Milwaukee restaurant scene may have come into its own over the past
few years, but plenty of foodies will agree some of the best local
cuisine can only be found on the cityís summer festival circuit.
the food is a must at Milwaukee festivals," says Kristi Chuckel,
media relations manager for Wisconsin State Fair. "Iím always
amazed by the inventive and exotic culinary creations our fair food
vendors come up with."
street eats to ethnic fare to cutting-edge cuisine, thereís no
shortage of choices being served up at area festival kiosks in the
rounded up six festival eats worth seeking out. A mix of must-have
mainstays and inventive menu items, they all extend beyond the
standard beer, brat and cheese offerings non-Milwaukeeans typically
associate with our city.
overshadowed on its restaurant menu, AJ Bombersí buffalo chicken egg
rolls take center stage at the popular burger jointís Summerfest
kiosk. Served up alongside Bombersí signature burgers, this
travel-friendly appetizer is a traditional egg-roll wrapper stuffed
with Buffalo-style chicken and oozing cheddar cheese. Pair it with
ranch or bleu cheese dipping sauce for savory bliss.
2. At a festival
known for its penchant for deep-fried anything ó chocolate-covered
bacon, anyone? ó itís a gluten-free dish that is capturing
fair-goersí attention. Last year, Island Noodlesí island slaw won
a Sporky in the Best Tasting category in the State Fairís first-ever
Fair Food Competition. Made with rice vinegar, mandarin oranges,
pineapple and teriyaki chicken, the dish is glazed with an extra light
wasabi sauce and topped with garlic Macademia nuts.
calamari to cannoli, Festa Italiana is the place for festival-goers to
indulge in their favorite Italian dishes. "Festa is a foodie
favorite," says Gina Spang, chairperson of Festa Italiana. Among
the staples at this ethnic festival are traditional Italian rice balls
or arancini. Riverwest-based Nessun Dorma serves up some of the best:
filled with spinach and mozzarella, then heaped with marinara sauce,
youíll have to snag a picnic table to enjoy them.
authentic French cuisine is difficult to prepare in a street-fair
setting, the beignet has staked its claim as "the cream puff of
Bastille Days." Made from deep-fried dough and covered in
cinnamon or powdered sugar, itís no wonder these sweet hot fritters
draw a crowd at the Alliance Francaise tent.
is in the "haus" at German Fest. Though German Fest visitors
devoured more than 20,000 Usinger brats last year, the currywurst is
where itís at. An 18-inch bratwurst thatís curled and served on a
stick with a rich curry sauce, or "saucisschen," itís a
true culinary sensation.
Greeks take their sweets seriously. Weeks before Greek Fest sets up at
State Fair Park, yia-yias ó aka Greek grandmas ó prepare thousands
of loukoumades by soaking the pastry puffs in honey, then drizzling
them with cinnamon. The result is a mouth-watering treat that
literally melts in your mouth.