Cool off this weekend with these curbside frozen treats and sundae kits

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

This week, it’s Memorial Day weekend and we’ve got some things to talk about related to the holiday. Ann has a great list of where to get some frozen custard, ice cream and gelato. We also have some information about SapSap, which is coming to Milwaukee one day only for a special floating market, and about Sanford’s new curbside pickup offerings (they’re offering some dishes they’ve never had before, and their selection has really evolved over the last two months). Additionally, we share some great news about a relatively new kosher grocery store. Hear us discuss all that and more — including our cookbook of the week picks — below.

Georgie Porgie’s sundae kits | facebook.com/georgie.porgies

Looking for some refreshing frozen treats? Oak Creek is the home of a little grill called Georgie Porgie’s, and it offers some incredible sundaes. The spot also has a treehouse theme, so if you go inside it looks like a treehouse. They’re offering build your own sundae packs that come with whipped cream and toppings. They also have unusual flavors like maple and bacon.

Scratch Ice Cream has a location that’s in Crossroads Collective, and they’re making it real easy to get their pints to go. Just order from their website. They also deliver. They offer pints of vegan ice cream, and they have an incredible salted caramel waffle cone. They’re also offering ice cream sandwich kits.

If you’re a frozen custard fan, there’s a place in Delafield called Wholly Cow that’s worth checking out. Like most custard places, they offer chocolate and vanilla every day, but they have a custom flavor that you can design on the spot. Sure, it’s a drive, “but I think this Memorial Day weekend a slow, leisurely drive might be a fun thing to do to pass the time,” Ann says.

SapSap returns to Milwaukee

SapSap fried chicken sandwiches | facebook.com/SapSapEats/

SapSap is a company that does Laotian popups in Racine. It was briefly in Crossroads Collective, but it’ll be back in Milwaukee for one day only on Sunday, May 24. The menu includes a fried chicken banh mi, ginger and chicken rice congee, and chicken and potato eggrolls with a cucumber sauce. You can find the complete menu here.

Stream the episode below.

Radio Milwaukee needs you! If Radio Milwaukee has helped you cope with our new normal, please make a gift so we can continue bringing you music, stories and positivity.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Incredible Milwaukee pizzas available for curbside pickup

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition, we’re talking about Ann’s article about three foods that made Milwaukee famous, where to get locally made pizza during the pandemic, some amazing Milwaukee-area Chinese restaurants, a new Italian restaurant, unusual maple syrup and, of course, our cookbooks of the week.

We kick things off by talking about those three iconic Milwaukee foods, which include Usinger’s sausage, Buddy Squirrel candy, and Ma Baensch’s pickled herring, a food Ann says she hated as a kid, when she remembers her parents would eat it for special occasions (they ate it on Triskets). But she’s learned to appreciate that herring as an adult.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. pizza | facebook.com/anodynecoffee

A lot of pizza places are offering curbside pickup right now, and Ann did a roundup on where to get some great pizzas right now. Pizza Man, with its locations in Wauwatosa and the East Side, is still going strong. Transfer Pizza and Lisa’s Pizza are, too, as is Tenuta’s, Classic Slice and Santino’s Little Italy in Bay View. And the Anodyne in Bay View, which serves incredible brick-oven pizza, is offering pizza to go. They always make great use of whatever’s fresh and in season. So you’ve got options, Milwaukee.

On a sadder note, there’s been a spike in racist incidents against people of Asian descent since the pandemic began. Ann thought she would counter that by creating a list of some of her favorite Chinese restaurants in the area. Jing’s is among them, and they offer an authentic menu in addition to an Americanized one (you have to request it, but it’s worth it). Emperor of China, a favorite on Brady Street, is open, too, as is East Garden in Shorewood. Fortune Restaurant in West Allis is another pick, and those are only the tip of the ice berg.

Hear us discuss those topics and more — including a new Bay View Italian spot called Sorella, and a family owned maple syrup shop called Tapped that offers some really interesting infused flavors of maple syrup, including an espresso and an Old Fashioned cocktail one — on this week’s episode below.

