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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

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Give the gift of kayaking.
Give the gift of kayaking.

#ShopLocal holidays: Milwaukee Kayak Company

This post is brought to you by The Commerce Team. We operate independently of the editorial department, and if you take advantage of an item or deal we recommend, we get a share of the sale. We read the comments, and we want your feedback.

With the holiday seasons in full swing,, our ShopLocal marketplace and Local First Milwaukee have teamed to offer many unique, local items and deals.  It's easy to access these local deals and over the next several days I'll profile seven of the local items. 

Watch our Facebook page for a chance to win many of these local items, and - as I said - read my blog for some cool profiles.

Here's the first from Milwaukee Kayak Company.

Beth Handle – the former marketing manager at Laacke & Joys – opened this awesome canoe and kayak rental business two years ago. Handle opened Milwaukee Kayak with 15 kayaks, two canoes and two stand-up paddleboards. The cost to rent a kayak is $25 for four hours and $35 to rent a canoe. Each additional hour is $10.

Paddlers can explore parts of the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers for a city-meets-nature excursion. Handle provides a map – laminated and therefore waterproof – which is really helpful.

Of course, it's winter and kayaking isn't happening so MKC wants to prepare you and yours for next season with T-shirts, hats and gift certificates. 

Shop local, wear local and kayak local with these great items

Want to meet Jabari Parker and sit courtside at a Bucks game?
Want to meet Jabari Parker and sit courtside at a Bucks game? (Photo: Jim Owczarski)

Charity auction includes Braun, Lucroy, Cobb, Jordy and Jabari

The SURG Restuarant Group and owners Michael Polaski and Omar Shaikh have brought together some unique opportunities all to help a friend and military leader with more than 20 years of service. 

Chris "Blazo" Blaszak is a loving father and husband who was diagnosed with stage four Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Mandible. Blaszak sent the majority of his military career in the United States Air Force 440th Unit Military Police, retiring as a Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom military hero, after being deployed to Afghanistan.  Prior to his military career, Blaszk was a homicide detective and lieutenant of the Milwaukee Police Department.

Sadly, since August, Chris's cancer has accelerated, which resulted in four 10-hour surgeries.

Today, SURG launched an auction via's ShopLocal marketplace that gives you the opportunity to bid on exclusive "once in a lifetime" experiences with the following sports stars:

All auctions begin today at 11 a.m. and end Saturday, Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. 

There's also a full site dedicated to Blazo.  The site accepts donations and further details the auctions. 

"I'll do the stuffed shells."
"I'll do the stuffed shells." (Photo:

Whatever happened to "may I please have?"

So I'm at our local Downtown bagel shop and I overhear the customer in front of me say, "I'll do the honey wheat bagel with plain, light cream cheese."  What?  You'll do the?  What the heck is that? 

Come on, good restaurant-going people of Milwaukee, let's put an end to using the phrase "I'll do the ...."

It's "may I please have (or order) the honey wheat bagel?"  "Thank you."  That's how you order.

Now, I realize that in our fast and furious world that good grammar and "please" and "thank you" are easy to shun for more simple terms.  So, I get it when people resort to "I'll do" instead of "May I please order." But come on let's all strive to be better than this. 

Here's my challenge to you.  For the rest of this festive holiday season, no matter which beautiful holiday you celebrate, let's stop saying "I'll do the ..." in our coffee shops, delis, fast food lines and for sure in our amazing local restaurants. 

It's not too hard to say "may I please have."  Is it? 

Goodkind is one of America's best new restaurants.
Goodkind is one of America's best new restaurants. (Photo: Paul Fredrich)

This local eatery is one of the "21 best new restaurants" in the country

Thrillist has issues its 2014 list of "The 21 Best New Restaurants in America," and Goodkind, in Bay View, at 2457 S. Wentworth Ave., makes the cut.  

Goodkind was the only new Milwaukee restaurant on the list, while another with a name of a Milwaukee restaurant – Odd Duck – also lands on the list.  This Odd Duck, though, is in Austin, Texas.

The list, published Sunday, was curated by Thrillist's executive Food/Drink editor, Kevin Alexander and its associate Food/Drink editor Liz Childers.  

Here's what Alexander and Childers had to say about Goodkind:

"Opened this summer in a quiet corner of Milwaukee's happening Bay View neighborhood, Goodkind has all the warmth and friendliness of your neighborhood bar and grill -- but also lots of stuff that place doesn't have. Like an almost impossibly flavorful spicy dungeness crab bucatini with San Marzanos and ghost pepperoni. Or a rotisserie section turning out rich, juicy pork belly porchetta and fennel pollen dry-brined chicken. Or an entire 'Fryer' section. Fine, that's no surprise, especially in Wisconsin, but in this case it means Champagne-battered mushrooms with honey vinaigrette and piquillos, not cheese curds. Though, if they decided to DO cheese curds, you can bet they'd be incredible -- like your drink options, which span everything from a pear jasmine gin & tonic on tap to house barrel-aged cocchi Americano to a deep-cut, well-thought-out beer list that'll please the most ardent beer nerds without intimidating."

Chicago's Parachute, Trentina in Cleveland and Heydey in the Twin Cities were the only other Midwestern restaurants on the list.