People ask me the same question all the time: What's my favorite Milwaukee restaurant? It's a fair question, really, considering I'm the co-owner and co-founder of an entertainment / lifestyle magazine and city guide. Problem is, I don't have a great answer. I love lots of Milwaukee restaurants, for different reasons and for different occasions.
But this got me thinking. I could name a dozen favorite places, but in actuality, I tend to order the same dish at every restaurant. No, I don't order a hamburger at every restaurant -- what I'm saying is that every time I go to Lulu, I order the East Indian chicken pita, and every time I go to Yen Ching, I order the Mongolian beef.
Why mess with perfection?
So, for what it's worth, here's a list of some of my favorite Milwaukee-area restaurants, and what I order there each and every time (note: I'm only listing the restaurants where I have the same thing every time; I do seek variety at some places).
Of course, this list is as subjective as can be, so I welcome your talkbacks and suggestions for both new dishes at these great restaurants, as well as other favorite places and your favorite "signature" dishes.
In alphabetical order:
Bangkok House: Chicken with red curry
Beans and Barley: Veggie burrito (no tomatoes)
Bella's Fat Cat: Turkey Burger with fried onions
Benji's: 1/2 corned beef sandwich on challah with cup of matzo ball soup
Botanas: Carne asada tacos
Cafe Centraal: Napoleon Dynamite
City Market: Pasta Bianca
Classic Slice: Slice of pizza with onions, green peppers, pine nuts and meatballs
Comet Cafe: Cheesy double-baked mashed potatoes
Conejito's: Four bean tacos
Emperor of China: Garlic chicken
4th Base: Farmer's omelet
George Webb's: Two eggs, sunny side up, with white toast and hashbrowns
Harry's Bar and Grille: Turkey burger and fries
Hector's: Carne asada tacos
Hooligan's: Cajun chicken breast sandwich Koppa's Fulbeli Deli: Strawkowski
Kopp's: Butter burger, plain with extra butter
Lulu: East Indian chicken pita
Ma Fischer's: Cheddar and onion omelet with American fries
Oakland Trattoria: Barbecue chicken pizza
Polonez: Special Polish plate (Polski Talerz)
Real Chili: Bowl of mild with beans, cheese, onions and sour cream
Riviera Maya: Chicken enchiladas with mole de Oaxaca
The King and I: Volcano chicken
Yen Ching: Mongolian beef
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.