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Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Indulge with these decadent Milwaukee curbside pickup Mother’s Days meals

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition of This Bites, we’re talking about Mother’s Day, and all the local restaurants offering curbside options. Then we talk about farmer’s markets that are opening this weekend and a Facebook group that supports farms. We also discuss a virtual beer festival and the return of Foundation tiki bar, and share our cookbook of the week. And, of course, we update you on what we’ve been cooking lately, including Ann’s creative use of vegetables and cheese.

Mother’s Day brunch from Mistral |facebook.com/MistralMke

For Milwaukee Magazine, Ann has a roundup of restaurants offering special curbside meals, including take-and-bake brunches and dinners. There are some really cool ones: Buckley’s has picnic basket featuring honey baked ham with mustard sauce, cheesy scalloped potatoes and Bibb lettuce salad with carrot-ginger. All the components are made in advance and you can reheat them at home.

Cavas, a tapas restaurant that opened just before the stay-at-home order, is offering a three-course dinner for a family of four, featuring two bottles of wine. The items include a mixed-greens salad with garbanzo beans, house-roasted red peppers and Spanish olives and Spanish vermouth vinaigrette; paella mixta with meats and seafood and egg custard flan.

Merriment Social’s family spread includes slow-roasted prime rib with whipped potatoes, maple roasted carrots, chopped salad, smoked whitefish deviled eggs and for desert a vanilla chiffon cake with whipped white chocolate ganache. And those are just a few of your options. Check out Milwaukee Magazine for the full list — there are more then two dozen of them.

Farmer’s markets reopen

Farmer’s markets are considered essential businesses under the Safer at Home order, and two of them are opening this week: Fondy Food Market and the West Allis Farmer’s Market. And they’re both posting special safety guidelines to help protect customers, encouraging them to wear masks and to limit their handling of the produce.

Speaking of farmers, farmers are hurting right now. There are a lot of people looking to buy from farms who might now know how, but there’s a Facebook group that helps connect them with local farmers with goods for sales. It’s called Farm Direct Wisconsin, and it features all kinds of produce and meats. If you’re looking for eggs and soup bones, you’ll find some really affordable ones that are likely better than what you can find at most grocery stores. It’s a very active Facebook group.

Hear us talk about all this and more on this week’s episode below.

Radio Milwaukee needs you! If Radio Milwaukee has helped you cope with our new normal, please make a gift so we can continue bringing you music, stories and positivity.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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The story of how World Central Kitchen joined The Tandem’s community support efforts

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition, we’re taking about a local restaurant that’s made a huge difference. As many of you know, after the pandemic hit Milwaukee, The Tandem stopped its usual service and started serving free community meals for the neediest families in our city. We’ve been incredibly moved by their efforts. And so during a particularly low day, I reached out to the Washington-based nonprofit World Central Kitchen, which was founded by James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés and offers meals to families in need. I emailed them about Tandem owner Caitlin Cullen’s efforts, and I heard back from them within hours. That led to a memorable Zoom conference call. Ann detailed the story in a Milwaukee Magazine piece.

facebook.com/thetandemmke

Within days, the World Central Kitchen had committed the resources to allow The Tandem to continue to serve 400 meals on weekdays and at least 200 family meal kits on the weekends. The support also allows the restaurants supporting The Tandem’s efforts to offset the cost of some of the meals they’re providing. Strange Town, Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Amilinda, Dandan, Three Brothers, Club Charlie’s and Goodkind have all contributed meals.

Red Light Ramen offers ramen kits and a new flavor

We’ve been reading about a lot of restaurants that have been offering kits right now, be they meal kits or cocktail kits. People need things to make at home. Red Light Ramen, has been offering ramen kits at Red Light Ramen for a while, and now they’re available at Metcalfe’s Market locations. Flavors include mushroom miso ($14.99), tonkotsu ($15.99) and chicken paitan ($15.99), and all kits include complete with broth, noodles and toppings. We also discuss a new beef udon dish available from Red Light Ramen’s East Side Location.

