Milwaukeeans are in for a treat with the opening of Sweet Diner, a welcome new addition to the Historic Third Ward neighborhood.
The new breakfast and lunch spot opened today at 239 E. Chicago St., and we paid it a visit to get a peek at both the space and offerings.
The first thing you’ll note about Sweet Diner is its luxe interior, sporting exposed weathered Cream City brick augmented with muted tones of beige and grey.
An open kitchen offers a view of the action at kitchen side bar seating, while a semi-private dining room at the back of the restaurant offers ample space for private parties or gatherings to watch a Sunday afternoon Packers game.
Meanwhile, cozy booths line the east walls, offering comfortable seating for groups of four.
Chefs Kari Konopka and Matt Szolygs, both formerly of Nordstrom’s Ruscello, lead the kitchen, which puts out seasonal breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes seven days a week, including options for gluten-free and dairy-free diners.
The beverage list includes freshly squeezed juices and juice blends ($6), hot and iced tea, soft drinks along with a full menu of coffee and espresso-based beverages made with Anodyne coffee. Nitro cold brew and nitro sweet cream is also available thanks to a partnership with Pilcrow Coffee.
The restaurant offers a short list of wine and beer options, including a number of local craft brews. Brunch drinks include the Sweet Diner Mimosa featuring raspberry liqueur, orange juice and brut ($10). Meanwhile the pickle-forward house Bloody Mary is made with Rehorst vodka ($10). Additional cocktails include the Wildwood Smash with vodka, agave and lime ($9), the MKE Screw with vodka, Miller Lite and orange juice ($9) and the Walking Spanglish with jalapeno-infused tequila, pineapple, lime and Herbsaint ($10).
Among breakfast dishes you’ll find classic options like Eggs Benedict featuring Canadian bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise (pictured), as well as variations like the Florentine with spinach and roasted red peppers, the Southern with chive biscuits, sausage patties and sausage gravy and the Mediterranean with spinach, tomato, olive salad, Gruyere and hollandaise (all $10).
There’s also the Wisconsin omelette with sausage, breaded cheese curds, sauteed onions and peppers (pictured, $11) along with veggie, Denver and build-your-own options.
There are Belgian-style and cornbread waffles (served with the option of Memphis-style fried chicken and hot sauce or pulled chicken, fresh corn relish and pico de gallo ($10; $4 extra for fried chicken and $3 extra for pulled chicken). Pancakes include buttermilk, chocolate chip or berry blast ($9-11), along with caramel apple pancakes served with sauteed apples, housemade glaze and caramel sauce (pictured, $11). Gluten and dairy-free pancakes and waffles are available upon request.
There are also Sweet Diner classics like a classic egg plate featuring three eggs, breakfast potatoes and toast ($8); steak and eggs ($17); chorizo and egg tacos ($11) and avocado toast ($11). Grab and go pastry items including muffins, doughnuts and cookies will also be available moving forward.
Among lunch options are salads, including the Protein Pack with lentils, brown rice, carrots, green onion, ham, eggs, a nut and seed blend and creamy lemon dressing ($9) and the Third Ward, which features cranberries, a nut and seed blend, dates, apple slices and mixed greens with orange kefir dressing ($10).
Sandwiches, served with a choice of french fries, soup, breakfast potatoes or fruit, include standards like the Veg Head with onions, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and roasted red peppers with hummus, greens and Gruyere served in a pita ($10); the BLTSMA with bacon, lettuce, tomato, Swiss, mayo and avocado on wheat bread ($9) and the Croque Madame with grilled country white bread, cherrywood smoked ham, Gruyere, fried egg and hollandaise (pictured, $10).
There are also two burgers including the 3-Cheese Burger featuring two beef patties topped with American, cheddar and Gruyere cheese along with Sweet Diner signature sauce, fried egg, minced red onion and pickles ($11). You can add bacon for $2.
Sweet Diner is open daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sweet Diner also plans to be open on holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.