Keep the germs off your iPhone, learn everything you ever wanted to about "prog rock" and wash it down with a bowl of soup. All that and more in this installment of OnMilwaukee.com Recommends.
Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer -- Wired magazine, which is a source I tend to trust, says that cell phones are a "vile, germ-infested bath, loaded with more pathogens than any surface in your home." That makes sense, considering phones rarely get cleaned, and never with water. Enter the Violight UV cell phone sanitizer, which claims to eliminate 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria on cell phones and other small electronic devices in just four minutes. For about $50, the devices uses three AA batteries, and blasts away strep, salmonella, e.coli, pseudomonas, listeria and H1N1 -- assuming it actually works, which I have no way of proving or disproving. However, the company makes all sorts of sanitizers for toothbrushes and razors, so I have no reason to doubt them, either, and the demo unit they sent over operated as expected: you drop your phone or ear buds into the chamber, attach the top, then watch in silence as a pulsating blue light zaps your phone into cleanliness -- or so it seems. Think about it: $50 is a small price to pay to avoid touching a filthy phone to your face every day, right? -- Andy Tarnoff
Falafel Bel Hommus at Shahrazad -- I declare this sandwich from Shahrazad, 2847 N. Oakland Ave., to be the new Best Deal In Town. For $5.95 (in both the lunch and dinner menu) this delicious, huge sandwich comes with a bowl of thick and peppery lentil soup and pita bread. The falafel sandwich is a large, warm pita stuffed with homemade, moist falafel balls, lettuce, tomato, tahini and hummus, also homemade. The combo of the soup and hearty sandwich create a feast of Middle Eastern comfort food that's most crave-able in late autmn and winter. -- Molly Snyder
CZ’s Bolognese -- I was introduced to CZ’s Bolognese at the Lela Fashion Show in September. Owned and developed by Kristin Walsh, former roommate of my wife's business partner at Lela, this hearty meat-based (beef, pork, bacon) pasta sauce is amazing. Seriously, I eat it out of the jar. There are hints of red wine, onion and garlic, too, that really work with the meats. It's delicious. The idea for CZ’s Bolognese came to Walsh a few years ago at the urging of friends and family who had tried her home-made sauce and continued to suggest that she bottle this sweet meat-based sauce that was unlike anything they had ever been able to find in a jar. Walsh is from Menomonee Falls, so truly this is a local creation. The jar's label, by the way, looks almost as good as the sauce tastes. Get it now at Groppi Food Market, 1441 S. Russell Ave., and soon at other grocers in the area and beyond. More here. -- Jeff Sherman
Mountains Come Out of the Sky: The Illustrated History of Prog Rock by Will Romano (Backbeat Books) -- Other than a Roger Dean album cover and -- arguably -- a tendency toward excess, prog rock is something of a slippery subject. Early Yes records have little in common with Pink Floyd records of the same period, for a start. Add in the variations supplied by the prog folk, Krautrock and Italian prog scenes and you've got a genre that's hard to define. Romano, in this glossy, attractive and illustrated book, doesn't try. He focuses on the different sub-genres and adds in features on bands you know (Yes, Rush, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull, ELP, etc.) and some that casual listeners may not know (Camel, Colosseum, Renaissance, New Trolls, etc.) to paint a picture of a diverse corner of the world of rock and roll. I found the final section most interesting. It's the one in which the author, in discussing contemporary "prog rock," names bands like Sigur Ros, Muse and Radiohead. -- Bobby Tanzilo
Cousins' Chicken with Wild Rice Soup -- I love soup. I'd eat it every day, if I could (and often times, I do). With a location just down the block from me, I find myself eating Cousins a little too frequently and even though I have a cupboard full of canned and packaged soup mixes, I always splurge when I see the chicken with wild rice option on the menu. Thick and creamy with plenty of filler, this soup is the perfect way to round out a meal. -- Andrew Wagner