The arrival of Carson's, the Chicago rib and steak house, in Milwaukee this fall is likely to seriously shake up the balance of power among Downtown restaurants like no one has in years. It was announced yesterday that the Chicago institution will occupy the ground floor of The Moderne, the 31-story apartment and condo development that is rising on the corner of Juneau and Old World Third Street.
Carson's ribs – slow cooked, smoked for hours in a hickory wood pit, tight to the bone, slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce – are so popular, the restaurant ships them in Styrofoam coolers with dry ice around the country. Although its home is the Windy City, Carson's is a Milwaukee-style eatery.
Portions are very generous at the two Chicago-area locations. The au gratin potatoes – best I have ever eaten – are cheesehead heaven. They have been called a cardiologist's nightmare.
Substitute the restaurant's signature Caesar salad, which has a slight hint of anchovies in the dressing, for the standard salad. More heaven.
Casual in style but serious about food, Carson's should do fabulous business before Bucks, Marquette and Admirals games, and it is close enough to the Marcus Center, Pabst Theater and Milwaukee Rep to appeal to pre-show diners.
My mouth is already watering for those potatoes.