By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 15, 2020 at 12:01 PM

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 five can’t miss dishes to try

Iron Grate BBQ Co.
4125 S. Howell Ave., (414) 455-1776

You’ll find exceptionally well prepared wood-smoked meats (brisket, pork shoulder, hot links and more) and southern inspired sides at this quaint spot on Milwaukee’s near South Side. All meats are house-smoked daily and available until sold out. Watch for specials (they're almost always worthwhile). Order online for delivery or pick-up at the restaurant.

Five dishes to try:

  1. First time there? Share a platter of three meats and three sides with a friend for just $34. Be sure to try the brisket and the distinctive MKE ribs when available. The creamy grits pair well with the smothered greens.
  2. Smoked wings: wings seasoned with Iron Grate Grandpa's and Ponyboy spice rubs, smoked, glazed with BBQ drizzle and charrred just a bit for good measure ($14)
  3. The Hot Dip: Thinly shaved smoked beef served on a Canfora Bakery torpedo roll with jus on the side ($10; add giardiniera or creamy horseradish for +$0.50)
  4. Sunday hot ham and rolls: don't miss their house hickory smoked hot ham, served up with (free) Canfora Bakery hard rolls on Sundays beginning at 8 a.m. until sold out ($14 per pound)
  5. When available, get the hickory butter barbequed shrimp: a pound of peeled, head-on shrimp tossed in a smoky buttery sauce and served up alongside slices of Texas toast to soak up all the saucy bits.This rare gem goes on and off the menu, but keep your eyes peeled for it. It's fantastic.

Bonus: Their housemade half sweet/half sour pickles are the bomb. If you love them like I do, be sure to take home a quart for your fridge ($10). 

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.