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September 24-30, 2007
|Sunday, September 30, 2007
We figured that this would be a good place to grab a hot dog so we scampered into the Dog Haus:
... for a cheap and cheerful lunch of a Chicago-style dog ($2.49):
... which had a good snap accented with a little heat from the peppers and rounded out by onions, pickles and tomatoes on a steamed poppy seed bun. Chubby got the Italian beef sausage ($3.64):
... with mustard, peppers, tomato and onions. Both were good, solid student chow.
We took the advice of Sara C., (a Bunrab reader) and got some frozen Custard. We were transport impaired so we couldn’t make it to Kopp’s, but we checked out Bella’s Fat Cat:
... which is a simple burger place that features this regional specialty. I got a scoop of vanilla and chocolate while Chubby went with the rocky road ($1.79 each):
Rich, creamy and (if you are a cat) the warning label is printed after the word “Bella’s”.
Bella’s Fat Cat
|Saturday, September 29, 2007
The architecturally stunning Milwaukee Art Museum:
... sits on the waterfront with its skeletor wings that open in the morning and close at night (I guess that’s when the giant fly is caught and digested in this venus fly trap of a structure. The collection inside isn’t too shabby. Once you pass through the hallway:
... that feels as though it should be lined with Imperial troopers, there are works from some of the old masters as well as plenty of modern wackiness:
We resorted to filling up on hummus and beer at a party:
When we told people where we were from, we learned that the assumption here is that if someone is from San Francisco, they spend their time being gay and eating Rice a Roni. We moved on to discussions about the local chow and the consensus led us to believe and that Milwaukee was trying to attract tourism with the art museum and not the cuisine. At least our eyes had something to feast on.
Milwaukee Art Museum
From today’s Bunrab email Dr. B. writes about our San Francisco cheat at SFO:
In regards to the SF Joe. Yeah, but it looks really good doing it. Who needs performance when you have style (and a captive audience)?
Dear Dr. B.
I guess you’re right that if one must be deceived, it’s better to be swindled with style, but whoever thought of these false bottoms on the coffee cups is truly evil.
|Friday, September 28, 2007
The Milwaukee public market sounded like a San Francisco Ferry Building away from home, but when we got there:
.. we realized that our expectations were too high. It’s easy to forget how spoiled we are in the Bay Area and as much as we wanted this food emporium to be a hub of culinary excitement, it was basically an Andronico’s with more aisle space.
To be fair, we didn’t visit during their Saturday Farmers’ market so it may be something more interesting than today’s visit led us to believe. Just north of this market is a gigantic Whole Foods which has a greater wealth of offerings and variety, but to keep it in perspective, it is still a Whole Foods.
To ease our culinary pain, we took a stroll over to the waterfront and visited the aquarium at Discovery World, which had these eek-inducing clear floor panels:
... over the fish tanks as well as a tunnel:
... to check out the fish from below.
Milwaukee Public Market
From today’s bunrab email, Pepper writes about our German Haagen Daz stand-in:
I was really happy to see Magnum ice cream bars on your site. So many of the ice 'creams' we get in China are chemical tasting and unnaturally textured so they are especially loved. You can find them almost anywhere here and one of those bars usually costs 4 rmb (about fifty cents).
Wow, four bits for choco-ice cream goodness sounds like a great deal. It’s too bad Magnums aren’t readily available in the U.S. Maybe it’s because someone else is Haagin’ the market.
|Thursday, September 27, 2007
It doesn’t come as a shocker that the refreshment options at SFO:
... are in a holding pattern, but today’s cup of coffee:
... was a wake up call the airport’s new low. When I claimed my hot morning beverage, it was like lifting balsa wood. I removed the top and was surprised to see that there was a reasonable level of Joe, so I determined that all those trips to the gym must have really paid off.
It wasn’t until I reached the bottom of my drink that I exposed my grounds for complaint. These cups are constructed so that there is a deep punt:
... that allows deceptive vendors to dispense less fluid while it appears to be more.
