These are a few of our favorite things this week:
The Naked Burger Salad at Mason Street Grill -- It was the first time I'd eaten a Naked Burger. Recently undergoing a name change on the lunch menu at Mason Street Grill, 435 E. Mason St., the Naked Burger Salad delivers exactly what it implies: all the fulfillment of a beef or turkey burger without the bun. Starting with a bowl of chopped lettuce, the Naked Burger adds homemade relish, tomato, onion and Russian dressing. On top, you have your choice of a grilled Angus beef or ground turkey patty smothered with Wisconsin Cheddar. A perfectly-portioned lunch, the Naked Burger Salad satisfied my craving for a savory burger but didn't leave me feeling heavy, stuffed and tired, making it ideal for a business meeting over the work lunch hour. I'm not typically a fan of Russian dressing, but I have to say it paired well with relish and meat to recreate an authentic burger experience. --Maureen Post
"Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit" -- Both Drive-By Truckers and Isbell, the group's underrated former guitarist, have thrived since parting ways. On this disc, Isbell channels the Muscle Shoals sounds of his youth into a swampy, free-flowing and enjoyable batch of songs that sounds great when you open the windows and give the house a scrubbing on a warm spring day. Not that I've done that recently, but it sounds just as good when you're sitting on the couch surfing the Web. Check the horns in "No Choice in the Matter" and some great phrases in "Seven-Mile Island" and "Good." A solid effort. --Drew Olson
Simply saying "MILWAUKEE" on the jersey -- One of my biggest beefs is when local companies don't claim their hometown and promote the fact that they are "Milwaukee-based." Our pro sports teams don't have this problem, but it wasn't until last season that the Bucks once again began using just "Milwaukee" on their new, red jerseys. I loved it. Now comes word that the Brewers may do the same on road uniforms. Our sports teams have plenty of brand equity, so I say it's high time for them to promote their city as much as possible. I recommend more teams embrace this concept. ---Jeff Sherman
Alterra's Cowboy Cookie -- Alterra hooked me years ago with its soy honey lattes and although I've slowly weaned myself off my afternoon caffeine fix, I often find myself in line to purchase the decadent cowboy cookie when the post-lunch sweet tooth kicks in. These suckers could be a meal, which makes them great for sharing with a willing co-worker. Alterra's bakery mixes up oatmeal, chocolate chips, walnuts, sugar, spice and all things nice for this hearty dessert. The edges are often crunchy, but the center is a bit chewier, making it the ultimate in texture satisfaction. Damn it, now I want one... --Julie Lawrence
Kummrow Automotive -- Finding a good auto repair shop is never easy. I needed one with a BWM speciality, but that could also do American-made work. A good friend of my dad told me to call Pat Kummrow at Kummrow Automotive in Glendale. Great call, indeed. Pat's a "car guy" and has solid, passionate BMW experience along with all makes and models. The shop, that he runs with his dad, is independently owned and operated and is full-service repair and maintenance facility. Need some done? Check him out at 2201 W. Bender Rd. in Glendale or online here. --J.S.
WolframAlpha.com -- Google is such a part of the current Web culture that it's hard to get excited about a new search engine. This one, though, shows promise. Rather than sending you a bunch of links, it responds with actual information. Check it out by entering your first name or the city of your birth. It's pretty impressive. --D.O.
"Return from Planet Dub" (Collision) -- Living Jamaican legend Lee Perry and Ari Up of The Slits and New Age Steppers team up with Perry's recent backing band Dubblestandart on this double disc that features the crack band playing classic rhythms from the Upsetter catalog -- such as "Blackboard Jungle" and "Chase the Devil" -- as Perry and Ari Up lend their immediately recognizable vocal instruments to the mix. The result is a new take on familiar material for roots reggae fans and the kind of collaboration that makes real roots lovers stand up and listen. --B.T.
Keith Urban's "Defying Gravity" -- In March, with the release of his latest album, Keith Urban told NYTimes.com, "I wanted to get back to the core of my earlier music. Simple odes to love, loss, longing - that's the stuff I naturally do, and instead of second-guessing it this time, I just went with it." Simply stated, that's the beauty of Urban's new release. It's a perfect summer listen with the season's first huge hit "Kiss a Girl." Download it and get ready for Urban and Counting Crows on June 26 at Summerfest. --J.S.