Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted!
One factor seems to override all others when deciding where to dine: convenience.
Admit it, you go to many of the same restaurants because they're easy, close to home or work or you're just comfortable there.
Routines rule, and when it comes to dining, deciding based upon quality, locally sourced ingredients, design, personality of the owner/chef, price, etc., all sound great – yet, many of us decide where to eat based upon convenience.
Where is the restaurant? Is it close? Do I know where to park? But, really, I don't care about parking – you shouldn't either. It's Milwaukee. It's easy to park anywhere. Do I know the menu? Decisions. Decisions.
So, as I’ve said before, I urge you to make a "places I want to go to" list. Go to different places, different neighborhoods and step out of your dining comfort zone. There are so many great new restaurants, and seemingly something new opening every week.
And I don't write this just for you. Consider my lunch dining habits, for example. When I don't have a lunch meeting, I eat lunch at spots that are close: the Milwaukee Public Market, Sport Club, Urban Beets, Colectivo, Shah Jee’s, Swingin' Door, and even the occasional Starbucks protein box.
As for dinners, we usually end up going to the places we already love. This list is long, but full of favorites like Calderone Club, San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana, Buckley's, Cubanitas, the Wisconsin Club, Jing's, Cloud Red and many, many others.
Yet, when I want to just got to "someplace new," I don’t want convenience to be the only thing that rules our decision. Yet, it often does. Can we get in and out quickly? Is the food generally good? A place that fits this bill usually wins.
Like you, I also too often forget about places I love too. Elsa’s, Beans and Barley, Bavette, Harbor House, Tandem, Xankia, Coquette Cafe. The list goes on and on. There are just so many options.
Be thoughtful about how and where you dine. Spread your love and dollars around the area. Make a greater Milwaukee dining list, read and review lists that are out there, and don’t take Milwaukee's many dining options for granted.
Make a list, check it twice and bust out of your Milwaukee dining comfort zone.
We have it very good here, and it’s your responsibility to get out and enjoy it all. Often.
Onward. Happy Dining Month, Milwaukee!
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.