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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

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Get this now. Celebrate Oct. 3-5.
Get this now. Celebrate Oct. 3-5.

#Shop Local: The official MKE Oktoberfest shirt

This post is brought to you by The Commerce Team. We operate independently of Editorial, 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.

At OnMilwaukee.com, our ShopLocal marketplace is still growing. And to continue its growth, I’m showcasing different products several times each week. Yes, we make money on this and yes we’re helping the local economy grow.

Have items that you want showcased? Contact me. Want to open a ShopLocal store or complement an existing ebay or easy store?  Click here.

On Oct. 3-5, the Marcus Center Grounds and Pere Marquette Park will transform Downtown Milwaukee into a traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest celebration activating both sides of the Milwaukee River with beer gardens, music and food.

It’s almost amazing that Milwaukee doesn’t have a huge scale Summerfest-sized Oktoberfest.  We have several smaller, really good ones.  But, don't you think we deserve a big blowout Oktoberfest?  Nonetheless, this event (that OnMilwaukee.com proudly sponsors) is a big leap forward and should help put Milwaukee on the Oktoberfest map.

To get you ready, Too Much Metal designed an official MKE Oktoberfest shirt for this year’s combined celebration. The shirt's proceeds will help subsidize the cost of running the event to help keep festivities free. Shirts are available for purchase through Shoplocal on OnMilwaukee.com.

It’s a sweet T, and one you need in your MKE collection.

Other details regarding Oktoberfest?  The Marcus Center Grounds and Pere Marquette festivities will held on Friday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 4 from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An authentic festival tent and beer garden will be erected in the park.  Hofbräu Oktoberfest Beer, the original beer of King Ludwig’s Royal Brewery, will be featured, along with traditional Bavarian foods including giant fresh baked pretzels, bratwurst, wieners and pork …

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A very cool, high-end backgammon table.
A very cool, high-end backgammon table.

#ShopLocal: Backgammon table

This post is brought to you by The Commerce Team. We operate independently of Editorial, 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.

How do you shop local? We all do it, and every day we’re asked for cool Milwaukee area gift ideas and interesting places and sites to go to to help be represent Milwaukee to a friend, business client, family member or whomever.   

At OnMilwaukee.com, our ShopLocal marketplace is still growing. And to continue its growth, I’m showcasing different products several times each week. Yes, we make money on this and yes we’re helping the local economy grow.

Have items that you want showcased? Contact me. Want to open a ShopLocal store or complement an existing ebay or easy store?  Click here

There’s something about backgammon that has always interested me. I really don’t know exactly how to play it, but generally get the whole move, counter move of it all. It’s old school, full of luck and strategy and reminds me of my grandparent’s house in Iowa.  

So, this week I’m picking this backgammon gaming table from Peabody’s Interiors. It’s on the higher end of my picks, but it’s well made, classic and a conversation starter. Peabody’s is located in Brown Deer and uses its online marketplace to showcase its quality furniture, designer options and to support the Wisconsin Humane Society.

This custom built table almost forces you to take up backgammon.  

Peabody’s, by the way, has a ton of cool home furnishing and a design eye that’s second-to-none. Been to Camp Bar? That’s their work. It's detail oriented and custom built by amazing designers. Peabody's can do this for your home, too.

But first, check out this table and see how it fits in your home. 

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Zaffiros makes one of the "101 Best Pizzas in America" and these great pizzas.
Zaffiros makes one of the "101 Best Pizzas in America" and these great pizzas.

This Milwaukee pizza appears on new "best" list

Only one Milwaukee pizza place appears on a new "101 Best Pizzas in America" list from The Daily Meal.  And, it's the East Side institution and the Marcus Investments franchised Zaffiros. Specifically, the EBF (Everything But Fish) pizza, landed on the list. 

The Daily Meal, a culinary content site, said "more pizzas were considered than ever before and more states made the list."  But for the second straight year, New Haven and New York City top this list as home of the best pizza in America.  

Zaffiros landed at No. 96 and here's what The Daily Meal had to say.

Zaffiro’s Pizza, Milwaukee, Wis. (EBF "Everything But Fish": Cheese, Sausage, Mushrooms, Pepperoni, Onions, Green Pepper, Black Olives)

If there’s anything scientific to discovering the best pizza in America it may very well involve an equation like this: Italian-Americans plus Milwaukee and cheese equals heralded pizza at Zaffiro's since 1954. First-generation Italian American Liborio "Bobby" Zaffiro opened Rock-a-Bye Tap where he started serving thin-crust.

700 pizzas were considered by 78 "pizza experts." Frank Pepe, in New Haven, Conn. came in No. 1 with its White Clam (Clams, Grated Parmesan, Olive Oil, Garlic, Oregano) pie.  It also finished first last year.

The two-hour season premiere of "Shark Tank" is Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
The two-hour season premiere of "Shark Tank" is Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. on ABC. (Photo: @ABCSharkTank )

"Shark Tank" is a great deal for my kid and yours

I haven’t been a "Shark Tank" viewer until recently.  But, during a family vacation we came across the Mark Burnett produced reality competition series that premiered in 2009.  ABC GO streams the most recent episodes and older seasons are available on CNBC and YouTube.  Beginning September 22, you can see the show in action every weeknight on CNBC.  The network is calling it #sharktanknation. The new season of "Shark Tank," its sixth, debuts on ABC on Sept. 26.  

The show’s premise is simple. Entrepreneurs make business presentations to a panel of potential investors.  It’s entertaining, real, honest and fun.

The best part for me?  My almost 7-year-old son loves it.  Full disclosure, he’s a huge NBA fan so Mark Cuban has him at hello.  But, all in all, I’m thrilled that he loves the show, is attempting to understand it and wants to learn more about business.  

I know Cuban and several of the other sharks (real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary) on the show are parents, so I wonder if this "kids love Shark Tank" thing was deliberate or just an unintended, but happy consequence.

Either way, the show is great for anyone with kids in their lives.  The real sharks that swim in the tanks, the theme music and the occasional quirky presenters all make the show easy for kids (and anyone) to watch.  At the same time, the negotiations, idea generation and "business" of it all make it real and real world.

So find a kid, find an episode of "Shark Tank," and watch it with them.  Trust me, it’s a deal you’ll all love.

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