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Milwaukee Comfort Food for Fall

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Monday, August 31, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Mac n cheese and ribs at Maxie's Southern Comfort

Though fall doesn’t officially start until September 23 this year, you’ll start to feel the crispness of autumn in the air much sooner. Nothing warms you up on a cool day like some good ol’ fashioned comfort food, and luckily, we’ve got you covered. Check out these local spots for some of the cheesiest, gooiest, stick-to-your-ribs-iest comfort food around.

Grilled Cheese: Find the grilled cheese of your dreams at Uber Tap Room, where they serve up everything from the classic piece of American slapped between two pieces of white bread to a Limburger sandwich (a classic of a different kind).

Soup: Stop by the Milwaukee Public Market for a bowl of soup from the Soup Market. You’ll find chicken noodle, chicken dumpling and a featured chili every day, plus three to six featured soups.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Comfort food doesn’t have to be low-key. Treat yourself to Balzac Wine Bar’s signature “Sac Mac,” made with five cheeses and topped with bleu cheese and toasted panko bread crumbs. Or get a side of mac at Maxie’s (pictured above), where Southern comfort is the name of the game.

Pasta: The best comfort food is always made with love, and you’ll be able to taste that in the pasta made from scratch daily at Onesto. If you head a little further west to Wauwatosa, you’ll enjoy a traditional Northern Italian feast at Ristorante Bartolotta.

Pizza: Have you ever had pizza with cream cheese? Don’t ask questions: just go and order some at Pizza Man. Even if you don’t get some cream cheese on your pie (trust us, just do it), the classic thin-crust ‘za here is good for what ails ya.

Coffee: So it’s not technically food. A nice cup of coffee is still one of the best ways to warm yourself up on a chilly morning (or afternoon). Colectivo Coffee is roasted by hand right here in Milwaukee, and you can get a cup of this local Joe at one of their twelve Milwaukee cafes.


11 Things You Must Do at the Wisconsin State Fair

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

11 Things You Must Do at the Wisconsin State Fair

Known by some as the “best 11 days of summer,” the Wisconsin State Fair (running 8/6-16) is jam-packed with rural-meets-urban fun. There’s so much going on that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options, but don’t worry: in honor of the 11 days of the Fair, here are 11 things you must do to have the ultimate State Fair experience!

  1. Eat a cream puff. Last year, fair visitors consumed a record-breaking 400,678 of these famous puffs. You’ll have to line up to get one of these iconic treats, but trust me – they’re worth it!
  2. Watch the racing pigs. Far from the big, lazy pigs you’ll see napping in the livestock barns, these little guys are fast and furious, racing for their favorite prize: an oreo.
  3. Check out an agriculture judging. Of course, one of the premiere forms of entertainment at the fair is seeing all the livestock. Make sure to stop by the Case IH Coliseum at least once during your visit to find out who’s taking home the prize!
  4. Eat something on a stick. The only thing more classically State Fair than cream puffs is food on a stick! Get hungry by browsing all of the “fair fare” on their website, including a list of the new treats in store this year.
  5. Go down the Giant Slide. A green and yellow mountain rising up from the fairgrounds, taking a trip down the slide atop your burlap sack is a fun (and fast!) tradition.
  6. Listen to music. With major headliners taking the Main Stage at the Milwaukee Mile each night and great live music on the grounds throughout the day, the fair is a great place to hang out and jam.
  7. Sip flavored milk for 25 cents. Whether you’re thirsty for chocolate, strawberry, root beer, fruit hoops or birthday cake flavored milk, you can get a cup for just a quarter at the Milwaukee Bucks Milkhouse.
  8. Relax at the DNR Park. This wooded oasis is the perfect place to take a break from the bustle and find out more about the natural world of Wisconsin.
  9. Browse the Wisconsin Products Pavilion. An informative and often delicious stop, this is where you’ll learn all about what we produce right here in Wisconsin, from cheese to cranberries.
  10. Find out who won a blue ribbon. Award-winning art, pies, pickles, vegetables, home brews and more will all be on display, so take a stroll to appreciate the handiwork of talented Wisconsin residents.
  11. See baby animals at the Badgerland Financial Discovery Barn. Everyone loves a baby animal! In addition to those cuties, this barn also offers demonstrations and fun activities to help you learn about Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.


Favorite Milwaukee Festivals: Staff Picks!