We discuss all that and more, including a Milwaukee Magazine roundup of curbside coffee and our cookbook of the week, on this week’s episode. And of course we kick off the episode by discussing what we’ve been cooking lately, be it exotic oyster dishes or comforting Italian favorites.

Stream the episode below.

Radio Milwaukee needs you! If Radio Milwaukee has helped you cope with our new normal, please make a gift so we can continue bringing you music, stories and positivity.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Five incredibly satisfying curbside burgers

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

Ann is back this week and she had a lot to share including where to find the best burger curbside in Milwaukee, Buckatabon’s new curbside menu and how to make your own Oreo cookies. Plus, we also talked about the Jazz Estates take-home cocktail kits, a fabulous deal from the Sherman Phoenix and local grocery delivery service.

As we do every week, Ann and I shared what we cooked in the last few days. I took a stab at making Har Gow (shrimp dumplings). I got everything I needed at Mo’s Asian Market (great store). Then I picked some amazing ground Waygu beef from Ardent’s weekend pop-up at Laughing Taco. The beef comes from Chef Justin Carlisle’s family farm. Ann made lovely lemon poppy seed bread.

Har Gow - shrimp dumplings
Har Gow with hot mustard and spicy garlic sauce

Curbside burgers not to miss

Ann also picked five of her favorite curbside burgers. Spots include Birch + Butcher with their double cheeseburger and Nite Owl Drive-In. Check out the full round-up over on Milwaukee Magazine’s website.

Oscar’s Big O Burger | facebook.com/oscarsonpierce

An amazing deal from the Sherman Phoenix

Today and Saturday, three Sherman Phoenix businesses joined forces for an amazing deal. For $25, you can 12″ pizza with toppings of your choice from Sauce and Spice, eight wings from Buffalo Boss and a small bag of popcorn from Lush Popcorn. This deal will be available for curbside pickup at the Sherman Phoenix today from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday from 1-6 p.m. You can find all the detail on their Facebook page.

Jazz Estate Cocktail Kits

Jazz Estate is now offering cocktail kits for some of their popular cocktails all you need is some jazz to go along with them. They are offering kits for their popular Jazz Estate Old Fashioned, Bryant’s Old Fashioned, Royal Hawaiian and more. Cocktail kits will be available Thursday through Sunday.

And finally, if you are looking for a local alternative for grocery delivery, check out Milwaukee Market. It was started by Tracy Plock. Visit their Facebook page for all the details.

Radio Milwaukee needs you! If Radio Milwaukee has helped you cope with our new normal, please make a gift so we can continue bringing you music, stories and positivity.
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Elevate your noodles with this easy ginger-scallion sauce

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

Ann has off this week; she’s taking a much-needed break. We’ll be back next week with a full new episode highlighting the city’s culinary delights. But in the meantime we have some recommended reading. Milwaukee Magazine has a roundup of five local cocktail kits to keep your thirst quenched during this quarantine.

We also have some restaurant news: Despite opening during the pandemic, the Thai restaurant Sweet Basil is off to a strong start, reportedly selling out some days. In sadder news, though, Blues Egg in Shorewood has closed permanently. The good news is there are plans to open up a new restaurant later.

And finally, for the kids, there’s a new weekly “Sesame Street” segment where the Cookie Monster teaches kids how to cook. In the latest installment, he makes a smoothie.

Tune in for all of that and our cookbook of the week, “Momofuku” by David Chang. It contains an easy recipe for fabulous ginger-scallion sauce that you can put on just about anything. It’s especially great on noodles.

Ginger-scallion sauce | flickr.com/photos/woodwood/4363830588/

Stream the episode below.

Radio Milwaukee needs you! If Radio Milwaukee has helped you cope with our new normal, please make a gift so we can continue bringing you music, stories and positivity.
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Where to find Easter dinner and brunch via curbside pick-up in Milwaukee

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

In this week’s episode, we talked about Ann’s turkey chili, my take on Nashville hot chicken options for Easter dinner and brunch, local coffee companies doing good and cocktail kits from Great Lakes Distillery. Plus, we share this week’s “Cookbooks of the Week.”

Listen below.

