It’s more important than ever to support our local restaurants. And there’s no better way to do so than making a commitment to patronize them throughout the year. To guide you on your journey, I’ve composed a list of 52 restaurants (one for each week of 2022) that should be on your Milwaukee restaurant bucket list. View the full list here.
Iron Grate BBQ Co.
4125 S. Howell Ave., (414) 455-1776
You’ll find classic, well-executed wood-smoked meats and southern inspired sides at this quaint spot on Milwaukee’s near South Side. Carry-out generally the default here; but there is a small dining room inside and a casual outdoor patio available on a first-come, first-served basis, plus drinks – including cocktails – to enjoy.
As for the menu, you'll find smoked chicken thighs and drumsticks, hot links, house-smoked ham, riblets, pulled pork, pork belly burnt ends, prime beef brisket and the can't-miss Milwaukee rib, a special cut of spare rib that leaves the belly meat intact. The result is plenty of smoky meat layered with unctuous belly fat, giving you the best of all worlds.
Equally compelling sides include creamy grits and must-try smoked tomato mac and cheese along with house baked beans, greens, creamy coleslaw and corn bread muffins (with honey butter). You'll also find some of my favorite housemade pickles in the city, a cross between sweet and sour, which are delicious on their own but also great on sandwiches (I've been known to buy them by the quart).
Combination platters featuring meats and sides make it easy to try multiple items and find your favorites. Trying it out for the first time? Share a platter of three meats and three sides with a friend for just $36.
Don't sleep on their specials; they tend to be pretty amazing.
Recommended: Milwaukee ribs, spicy chicken drumsticks, grits, smoked tomato mac and cheese, specials
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.