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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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I support equal rights and same-sex marriage. I also support chicken.
I support equal rights and same-sex marriage. I also support chicken. (Photo: Foodbeast.com)

Here comes Chick-fil-A

If you haven't heard yet, Chick-fil-A is finally coming to the Milwaukee Metro area. Two new free-standing locations will mark the company's re-launch into town at 126th and Capitol in Brookfield and the other on 76th Street near Southridge Mall. 

I love Chick-fil-A chicken as well as its hand-spun peach shake when it is in season – and the waffle fries, well, let's just say I am a fan. Year after year of road-trips south to my grandmother's in North Carolina made Chick-fil-A a routine pit-stop for me.

I'd always stop at the one in Lafayette, Ind., after you get past all the windmills. If you've ever driven this stretch, you know where I am talking about – you're either past the chaos of Chicago, or about to head into it.

Chick-fil-A is a bit of quandary for me. I'm excited the restaurants are finally going to be close to home – it's a huge comfort-food  and a bit nostalgic for me. Plus, the finger-lickin' chicken strips are addictive. 

But, I don't agree with the president's politics (yes, I realize it is the owner's stance and not necessarily the employees') that became public in 2012. Stopping there or not wasn't an issue for me in recent years as my grandmother has since moved back to Wisconsin. I don't want to support the stance company president and COO Dan Cathy took on equal rights or same-sex marriage (though it is his right to have that opinion) and feel like I am supporting his views by eating there.

Am I delusional by telling myself I am supporting the workers who earn a wage at Chick-fil-A (especially the 80-plus jobs per store that will come to Milwaukee metro with these openings) instead of the family who owns Chick-fil-A itself? Probably. 

I'll have to decide soon which direction I will go. But, I know I may have a hard time not getting some of that chicken once it is close by, so I best make my mind up soon.

Decisions, decisions. 

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Milwaukee's lakefront and Downtown are just two of many reasons to move here.
Milwaukee's lakefront and Downtown are just two of many reasons to move here. (Photo: Henryk Sadura / Getty Images)

Is Milwaukee an underrated city to move to?

Yes, Milwaukee has made yet another list that is making the rounds today. This time, it's "14 Underrated Places You'll Really Want To Move To" on Buzzfeed

Milwaukee does have its issues (all cities do).  We need to attack poverty, crime and racial divide. Even with my concerns, and, honestly, embarrassment, with the larger problems here, it never shocks me when Milwaukee makes a list such as this.

For every challenge, there are at least 10 great things about Milwaukee that make us unique. And, it's nice that others are starting to notice. Deemed in this article as "The unsung gem of the Midwest, this little city offers everything from an eclectic music scene to the House of Harley-Davidson," Milwaukee has much to offer those looking for a great new place to live. 

Other cities that made the cut were Asheville, N.C., Marfa, Texas, and Fort Collins, Colo., you can see the full list here. I've been to a few on the list, including Asheville, which is fantastic, and I would consider living there. 

Do you think Milwaukee is underrated as a city? What can we do to make things better here? What do we do to make Milwaukee really shine in the national spotlight? 

Asking these questions will only help us to make more lists like the one today. Keep on keepin' on, Milwaukee.  And, out of towners?  Move here.  We're happy to have you. 

Cafe Vocar is nestled in the Riverwest neighborhood and offers European fare without the jet lag.
Cafe Vocar is nestled in the Riverwest neighborhood and offers European fare without the jet lag. (Photo: Carolynn Buser)

First look: fish fry at Cafe Vocar

This past Friday, as I usually do, I headed out for a fish fry with a good friend. Wanting to try something new, we chose to check out Cafe Vocar, a cafe that is nestled within Riverwest at Weil and Wright Streets.

Photo: Cafe Vocar Facebook

Cafe Vocar is open Friday-Sunday for dinner, as well as brunch on Sunday, and has a menu heavily influenced on Europe. You'll find goulash, schnitzel and more of the sort on the menu along with some pastas, salads and lighter appetizers. While I do indeed plan to stop back down and get my schnitzel on, tonight was all about the fish fry. 

The cod fish fry ($12.99) came with three large pieces of lightly breaded cod, french fries, homemade coleslaw and rye bread. The texture for the breading was quite nice and the fish was not overly-coated, which can be the case with many fish frys (I realize this is subjective).

The breading itself could have used a bit more flavor but I'd rather have the texture and fish be good, and this was the case with Cafe Vocar's. The steak fries were a nice touch, though I would have preferred a potato pancake of some sort, which would seem like an appropriate option at a cafe with a European theme.

Cod Fish Fry $12.99

Cafe Vocar also makes all of its desserts in house, and the peanut butter chocolate parfait came highly recommended to us by our waitress. Unfortunately, they were already out of them for the day, so make note that they go quickly - and it was only 7 p.m. on Friday night!

Instead we tried the Nutella banana crepes ($5) - which did not disappoint. The crepes were filled with Nutella and bananas and then drizzled with a delicious chocolate sauce. 

Nutella Banana Crepes $5

Cafe Vocar is a great addition to a neighborhood that already boasts popular dining spots like Centro and Cafe Corazon.  A back patio currently being built will only make it a more desirable spot in the summer months when we want to be nowhere but outside. 

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A waffle panino: smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese, arugula, bacon and a side of hollandaise.
A waffle panino: smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese, arugula, bacon and a side of hollandaise. (Photo: Carolynn Buser)
This view, and their delicious brunch options, are not "Ugly" at all.
This view, and their delicious brunch options, are not "Ugly" at all. (Photo: Carolynn Buser)

An Ugly's brunch isn't ugly at all

I'm always on the lookout for my next new favorite brunch spot, as I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to Sunday dining. So when I got the chance to head over and sample some of the pub's new brunch menu – from new executive chef Jordan Short, who brought some unique dishes to this new American fusion brunch option –  I jumped at the chance.

For me, brunch means a start to winding down the weekend, though sometimes it means the start to a Sunday funday. Ugly's brunch could be one of my new favorite brunch locations. Here are five reasons to try it: 

1. Rooftop dining
I recently came back from a trip to Austin, where rooftop bars and restaurants are on every block. There are a few other rooftops in Milwaukee such as Benelux and Braise, but I am glad we now have an additional option with Ugly's patio opening soon for use. This classy yet comfortable rooftop includes a covered bar portion and tables, plus an open roof area with large couches and seating areas for lounging. This new rooftop could quite possibly become one of my favorite places in Milwaukee, especially with a $10 bottomless mimosa from Ugly's. 

2. Greek yogurt brulee
One of the dishes we tried was a take on creme brulee with a somewhat healthier twist. At least it feels healthier, whether or not it is. The dish featured granola layered with a dollop of Greek yogurt, which was then "bruleed." 

3. Waffle panini
The waffle panini we tried was one of three that will be on the normal Ugly's brunch menu. The sandwich is made with waffles that were put together and pressed on a panini grill. The one we tried featured smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese, arugula, bacon and a side of hollandaise. The combination was one of my favorites, as it brought together the sweetness of the waffles and the savory of the rest of the ingredients. I can't wait to go and try the other waffle panini options soon.

4. Pupusa
The pupusa is a Salvadoran dish that may be hard to find elsewhere in Milw…

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