LE REVE EASTER PUNCH
Pineapple Rum, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Contratto Apertif, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, Fresh Lemon, Pineapple Juice.

Easter is this Sunday, and, due to the pandemic, we can’t celebrate it like we usually do. However, there are Milwaukee restaurants that are trying to bring Easter to your home with special dinners and brunches that you can request via curbside pickup. Restaurants offering Easter meals include Polonez, Merriment Social, Sanford, Maxie’s & Blue’s Egg and more. Milwaukee Magazine has a roundup on its website.

Restaurant Pop-Ups

Even though restaurants aren’t open for dine-in, there are a few that are doing pop-ups and events, adapted for curbside pick-up.

Meraki, starting today, is offering a “British Isles” themed pop-up. You can get dishes like Scotch eggs, meat pies, braised cabbage and custard tart from its special, limited-time menu.

Laughing Taco is also hosting weekend pop-ups with Allie Boys Bagelry & Luncheonette. Allie Boys will offer a brunch menu, and you can also pick up Ardent Burgers and tots, Carlisle beef and hot dogs. You can place your order here.

Great Lakes Distillery Cocktail Kits

If you are looking for an easy way to make good cocktails at home, look no further than Great Lakes Distillery’s cocktail kits. There are a wide variety of kits to make everything from White Russians, Gin & Tonic, Bourbon Old Fashioned, Milwaukee Mule and more.

Cookbooks of the Week

Ann’s pick: How To Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman

From Amazon: Mark Bittman’s award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks—or wants to. With Bittman’s straightforward instructions and advice, you’ll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients; simple techniques; and basic equipment. Even better, you’ll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion.

My Pick: The Dante Fried Chicken Experience: Ride of Fry by Dante Gonzales

From Amazon: When the food is good, the party starts cooking! Media wunderkind and award-winning chef Dante Gonzales has fed some of the world’s most popular celebrities–including Demi Moore, Theophilus London, and Santigold–at underground parties as well as red-carpet events. He also takes the party to the streets in the Ride or Fry food truck and around the world with his Ride or Fry pop-up stand, celebrated in this innovative cookbook of more than 100 fresh, delicious, recipes (including his signature Fried Chicken). Packed with innovative, eco-conscious meals (with many vegetarian and vegan options), his grandmother’s heirloom dishes, and contributions from Dante’s musical and culinary collaborators, this book is the only way to bring the Dante Fried Chicken experience into your own home.

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We may be stuck at home, but we’re still eating well

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s episode, we touch base from our respective abodes and discuss what we’ve been eating while we’ve been adjusting to the new normal. Ann updates us on her latest baking successes, which include poppy seed bread, a super sweet bread that she says is almost like a cake (“It’s like a desert but you can have it for breakfast,” she says). She also made some salted chocolate chip cookies to which she added a little buckwheat flour, which makes for a denser cookie with an interesting favor.

Cooking wise, she’s been doing a lot of sautes, and trying to eat as many vegetables as she can. She also discusses salad dressings and marinades.

Radio Milwaukee needs you! If Radio Milwaukee has helped you cope with our new normal, please make a gift so we can continue bringing you music, stories and positivity.

Meanwhile, I made a Korean meal with grass-fed rib eye in a special Korean marinade, cooked in a cast-iron skillet. I also made some emergency kimchi with the one (one!) head of cabbage I was able to find at the grocery store. I also made a daiquiri with dark rum, which I call the Moody Daiquiri.

Emergency kimchi will do in a pinch

Lakefront Brewery’s fish fry is back

Here’s some welcome news: Lakefront Brewery’s Friday fish fry is back. Of course you won’t be able to eat it at the brewery, but Lakefront will be offering the grab-n-go food and beer from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the last order being accepted at 7:30. The menu includes fried or baked cod, shrimp, beer and some very tempting fried cheese curds, which Ann and I are both seriously missing right now.

Then Ann updates us on five area bakeries that are offering baking kits, including Aggie’s Bakery, which has a build-your-own cupcake kit. You can also send somebody a “Goodie Gram,” which could be a six-pack of cupcakes or a 12-pack of donuts. “Right now we need more joy in our lives, and there’s something about deserts that makes people happier,” Ann says.

