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JenInTosa's Profile

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Best Hamburger in Midwest

AJ Bomber's (Milwaukee, WI)
Nitty Gritty (Madison, WI) It must have been the "gritty sauce" though!
Kopp's (Milwaukee, WI) (with fried onions and extra pickles)

Pre-Game Hangouts around the Bradley Center (Milwaukee)

Just went here to hang out Saturday afternoon. The stuffed mushroom burger was delicious. The atmosphere is fun! There are metal bombs delivering peanuts around the bar. You can get sweet potato chips or fries (unique taste! very good). It's just a short walk over the river to Water Street. My friends that "regular" there say they never had anything just par on the menu... everything is delicious! (Be sure to check out the secret menu items!)

AJ Bombers
1247 N Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

Dec 07, 2009
JenInTosa in Great Lakes

Milwaukee dining?

-Tapas: Swig: 2nd that one.. try the beef tenderloin crostini!
-Italian: Mimmas: Pricy but excellent Italian seafood
-Diner: Ted's in Wauwatosa! Get a milkshake with your breakfast!
-Pizza: Ricardo's Riverfront Pizzeria: Try the Carnivore or Cheeseburger Pizza... actually any pizza!
-Wings: Johnny Mo's: all the way in So. MKE but seriously the BEST wings I have found... EVER!
-Cajun: Bayou: mmm Jambalaya

Nov 19, 2009
JenInTosa in Great Lakes

Milwaukee dining?

Of all the 5th Ward Mexican restaurants, Botanas was by far the best and (from what I hear) very authentic Mexican restaurant in that particular area! Great outdoor seating (for warm weather) and lots of dining space indoors!

Botanas Restaurant
816 S 5th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Nov 19, 2009
JenInTosa in Great Lakes

The Basics: How to Make Apple and Sage Stuffing

adding toasted walnuts and craisins is the way I make it! (I like mine with as much veggies & fruit as bread!!)

@Vorpal 2-sticks?!?!?! no thanks! (unless you're my grandma who eats a slab of butter on each bite of anything)

Nov 19, 2009
JenInTosa in Features

Downtown Milwaukee Breakfast?

Agreed! I just went there for the 1st time last weekend and had Guinness-laced Belgium waffle (came sprinkled with potatoes and ham and syrup) topped with poached eggs and a side of sausage (chubbiest sausage links I've ever gotten at a restaurant)! I had to spit it with my sister, but it was excellent!

Milwaukee food help

If you do choose Mexican, walk past La Perla and go to Botana's (just down the street)! Much better, cute outdoor patio and more authentic. I like their margaritas better too!

For a drink with a view head to the roof of Bootlegger's (Old World 3rd) I know the 1st 2 floors might look like a college hang out but the rooftop is quieter and the view at night is worth at least checking out (and there is another bar up there).

Best Brat's!!! (Milwaukee)

I agree on the best brats at Miller Park parking lot while tailgating. Brats are really something we make ourselves here rather than go out for them (except at festivals).

But if you must go out.. here's a JSOnline (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Forum with a ton of posts on the matter:
My favorite of the list is Old German Beer Hall downtown on Old World 3rd St.
If you're here for the weekend check out Polish Fest at the Summerfest grounds! I'm sure you'll find brats there and get to try a ton of other Polish/Wisconsin foods. Including Wisconsin Fried Cheese!

Solo Dinners Reveal Horrible Secrets, Sexy Creations

When I cook just for me I drag out any and every spice/herb that I own and throw a ton of them in... I can experiment more when no one is watching! Another favorite is "left-over pizza". Anything that is even just a little OK to put on a pizza from my fridge goes right on there... thats how Tailgate Pizza came about! (Brats, Pickles and Onions...kraut too if I have it)

Jun 08, 2009
JenInTosa in Features

Pittsburgh in May

Sure did! and a Hot Dog with Bacon and cheese! (not a healthy choice, but we did so much walking, so I treated myself!) I can see why this is one of the best Hot Dog places in America. That was my 2nd time there and it seems to be a Pittsburgh staple.