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Festival goers in Milwaukee

Summer is in full swing in Milwaukee, and locals know what that means: festivals! Known as the “City of Festivals,” Milwaukee is host to a wide variety of celebrations throughout the summer. Looking for the world’s largest music festival? Got it. Awesome neighborhood street fairs? Sure thing. Cultural celebrations complete with food, music and dancing? Yup. Bike races? Free festivals? Two fests just for beer? Yes, yes and definitely yes! So many great festivals have already happened, but there are still so many more to come! If you’re looking for the inside scoop, who better to ask than the VISIT Milwaukee team? I asked a few of my coworkers to tell me about their favorite upcoming Milwaukee summer festival, and here’s what they said:

I like Bastille Days, since it’s different from the other ethnic festivals. You don’t feel boxed in, and it’s free!

Brady Street Festival is another one I like a lot. It’s good for people watching and getting that random/quirky Brady Street vibe. I always run into unexpected people I know too, which is fun (mostly).

Last one is State Fair. Can’t beat the crazy foods on a stick!

It’s tough to pick a favorite festival, since they all are so unique and fun. Last year I really enjoyed going to Milwaukee Brewfest. It was fun hanging out in the afternoon in the sunshine on the lakefront with a crowd of people that love beer. There were so many unique craft beers to sample, and afterwards it was an easy walk up the street to Brady Street Festival. We walked up and down the street sightseeing at all the vendor booths and listened to the bands playing in the evening on the stages.

Actually, that’s just an awesome day in the city whether you live in town or are visiting, because the Riverwest 24 is taking place that weekend too. So Saturday morning before hitting up Brewfest and Brady Street, you can check out all the bikers that have been biking all through the night in the Riverwest 24 race. There is a Colectivo Coffee on the bike route, and it’s a nice start to the morning grabbing a cup of coffee on their patio and watching the bikers race by and just thinking how crazy it is that they’ve been riding nonstop for all those hours.

Bastille Days!

Bastille Days is my favorite for many reasons, but I think the reason I love it more than the rest is because of the people there. It is by far the most diverse festival I can think in terms of attendees – old/young, families/couples, college kids/professionals, you name it they’re all there. Everyone seems to be so happy as well, everyone is there to enjoy the same things. Good music, good food, good drinks and great vendors.

Oh and the beignets!

Irish Fest speaks to my Irish soul! I’ve been involved in the theater tent at the festival for years, both acting in shows and organizing. I love the way Irish Fest with its numerous offerings, from music to culture to sports, retail and more, appeals to all ages and sends spirits soaring! Thousands of people singing “Wild Mountain Thyme” together on the last night? Thousands more dancing to Gaelic Storm? Hundreds of colorful Irish dancers? Who doesn’t love that?

Irish Fest is one of my favorite festivals, but I also love Bastille Days. As a local, I don’t think there’s anything more fun than a night run through the city with hundreds of your closest neighbors. To help bridge the gap after Summerfest, Bastille Days sets up shop near Cathedral Square for a weekend filled with amazing food and the city’s best 5K.

And as for myself? German Fest all the way! I love to get myself a big plate of Spanferkel, join in a rousing rendition of “Ein Prosit” and polka the night away. Plus the people-watching can't be beat (hooray for lederhosen!).

Which summer festivals are still on your list? Get the scoop on what's still to come with our festival itinerary.


Celebrate the Fourth of July in Milwaukee

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Friday, June 12, 2015

By Lauren Morton
Communications Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

In search of exciting plans for the Fourth of July weekend? Look no more! From brilliant, crackling fireworks displays to family-friendly activities in the city and everything in between, Milwaukee provides countless opportunities to celebrate Independence Day.

Downtown fireworks at Milwaukee's lakefront.

The Fourth of July falls on a weekend this year, giving you ample time to celebrate in the Greater Milwaukee area! Start your red, white and blue weekend at the Fireworks Kite Festival on Friday, July 3. Held in Veterans Park, this lively festival invites kite fliers of all ages to come fly beautiful kites and enjoy performances by the Giant Kites of Yves LaForest from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., then again at 7:30 p.m., until the downtown fireworks begin.

The traditional Downtown Milwaukee Fireworks at the lakefront are a special treat for Milwaukeeans! Don’t miss out on theincredible and vibrant hour-long fireworks display in Veterans Park, starting around 9:25 p.m. 

For those interested in sailing and a spectacular view of Milwaukee’s lakefront, check out the US Bank Lakefront Fireworks Sail on July 3. Presented by Discovery World, guests enjoy a leisurely sail on the S/V Denis Sullivan from 7:00-9:00 p.m. All boats return to the dock in time to watch the downtown fireworks from aboard the ship—ice cream included!

Looking for family-friendly events for the day of the Fourth? The City of Wauwatosa truly knows how to celebrate Independence Day. Wauwatosa’s Fourth of July Celebrations include an entertaining parade, family activities, a concert in Hart Park and fireworks.

Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, is a great go-to for those looking to cut loose during the Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy live bands, local delicacies and shopping at the Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront (plus a great view of the fireworks on the third!).