Could it be that they are terrified of liquids that exceed 3 oz. and that this is an extension of their phobia? Whatever the reason, we know that there are insults that are amplified due to their placement, you don’t get in between a bear and her cub and you certainly do not get between me and my morning coffee.
The airport has to comply with regulations put in place for the safety and welfare of its customers, yet they allow this ridiculous swindle to transpire on their turf. The sad truth is that they can (and do) charge whatever they care to (which renders this trickery is unnecessary.)
I’m not allowed to tote my own thermos of the good stuff, I need my fix, so I buy what’s there. I am a captive audience, and now I am a captive and pissed off audience. Their liquid policy doesn’t gel.
|Wednesday, September 26, 2007
You have to be a little crazy to open a restaurant. It’s not an endeavor for the faint of heart, you either have to be passionate or insane (but more often than not, it’s a combo of the two.)
We hopped over to a friends, family and industry opening of Sens to see if it was sational.
We started with some olives and feta to prime our palates, followed by some tasty lamb meatballs with cucumber propellers on top:
Then came a refreshing mache, endive and grilled fig salad:
We favored the moist and flavorful whole branzino:
... over the vegetarian market casserole, but were mindful that we had to save room for Shuna’s desserts.
These whimsically named meal toppers made us wish that we had brought extra stomachs along so we could try them all.
The “soft and evocative”:
... buckwheat cake rectangle propped up a poached pear surrounded by a pool of brown butter crème anglaise. The combination of cream, cake and fruit gently reminded me of something…
We forgot what the “icy bright” was so it came as a surprise when under the crown of sliced knoll figs on a melon granita, there was an almond milk gelee hidden under a layer of pink watermelon tiles. We made quick work of this refreshing combo.
They use local ingredients to produce their Southern Mediterranean inspired chow and feature organic and bio-dynamic wines to wash it all down.
The first day of their trail run made us Sens that there are good things to come.
|Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The offerings in the exhibition hall included a House of Blues with Blue cheeses from around the world produced from cow, sheep, goat and buffalo milks. Sounds like a snappy event (if you aren’t too strapped to go to Bra.)
We didn’t manage to have any noteworthy cheeses today, but our dairy needs were satisfied by one of our dessert standbys. The Bunrab method of dessert evaluation begins with one question: "is it better than a Haagen Daz bar?" You can get one of these ice cream bars on a stick at any convenience store to feed that dessert monkey on your back. If your finale to a meal does not beat the satisfaction level of this drug store purchase, it qualifies as a “wasted wish.”
The European version of a Haagen Daz Bar is the Magnum:
We were looking for our favorite version (the Magnum Double chocolate) but this 62% cocoa Ecuador dark was the closest thing we could find:
... It turned out not to be a compromise and that choco-monkey said Auf Wiedersehen.
|Monday, September 24, 2007
You would have to sign a waiver before entering due to exposed heating elements and heart health risks, but there would be two ideas that we would steal from this place. We like the idea of a pitcher of batter next to a waffle iron:
... but we would extend this to include a make-it-yourself option for the egg station. I mean, we all know exactly how we like our eggs done and whenever I get a buffet bespoke yolk I have to restrain myself from getting egg my face (and the rest of my body) by being too specific about what level of doneness I prefer.
They also had a squeeze it yourself orange juice station but it really should have a sink nearby for hand washing purposes.
Smoked fish, meats, cheeses and chubs:
... are always fine by me, but I get upset when I see insane people load up piles of food and leave most of it uneaten on their plates. I mean the whole point of a buffet is that it is customizable. If you figure out what you like, just go back and get more right? But the one reoccurring gluttonous sight that gives me a chuckle are little boys with dinner plates piled high with bacon -just bacon. I consider it Lord of the Flies - breakfast edition.
A hotel buffet is always more exciting in its promise than its delivery, but it does fulfill those primal hunter-gatherer urges which trump all sensible culinary considerations.
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