Recently, someone told me about Taqueria El Cabrito ("The Goat") and I made my first visit this week.
The tables were occupied by families, couples and workmen in Dickies and workboots -- all speaking Spanish. But it nevertheless warmly welcomes Anglophones who have to ask for translations of the daily specials.
The food is homey, plentiful and tasty. It's not glitzy and it's not showy, but it's good. I had the nopales, which were grilled and sliced up and tossed with onions (to me it recalled the peppers and onions I fry to toss on an Italian sausage!) and served with rice and beans and lettuce on the side. Some corn tortillas allowed me to roll it all up. Hearty, filling and delicious.
A friend had a pork in green sauce special that came with all the same fixins.
When I moved to Milwaukee in the early '80s and lived on 15th and Greenfield for nearly a decade, the El Cabrito space was a dark corner tavern spinning country and western tunes on its juke box. Later it hosted the second -- and much more widely-known -- location of the fantabulous Atotonilco Restaurant. I was partial to the original space on Scott Street, however, because it was small and intimate, felt like a secret and was maybe 250 yards from my back door.
El Cabrito reminds me a lot of Atotonilco, with its friendly staff, good food and guileless presentation. Although I like a fancy meal with all that accompanies it once and a while, to me the best restaurants are the ones like El Cabrito; the ones run by people who want to fill you up with good food and make sure you leave happy.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.