For a unique and educational experience, celebrate Independence Day weekend with your family at Old World Wisconsin. This weekend of historic fun will include making ice cream, pie-eating contests, tug-of-war and a lively parade through the crossroads village.

Wrap up your patriotic weekend with Brunch in the Beer Hall on Sunday at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. Lakefront lox and other local dishes are served, and the Beer Hall offers excellent Bloody Marys with beer chasers. After your brunch, make sure to take one of Lakefront's famously hilarious brewery tours.

Looking for more to do in town? In addition to local parades and festivals, many area attractions are open on July 4, including the Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Art Museum, Summerfest, Old World Wisconsin, the Mitchell Park Domes, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums. Or, take tour with Milwaukee Food & City Tours, get out on the river with a kayak rental from Milwaukee Kayak Company or rent a Segway, surrey bike or tandem bike to explore along Milwaukee’s lakefront.


Cheese & Spirit Pairings

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Wine and cheese? Of course. Beer and cheese? Sure! Honestly, if you ask me, cheese pairs quite well with…pretty much everything, because I just plain love cheese. This week, I was lucky enough to join in on a cheese and spirit pairing. Although I’ve happily enjoyed cheese boards at restaurants and parties (because, as previously mentioned, cheese and I are grand old friends), this was my first time doing a dedicated tasting with pairings.

 Spirits from Great Lakes Distillery with a plate of Clock Shadow Creamery cheese.

The cheeses were from Clock Shadow Creamery (with some from its parent, Cedar Grove Cheese) and the spirits came from Great Lakes Distillery. First up were the spreadable cheeses. Fresh chevre paired with Rehorst Gin and quark with Rehorst Citrus-Honey Vodka. Next we moved on to “Weird Sisters,” a water buffalo and cow milk blend alongside Rehorst Barrel Reserve Gin. This was my favorite pairing of the day, thanks in no small part to the deliciousness of each individual element. But they were even better when brought together, and a light bulb went off over my head: this is the point of pairings! The best qualities of the cheese brought out the best qualities of the spirit and vice versa. Amazing.

We continued with Donatello, a sheep’s milk cheese whose nutty flavor was complimented by Roaring Dan's Rum, and Banquo, another sheep milk cheese, paired with Kinnickinnic Whiskey. (And yes, your English major blogger was loving all the Shakespeare references.) Finally, it was time for a fresh cheese curd with grappa, one of the Artisan Series Brandies. Now, those of you who are in the know about the great Wisconsin tradition that is the cheese curd know that the squeak is the thing. A fresh curd will squeak between your teeth when you bite into it, and I can say beyond any doubt that this was the squeakiest curd I’ve ever eaten. Cheese curd fans: get yourself to Clock Shadow Creamery posthaste. They make fresh curds on Wednesday and Friday mornings. You want them straight out of the vat, just like these.

Clock Shadow Creamery and Great Lakes Distillery have done pairings in the past as special events, so keep a look out for the next time one comes up – or try out the pairings I mentioned here at home! Uber Tap Room at Wisconsin Cheese Mart regularly hosts events pairing cheese with beer, cocktails and more, and offers a menu of cheese plates specially chosen to pair with beer or wine every day. Cheese is great on its own (so great), but adding a special pairing to your tasting both enhances your enjoyment of both components and makes it all feel a little bit more special!


4 Ways to Get Active in Milwaukee This Spring

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April 8, 2015

By Rose Robinson
Marketing Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

After a cold winter (although it was rather mild compared to last year’s polar vortex), it’s finally time to emerge and enjoy the Milwaukee weather we know and love. With warm weather comes the luxury of spending time outside, and what better to do than start getting active? Put those New Year’s resolutions to the test after a winter of neglect with these activities.

  1. Running. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, the warm weather is ideal for exploring the city with a jog. Scenic trails are all over Milwaukee, offering you a variety of routes to suit your preferences. The RiverWalk along the Milwaukee River is a personal favorite of mine—say hello to the Bronze Fonz and give Gertie the Duck a nice rub on the beak on the way. Bradford Beach is also a popular route (the scenery of Lake Michigan and people-watching might even distract you from how far you’re really running!). As a reward, stop by Colectivo Lakefront for a refreshing iced coffee on the patio afterwards. Run for a mile, walk a few miles with a friend or, if you’re feeling very ambitious, start training for the half marathon or the 5k you’ve always wanted to do. Check out some of the races held in Milwaukee for inspiration!
  2. Volleyball. Spring may be a little too early for a dip in the lake, but it’s never too early to start working on your volleyball skills to impress your friends at Bradford Beach this summer. Get a group of friends together and make a team for a league at Bradford or the Horny Goat Hideaway, which also has sand volleyball courts.
  3. Biking. Grab your bike and hit the town! This is a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon and an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Take your bike, and the city is your oyster. Don’t have a bike? No problem. The new Bublr Bikes bike share system has you covered. With stations around the Milwaukee area, you can rent a bike and then return it when you are finished.
  4. Spectating. Okay, so you’re not active or sporty in the slightest. We can work with that! Watching others being active is fun too, and what’s better than watching the Milwaukee Brewers play at Miller Park? You may not be running the bases, but the sunshine on your face and a light spring breeze blowing through your hair is still enjoying the elements with minimal effort.


