my mad, mad milwaukee weekend


I’ve always been a planner, but after writing a bunch of itineraries for work, you might say I’d been bitten by the bug! So when my college roommates decided to come to town, I knew I had to craft the most excellent custom itinerary I could, showing them some of my favorite parts of the city while keeping in mind requests from friends who had never experienced Milwaukee before.

They arrived on Friday night, from Madison and Minneapolis – since it had been a travel day, we kept it simple: slices from the unbeatable Classic Slice (my top pizza pick) and some face masks from Target for a spa night/video game party.

On Saturday, we started off with some cinnamon cake courtesy of one of our travelers, then headed off to American Science and Surplus, a magical land where you can find anything. Whoever’s job it is to write the hilarious captions on products – I salute you and am so jealous…how do I get that job?? After picking up masking tape, a compass/sundial, a boiling flask, fireplace glass and a crate that once carried ammunition for a cannon, we took our loot home and headed to the Third Ward. The Milwaukee Public Market is my favorite spot to take groups for casual meals, since there are options for everyone – we all ended up eating at Green Kitchen, but it’s the thought that counts!

Paninis and fresh juice gave way to exploring the shops. Hot Pop was a big hit with everyone, as was Broadway Paper (every time I go in there, I find myself trying to think of anyone I know that I can send a card to). We had a great time just wandering in the lovely warm weather, poking around and picking up little treats for ourselves and others. We piled back into the car to get in a pre-dinner drink & gaming session in at 42 Lounge. I had never been during the day, and it was nice to be there when it was quiet…we played some Portal 2 and a few levels of Super Mario Bros U before we had to hurry off to make our next appointment: dinner at Wolf Peach! Now, if you’re a regular reader of this blog you know I love Wolf Peach. The whole week Kaitlin and I kept looking at each other and whispering, “Wolf Peach!”

It did not disappoint! This was our first time back with the new menu, and we made sure to get a mix of old favorites and new intriguing options. Again, our table included a mix of meat lovers and dairy-free vegetarians, so it’s great to have such a varied and clearly marked menu. We ordered: steak tartare, arctic char, roasted asparagus, the vegan pizza, and pan-seared scallops followed by chocolate polenta cake and lemon pie for dessert. I can personally vouch for everything being delicious except the pizza, which was too spicy for me! After our fabulous dinner, we ended the night with cocktails at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. My grandma used to go to Bryant’s back when she was working at the bank where she met my grandpa, so it’s an extra layer of fun. As always, the cocktails were delectable (and powerful!) – mine was peachy (and on fire!).

This morning, we said goodbye with brunch at Cafe Lulu and a quick stop at the Maker Market…I’d forgotten that would be this weekend, so it was a pleasant surprise! It’s always fascinating to see what local artisans have been making…I came home with some jewelry from Pangea Handmade, just couldn’t help myself!

It was a whirlwind weekend to be sure – but I feel like I was able to give my visitors a look at why I love Milwaukee! Hopefully we’ll all be together again soon (and I’m looking forward to getting the reverse treatment and checking out Minneapolis more fully when I visit later this summer).


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