Hear us discuss all that and more, including some farms that are offering home delivery and our cookbooks of the week, on this week’s episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Food for thought: Milwaukee you are beautiful and magical and don’t you ever forget it!

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

In this week’s episode of This Bites, Ann and I talked about how some amazing Milwaukeeans are helping others in these difficult times, a craft beer-drive thru, restaurants selling groceries, a new website to purchase gift cards from local businesses and more. We also share what each of has been cooking in our isolation.

The Tandem’s owner Caitlin Cullen receiving a check from C.J. Krawczyk, which was from his birthday fundraiser | Photo by C.J. Krawcyzk

There is a lot of fear and uncertainty in the world right now and it is easy to sink into a dark place. And to be honest, I have been in some of those dark places. Then you see amazing Milwaukeeans stepping up and helping people out in need. There are others who are doing some innovative and creative things to support local businesses. These individuals and local businesses are doing their part to make sure those dark places are full of light.

Caitlin Cullen of The Tandem not only deserves a James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award, but she and the rest of the folks at The Tandem deserve a parade once all this craziness is over. She stopped regular operations of her restaurant to focus on cooking and feeding people in need. So far, Caitlin and her staff have served hundreds of free community meals. She has been collecting donations via The Tandem’s website to keep the operation going.

And speaking of donations, one attorney by the name of C.J. Krawcyzk stepped up in a big way by raising over $25,000 from his birthday fundraiser to support local restaurants. The fundraiser called Save Our Spots (S.O.S) was temporarily shut down by GoFundMe because the donations were coming in so fast that they stopped it so they could verify the account.

That didn’t stop C.J. and his wife, Julie. The couple took $15,000 out of their personal account and donated it to six local restaurants. Each restaurant received a $2,500 check, The Tandem. The other restaurants included Bavette la Boucherie, GoodKind, Three Brothers, Ca’Lucchenzo, Pilcrow and Interval. Just writing this is making my eyes water. By the way, GoFundMe has reinstated the fundraiser.

This beauty in spirit and kindness doesn’t stop there. New Barons Brewing found a way to support some of their fellow local breweries by hosting “Beer Drive-Thru.

The “Beer Drive-Thru” will take place on March 28 from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. at 3807 S. Packard Ave. in St. Francis.

From the Facebook event page:

To support the growing MKE craft beer community during this tough time when bars, taprooms, and breweries are unable to be open. Many are reporting an 80% to complete loss in sales over these next few weeks and we’ve been discussing ways to support each other during this period. Luckily, in the beer industry, we have pre-packaged product that is manufactured with the most professional level of sanitation and we are employing new ways to deliver it to you as safely as possible! The state of Wisconsin has approved our “Beer Drive-Thru” as an alternative to visiting our taprooms and events during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

We’ll be setting up a Drive-Thru in the parking lot of co-host and member-owner, Faklandia Brewing that will allow people to stay in their cars to purchase and receive six-packs of cans and/or bottles.

PARTICIPATING BREWERIES INCLUDE:
New Barons Brewing Cooperative, MobCraft Beer, Broken Bat Brewing Company, The Fermentorium Brewery & Tasting Room, The Explorium Brewpub & Gathering Place Brewing Company. More will be added once confirmed!

And they will be taking proper precautions taken in the exchange of money and good, which they explain on the Facebook event page.

Gift card guide supporting local businesses

The parent company of the Journal Sentinel recently launch a gift card guide to support local businesses. There are over 70 Milwaukee businesses listed on the site.

Vegan spot Maya Ophelia’s offering delivery

Maya Ophelia have announced they will be offering no contact delivery. You must call 262-409-0795 to place an order. Here are their hours:

Monday 3-8 p.m.
Tuesday 3-8 p.m. (#trapwraptuesday is back!)
Sunday 11 a.m – 3 p.m.

