"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
I was more excited to get a slice of cheesecake on my 21st birthday than to drink an alcoholic beverage. I’ve never been much of a drinker, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be celebrating bar month in Milwaukee. This February, try some great foods with your brews. I’ve prepared a list of my favorites:
The Black Rose Irish Pub/Solo Pizza
2856 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 763-6526
What I tried: Build your own Solo pizza
Artichoke hearts, spinach, onions, sun dried tomatoes and feta.
Why it’s great: The Black Rose Irish Pub and Solo Pizza are connected by a small archway, allowing guests of Solo to order from the bar. Solo has been a place of group gatherings with my co-workers and classmates. I can be a picky eater so the single serve pizza option is just right.
For your alcohol-loving friend: Grab a favorite mixed drink at The Black Rose Irish Pub’s bar to enjoy in the Solo dining area.
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500
What I tried: Sprocket burger
Miller Bakery pretzel bun, bacon, cheddar, duck fat fried egg, garlic aioli, tomato jam.
Why it’s great: If pretending that carbs are good for you, the pretzel bun on this burger is something I could eat every day. I like how the duck fat fried egg is cooked, in that when you bite into the sprocket it oozes yellow yolk.
For your alcohol loving friend: The Perfect Palate is a sampling of 4 choice draught biers.
2608 N. Downer Ave., (414) 963-6366
What I tried: Classic eggs benedict
A toasted English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs and housemade hollandaise. Served with Hollander potatoes.
Why it’s great: Cafe Hollander is a hop and a skip away from the UW-Milwaukee. These eggs benedict are something that Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec would swoon over.
For your alcohol loving friend: The Almond Joy is a combination of espresso, Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka, amaretto, coconut monin syrup, dutch chocolate and steamed milk.
1022 S. 1st St. (414) 672-1040
What I tried: Quiche du jour
Pastry crusted quiche of the day, usually containing veggies and a protein.
Why it’s great: You won’t have to travel to France to enjoy some French cuisine, just head to Walker’s Point. The restaurant was introduced to me by my high school french teacher, but the choice to order quiche was all mine. The quiche is fluffy and doesn’t have a heavy eggy taste. The next time I visit I’ll be sure to save room for some crepes.
For your alcohol-loving friend: Grab the wine list and try one of Jacques’ selected ports or raid Jacques’ personal stash.
1947 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 273-7677
What I tried: Walnut apple burger
Hazelnut herb crusted veggie cutlet, maple vinaigrette, mixed greens, hickory smoked apples, walnut butter.
Why it’s great: First of all, did you know Comet Cafe was on the Food Network television show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? Seeing it on television pulled me inside to give it a try. Although the Walnut Apple Burger is served in a patty shape on a toasted bun, the unique taste and ingredients makes you question the name.
For your alcohol-loving friend: Attend on a Wednesday night for discounted cocktails including daiquiris, Manhattans and old fashioneds.
Horny Goat Hideaway
2011 S. 1st St., (414) 482-4628
What I tried: Butternut squash tacos
Roasted butternut squash, roasted red pepper, sauteed apples topped with caramelized beer onions, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.
Why it’s great: I’m not a fan of a traditional taco but I’m in love with squash. Have you joined the new spaghetti squash craze? This taco combination of squash and cranberries reminded me of Thanksgiving, but the apples and pepper brought in the taste of summer. It’s a taco you can eat all year long.
For your alcohol-loving friend: Horny Goat Craft Beers on tap change regularly.
Rock Bottom Brewery
740 N. Plankinton Ave., (414) 276-3030
What I tried: Lobster mac 'n’ cheese
A famous mac n’ cheese loaded with lobster chunks and topped with crunchy Parmesan bread crumbs.
Why it’s great: Who knew that cheesy seafood was so savory? Plus Rock Bottom is close to the Bronze Fonz and Riverwalk - a great place to visit after filling up on pasta… or drinks!
For your alcohol-loving friend: Try one of the expert crafted Brewmaster’s Choice.
Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub
5689 N. Bayshore Dr. (414) 292-0600
What I tried: Sconnie burger
One brat and one beef burger topped with our own sauerkraut, bacon, spicy beer mustard and sauteed onions on a pretzel bun.
Why it’s great: This burger tastes like a night of Brewer’s tailgating turned classic restaurant. The combination of brat and burger in one was filling, but tasty. I ordered mine with a side of cheesy potatoes and a red raspberry Sprecher.
For your alcohol-loving friend: Try the Winter Brew, a seasonal blend of dark roasted and sweet caramel malts.
217 N. Broadway, (414) 431-7944
What I tried: Baked stuffed chicken
Asparagus, applewood smoked bacon, gorgonzola, garlic butter fettuccine.
Why it’s great: Swig was one of the first restaurants I tried when I moved to Milwaukee for college. I love the atmosphere of the Third Ward. The only thing I wish was different was that I had more chicken.
For your alcohol loving friend: Attend at happy hour any night of the week.
The Wicked Hop
345 N. Broadway, (414) 223-0345
What I tried: French toast Fonzarelli
Thick cut Texas toast dipped in egg batter with cinnamon, vanilla and a splash of triple sec. Sided with maple syrup, powdered sugar and orange honey butter. Choose bacon, sausage, ham, brat patty or fresh fruit as a side.
Why it’s great: The thicker the french toast, the better. I found myself avoiding adding maple syrup because with a little dab of the orange honey butter the fonzarelli is sweet and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I ordered mine with a side of fruit. The meal was large enough to enjoy leftovers the next morning for breakfast - perfect for a college student.
For your alcohol-loving friend: Try the Bloody Mary served with peeled coldwater shrimp, Old Wisconsin beef stick, MKE midget kosher dill pickle, mozzarella whips, Walnut Street portobello mushroom and a Spanish green olive.