For the eighth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Locavore, the newest restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2014."
Greg Foster spent 13 seasons in the NBA, playing for nine different teams and three different NBA Finals before winning a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2000-01 season. He also made two stops in Milwaukee, first in 1993-94 where he only appeared in three games, and then again in 2001-02 when he played in 24.
He returned to the Cream City this offseason as part of new head coach Jason Kidd’s staff.
OnMilwaukee.com caught up with the big man coach at the team’s media day back on Sept. 29 talked with him about the perception of Milwaukee around the league, his thoughts about the current Bucks squad and – in honor of Dining Month – some of his favorite places to eat.
OnMilwaukee.com: What was most appealing about this situation that made you want to return?
Greg Foster: It was a great opportunity for me personally from a coaching perspective to take a step up, to be a bench coach and have little bit more responsibility. So, number one, that was huge. Two, I’m an old married man and the pace of this place is great. It’s so mellow out here. I’m at the stage where I can really enjoy it.
The great thing about this team is they are young, but our core nucleus, our core guys, are going to be here, and they enjoy being here in Milwaukee. That’s huge. Free agents are always trying to fly the coop and get to destinations where they think they can win at but ultimately our core guys are going to be here, so that’s what I’m excited about.
OMC: A lot’s changed about Milwaukee since you were last here on a regular basis – what struck you as being different?
GF: I tell you what, when I was here before, I lived in Brookfield. I’m living in Mequon now. I just didn’t get a chance to get out an explore as much because we were never here in the summer when the weather was nice. I tell what we did last night – we bought a few fishing poles and we threw a line in Lake Michigan, me and my wife as the sun was going down. We had a blast just fishing. We caught a few fish, saw the sun come down over the city, it was beautiful. It was a great time. I’d love to do a lot more of that kind of stuff, get out, venture out.
One of the thing I’ve always loved about this area is that they have some of the best golf I’ve ever, ever been associated with. That doesn’t mean I’m a great golfer by any stretch of the imagination but for a place that you can only golf six months out of the year, it’s pretty special golf.
OMC: Have you been able to find some go-to dinner spots yet?
GF: That’s another priority right now. I’m probably going to feel my way around and find out what’s out there now. Obviously there were the staples, the Calderone Club – I’ve been going there for 20 years. They have one around the corner from where I’m staying now. The Original Pancake House – I hit that place – that’s one of my new favorites, the one on Downer. As well as the place across the street – Hollander – I’ve been there a few times. Man, I was (at Original Pancake House) yesterday. I’ve eaten there like 15 times already. Harvey’s (Central Grille) out there in Mequon is good. I’m a fixture at the Cheesecake Factory. I love that Bayshore Mall, the whole area there – I haven’t tried all the restaurants in there, but I’m trying to hit ‘em.
OMC: OK – so you’re at the Pancake House – what are you ordering?
GF: The go-to breakfast at the Original Pancake House is probably going to be one of the big, fat omelets that they have, with the Mediterranean, has a little feta cheese, a little spinach in it. Then I’m going with their house specialty, the buttermilk pancakes man. The wife likes the bacon pancakes. My son likes the waffles. You can’t go wrong. Close your eyes and pick an item and you’re going to be happy.
OMC: A little basketball now – you’ve been around the league for a long time. How did your perception change of the city?
GF: Here’s the deal – winning solves all of that. Winning solves all of that. When we start winning here, it’s going to be kind of like the Utah Jazz when I was with the Jazz – the town goes crazy, people are behind you. These guys understand that. There are a few guys who have gotten used to, unfortunately, losing some ballgames, we’ll probably going to have to de-program and re-program some of that, and that’s OK. To their credit they stuck it out. They’ve had to deal with numerous regimes. So, these guys need to be able to trust that there’s going to be some patience involved in this process and I think they do.
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.