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 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.