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Authentic pho is a great treat at Buddha Lounge on North Avenue.
Authentic pho is a great treat at Buddha Lounge on North Avenue.
Buddha Lounge has dishes from Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan.
Buddha Lounge has dishes from Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan.

New Buddha Lounge offers a great, authentic pho

The first time I had Vietnamese pho, the famed noodle and broth dish eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, was in Nha Trang, a coastal city in what used to be South Vietnam, in either 1966 or 1967.

I loved the dish then and while it’s not a staple of my diet, I love it every now and then. Pho is a definitely staple in Vietnam, however, eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s sold in fine restaurants and as street food in many cities.

I was very please to find a new Milwaukee restaurant with the kind of pho I had in Vietnam.

Buddha Lounge, 1504 W. North Ave., a few blocks west of Oakland, has a great version of what it calls "Authentic Pho." I think the authenticity comes from the presence of tendon meat, which is served along with brisket and meatballs. The tendon is chewier than other meats and provides a fuller beef flavor to the dish and is not part of every version you can find in Milwaukee (though others certainly do include it). American tastes are not normally fond of things like tendon and, say, tripe.

This version has brisket, tendon and meatballs along with rice noodles and a garnish of scallions and cilantro. A dish of peppers, limes and bean sprouts comes alongside.

The broth of the pho is as flavorful as any I’ve ever eaten. You can get it with chicken or beef and the beef was light on the salt and heavy on beefiness. There was a smattering of onion and ginger in the broth, which is the key to the pho.

Kitchen manager Kain Nett has written a wide and varied menu with food from Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan, including a decent selection of sushi dishes. I'm also a big fan of Buddha's banh mi.

But it’s the authentic pho that will bring me back for more.

The Buddha Lounge menu and online ordering options is available here.

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Only three Green Bay Packers made the list of all-time NFL greats.
Only three Green Bay Packers made the list of all-time NFL greats. (Photo: Green Bay Packers)

Lots of Packers ignored on the latest all-time best NFL players list

Milwaukee loves lists, especially when someone else does one where we show up as a positive and praiseworthy place to live.

Great bars, best lake, finest craft beers – you know it and we love lists and usually trumpet them loudly.

Well, there’s a new list out and if it doesn’t get your dander up and make you swear, then your credentials as a real Wisconsinite may be revoked. They will at least be suspect.

This list comes from Rantsports.com. Rant is a media company, founded in Illinois and now doing web sites that range from sports to chic fashion to pets and politics.

Well rantsports is now out with a list of the 50 greatest National Football League players of all-time. You can see the list and who was the best of all-time here.

It’s not a bad list, but there are only three Green Bay Packers on the list – Forrest Gregg, No. 42;Brett Favre, No. 11;  Reggie White, No. 8.

To say this casts suspicion on the entire selection process is like saying the whole Kardashian family is nuts.

For example, there are five Dallas Cowboys and five Pittsburgh Steelers on the list. The Colts have four as do the Rams and the Bears. Green Bay is tied with Oakland with three each.

Let’s take a look at what may well be the most glaring error in the creation of this list.

Lance Alworth, a wide receiver for the San Diego Padres during the days of Air Coryell was No. 30.

A pretty good argument could be made that the Packers have had at least two wide receivers who were better than Alworth.

Don Hutson revolutionized pro football with his pass catching. At various times he held virtually every receiving record in the books.

And James Lofton was widely regarded as about the best receiver of his time, even though he played on chronically bad teams under Bart Starr the coach.

Starr the quarterback doesn’t even get a mention on this list despite being the field general for what may well have been the greatest teams in the history of the league.

Most of the players on t…

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The boys from "The Book of Mormon" have landed at the Marcus Center.
The boys from "The Book of Mormon" have landed at the Marcus Center. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

"Book of Mormon" bashes into Milwaukee like a profane, hilarious maniac

If you find yourself wandering into the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in the next couple of days, be forewarned: You'll have to check your faith at the door.

The "Book of Mormon" arrives in town with all the subtlety of an out of control car smashing through the window of the local hardware store.

This musical won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical. It also could probably have won the award for the most blasphemous, scurrilous, rakish and downright profane musical ever to hit the stage.

Oh, let’s not leave out the fact that this play is so funny it had a capacity crowd roaring Wednesday night. I mean roaring.

The story concerns two young Mormon boys, Elder Price (David Larsen) and Elder Cunningham (Chad Burris), who are sent out on their first mission. They land in a village in Uganda, something that is out of their wheelhouse.

What follows is a story complete with: Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, armed barbarians, Yoda, an angel named Moroni, natives, devils, Jeffrey Dahmer, Hitler, skeletons, dancing girls, a warlord with an unprintable name, villagers who are ravaged by AIDS and the whitest group of boys ever to grace the stage in recent years, the Mormon boys.

The first song the boys hear when they land in the village is "Hasa Diga Eebowai" which can’t be translated here. Suffice it to say that the middle finger and God figure prominently in the phrase.

This play was put together by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who are the creators of "South Park" and Robert Lopez who composed the music and lyrics for "Avenue Q."

This touring production is a first class event with a cast of lively and outstanding actors, singers and dancers.

Burris stands out in his role as Elder Cunningham. Think Chris Farley as a young man and you’ll get a feeling for what Burris brings to his role.

While the sacrilege and dirty jokes may well be the calling card for "Mormon," the truth is that this show resembles and reinvigorates the Rodge…

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Leaving Matt Garza in the game raises questions about whether the Brewers gave up last night.
Leaving Matt Garza in the game raises questions about whether the Brewers gave up last night. (Photo: Milwaukee Brewers)

Lopsided loss to Mets raises questions about whether Brewers tossed in the towel

One of the most interesting things about baseball, and one that provides a pile of fuel to sports talk radio and water cooler fan discussion, is what the team does when it’s getting killed early.

That’s the issue that faced the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend when they were walloped, 14-1, by the Mets at Citi Field. (Note: The Brewers blanked the Mets on Friday, 7-0.)

Brewers pitcher Matt Garza gave up 10 hits, three walks and 10 runs in just over three innings. That it was brutal and ugly and Garza had to stay out there, getting duped on over and over as the parade around the bases went on and on for the Mets.

As you watched the slaughter, the question came up about whether manager Craig Counsell and the Brewers were throwing in the towel and giving up after just four innings. By the time the game came to an end there were no Brewers starters left on the field.

Counsell, in video from the Brewers' website, was realistic after the game trying to explain what happened and why he left Garza in the game.

"I figure it was just an ugly game and that’s why we’re happy there’s a game tomorrow," he said.  "You flush it away at the ballpark and get ready for tomorrow. It just happened fast. It snowballed pretty fast. I wish I could have gotten him (Garza) out of their quicker and wish I had.

"I thought he made a mistake to (Wilmer) Flores (who hit a grand slam)  but didn’t think he was pitching that poorly. I thought he could get through that inning and then keep going quite honestly. It’s one of those nights when it didn’t go right."

For his part, Garza didn’t dodge any questions about what happened.

"It's on me," Garza said. "My job is to go deep; I didn't. I didn't get anywhere close to what I wanted to accomplish. You just 'wear it and move on."You 'flush it' and go. It's like a fight. You get knocked down, and it's how you get back up. That's all it is. Am I going to lay down or am I going to get back up? I like getting back up. That's…

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