A Trip to Milwaukee - Part 1: The Public Market | I just want to eat!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Trip to Milwaukee - Part 1: The Public Market

We went to Milwaukee to attend the wedding of Dear Friends and as any trip, we made the most of it (I should say EAT)! I will publish different parts for Milwaukee as with all the food we ate, one post would be too big!
I am going to start with the Public Market, located in the 3rd Ward, downtown Milwaukee. The Market showcases artisans and ethnic food; most of the vendors are supposed to be local producers. There are in fact two buildings: the main one (Public Market) and the Annex located across the street where Benelux Market is.
I like this type of market because you can try different types of food or find interesting produces in the shops (The Green Kitchen offers different types of corn).

Here is a summary of the different things I have tried:

Treats:
  • The Meltaways at Kehr's candies - Kehr's Candies was founded in 1931 by a couple who wanted to sell caramel corn and potato chips. They became candy makers and are making 70% of what they sell, the rest being purchased from other manufacturers. When you see their stock, you really do not know what to eat! They sell chocolate covered graham, peanut bars, red hot pepper truffles, peanut brittel, peppermint patties, etc... I have tried the meltaways (chocolate bar similar to fudge) and they were delicious!
  • Cookies and cake bites at C Adams Bakery - This is a really nice bakery who makes some good bread and offers a wide range of treats! Their chocolate chip cookies are delicious and they are not cheap in chocolate chips! My favorite are the cake bites: some cake and frosting dipped in chocolate. The red velvet is good, but the best is the dark chocolate layer one: moist, dense and addictive!
  • Baklava at Aladdin - They propose two kinds of baklava: pistachio or walnut. Unfortunately, I did not really like them. The dough was undercooked for both of them and tasted... weird! I would not try again!

Food:

  • St Paul Fish Company: they serve fresh seafood that goes from oysters to lobster and even offer a lobster dinner for $12.95. Their New England clam chowder was good (could have been a little creamier) and you can take as many crackers as you want! Their crab cakes are decent although the one I got at Cafe Benelux was far better! They have different types of oysters that you order by the piece (prices range from $1.50 to $2 a piece). The service was efficient and courteous. 

  • Margarita Paradise: Mexican place, spin off of a larger restaurant on Water street. They have a large selection of tacos or burritos. For tacos, you pick the shell (hard or soft), the filling and sauce. Besides the refried beans, I did not like it: their chicken taco was soggy and the fish taco tasteless (once you try the Taco Truck in Hoboken, no fish taco is good enough)! On top of that, they did not have avocados anymore! Who has tacos without guac???

  • Cafe Benelux: located across the street from the Public Market, it is an Annex that features a restaurant and a small market. They have a huge beer list and their menu features various dishes, some more comfort food and some european specialties (the name comes from Belgium, Nederland, Luxembourg). One of their specialties is the Pannenkoeken, a large thick crepe. I should say a huge thick crepe! We tried the Roubaix, served with Ham, cheddar and belgian beer cheese sauce. That was delicious! I cannot imagine the desert one with banana, chocolate sauce, nutella, hazelnuts and bourbon cream! I also tried the jumbo lump crab cake: it was a good one! I was ticked of by the breading at first, but you could really taste the crab and see the lump! The spicy red bell pepper aioli sauce was a perfect pairing and the sweet slaw refreshing. Last, I tried the mussels with fondue sauce (ham, leeks, asiago, beer and cream). They give you some bread with it: thank God! I could dip the bread in this delicious fondue sauce!!! Definitely one of my favorite restaurants! 

If you go to Milwaukee, stop by the Public Market: it is nice to try all these different foods! When I go back, I will definitely enjoy again some cake bites, St Paul Fish Company and Cafe Benelux!

Enjoy (I did)!

St. Paul Fish Company on Urbanspoon
Cafe Benelux on Urbanspoon
Margarita Paradise on Urbanspoon
Milwaukee Public Market on Urbanspoon

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