October is the third annual Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2009."
839 W. National Ave., (414) 431-6551
Opening in early 2009, The National is a relative newcomer to Milwaukee's dining scene, but it's quickly become a neighborhood favorite, with its hip, vintage charm and focus on fresh, organic (not to mention deliciously prepared) foods.
The restaurant began by serving only breakfast and lunch, but now stays open into the evening to offer dinner with daily specials.
Menu: Eclectic American, organic.
Price: Inexpensive to moderate.
When to go: The addition of a liquor license means they now serve a variety of local and / or organic wines and beer, which makes dinner a tempting choice, but in our opinion, their "Milwaukee brunch" -- think breakfast burritos, French toast, omelets, tofu scrambles and coffee drinks -- is probably their strongest draw. We'rehungry just thinking about it.
Dress: The vibe is vary casual and friendly here, so just about anything goes, from jeans at brunch to sport coats at dinner. Your call.
Don't miss: The build-our-own grilled cheese option. You begin with two slices of Old World Vienna bread, adding to it your choice of any Beechwood cheese: Chipotle cheddar, garden jack, mango peño, chicken noodle soup, or regular cheddar, Swiss or provolone. You can add a bunch of veggies to it for just $.50. Perfect.
Parking: Although it's located on a main street, finding a spot in this Walker's Point neighborhood usually isn't a problem. There is no lot, but there is ample room along 9th Street on either side of National Avenue.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”