Braise offers grocery essentials

Milwaukee’s Braise is not only doing take-out and curbside pickup, they are also offering some grocery staples like eggs from Yuppie Hill Poultry, Sassy Cow milk, Sorghum, ground beef and buffalo and more. Below is the full list of offerings

And finally, if you are thinking of ways to spend some time, how about making a cookbook for yourself and friends? MyCookbook.io does just that by taking your favorite online recipes and converting it into a cookbook that you can get printed or share with friends and family via a PDF.

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How to support Milwaukee restaurants and bars

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

This week and future episodes are going to be different. You will hear the difference. Due to the COVID-19 virus, Ann and I are recording the show remotely, which in itself is new territory for us. Usually, we talk about some amazing dinner events or a new restaurant opening, but this week we had nothing to share along those lines. It was weird and even a little unsettling. Even though there are dark clouds for the Milwaukee culinary and dining scene, the folks behind the scene are doing everything to make sure that the proverbial silver lining is shiny and bright. And once this situation is over, Milwaukee’s food scene will be better and stronger than ever before.

In the meantime, Ann and I are going to highlight the amazing chefs, bartenders, distilleries, breweries and others doing amazing things to help each other. We are going to share some of our favorite recipes, podcasts, cookbooks. And if you like to share anything with us, please email thisbites@radiomilwaukee.org.

In this episode of “This Bites,” we talked about what restaurants are offering curbside pickup and delivery, an emotional open letter from Milwaukee restaurants to Wisconsin state legislature. We also talked about restaurants giving back to the community with free meals, a local distillery making hand sanitizer for people who need it the most and finally, we discussed ways of helping your local restaurants and the people who work for them.

Because of the pandemic, Milwaukee restaurants and bars had to shut down their dine-in operations. Fortunately, a lot of these restaurants have made accommodations for curbside pickup and delivery. Milwaukee Magazine has an updated list of places that offer pickup and delivery.

Funky Fresh Spring Rolls via Facebook
Burgers from Funky Fresh Spring Rolls at the Sherman Phoenix | Photo via Facebook

An open letter to Wisconsin State Legislature from Milwaukee restaurants and bars

On March 17, several Milwaukee restaurants and bars wrote an open letter to Wisconsin state legislative speakers Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald. In the letter, the restaurants and bars asked to support their industry due to the pandemic situation of COVID-19. Some of their requests include:

  • Support emergency unemployment benefits for all affected restaurant and bar workers,
    hourly and salaried;
  • Suspend payroll taxes and sales and use taxes immediately;
  • Enact rent, mortgage, utility bill and loan abatement for restaurant and bar workers; and
  • Enact rent freeze and mortgage abatement for restaurants and bars.

The restaurants and bars also created a petition on Change.org for people to sign. There are over 3,600 people who have already signed.

Restaurants giving back

Even as this pandemic is hurting the restaurants and bars, some are taking the time to give back to the community. Fresh Fin Poke is offering free lunches to MPS students from 1-3 p.m. daily (Monday-Friday) at their East Side shop located at 1806 E. North Ave.

The Tandem recently shut down operations to provide free community meals from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (Monday-Friday) to those in need. To reserve a meal, call The Tandem at 414-885-1919. You can learn more at their Facebook page.

Central Standard Craft Distillery producing disinfectant spray

Early this week, Central Standard Craft Distillery announced that they were converting their high-proof vodka into a disinfectant spray. They use a formula provided by the CDC and will distribute the spray to places like nursing homes, critical-care centers and first responders at no cost.

How to support Milwaukee restaurants and bars

These are very uncertain times and we must come together and support each other. The restaurant and bar industry is getting hit hard by this pandemic. There are many ways to support your local restaurant by purchasing gift cards to having food delivered (make sure you tip well) to purchasing merchandise. One good way is to purchase restaurant bonds.

A restaurant bond is like a gift card, but it becomes worth more later. For example, purchase a $25 bond and in June it matures for $30, $35 in July, or $40 in August. You can learn more about restaurant bonds via Milwaukee Magazine.

Buy a $25 “Restaurant Bond” gift card now from restaurants and bars who have pledged to stand with their employees, and you can use one per visit when it matures for $30 in June, $35 in July, or $40 in August or beyond!

James Beard Foundation also has a list of ways you can help restaurants.

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