Beer and Cheese: A Match Made in Milwaukee Heaven

Over Labor Day weekend, my best friend Jennsen and I traveled to Milwaukee to visit another one of our mutual childhood friends, Porsche. Yeah, all of our parents gave us very unique names. Besides being the current home of one of my childhood friend, Milwaukee is a magical place with a bar, coffee shop, or delicious restaurant on nearly every corner. And the architecture. Amazing. I couldn’t stop looking around at the beautiful buildings. One of Milwaukee’s nicknames is “Cream City”. I always thought that was because of Wisconsin being dairyland, but it turns out it is because of the creamy color of the brick buildings! Anyway, enough about the architecture (for now at least), this is a food blog, not an architecture blog. So in this post, I’m going to share some of the food and beverage based highlights from our trip.


Beer-mosas for brunch from Benelux in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

Benelux is a region in Europe that is made up of the countries Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. And the menu at Benelux in the Third Ward area of Milwaukee integrates the cuisine of the Benelux region (predominantly Dutch, influenced by neighboring Germany and France) with American brunch staples. One of my favorite things from the menu? The beir-mosas pictured above. A citrusy Belgian beir and orange juice.

Public Market

When my friends suggested going to the Public Market in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, I was expecting it to be similar to a farmer’s market. Instead, it was a haven of various ethnic food stalls: Greek, Thai, Italian, and Mexican. If that’s not your speed, there’s a vegan food stall, a salad shop, a fresh seafood shop, cheese and sausage, olive oils, and a coffee shop. I particularly enjoyed the spice shop and definitely plan on using some of the spices I picked up there for future posts.

A little tip about checking out the Public Market, if you go on a Saturday, go before noon. After noon, it gets very busy and it’s hard to squeeze your way to a stall in order to get some of the delicious food.

The Safe House (Spy Bar)

If you don’t know the password be prepared to do a slightly embarrassing little dance or skit to get in the safe house. But believe me, the drinks are totally worth it. And, if you order one of their signature cocktails, you get to keep the glass! The cocktail I had tasted like fall in a glass. Very delicious and I’m going to have to try to recreate it sometime at home.

Lakefront Brewery

Beer flight with cheese curds from a Milwaukee brewery

Go for the beer. Stay for the FRIED CHEESE CURDS. I’m not a large IPA fan, and while Lakefront has plenty of IPAs, they also have plenty delicious lagers for the non-IPA fans like myself. But the star of the show might be the fried cheese curds. They were addictive. And the perfect accompaniment to beer. I’ll take fried cheese over chicken wings as a side to beer any day. I like all fried cheese, but what made these cheese curds a favorite was the breading was a light, almost tempura-like batter.

Engine Company No. 3

Beer-mosas with monkey bread for brunch appetizer.

A friend of mine has a dream of renovating an old firehouse to live in. Maybe he’s watched The Princess Diaries too many times, I don’t know. But, when I saw there was a restaurant in what used to be an old firehouse, I had to check it out. At the very least so I could tell him about it. Believe me, it was worth the nearly hour-long wait to be seated. Now, the wait would not have been as long if we had made a reservation. Take it from me, if you know you are going to be in MKE, make a reservation for Engine Co. No. 3.

Now, about the food. The day we were there, they had a monkey bread special, so we got one to share for the table. Who said you can’t have an appetizer with brunch? For the main, I had the Smoked Pork Eggs Benedict. They were the best eggs benedict I can remember having. Next time I get some smoked pork butt from my stepdad, I am making it at home. And their potatoes as the side. Oh. Em. Gee. Perfectly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfectly seasoned. Check them out in the picture posted below. And of course I couldn’t pass up another beer-mosa. Theirs is made with New Glarius Spotted Cow beer. Missouri, can we start to make beer-mosas a thing here too? Imagine a Boulevard Wheat with orange juice!

pulled pork eggs Benedict for brunch

Milwaukee Brat House

Last, but certainly not least, on the Milwaukee food tour, Milwaukee Brat House. If you want a pretzel bigger than your head with beer-cheese dipping sauce, go here.

A giant pretzel with cheese dipping sauces and beer at the Brat House in Milwaukee.

It was also at the Brat House where I discovered a dice game played at bars in Milwaukee. I’m not very familiar on the rules, but the most important part is that patrons can play the bartender for free drinks!

The night we were at Brat House was our last night in Milwaukee and we had a long drive back to Missouri the next morning. So, we decided to get their sausage sampler and eat it in the hotel in comfy pants. It felt like the perfect end to a friend and food filled weekend.

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