We Kayaked the Milwaukee River: An Afternoon with Milwaukee Kayak Co.



Shortly after Michelle and I met, while talking on the phone, we discovered we had the same birthday. At the time, this little fact seemed charmed–a reason to keep talking despite the distance between us and the longshot prospects for a relationship.

Ten years on, that charming fact–August 3 being our shared birthday, I’m three years older–seems like more like a burden to bear. We always struggle to determine where to go and what to do.

As this past birthday approached, I decided to be proactive. I wanted to do something fun and memorable. I’d seen images on social media of people kayaking the Milwaukee River and I thought, if we were able to stay upright, it would be the perfect way to spend our day and take in a unique view of our city. Read More


Touring Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery: A Pictorial


The unmistakable, lime green label of Lakefront’s IPA is ubiquitous in Milwaukee’s finer bars and restaurants, but as a neophyte beer drinker, I still remember it as the first microbrew that really made an impression on me. IPA remains one of my favorite beers.

So, it is a huge hole in my hophead resume that I have never been to Lakefront Brewery for a tour. I’d only first gone there the year before for a fish fry charity event.

When I saw a case of Lakefront beer and a private tour were a silent auction item, I had to win, and, eventually, after several other bidders stepped in, I made the winning bid – Michelle was okay with it because Lakefront also makes one of her favorite beers, Riverwest Stein, which is their most popular offering.

A year later, prior to our ABCs of Milwaukee Dining brunch at Wolf Peach, Adam, Cindi, Michelle, Shannon, TJ and I made the trek to the brewery, which is, decidedly, not on the lake. Instead, it is tucked in the Milwaukee River basin, in the Riverwest district. Read More

SPECIAL EDITION: Wisconsin State Fair Dining


“In my opinion, the more indulgent the fair food, the better.” -Michelle

On an overcast Sunday, the last day of the Wisconsin State Fair, nine of us gathered to indulge in decadent fried goodness and other foodstuffs. It was Shannon’s idea to do a special edition of the ABCs of Milwaukee Dining at the Wisconsin State Fair. The usual crew was there–including Marilyn and Mike–and we were joined by Brendan and Clare, two friends who have relocated to Chicago and who’d come home to partake in this Wisconsin tradition.

All nine of us ordered an item and then, after the Fair, we ranked the items in the order we would eat them. Since there were nine of us (and Marilyn, who wouldn’t share her Cheerios for the contest), we were all full by the end of this quest. Read More

O is for Odd Duck

Odd Duck-21


Less than three miles from our Town of Lake homes, in a non-descirpt single story building across from a 1950s antique shop and a couple buildings down from a comic book store, is one of Milwaukee’s most buzzed about new restaurants, Odd Duck.

Which is why it was no surprise at our last dinner when six entries were put into the hat and they all read ‘Odd Duck’ (although two had drawings of ducks on them–good work TJ and Cindi). It was TJ’s entry that was selected, which is appropriate since he and Shannon are the only two who have been there and have sung loudly the praises of this small plate (tapas) establishment.

On a cool March Monday, the seven of us (including Marilyn) made the short drive. Even on a Monday, reservations are strongly recommended (Shannon notes– If you don’t know you’re going well in advance, call in an hour before hand and put your name on the list.) and when we arrived, the room was bustling. 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