular Connection and Johnson Controls World Sound Stages. At 12:10 p.m., it had the most activity of the numerous eateries in that area.
Folks could choose from a mac and cheese-topped burger ($8), a wild mushroom flatbread (also $8), bacon cheddar "frachos" -- cheese fries and nachos -- ($6) and a number of other enticing looking items.
I'd heard about and was eager to try the lobster and shrimp BLT ($9), so I ordered one. What I got was half a lobster and shrimp BLT.
Don't get me wrong, it was a delicious half a sandwich. The bread was perfectly toasted, with a nice crunch. The seafood salad was delicious. But this is Summerfest. In Milwaukee. You gotta tell folks it's a half a sandwich. Then they can enjoy it properly.
On the far south side of the grounds, I stopped in a Trinity Three Irish Pubs, where I was determined to sample either the Loaded Twister Dog -- a spiral cut potato wrapped around a hot dog and doused with jalapeno pale ale cheese "whiz," Sriracha ketchup, mayonnaise and beer-candied bacon -- OR a chicken 'n' waffle cone with a rosemary waffle cone, bleu cheese cole slaw, battered chicken, beer candied bacon and on and on ($6 each)
But NOT both, for obvious reasons.
I went with the dog, figuring I'll come back for the chicken waffle during a future Summerfest 2014 visit.
Trust me on this, if you get the sinful thing that is the twister dog, grab a plastic fork and knife and don't try to eat it off the skewer that runs through this colossal item. It's perhaps the messiest thing I've eaten since that ill-advised deep-fried butter at State Fair.
The all-beef dog is delicious, but, overall, it's a bit much -- maybe you should share it with someone. Full disclosure, I ate it all. By myself. And I'd probably do it again. And I'll still come back to try the waffle.
Then, I walked all the way to the north end again to find Classy Girl Cupcakes, only to realize that -- luckily -- I'd misread the brochure and it's near the BMO Harris Pavilion. No way I could walk the length of Summerfest a fourth time with that lunch weighing me down. Next time.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Nov. 26, 2014
Big changes are on tap at Milwaukee Art Museum, where the collections galleries are closed while the permanent collection is re-installed and an expansion project is under construction. MAM's Senior Conservator Jim DeYoung is the man charged with getting it done on time, on budget and, most importantly, without damage.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
When Mayor Tom Barrett visited Highland Community School on Monday to welcome home a group of adolescent students from China, the trip -- according to the students themselves -- wasn't officially over yet. Today, it is officially complete.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
This year, Dental Associates completed its restoration of the Iron Block Building -- actually a pair of connected buildings dating from 1860 and 1899 -- and the work put a gorgeous new luster on one of Downtown's most aged landmarks. As Milwaukee's only iron-facade building, it's a real Milwaukee gem. To look at the historic Iron Block Building on the corner of Water and Wisconsin now, you'd be hard-pressed to believe it almost didn't survive.
Published Nov. 24, 2014
The photomontages created by Eau Claire's Then and Now Photography seamlessly meld images of the same place but from different eras, creating a fascinating and unique look at how familiar sites in Milwaukee have changed over the years.
Published Nov. 22, 2014
The world's most famous ice skating rink shimmers beneath what must be the most impressive urban tree, perhaps in the world, and the shop windows in the Center and along Fifth Avenue must be seen to be believed. Crowds queue to see the holiday spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and Times Square is decked out in green and red. And all America comes to check it out.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Few likely know the idea of farm to table better than new Blue Jacket chef Justice Neal. Neal, after all, went from farm to table himself, having grown up on 40 acres near Beloit. Recently, Neal, who served as the restaurant's sous, was promoted to replace departing chef Matt Kerley, who had run the kitchen at Blue Jacket since 2013. Since he's already launched a new menu, we decided it was time to check in with him about his work in the kitchen.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Milwaukee Public Library looks into Milwaukee's historic public schoolhouses with a small exhibit and panel discussion at Central Library.
Published Nov. 20, 2014
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and you're hosting (or attending) a family dinner. What to do about wine? How to find something that pairs well with both turkey and cranberries? How to find a wine that appeals to you, your parents and Aunt Millie? It can be challenging, but experts say a few simple rules can help guide the way...
Published Nov. 18, 2014
One of the most recent building "booms" at Milwaukee Public Schools added a handful of new schools to the city's landscape, but at least one planned project -- and perhaps more -- never saw the light of day.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
Serious music fans will relate. Though a lot of music enters my ears, very few make the kind of impression that Lucy Wainwright Roche's 2013 record, "There's A Last Time For Everything," made on me. A year later I can tell you exactly where I was when I first popped it into the CD player and sat transfixed, unable to move. Lucy Wainwright Roche comes to Milwaukee next week, and we talked to her about it.