My annual article, 52 Restaurants for your Bucket List, was originally created to provide readers with an easy way to explore the wealth of restaurants in the Milwaukee scene over the course of one year (52 weeks). Today, as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it provides a fun and equally compelling guide for folks who’d like to bring variety to their weekly meals while providing vital support to some of our finest local restaurants.
Here's the featured restaurant of the day, plus delicious food you can order this week!
Blue Star Cafe
1619 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 273-9744
Somali fare is comforting by nature, but at this humble little fast casual spot you’ll find it in spades. Among the remarkably affordable options you’ll find everything from flavorful bites and sandwiches to fragrant platters of meats and vegetables. Be sure to order and make liberal use of the bright, green chili-heavy basbaas cagaar (green sauce); I swear tastes good on just about anything.
Five dishes to try:
Sambusas: fillings vary, but the spiced beef, redolent with cumin, coriander and cardamom and wrapped in beautifully light, flaky pastry is worth it every time ($1.50 each)
Hummus and pita: so deceptively simple, yet flawlessly silky and flavorful ($4.50)
Lamb platter with rice: the lamb is tender and served with raisins and cubes of potato. It’s served atop basmati rice that’s heady with the aroma of spices, including cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cardamom ($9.99)
Chicken suqaar: the tender, well seasoned chicken is delicious as a platter with rice ($8.99) or as the base for a sandwich filled with onion, peppers tomatoes, cucumbers and mayo ($5.99).
Slightly sweet Somali crepes stuffed with your choice of meat (beef, chicken or goat) or vegetables ($8.99).
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.