U is for Union House



Go west from Milwaukee on I-94. Use Exit 285 in Delafied and head south on 83. Pass the crappy chain restaurants and large box retailers and then six miles of subdivisions, forest and farms until a sign appears–Genesee Depot. The Union House is impossible to miss, a massive, two-story supper club with a wrap-around porch in the center of town.

Arriving at the Union House is arriving in the past.

And we arrived there on a weeknight early in December. Our reservation was unnecessary, but there were several diners in each of the dining rooms, as well as a small number of people at the bar.

As the first person to arrive, I pulled up a stool and ordered a beer … sadly, it turned out to be a flat Guiness. About half of us had been there before, including Cindi, whose submission was picked (Michelle and Adam also selected Union House). A number of us were excited about Union Houses wild game specials. Read More


L is for Louise’s Trattoria


Reflecting on the year that was, the first of this quest, it seems we fulfilled all of the hopes we began with. We enjoyed great meals (and a few okay ones). Great conversations. Great beer. We’ve gathered for dinner less than a week before Cindi and Adam brought their beautiful baby into the world. We had dinner shortly before Michelle and I got married. There were new homes, new jobs, travel, photography awards–we saw so much in a wonderful 2012.

The ABCs of Milwaukee Dining was a excellent excuse to gather and discuss these things over dinner and drinks.

So it was fitting that we got together one last time in 2012, only days before a brand new year. We headed to Cathedral Square–home of Whiskey Bar (yuck)–to give the downtown location of Louise’s a try. It was my pick (Shannon chose it too) and I had never been there before, though Michelle insists that she tried to get me to go to the Brookfield location on numerous occasions, which I do not recall. Half of us had been there before, and Adam didn’t hide that he hadn’t been a huge fan in the past, though he was determined to give the place a fair shake. Read More

That Time We Partied with Screech: Milwaukee’s Bayside Bash



In the Saved by the Bell episode “House Party,” originally airing October 6, 1990, Screech’s parents take a vacation to Graceland prompting Zack to persuade his nerdy friend to have the gang over. When Screech’s mom’s prized Elvis bust crashes into a million pieces, the Bayside bunch throw a party to try to earn enough cash to replace the statue. There are a few other nonessential, implausible plot elements but, in the end, they get a new Elvis and Mrs. Powers is none the wiser. In the world of Bayside royalty, Zack Morris, throwing a well-attended party is the solution to nearly every problem.

But in real life, throwing a party can be a dicey proposition. Will enough people come? Will there be enough to do? Will people have fun? Are they willing to pay? Etc. This uncertainty was why I was interested in attending the first-ever Bayside Bash, hosted by Dustin Diamond.

For $14 per person, the Bayside Bash promised a Saturday night of video games, 80s and 90s music, and a chance to have your photo taken with Dustin Diamond, who, for legitimate reasons, seems really conflicted about whether to embrace or flee from his legacy as one of the 90s most popular television nerds (Steve Urkel, Blossom and Paul from The Wonder Years are also in the discussion). Read More