By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Oct 02, 2012 at 8:02 PM

For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on, presented by Concordia University. 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 2012."

I love surprises when it comes to restaurants and I really got one over the weekend, along with a great, great laugh.

The place is called Club Charlie's and it's in the Third Ward at 320 E. Menomonee St.

I had a couple of hours to kill before a play, yet the reviews on Yelp seemed a little mixed. But I was willing to roll the dice for a burger and fries.

They offer lots of choices so I had a burger with Swiss and blue cheeses. I asked the server if I should have fries or the homemade chips. She said fries and added that the chips weren't that popular.

I appreciated the honesty.

Food came quickly and I wondered what the reviews were about. The burger was fresh and done medium rare, just like I wanted. The cheese was melted over the meat, not melted on the bun, which is one of the hallmarks of a great burger.

And the fries were as promised. Thin and crisp on the outside while tender and chewable on the inside.

What sewed it up for me was a sign inside Charlie's.

"If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer, it just seems longer."

Maybe it's old, but it made me laugh. And a laugh with a good burger makes for an all-around great stop.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.