May 27, 2009
JenInTosa in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh in May

UPDATE: So this past weekend in Pittsburgh flew by! So much to do and see in 3 days!
As planned we did go to La Casa the 1st night. We were hoping to eat outside, but it started drizzling and we we easily moved inside. We had AMAZING bacon wrapped sea scallops, ham wrapped beef kabobs, muscles in white wine sauce and MORE! although the tapas we pretty small for the prices (except the scallops) I was very pleased with the flavors and variety of each plate. The dipping sauce for the fresh bread was also VERY delicious! The workers were incredible kind and helpful (especially when we had to move inside) and for this fact alone, it would be worth it to visit this restaurant again! So the food was delicious and the service was great, the only negative was that I could have eaten more, but I compensated with good wine and sangria!
We did go to Crepes Parisiennes for breakfast! simple and delicious and surprisingly filling! (Pamela's was PACKED!)
And we tried Alexander's for dinner. I really enjoyed the pick your own pasta, sauce and toppings for their pastas. The plates were giant and inexpensive! $10-12 got you an enormous plate of food (enough for 3). Simple atmosphere, could improve the advertising (kid eating and unappetizing looking meatball), bad house chianti, but just what we needed after a busy day!
And we ended our food tour with a stop at the Original Hot Dog Shop. So good!

So while there were pros and cons for each place I enjoyed the choices... of course service and company we really the best parts! :)

May 20, 2009
JenInTosa in Pennsylvania

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

BEER: I reccommend looking up The Lakefront Brewery beers ( We do not sell beer for taking home in MKE bars because you can get it from just about any store any day! If you find a Sendik's grocery store ( and their liquor dept. associates are REALLY helpful and they carry a ton of local brews!
Good Luck!

Pittsburgh in May

I am a Wauwatosa-resident! I just moved here last year and love it! I have passed Soba on my last trip and remember thinking we should try it next time. Good to hear it's worth a stop! The BYOB options sounds fun too... can we bring our "growlers"? The purchasing of beer and alcohol in Pittsburgh baffles me!
(P.S. Upscale bar food makes total sense to me!)

I'll be investigating all the suggestions! Thanks shadysider023 and MrKotter!

Apr 22, 2009
JenInTosa in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh in May

I am off to Pittsburgh in May, I've only been there once before and spent most of my time at PNC Park. We already intend to stop at CoCo's Cafe (for a yummy cupcake!) and La Casa. Are there other (moderate-inexpensive) Shadyside locations worth a stop at? We will be near Shadyside and Carnegie Mellon campus most of the time and hoping to walk or bus most places. I am not a picky eater but love seafood, Italian and comfort food!
I am looking for the place NOT TO MISS while I'm there!

Apr 21, 2009
JenInTosa in Pennsylvania

Some info on smoke free in Milw

Swig (same owners as Water Buffalo) is also smoke free!!
Thanks for the list! Smoke never stops me from an establishment but I ALWAYS prefer it!!

**Side Note about Fat Abbey: terribly disappointed in food and service! Bad, cold food that was over priced and under portioned and the female bartender that took our order was TERRIBLE. Couldn't pour a shot correctly and forgot about our order for way longer than acceptable and everyone in my group had to ask her to recalculate our tabs because they all were over charging.)

Suggestions for near the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI

I don't know what kind of food or atmosphere you are looking for but I enjoy Tutto on Old World 3rd. It's an Italian sports bar which sounds weird but the only thing sporty about it is the TVs. The have great appetizers and small plates to share in a trendy atmosphere.

A couple places in the 3rd Ward worth checking out are Swig (tapas restaurant with great martinis - try the beef tenderloin crostini!) and Water Buffalo (I only order the black bean burger because it's so good I can't imagine loving any other food more!)

All are pretty trendy decor and reasonably priced with a variety of things on the menus!

miller park / brewers tailgating

MAKE FRIENDS! Someone will let you place a hot dog, brat or burger on theirs! Maybe in exchange for beer or another treat!
You're in for a real MKE experience! There is NOTHING like tailgating on opening day in MKE!

Milwaukee, WI

a kringle? do you mean the pastry ring things from Racine, WI? they are a flat breakfast pastry sometimes with icing on top and filled with fruit or nuts. My favorites are the pecan ones!

and yes, MKE has quite the German representation. Sausages and beer!

Apr 07, 2009
JenInTosa in Great Lakes

Flavor blind palates?

and smoking hurts those taste receptors!

Mar 27, 2009
JenInTosa in Not About Food

Do I count a baby when making reservations on Opentable?

I was a host at a restaurant for a while and I would get upset if people with reservations at the time of seating would add: Oh yeah.... we need a high-chair/baby basket. It does add another seat to the table and sometimes tables were in tighter areas or in walking isles and it wasn't just that simple to add another seat.

