In Dining

Does convenience drive your dining choices? (PHOTO:

Take convenience off the menu

Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted! See all the winners for the month so far here.

One factor overrides all others when you're deciding where to dine: convenience.

Admit it, you go to the same restaurants because they're easy, close to home or work or you're just comfortable there. Routines rule, and when it comes to dining, deciding based upon quality, locally sourced ingredients, design, personality of the owner/chef, price, etc., all sound great. Yet, many of us decide where to eat based upon simple convenience.

Where is the restaurant? Is it close? Do I know where to park? But, really, I don't care about parking - you shouldn't either. It's Milwaukee. It's easy to park anywhere. Do I know the menu? Decisions. Decisions.

So, as I've written before, I urge you to make a "places I want to go to" list. Go to different places, different neighborhoods and step out of your dining comfort zone. There are so many great new restaurants, and seemingly something new opening every week.

Take my lunch dining habits, for example. When I don't have a lunch meeting, I eat lunch at spots that are close: the Milwaukee Public Market, Urban Beets, Colectivo, Shah Jee's, Cousins, Swingin' Door, and even the occasional Starbucks protein box.

As for dinners, we usually end up going to the places we already love. This list is long, but full of favorites like Calderone Club, San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana, Buckley's, Cubanitas, the Wisconsin Club, Jing's, Goodkind and many, many others.

Yet, when I want to just dine out at "someplace new" because we don't want to cook I don't want convenience to be the only thing that rules our decision. Yet, it often does. Can we get in and out quickly? Is the food generally good? A place that fits this bill usually wins.

Like you, I also too often forget about places I love. Elsa's, Beans and Barley, Water Buffalo, Bavette, Harbor House, Xankia, Coquette Cafe. The list goes on and on.

My point? Make a greater Milwaukee dining list, read and review lists that are out there, and don't take Milwaukee dining for granted. Make a list, check it twice and bust out of your Milwaukee dining comfort zone.

We have it very good here, and it's your responsibility to get out and enjoy it all. Often. Happy Dining Month, Milwaukee!


mygreendoor | Oct. 22, 2015 at 8:48 a.m. (report)

Ah but you forgot one very important aspect under the "convenience' umbrella - that is how convenient it will be to bring kids - especially kids like mine that are 1 and 2 and still learning how to behave in a restaurant. I do have that "try it someday" restaurant list but it's a lot harder to be adventurous not knowing for sure whether a place has high chairs and whether the staff is more likely to be OK with messy kids and kids who are still learning restaurant manners. Hence, the gravitation to the same old places we always go to. Unless you'd care to babysit?.....

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