I used to travel a lot and it was never on my own dime. I've been in almost every major city in this country, some outside the United States, and a whole lot of backwater places, as well.
Since it wasn't me paying for hotels or meals, I have managed to try restaurants all over the place. Many of them are forgettable. Some of them are one of a kind places that I remember with great fondness.
And then there are those that have multiple locations in multiple states. And it has gotten me to wondering why we in Milwaukee don't have some of these wonderful places. They are so good that I'm sure they would be real successful.
I know the restaurant business is a tough business and that Milwaukee has an extensive variety of places to eat. But some of my favorites would be a great addition. There are three restaurants I'd love to see here.
One is Ruth's Chris, the steakhouse you can find all over. Middleton (just outside Madison) has one, even though that boggles my mind. The restaurant chain is famous for the outstanding food and service that would make it a big hit here.
The second one is Legal Seafood, which is headquartered in Boston and which has locations in a number of states. If there is one food category that I think is under-represented in Milwaukee it's top flight seafood. Legal Seafood has a variety of menu items and the best crab cakes I've ever had anywhere. They try to add local fish to their menu in their locations and I'd love to see a great smelt dinner for example, in Milwaukee.
And finally, I'd love to see and In and Out Burger place in Milwaukee. Talk about simple. A small menu of fresh burgers and fries and shakes. I don't know what it is about these places, which started in California, but they now have almost 150 locations and eating there is an experience that you will long remember.
I'm sure there are lots of places I could add to this list, and I'd love to hear other suggestions.
Not to sound like a jerk Moose, but, I don't care for a Solleys burger (usually over cooked and over rated.) I don't think Soblemans is all that either.(Good bun , average burger) I'm a AJ Bombers guy. Also, in my opinion Ruth's Chris IS most likely better than TODAYS Five O'Clock Club, not the 5-0 of say 10 years ago. And finally, the great Coney Island hot dogs was replaced by a localy owned mini mart:( But I know what you are trying to get at. I too am for supporting our great locally owned eataries, but I like Mickey D's too.
Dave - good meeting you at Solly's last night. Could not agree more about an In & Out Burger - they are the best!
I think a Macaroni Grill would do very well here. Probably the best "chain" Italian restaurant I've been to. They put Olive Garden to shame and are a step above Carrabbas.
OCMEX, I'm not against a good greasy burger, who doesn't love a solley's grille butter burger or a sobelman. My point was I'm anti-corporate chain restaurants. We have a ton of good independently owned burger joints that are way better than the chains the blog talks about. Also, what about steakhouses you think Ruth Chris would be better than The 5 O'Clock Club or do we need another steakhouse? Local independent restaurants are the way to go. You really want a chain from Boston to open a seafood restaurant here? You mentioned how great The Coney Island Hot dogs are in a previous talk back and I would have loved to have had one. There is probably a Noodles Co. in it's place now. That's my point. keep the chains out. Wisconsin has great traditions and great food at all price points. These chains don't care about Wisconsin or it's culinary history.
White Castle, In And Out would be welcome and probably do well. As for Moose7's comments a good fast food burger is'nt going to kill off a bunch of local eateries, only ones that probably are poorly run to begin with. Also, as for staying local. Aside from the two "Urban Farmers" Groing power and the other name that escapes me at the moment. Who's farming anything in Wisconsin from October to late April? There is certainly not much grass for grass fed cattle to be had, so how do we accomplish that? Supporting and eating local does'nt mean we can't enjoy a $5 greasy burger once and a while.
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