By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jul 17, 2008 at 5:29 AM

With summer in full swing, we're focusing on tasty beverages like Matilda beer (pictured), some outstanding music by The Hold Steady, an organic condiment and the hot deli at Sendik's. 

Matilda Beer -- On a recent visit to Sugar Maple, 411 E. Lincoln Ave., I tried a bottle of Matilda, a Belgian strong pale ale that's seven percent alcohol. Brewed by Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co., the hoppy beer has a creamy top layer and it's perfectly carbonated. I appreciated the simultaneously fruity and spicy taste. (A quick Internet check informed me the spice is coriander.) The label suggests serving Matilda with mussels, and I think it would pair well with most fish, too. --Molly Snyder Edler

Make a summer mix -- The mix tape is not a lost art form, or, at least it shouldn't be. The advent of iTunes has made the practice of random music compilation a 10-minute digital task rather than the 90-plus minutes we used to spend with blank Maxell tapes and the "record / play" function on our boom box. But as the media evolves, the basic idea remains the same: Pick out about 20 songs - choose a theme if you're feeling creative -- give the finished product an annoying title like "Rockin' Car Mix ‘08" and play it until you can't stand every last song on it. That's how it works. And when you find it under the passenger car seat a year and a half later, pop it in and remember just how rockin' the summer of '08 really was. --Julie Lawrence

The hot deli at Sendik's on Downer -- Family-owned for more than five generations, Sendik's on Downer (2643 N. Downer Ave.) is another one of those old-school things that make Milwaukee so unique. I love the big Whole Foods Market and Metro Markets, but there's just something so one-of-a-kind about Sendik's on Downer. I especially love the hot deli in the back of the store. It's a great dining stop full of unique items that make for a quick grab and go lunch or dinner. Daily menus are online. This week, I had a great Sloppy Joe, side of veggies and roasted potatoes. It all came to about $5. --Jeff Sherman

"Girls In Their Summer Clothes" -- The vivid picture that Bruce Springsteen lyrically paints in this song from last year's album "Magic" really didn't make an impact on me until I rolled the windows down on an 80-degree Saturday night and drove by a South Side church festival. Ahhh ... the girls in their summer clothes. Does it get any better? I think not. --Kevin Brandt

The Arnold Palmer -- Half lemonade and half iced tea. A delicious summer beverage named for the legendary golfer who made it famous. When the weather gets cold, I'll switch back to Diet Coke or something less interesting. For now, give me the AP. --Drew Olson

Organic ketchup -- In a recent study, scientists from the Agricultural Research Service in Albany, Calif., analyzed 13 different ketchup brands for their lycopene content. All of the organic brands had more of this antioxidant. Good enough news for me. Need more reasons to toss that store brand "regular" ketchup? Read the ingredients. Number one or two is usually high fructose corn syrup. The organics don't use the stuff, and most don't even add sugar. They still taste great and are much better for you. --Jeff Sherman

"Stay Positive" -- The new CD by The Hold Steady is worthy of its own article here at, and I'll get around to writing one soon. The Cliff's Notes: it kicks some serious booty. --D.O.

Lower Summerfest attendance -- I will be the first to admit that I am getting old. I know that because my entertainment decisions are now driven by the need for good parking and the probability of beating traffic. That being said, I was thrilled with the lower attendance at Summerfest. I spent five days on the grounds and not once was my north-south migration brought to a screeching halt by an overabundance of stationary, text messaging teens. My access to beer was virtually unhindered and, after departing the grounds at 11:45 p.m., I found myself passing Miller Park on the ride home at 12:01 a.m. For those of you that judge Summerfest solely on attendance figures, I must take issue with your criterion. I once judged the festival by the number of hours I could spend on top of a picnic table, but for me it's all about elbow room and a quick exit. --K.B. -- You have to be a Springsteen geek to appreciate this fan site and the magazine it represents, but it's a terrific resource. I wish there were more "niche" sites with this much depth and useful information. --D.O.