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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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Yesterday, the crew from "No Reservations" filmed at The Spice House on Old World Third Street.
Yesterday, the crew from "No Reservations" filmed at The Spice House on Old World Third Street.

Bourdain rolls up to The Riverside

Tonight Anthony Bourdain stops at The Riverside in the midst of filming a Milwaukee/Madison episode for his Travel Channel show "No Reservations." He has never done a show in Milwaukee or Wisconsin for that matter, and for a show listed without a description, he’s done more than alright by selling out the box office.

In the last month, as I’ve mentioned the show to others, there’s often the same response: what exactly is his live show? And, well, to be honest, I don’t exactly know. That’s his power you see. I don’t really have a straight answer on what I’m going to see, I only know who I’m going to see. The mere mention of his name sold me on the ticket, regardless of what comes to be on stage tonight.

So, as friends question me with a look of curiosity, I find myself mumbling about the show, his books and his work without a definitive answer, just assuring them that they should be disappointed they are going to miss it.

Is he going to dissect the Milwaukee culinary scene? Maybe a few slides on worldly travels? Will he be talking about "Kitchen Confidential" and demonstrating a few Les Halles recipes?  Heck, could this be a motivational speaking engagement propelling me to stand up against mainstream authority? Unlikely, but it just could be.

Regardless of the content, there are a few things I think we can count on with Bourdain in control. It will be witty, sarcastic, blatantly honest and downright entertaining.

Which building would you say is a Milwaukee icon?
Which building would you say is a Milwaukee icon? (Photo: bieckmanagement)

Was the Pizza Man building an architectural icon?

As posted coverage of yesterday’s fire at North Avenue and Oakland Avenue, readers' Talkbacks started pouring in. Some lamented the loss of Pizza Man, others worried for those displaced from their apartments and still others discussed the tragedy of losing an iconic Milwaukee building.

The debate raged as readers leveraged opinions on which was indeed the biggest story of them all. But as some began to refer to the two-story building as a Milwaukee icon, I started wondering which of our architectural gems are worthy of the iconic status. 

City Hall, North Point Water Tower, the Pritzlaff Hardware Building and Teweles Seed Building all hold historic weight. Villa Terrace, Pabst Mansion and The Pfister Hotel have housed some of the most famous and prominent Milwaukeeans and visitors. The Grain Exchange, Frank Lloyd Wright's Bogk House, the Astor Hotel, Wisconsin Club and Pabst Theater all deserve sound consideration.

Certainly, the U.S. Bank tower dominates our skyline, but having been built in 1973, it’s far from historic. Likewise, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Brise Soleil is known around the world but does its young age take it out of the iconic running?

What’s your pick? Use the Talkback feature below to make your suggestion.

Families and individuals with nowhere to go have set up camp in the courtyard of St. Damien Hospital.
Families and individuals with nowhere to go have set up camp in the courtyard of St. Damien Hospital.

A Haitian orphanage housing local hope

Following last week’s earthquake, the devastation in Haiti is unimaginable and images of death, destruction and chaos have permeated television newscats and propelled us to donate in any way possible. For a few Milwaukeeans, the drive to recover, help and rebuild is a bit deeper. 

Locals Ron and Ronni Pruhs have volunteered at the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) orphanage in Port Au Prince since 1995. NPH runs orphanage facilities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; specifically in Haiti, the facilities include a home for orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged youth as well as the only free children’s hospital in Haiti.

"From our perspective, the situation is one of utter devastation and loss, not only of buildings, but life.  We feel deep grief for friends who are lost, and are very worried about the future of our Haitian friends and their families," says Ron Pruhs.

"We think logistics are going to be the biggest problem. Many countries and humanitarian groups want to help and will send shipments of goods, but there is no infrastructure to deal with either the people or the goods."

The orphanage houses over 400 children and the hospital, expanded in 2006 to include two locations, serves more than 20,000 individuals each year.

"Before the earthquake, Haiti seemed to be picking itself up. Streets were cleaner and the government was stable, the first time in a long time.  There was grave poverty and malnutrition, but the misery was not as overarching as we have observed in the past. We can’t imagine the need for basic food and water now," Pruhs says.

Donations for Earthquake Relief and the NPH Orphanage can be made on the organization’s Web site.

The Green Kitchen at the Milwaukee Public Market serves up fresh salads, juices and sandwiches.
The Green Kitchen at the Milwaukee Public Market serves up fresh salads, juices and sandwiches.

Another reason to go to The Public Market

I’m pretty sure The Green Kitchen, in The Milwaukee Public Market, might be one of the best deals in town.

No, not the cheapest deal (McDonald’s does have a dollar menu) but when you think about what you’re getting, for the price you’re paying, I have yet to find anything that really beats it.

Order off the sandwich menu or create your own salad combination; we’re talking about hearty portion sizes of fresh ingredients for around $7.  They have over 50 fresh vegetables, meats and nuts everyday plus housemade dressings. You can order either cold deli sandwiches or hot pressed paninis complete with specialty cheeses and spreads. Feeling the flu coming on? They have nearly 10 fresh squeezed juice combinations littered with vitamins and nutrients.

Yes, it’s become a regular stop for me when I’m running to or from work but it’s far better and far cheaper than comparable local or chain sandwich and salad stops.

Check it out. I highly recommend it.