By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Oct 20, 2011 at 2:03 PM

For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."

I was born and raised on the East Side of Milwaukee and, consequently, have mostly dined in restaurants that are in the neighborhood. I have fond memories of now-defunct eateries like the Coffee Trader, El Condor, The Oriental lunch counter, Thai Joe's and Cataldo's on Brady Street.

Today, I continue to eat often in restaurants on the East Side – and nearby neighborhoods – like Zaffiro's, Beans and Barley, Maharaja, Nessun Dorma and Sharazad. I also eat out in Walker's Point and Bay View a lot more these days because I live in the area.

But in the past couple of years, I have started to journey way beyond the usual stomping grounds. Having lived within one-square mile for the better part of my life, if I go out to eat or drink, I am often run into three people I know. And these days, there are times when I just don't feel like running into three people I know. I just want to relax, focus on my dinner companion(s) and eat some good food.

So I started dining more in the suburbs. Two places come to mind that I really like: Los Paisa in Brown Deer with its colorful table cloths and three kinds of complimentary salsa is one of my new comfort zones when I'm sans kids, and La Estacion, a former train station in Waukesha that was converted into a Mexican restaurant.

I do love Mexican food, but I am not exclusively looking for Mexican restaurants, just consistently tasty, affordable restaurants with personality that are either kid-friendly or not in "greater Milwaukee." Basically, I am looking for the cheap-ish, suburban gems. Know of one?

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.