When I think of my favorite beers, or even those great by reputation, Polish beers do not usually come to mind!  On our trip to Milwaukee this summer though, we had a taste of one that will change your mind.  The largest Polish festival in the U.S. is held in Milwaukee each summer and I highly recommend you go.  Among the festive polka bands, cultural displays, pierogi and sausage vendors you’ll find a variety of beers.  The big names and other usual suspects were there, but only one Polish gem was available.  And EVERYONE was drinking one!  Tyskie is a smooth golden lager that’s perfect for warm summer days or frankly even cool football Sundays.  The #1 in Poland has been a mystery to me until now.  Strange, considering they’ve been brewing it for nearly 400 years!


Try finding this great alternative to American lagers in your local grocery store.  They are a partner brewery with MolsonCoors so their distribution is increasing.  I don’t know how they’re packaged in the store, but the 16 ounce tall boys were perfect for taking in a few renditions of “Roll Out The Barrel”.  You can find out more at molsoncoors.com.  Drink up – swietowac!!


Milwaukee Public Market


One of the best ways to get a true feel for the people and the food of any city is to visit the local market.  If they don’t have an historical market, most cities are working hard to establish new ones as a gathering place and showcase of the fine foods they have to offer – Milwaukee Public Market is one of the finest examples I’ve seen.  Located downtown, conveniently near plenty of parking and other shopping, they feature tons of vendors with prepared foods, delicious ingredients for your own cooking, on-site cooking classes and a full calendar of interesting events.  To give you an idea, in the 3 days we were in town, we visited this place 3 times!


Looking for some great coffee and sweets?  Grab a fantastic pastry or cookie from C. Adams Bakery.  The selections are endless and beautiful!  You’re definitely going to want to accompany your selection(s) with a honey vanilla latte (iced or hot) from Anodyne Coffee.  They roast their own beans and have some really great drink options.  Right across the street, and with 5 more locations throughout the city, is Colectivo Coffee.  They are worth a stop as well with a great selection of house-roasted coffee drinks as well as pastries and sandwiches.


Looking for some real food?  Check out Aladdin for delicious homemade hummus and other Middle Eastern delights.  The St. Paul Fish Company has lots of selections of fresh fish for you to take home, but there were a ton of people sitting at their counter with smoked salmon on a stick or having fresh oysters shucked right in front of them!  I had the breakfast tacos one day from Margarita Paradise and was blown away with the quality and freshness.  Finally, for a huge selection of meats, homemade sausage, fresh salads and an endless number of sandwiches and panini, check out Nehring’s Family Market.


My only regret is that we didn’t have more days to explore and try more things at the Market!  I highly recommend checking it out for a quick meal or a day trip before shopping in the Historic Third Ward – you’ll be one very happy foodie if you do…

Distil – Milwaukee

Our recent Milwaukee trip was full of adventures in sightseeing, music and food!  We definitely had a memorable stop at Distil.  A dark, comfortable restaurant with urban-classic decor wasn’t too busy or loud for cocktails and noshes on a Friday night out with friends.  If you’ve read some of my posts, you know I have an affinity for this type of craft American fare and distinctive drinks.  Distil did not disappoint!  The Rosa Umada was a fantastic experience/cocktail.  An old fashioned glass is sprayed with an aerosol of grain alcohol infused with clove and placed over a larger glass with smoking wood chips.  It’s brought to your table, the glass is removed to release the smoke and then a wonderful mix of bourbon, maple and vanilla is poured into it.  It’s a beautiful presentation and a fantastic twist on a classic bourbon cocktail.  I know I absolutely want to try making this at home – you can’t get enough of the smokey aroma!


They have a great selection of small plates, we sampled the cheese board, charcuterie board and the steak tartare.  I’m sucker for these when they’re done well.  The boards looked gorgeous and were amply covered in a great selection of meats, cheese and accompaniments.  Whether is was the duck prosciutto with grain mustard, blue cheese with honeycomb and Marcona almonds or a cheddar, salami and raspberry stack they were all fresh and tasty!  The tartare had a nice texture, just enough capers and a creamy egg yolk.  The whipped bone marrow gave just enough fat and richness to set this apart from other preparations I’ve had.



Overall, this was a really nice spot for small plates and cocktails.  I’d recommend it for a pre-dinner or pre-theater date night or happy hour.  Clinton Sterwald is an imaginative mixologist with a keen sense of aroma, taste and presentation.  The Apartment 137 is another must-try drink on their menu!  Give them a try for the best of Wisconsin’s small bites and cocktails.  You can check out their menu and story at distilmilwaukee.com.  Dig in!