By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Dec 14, 2007 at 6:45 AM

On my to do list for way too long has been to create a "need to go to restaurant list." Really just a list of places, in and around town, that I'd like to hit in the coming months.

So, since it's that festive pre-Christmas and holiday time of the year when list making is in fashion, I thought it was finally time to make my Milwaukee dining list. Also, thanks to my business partner Andy for his recent posts. They helped to inspire this.

My wife and I eat out often, but too often fall "victim" to going to the same old places. Not that these places are bad, but they are easy, reliable and for the most part convenient. Some of our favorites include Calderone Club, Cubanitas, Beans and Barley, Cempazuchi, Barclay Cafe (for breakfasts) and a bunch of others.

Our city, though, is filled with places that we need to frequent or at least frequent more often. Thankfully, is an amazing resource and I thank our writers and readers for their constant input.

Nonetheless, I need a list and it's high time that I create one. So, here it goes (in no particular order):

Jackson Grill, 3736 W. Mitchell St.
Everyone seems to love this place, but we've never been there. It's on the list, and they will get our business soon.

The African Hut, 1107 N. Old World 3rd St.
I've only been here three times. But, it's always fun, flavorful and the owners are friendly and tempting with their amazing variety of African beers. I need to go back soon.

Tulip, 117 N. Jefferson St.
I have no excuse here. I wrote the city's first story on this place, and just haven't carved out the time to try it. Now, it's on the list.

Yen Ching, 7630 W. Good Hope Rd.
Never been here. Need to go. Enough said.

Grafton's Paramount Restaurant, 1304 12th Ave.,
This is another one of those places that people rave about. Grafton isn't that far, so it makes the list.

Jalapeno Loco, 5067 S. Howell Ave.
I love Mexican food, but this place does itself no favors with its less than tempting design. Yet, don't judge a restaurant by its cover. My one visit here was very, very good. I need to go back soon.

Tess, 2499 N. Bartlett Ave.
Close to home, Tess is great. But, I always forget about it. It's now on the list.

Open Hearth, 2930 N. 117th St.
This Tosa stop is a bit old school, but my Dad likes it. So, it's on the list.

Elsa's, 833 N. Jefferson St.
Elsa's is blocks from home, but for some reason we rarely go there. The food and people watching are great. So, we need to go more often. The Just Broccoli is one of my favorites.

De Marinis Pizza, 1211 E. Conway St. and 2457 S. Wentworth St. (Healed) Family rifts aside, De Marinis are good stops. The place started by brothers Dom and Phil in the old VFW Post is something to behold. It's been years, so I must stop in in 2008.

This list is just a start. But, I know now that it's written, I will make it happen and get to these and many other "forgotten" restaurants in the coming new year. What's on your list, Milwaukee?

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.