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East Side? West Side? Where do you wanna eat your artichoke a la mode pizza, people?
East Side? West Side? Where do you wanna eat your artichoke a la mode pizza, people?

Where should we put Pizza Man?

I checked in again today with Deanna Amidzich, owner of Pizza Man, to find out if she could divulge where she plans to reopen her popular bar and restaurant that was lost to a fire in January.

Rumors have spread like, well, fire and people claim Shorewood, Bay View and the western suburbs as sure-thing relocation spots, but nothing has been confirmed. Amidzich did not report back (yet) and I know she has an eye on a space, but financing may or may not work out.

So, in the meantime, let’s voice our opinions as to where we want our Pizza Man.

If it were up to me, I’d keep it on the East Side (wow, I didn’t suggest Riverwest!), but I could see it in Walker’s Point, too, because the neighborhood already has a developing pizza scene with Olive Pit and Transfer.

But where would you want to see the new Pizza Man?

Jose Garza loved talking to people. And drinking good tequila.
Jose Garza loved talking to people. And drinking good tequila.

Happy birthday, Conejito

Last night, I accidentally attended a birthday party for former owner of Conejito’s Place restaurant, Jose Garza. Garza -- who went by the nickname "Conejito" -- died on Oct. 7 and yesterday, he would have turned 76.

At about 7 p.m. last night, I stopped in for what I refer to as "Mexican comfort food" and margaritas and found a room full of green and red balloons. The bartender, Lala, was offering up shots of Centenario -- a high-end tequila that was Garza’s favorite. She poured one for Garza, too, and put a lit candle in the full shot glass. Then she played "Happy Birthday" on the jukebox about 10 times.

I have been a regular diner at Conejito’s since I was a kid, and I spent numerous evenings as an adult sitting at the bar with Garza, talking mostly about Milwaukee, family and food. I appreciated the chance to toast him one more time.

I Googled "cute ski mask" and this is what I found. Nope, not gonna work for me.
I Googled "cute ski mask" and this is what I found. Nope, not gonna work for me.

Knitters, I need you

The subject of ski masks and why I’m not wearing one keeps coming up. It all began a week or so ago when temperatures first started to really get mean, and after walking just a few blocks to a coffee shop, my face was so frozen I looked like I got a bundle of botched Botox injections.

Since then, I remarked to a few dozen more people -- including Kramp and Alder during our Heat Index segment last week -- that I don’t understand why more Milwaukeeans, including myself, don’t wear ski masks in winter.

They make perfect sense for the frosty season and yet, I never see anyone wearing one who’s not a toddler, a snowmobiler, a superhero or a television robber or rapist. (Maybe real-life robbers and rapists wear ski masks, I do not know for certain because, luckily, I have never seen one in action.)

This is where you come in, knitters. Is there -- or could there be -- such a thing as a cute ski mask, or is this an oxymoron? Are they inherently creepy? Furthermore, can a person wear one without looking like they’re on the verge of  committing a felony? I really want to rock one, but I'm not sure I can really pull it off.

Damn, it’s cold out there, Milwaukee.

La Fuente on Blue Mound opened on Oct. 12, 2010.
La Fuente on Blue Mound opened on Oct. 12, 2010. (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)
A three-dimensional matador mural nods to the El Matador restaurant formerly in the space.
A three-dimensional matador mural nods to the El Matador restaurant formerly in the space. (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)
The fireplace is a cozy touch.
The fireplace is a cozy touch. (Photo: Royal Bonde-Griggs)

Is the new La Fuente adversely affecting the old?

This is a very un-scientific observation, but after recently visiting both La Fuente locations -- 635 S. 5th St. and the new one at 9155 W. Blue Mound Rd. -- I am left wondering if the Blue Mound locale is affecting business at the Walker's Point joint.

The last couple of times I visited the original La Fuente, there seems to have been fewer customers than usual, and last week, despite a heavy snowfall, the Blue Mound location was slammin’ busy. (The new La Fuente opened in October in the old El Matador space and has an identical menu to the Walker's Point La Fuente.)

Expansion can be a beautiful thing -- especially when it happens to a local business person like La Fuente owner Jose Zarate -- but I hope the new location doesn’t discourage Mexican food lovers from the western suburbs from visiting the Latin Quarter.