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Jackson's, Millioke, Blaze and Lucky Joe's Tiki Room

By JEANETTE HURT
Photos by Dan Bishop

August 2013

Lucky Joe's Tiki Room

Jacksonís Blue Ribbon Pub at the new Brewhouse Inn and Suites (www.brewhousesuites.com) sounds like a corner tap that might serve up a fish fry and some sandwiches. Although it is on the corner of the block, itís not just any neighborhood tavern. Itís a swanky, historically restored pub in what used to be the original brewhouse of Pabst Brewery. Once an eyesore like the rest of the brewery grounds that sat vacant for more than decade, itís been lushly restored to vital landmark status.

The pub itself boasts tall ceilings, exposed Cream City brick and a gorgeous bar with plenty of flat screen TVs. But it also features some timeless historical details like the Carnegie Steel stamps on columns. Thereís a nice patio where you can enjoy one of the 13 Wisconsin brews on tap. Thereís also a beautiful little alcove above a set of the original metal stairs where a private table is set up for special occasions like anniversaries or proposals. The food is good, standard pub fare ó the portobella mushroom sandwich quite delights. If you go, be sure to take a detour through the hotelís lobby. The front desk is made up of thousands of Pabst bottles, the ceilings are the copper tops of the original brew kettles, and on the second floor, you can see an original stained glass window of King Gambrinus, patron saint of brewing. "The areaís really coming back to life," says Peter Northard, general manager of the hotel.

While the old Follansbee block where the new downtown Marriott just opened isnít as historically significant as the Pabst Brewery ó at different times through history it was a bakery, the cityís largest dealer of chandeliers and light fixtures, and a Mad Men-esque womenís shop called Smartwear Emma Lange ó the Millioke Restaurant (www.marriott.com) is sure to become a dining destination. With chef Patrick Taylor at the helm, this new restaurant focuses on all things Wisconsin ó specifically meat, cheese and beer. Taylor recommends the tallow-brushed New York strip steak. "We strip the fat off the steak, render it down with garlic and herbs, and it turns into almost meat butter," Taylor says.

Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub

Taylor worked with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to set up an all-Wisconsin artisan cheese plate. Twelve different cheeses, with a variety of cowís, goatís, sheepís and mixed milks, will be featured, and the cheeses will change periodically. Several Carr Valley cheeses will be highlighted, as well as some limited edition cheeses from Sartori. (This particular cheese author recommends getting the Bellavitano ó any Bellavitano ó as itís an addictive sort of blend of cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano.)

Twenty beers ó most of them local brews ó are on tap, and thereís also an all-American wine list, as well as a specialty cocktail list featuring the local likes of Great Lakes Distillery. "We incorporate as many local products as we can, even in the drinks," Taylor says. Particularly noteworthy are the brandy old-fashioned and the Bloody Mary, which has house-made Mary mix and is garnished "with everything in the kitchen."

Speaking of everything, the new Blaze Pizza (www.blazepizza.com) in Brookfield will be offering a pizza with everything ó and we do mean, everything ó for only $7.45. Blaze, which is sort of like a Panera for pizza, offers fast, fire-blazed pizza with 40 different artisan toppings. The pizzas are assembled by hand, a la Chipotle or Qdoba, fast-fired for 120 seconds, then served. You can get a 12-inch cheese pizza for $5, a one-topping pizza for $1 more, and unlimited toppings for $7.45; the toppings range from Gorgonzola and Ricotta cheese to applewood-smoked bacon and arugula.

Blaze also boasts several signature pizzas and sauces ó pesto, red, white and barbecue, among others. Blaze has a gluten-free crust for those who canít stomach the wheat. The Green Stripe includes chicken, pesto, arugula, roasted red peppers, garlic and mozzarella. Blaze is expected to open in September with several other Milwaukee locations to follow.

Portobella Pizzeria only has one location ó Port Washington ó but itís already gaining a following throughout Ozaukee County. For $3, this little pizzeria will deliver all over the county. Owner and all-around-pizzamaker Izzo Jonuzi specializes in traditional thin-crust pizzas. He makes homemade sauce and dough from scratch; all of the mozzarella is grated in-house, too. As the name suggests, Jonuzi does offer portobella mushrooms as a topping, as well as regular shrooms, too. "The most popular pizza is the one with everything ó I give you the works ó pepperoni, sausage, all the vegetables," the former Floridian says. "Oh, yeah, thatís good pizza."

Enjoy the tastes of summer at Lucky Joeís Tiki Room (www.luckyjoestiki.com). This Walkerís Point tiki bar not only makes delicious, traditional tiki drinks like the Mai Tai and the Zombie (they keep a running tab over the bar of the number of patrons who order this drink), but its mixologists are forever coming up with creative and creatively named drinks. Last spring they unveiled Fanny The Hipster Meets a Roomful of Sharks, a delicious honey twist on the classic daiquiri. This summer they debuted Lethal Loviní From A Stranger Named Esteban, or Lucky Joeís version of a rum old-fashioned. The drink starts with a block of ice that is put into a metal contraption called an ice sphere maker. The combination of heat and pressure turns an imperfect block into an absolutely perfect sphere, the likes of which Iíve never seen anywhere in Milwaukee. Itís a worthy drink to toast the dog days of summer.


This story ran in the August 2013 issue of: