Kyle Cherek, host, Wisconsin Foodie
When friends come to Milwaukee, one of my favorite tasks as a foodie is sharing the best culinary touch points the city has to offer. I could be frozen in my gustatory tracks with the quandary of where to begin … so much on-point dining. I prefer to take my foodie friends on a city trip that demonstrates what we are known for, what we do best and where our culinary scene is helping take the country.
European Homemade Sausages (1985 S Muskego Ave.) is a must. Frank Jacubczak is a living culinary treasure. Now in his 70s, he quit his brief retirement to continue making some of the most superlative sausages in the country.
From Frank’s, I would shuttle my friends over to Great Lakes Distillery (616 W. Virginia St.). With a gin lauded as one of the ten best in the country by David Wondrich of “The New York Times,” and blended whiskey that took first place in London two years ago, a tour and tasting always make for a soft landing.
The neighboring Iron Horse Hotel partnered with Great Lakes Distillery on a proprietary whiskey, Barrel 1907, a few years back. Smooth, warm, with a touch of heat, visitors are well advised to have a Whiskey Old Fashioned at the chic Branded bar at the hotel, using Great Lakes’ 1907 small-batch spirit. Milwaukee will be running in their veins.
Time provided, I would whisk my friends over to Clock Shadow Creamery (138 W. Bruce St.). Clock Shadow Creamery, one of the world’s rare urban creameries, is helmed by Bob Wills, the mentor behind many of Wisconsin’s international award-winning artisan cheeses. Both are evidence of Milwaukee’s global position as a thought-leader and doer when it comes to food.
For a late night drink, I would spin my friends over to Bryant’s (1579 S. 9th St.), America’s first free-standing cocktail lounge. Named “America’s Best Bar” by “Esquire” magazine in 2013, Bryant’s hasn’t missed a cocktail beat since.
Welcome to Milwaukee, my friends. Welcome.