ALWAYS add your special requests (even if you'd like a booth) when making reservations or giving your name to the host(ess)... it helps us find the best table for you!

Mar 27, 2009
JenInTosa in Not About Food

Cheap eats / banh mi in Madison?

If you're near the capitol building you'll be within walking distance to 2 of my favorite places!!
Try Brocach's... It is a bar but has amazing Irish (not typical.. very flavorful!) food.
Also for Mexican, Freda's is just down State Street a bit! Great soups and fun atmosphere (based on the artist)
Also, for more "bar food" check out the Nitty Gritty and make sure you get Gritty sauce with whatever you order (not healthful at all, but delicious!)
And there is always Ian's Pizza for macaroni and cheese pizza!

Unemployment Benefits

@MattInNJ in response to "They are grownups, they can pay for themselves. If they can't afford to go out to eat, maybe they shouldn't."
Obviously you have not been laid-off recently. Even when you are laid-off there is the desire to continue on like you used to (scaled back of course) so why shouldn't one have a little fun in an otherwise nervous time. I was recently laid off and my friends often bought drinks when we went out... now the tables are turned and I am happy to have friends who were so kind to me that now I get to repay the favors a little bit!

Mar 27, 2009
JenInTosa in Features

OJ & Guinness?

I saw a guy drinking an OJ and Guinness at a bar on Sunday early afternoon. Is this a "common" drink? What would one even call this? I can't imagine it would taste very good! Any thoughts?

Mar 23, 2009
JenInTosa in Beer

A Chow Fan But May Not Fit In ... Outcast???

Grow up?!?! Who does that?! (on another board lots of the chowhounds called themsleves "peter pans"!) Anyway, I didn't mean to sound like I was taking OFFENSE, I just was agreeing that people who are "better" chefs than the rest of us turn their noses up at at those who are crunched for time and/or money and I "feel" it on the boards. It's one thing to be a great chef and share ideas and it's another thing to put down the ideas of people who aren't great chefs who are just trying to offer time/money saving ideas. **not that all chowhounds do this either.

I love that there are all different skill levels represented here, but sometimes it's the more skilled chefs that take more offense to and snub the ideas of the corner-cutters like me! I'm proud of my cooking skills... but I also know I am young and have a lot more to learn! that's why I am here!! :)

Mar 18, 2009
JenInTosa in Site Talk

A Chow Fan But May Not Fit In ... Outcast???

I think there are more "outcasts" than you know! My issue is with cost most of the time and that's why I cut-corners when cooking (I'm a 20-something single girl)! But I get the same impression from most posters that the way I cook is blasphemous to some chefs! (I love the green-canned parm. cheese! and buy a jar of tomato sauce to go with my otherwise homemade pastas).

Maybe it's the "gourmet" chowhounds that need to get off their high-horse sometimes! :)

Mar 16, 2009
JenInTosa in Site Talk

Facebook & Chowhound Posts

I just want to have all my Facebook friends see when I am chatting on the Chowhound boards so they can get interested too. Any plans for this team-up to happen?!
(I am already a FAN and the link to the application didn't work for me today.)

Mar 16, 2009
JenInTosa in Site Talk

How Much Salt Is in Salted Butter?

so, how much salt should you remove from a baking recipe that requires 1 lb. salt-free butter and 1 tsp. salt... but you use salted butter?

Mar 16, 2009
JenInTosa in Features

MKE (area) Fish Fry Time!

Anyone try Kegel's Inn for a Fish fry?

Mexican in Waukesha County, WI

José's Blue Sombero (20371 West Bluemound Road) is decent. I know I've heard complaints of not being totally ethnic mexican but the tableside-made guacamole is a wonderful experience and it has one of the best ala carte menus I've seen. The Shrimp Soup was quite good as well! Besides, the birthday boy/girl gets a sombrero and a song! Check it out:

MKE (area) Fish Fry Time!

Just went to Firefly in Wauwatosa for a fish fry. It was pretty darn good! All you can eat lightly breaded fish and a ton of french fries for about $15 and comes with great potato pancakes!
Now I need suggestions on where to go next!
(already on the list: Diamond Jim's, Lakefront Brew, & The Bosch)

PLEASE include average cost and what makes it so special!! I need specifics, please!