Man vs. Food is one of my favorite shows! I am not talking about the challenges, but rather about the concept that is to find these neighborhood gems that you would probably not know about without word of mouth. Each time we go to a city, I try to see where they went. A week before leaving for Milwaukee, there was a repeat on TV! Isn't that great?
The first place we tried is Benji's, an old american deli located in the Shorewood area. We walked to go there taking the path along the lake Michigan. Ok, it took us 3 hours but it was worth it! Look, 3 hours to have some good food is not only worth it but it makes you hungry! And for the sandwich I ordered, I needed to be! That sandwich is the Hear O Israel: Pastrami, salami, corned beef, pepper beef, swiss cheese and cole slaw served with 1000 Island dressing. For the bread, they give you the choice between Challah, Rye, etc...I picked Challah.
That sandwich was delicious! The meat was so good and the first bite was divine: you get the crunchiness of the slaw and then the different tastes of the meat! I have to say that I finished it but did not even touch the chips served with it....
I also tried the matzo ball soup (very good; the chicken broth is made daily) and the potato pancake with apple sauce (delicious, not greasy at all).
If you like deli food, Benji's is definitely a place to try! Just bring your sneakers...and stretch pants!
To complete the story on Benji's, we walked back to our hotel after that fantastic dinner. That time it only took us 1h30! On the way, we saw this little place selling mini donuts called sil's drive-thru. How can you resist? We got the combo: cinnamon and powdered sugar (6 for $1.5). They were the perfect dessert: fresh and hot! I really think it was destiny that put Sil's on my way!
The second place is Sobelman's: I wanted to try their signature burger showcased in the show. What is surprising is that, despite the area where it is (close to Marquette university but quite industrial), it was packed with working people on their lunch break and people did not stop coming during the entire time we were there. The story of the owners is really nice: Dave is eating in a restaurant and falls in love with the waitress, Melanie. They get married and start a family. Later on, the owner of the restaurant proposes to sell a tavern he owns. They buy it and although they do not have any culinary experience, create Sobleman's Pub and Grill where they serve mainly burgers. Their signature one, the Sobelman's burger (3 slices of cheese, bacon, onions and jalapenos), is one of the best burgers I had: the meat was cooked perfectly and was juicy; if you like cheese, with its 3 slices, you will be more than happy! The jalapeno was the little plus: at first I did not notice it. Then, little by little, I started to feel some heat on my lips, but not enough to make this experience painful! The only regret I have is that I did not follow the advice of my friend Jeremy: double the patty to respect a certain proportion between the meat and the bread. Probably next time, because I will be back! Last, let me mention the onion rings that were very good: crunchy and not too greasy! Perfect pairing with a burger!
Enjoy (I did)!