By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Aug 02, 2012 at 8:06 AM

It's an odd headline, I know. But bear with me.

Milwaukee is blessed with an incredible food scene, passionate locally owned restaurants and operators and chefs who care. We have variety, quality and quantity. This is all good.

So, when it comes to deciding where you're dining out tonight (or any night) what's the number one factor in your selection process? We've said many times that you should create a "places I need to try" list. There are so many great places and even with resources like, Yelp and others it's hard to keep track of the restaurants that you must try or "always forget about." So, make that list. Now.

Getting to my point. Finally. Make a list. Check it twice, but I'll argue that there's one driving factor that over rides all others when you're deciding where to dine.


Admit it, you go to the same handful of restaurants because they're easy, close to home or work or you're just comfortable there. Routine rules and when it comes to dining, deciding based upon quality, locally sourced ingredients, design, personality of the chef, price, etc., all sound great. Yet, many of us decide where to eat based upon simple convenience. Where the restaurant is. Is it close? Do I know where to park? Do I know the menu? Done.

Take my dining habits, for example. I eat lunch at spots that are close: Beans and Barley, Alterra, Izumi's, Subway, Whole Foods Market, Hooligan's. And, yes, I have a list. But we usually end up going to the places we already love. This list is long, but full of favorites like Calderone Club, Buckley's, Cubanitas, Cephazuchi and others.

Yet, when we just need to dine out and don't want to cook convenience rules our decision. Is it close? Can we get in and out quickly? Is the food generally good? If yes on all accounts. Done.

This isn't bad. This isn't good. It is, as "they" say, "what it is."

Do you agree? Do you dine out mainly based upon convenience or does your restaurant decision go deeper?

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

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.