’Tis Dining Month, the tastiest time of year! This means we’re dishing up fun and fascinating food content throughout October. Dig in, Milwaukee!
Looking for new spots to try? Lori Fredrich will be dishing out her top five picks in 20 different dining categories throughout the month of October.
The fare of Mexico is as diverse as the country is large, making it a cuisine that one could spend a lifetime exploring. And it might just take that long to sample every worthy dish from the plethora of Mexican restaurants in town. But, if you're up for the challenge, here are five spots you should definitely put on your list.
1. El Tlaxcalteca
My first visits to El Tlaxcalteca took place in early 2019, just a few months after the restaurant opened. The menu was filled with regional specialties; but I looked forward most to the selection of daily specials, which included items like tortitas de pollo (chicken croquettes) served with egg, pozole, albondigas and pipian rojo with pork. Don't miss the machete, a materpiece made with masa that's pressed into a large oval shape on a flat-top grill and filled with guests’ choice of meats and loads of delicious Mexican melting cheese. The three-foot-long, three pound creation would easily feed four (and it's delicious).
2. La Dama
La Dama has been among the local restaurants to set the bar for modern Mexican fare with a laundry list of ever-changing items from inventive tacos and tostadas to entrees like citrus crusted salmon with beet puree, chapulin and toasted corn hibiscus reduction. Don't miss the tender lamb shank barilla with pasilla consomme, chickpeas, onions, cilantro and chile de arbol. It's amazing.
3. Tavo’s Signature Cuisine
This tiny (tiny!) spot on the West Side is a can't miss for beautifully presented Mexican fare. From fragrant housemade mole and ultra fresh guacamole to comforting burritos and well executed tacos, the food is consistently fresh and well presented and delivered with top notch service. Don't miss the Pineapple pastor express featuring half of a pineapple stuffed with al pastor and served with corn tortillas.
4. Al Pastor
This family-owned restaurant made a big move in 2020, leaving their tiny restaurant on Burnham to reopen in their current home. The move brought not only a larger kitchen and dining room, but also palomas, margaritas and other cocktails. What hasn't changed? Their delicious menu, which features dishes like alambre, a meat-filled platter of steak, bacon, ham, chorizo, grilled veggies, and pineapple topped with melted Oaxaca cheese served with a side of warm tortillas. It's delicious.
5. Electric Lime Taqueria
Electric Lime might be the newest cantina on the block (and on Milwaukee Street, no less); but it's plating up some seriously tasty dishes, including a long list of tacos that runs the gamut from asada, chicken, carnitas and al pastor to beans and cheese; potato and peppers; and “trickin,” lightly battered fried avocados. Be sure to sample their housemade salsas including verde (milder, tomatillo-based), roja (smokey tomato and pepper) and macha (hot chile de arbol).
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.