By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM Photography: shutterstock.com

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a taste of what's new and notable – including news about the reopening of Bay View favorite, a new Wisconsin State Fair recipe contest, new Happy Hour offerings at Trocadero, and an upcoming Food for Thought dinner at La Merenda.

Palomino is back in action
Palomino, 2491 S. Superior St., which closed in April for remodeling, will open again on Tuesday, sporting a new improved dining area, including hardwood communal tables and snazzy new bar stools, spruced up bathrooms,  brand new kitchen space, and impressive menu changes.

Known for its comfort food, including deliciously crispy tater tots along with delicious vegetarian and vegan fare, the new-styled Palomino will now feature a slightly meat-heavier menu with small plates, including offerings like pimento cheese and steamed clams, along with entrees like cast iron fried chicken ($12), smoked duck with rhubarb mustard ($14). However, veggie options like Black-eyed pea falafel po’ boys ($7), and a wide selection of vegan items will also be available. Other improvements include a brand new from scratch recipe for the ever-famous tater tots.

Fruit pies, handpies, and layer cakes are on the dessert menu, which will change daily, with prices in the $5-$6 range.

Get your family fruit pie recipes ready!
Celebrity chef Bobby Deen, television cook, cookbook author and son of Paula Deen, will make an appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair this year to host to host a brand new cooking competition in celebration of Kenmore’s 100th anniversary. The competition, "Family Favorite Fruit Pies," will focus on heritage recipes and the stories that inspired them.  

All you have to do is make your most cherished family recipe for homemade fruit pie and submit your recipe for consideration before June 12.

The contest which will be hosted by Deen on Sunday, Aug. 4 at the State Fair. A panel of judges will select the finalist based on overall taste, presentation, heritage story and uniqueness. 

First place will earn you a Kenmore kitchen makeover worth $5,000, a three day/two night trip package for two to the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival in October, and the opportunity to have your recipe featured in the Kenmore 100th anniversary cookbook due out in fall.

To enter the "Kenmore Family Favorite Fruit Pies" contest, navigate to page 22 of the Wisconsin State Fair Exhibitor Handbook and follow entry instructions. 

Trocadero Gastrobar launches delicious new Happy Hour
Looking for a new place to hang out after work?  Check out the new Happy Hour offerings at Trocadero Gastrobar, 1758 N. Water St.  Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. this summer, Trocadero will offer half price appetizers and specially priced wine, beer and cocktails.

During happy hour, you can sample your share of wild boar fun buns loaded with Sriracha ginger barbeque sauce and apple slaw, Wit and panko crusted Vidalia "onion rungs," the flatbread of the week, killer guacamole and chips and more. Wash them down with $2 tallboys, house wine, $3 rail cocktails, $5 mojitos, margaritas and Bloody Marys, and $6 signature cocktails.

Food for Thought Milwaukee Hosts Dinner at La Merenda
We gave you the details of Milwaukee’s new community-centric chefs collaborative, Milwaukee Food for Thought back in December when they were planning their first dinner at the National Café in support of Joy House.

Since that time, the group has hosted a second dinner at Odd Duck in April, raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and provided food and beverages for the Edible Milwaukee Launch party this past May.

The next Food for Thought Milwaukee dinner will be held on July 30 at La Merenda, 125 E. National Ave. Watch the Food for Thought Facebook page for details.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.