Family Fun on Spring Break in Milwaukee

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Friday, March 27, 2015

By Chelsie Layman
Communications & Social Media Assistant
VISIT Milwaukee

The kids are almost out on spring break, so why not use that extra time to take a trip around Milwaukee to explore spring fun? We’ve got you covered on some of the top things to do on spring break with kids of all ages.

Take a bike ride on Milwaukee's scenic lakefront

Want to bike around the lakefront and the Oak Leaf Trail, but don’t want the hassle of packing all those bikes in the car? Not to worry! Bublr Bikes just re-opened for the 2015 season, so riding is as easy as checking a bike out and going! This year also comes with a new and even easier pricing structure. 

Take a trip to the ultra-interactive Harley-Davidson Museum; even for non-motorcycle enthusiasts, this museum is a fascinating stop chock full of Harley history, as well as the American history surrounding the motorcycle and the evolution of travel in our country. You and the kids can even try a few on for size before leaving, go ahead – you know you want to. Worked up a full throttle appetite after roaring through the museum? Not to fret! MOTOR Restaurant, just steps from the museum’s front door, is sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites (we know that growing kids sure can eat…). We recommend the turkey burger or mac ‘n’ cheese washed down with some ice cold country lemonade.

If that’s not quite your speed (see what we did there?), the Milwaukee Public Museum has a wealth of fun for kids to explore, from the new permanent exhibit “Crossroads of Civilization” to the dinosaurs, plus enjoy movies and planetarium shows on the IMAX screen in the Daniel M. Soref Dome Theater. They also offer overnight trips for kids: book in advance here.

Take a tour at Palermo's Pizza, Milwaukee's pizza factory

Another unique Milwaukee experience to enjoy with the whole family is the Palermo’s Pizza Factory tour. With multiple days and tour packages to choose from, there’s bound to be the perfect option for your family to see how Milwaukee’s only pizza factory operates (plus, enjoy a slice of pie in Pizzeria 3301)!

Though it has "pub" in its name and certainly serves up some incredible Milwaukee-brewed beers, Sprecher's Restaurant & Pub is a spot for families with kids of all ages. With a robust menu for the adults (and adventurous kiddos), there is also a kids menu to please even the picky eaters in the family. Rooty the Crow hats are also a must for the little ones to have even more fun.

There’s no reason to be bored at home with the family this spring break!


Crossroads of Civilization at Milwaukee Public Museum

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

This month, the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is unveiling a brand new permanent exhibit!  Crossroads of Civilization: Ancient Worlds of the Near East and Mediterranean explores both the literal and intellectual crossroads that existed between Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and the later cultures of the Near East and Mediterranean (Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Tunisia) over 5,000 years.

King Tutankhamun in Chariot at Milwaukee Public Museum

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Public Museum

When you first walk in, you’re greeted with a wall-sized interactive touch-screen timeline. This is definitely an exhibit that blends old and new; a classic MPM-made scale model of the temple of Pharaoh Ramesses III is a long-time visitor favorite, but now its detailed miniatures exists alongside a 360-degree digital rendering of the inner rooms of the temple. Throughout the exhibit, there are other fun interactive elements that let you dig even deeper. But rest assured, the addition of digital content has not in any way diminished the craftsmanship that the museum is famous for. Our museum is one of the only ones in the country with such talented in-house creators, and it shows in the exhibit’s fun and immersive design. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a life size recreation of King Tutankhamun in his chariot (pictured above). The boy king has been sculpted based on new forensic research done on his mummy, and the two horses that pull his chariot are so lifelike that you half expect to see them breathe.

Instead of being broken up based on which civilization an artifact is from, Crossroads of Civilization has six thematic areas: Construction, Communion, Community, Communication, Commerce and Conflict. This presentation gives you a different perspective on history, making it easier to draw connections and map the enormity of both the size and span of the ancient world in your mind. For example, despite looking very similar to the untrained eye Padi-Heru and Djed-Hor, MPM’s two mummies who are both on display in this exhibit, lived 400 years apart!

This exhibit is a permanent addition to the museum, so you don’t have to hurry there…but don’t you want to be one of the first to check it out? Crossroads of Civilization opens March 15, 2015.


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