Z is for Zaffiro’s Pizza



In late October, we made a trip to a frequent location–Milwaukee’s East Side–for our final ABCs dinner. On a moderately chilly Monday night, we drove up and down the streets that make up the Brady Street neighborhood…

None of us had ever been to Zaffiro’s but we had certainly heard about it before–it was Michelle and Adam’s selection. Read More


We Went to Nomad in Milwaukee and saw America Beat Ghana in the World Cup


Being a sports fan is a calculated risk. The highest highs are possible, but crushing lows are more likely.

I’m a novice soccer fan, I only watch every four years, during the World Cup. Soccer is not a sport we grow up with and not a sport our country excels in, but trust me on this … go to Nomad or Highbury or any other soccer bar before this Cup ends and watch the Americans.

The United States Men’s Soccer team is only certain to play two more matches in this year’s World Cup. What they do on Sunday and then next Thursday will determine if they move on.

If you’re lucky and this team has more magic in it, perhaps you’ll share the joy that millions of Americans–including Mike, Ryan, Adam and I–felt early Monday evening. Read More

V is for VIA Downer



This winter has been pretty rough on Wisconsin. Frigid temperatures and mountains of snow make it easier to stay home, underneath the covers with wine and Netflix.

But on a Friday in early January, we found many similar souls braving the weather for pizza and drinks at VIA Downer on Milwaukee’s Eastside, which was chosen by Adam, Cindi, Michelle, Mike and TJ (Michelle’s entry was selected).

I walked in, kicked the snow from my shoes and when the fog cleared from my glasses, I was in a large dining room with a modernist, industrial feel featuring high ceilings, artwork on the walls, exposed beams, wires and pipes. To my right was a hostess stand, to my left was a large, crowded bar and beyond were tables full of people.

VIA, the sister restaurant of Transfer (near the Allen Bradley Clock Tower AKA “The Polish Moon”), was crowded and our reservations, with a group our size, came in handy. Mike said:

The atmosphere was cool. You can tell they were busy but you could also hear everything any of us were saying and sometimes that doesn’t happen with seven people at a table.

We were seated near the middle of the room at large table. It seemed like a good mix of people on dates and large groups of friends. Read More

S is for Seoul Korean Restaurant



I’ve driven past Seoul dozens of times without even realizing it. You probably have too. It is on Prospect Avenue on the eastside–across from Urban Outfitters.

Adam selected it because he had enjoyed the lunch buffet when he worked in the area. He said:

I try to pick places that other people in the group would never try on their own. I feel like that is part of the fun of doing this–to step outside your comfort zone and experience what people from all walks of life call “food.”

The rest of us never had never tried Korean food before, so we’d be out of our comfort zone. Read More

P is for Pizza Shuttle



It never felt right to eat at George Webb during the day.

Webbs is among a handful of local restaurants that are busiest once Milwaukee bars make their last call–others include Ma Fischer’s, Oakland Gyros, Real Chili, Johnny V’s Classic Cafe and, I always thought, Pizza Shuttle, TJ’s winning selection for our ‘P’ dinner in this quest.

So it made sense to us that in order to get the full Pizza Shuttle experience, we had to imbibe in the amber liquid that made Milwaukee famous prior to our pizza. In early May, the seven of us (Mike joined us again) headed to the East Side to build up that late night hunger at Yield and The Hotel Foster. We arrived at Pizza Shuttle promptly at 2 a.m.

Pizza Shuttle was closed. Take-out only. We were baffled. Read More

F is for Fajitas Grill

It takes moxie and panache to name your restaurant after a well-known dish.

I love fajitas, so, despite badly wanting to go to Fox and Hounds because I thought the experience would be so much fun for our little group of diners, I was excited to try Michelle’s pick, Fajitas Grill.

On the steamy final Thursday in June, we made our way down to a restaurant on Farwell Avenue for the second month in a row and the third time since we started this quest.

I swear we almost walked right past the place, the unassuming facade gave way to an aggressively modern, bright room that couldn’t have had more than 10 tables. Read More

E is for Eatery on Farwell

Summer is just around the corner. Right now, I’ve been basking in the beauty of this spring. While it seems like fall gets most press when it comes to changing of seasons (and what a depressing change it is …), spring is also a time of change.

And while we are all experiencing the physical manifestations of spring (better weather, more sun, etc.), our little group of diners are experiencing personal springs as well. These exciting developments–TJ and Shannon with their varied artistic endeavors, TJ’s new house, Michelle and I with our wedding and house hunt, and Adam and Cindi with beautiful, sleepy Marilyn–make it harder for us to find weekends that work for the “ABCs of Milwaukee Dining.”

So for the first time as part of this quest, we headed out to dinner on a weekday. A Monday to be exact. While part of me regretted not being able to experience an open-ended night of food, fun and drinks, I was glad that this quest could transform an ordinary weeknight it something more. Read More