Twisted Plants offers a new spin on vegan comfort food

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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 look at the new food hall coming to Bay View, preview the 2019 Garlic Fest and look at the Sporkies. Read about and stream the episode below.

We kick off the episode by talking about a new food truck we're excited about: Twisted Plants, which specializes in plant-based comfort foods. They offer a vegan veggie patty, sliders with barbecued jackfruit and an interesting wing dish.

Then we preview Sunday's Garlic Fest, which features original garlic-heavy dishes from some of the city's finest restaurants. There will also be live music, games for kids, a petting zoo and a raw-garlic eating contest.

Ann then introduces us to the Sporkies, an annual State Fair food competition, and describes some of the decadent dishes that will be competing, including hot dog nachos.

And we close the episode by looking at the new food hall coming to Bay View, which will feature a heated patio. It'll be 1.5x bigger than the East Side's Crossroads Collective. It's scheduled to open in 2020.

Stream the episode below.

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee's food truck scene continues to boom, and Purple Door hosts its flavor contest

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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 report some big news from the Iron Horse Hotel, which has announced the name of its new restaurant. We also talk about things to do for your father on Father's Day, share a Milwaukee Magazine feature highlighting new food trucks, and preview Purple Door's annual flavor contest. Stream it below.

Mr. P's Grilled Cheese | Photo via MilwaukeeMagazine.com

The Iron Horse Hotel restaurant formerly known as Smyth will reopen as a new restaurant called Ash. The name refers to the new hearth that will influence the menu. DanDan chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite are creating the menu.

Looking for some Father's Day dining options? We suggest brunch at the I.d. restaurant in the Delafield Hotel. You could also consider Heaven's Table, the BBQ restaurant at Crossroads Collective, a streak at 5 O' Clock Steakhouse, some pasta from Egg & Flour and Ca'Lucchenzo, Korean fried chicken from Merge, the new rooftop at Glass & Griddle or one of the Deer District's new restaurants.

Or of course you could head over to Purple Door, which is featuring a 15-flavor ice cream tasting as part of its annual flavor contest. The flavor that receives the most votes will become a permanent flavor.

And the city's food truck scene has gotten even more crowded. Here are five more trucks to look out for this summer.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Visit RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts to get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you. We have shows about food (This Bites), the local music scene (Tap'd In) and film (Cinebuds). Check it out!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Hacienda brings experimental beers to North Avenue

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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.

Read more and listen to the episode below to hear all about the new East Side brewery Hacienda, the city's best loaded fries and creamy treats and some upcoming dining events.

Hacienda Beer Co. | Photo via facebook.com/haciendabeerco

The North Avenue renaissance continues. The street's latest addition is Hacienda Beer Co., which opened on June 1 at 2018 E. North Ave., right across the street from the new Crossroads Collective Food Hall.

Hacienda is the modern, experimental beer arm of Door County Brewing. It's a taproom and restaurant with 12 beers on draft as well as bottles and cans to go. The menu includes baked cheese curds, beer cheese fries, duck confit empanadas and salads. We also preview the space's upcoming beer dinner Friday, June 14.

Speaking of fries, we've noticed a trend of loaded fries on local menus. Ann shares her recommendations for some of the city's most interesting ones, including Fuel Café's nacho fries and Glass and Griddle's disco fries.

Then Ann recommends places to cool off with some creamy treats, which include Scratch Ice Cream at the Crossroads Collective, and we both sing the praises of salted caramel.

We close the show by talking about the health-conscious menu at The Dock at Bradford Beach and by previewing the June 23 Dim Sum + Give Some benefit organized by DanDan chefs Dan Van Rite and Dan Jacobs.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Visit RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts to get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you. We have shows about food (This Bites), the local music scene (Tap'd In) and film (Cinebuds). Check it out!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Zocalo Food Park prepares to open in Walker's Point

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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.

Read more and listen to the episode below to hear all about the Zocalo Food Park in Walker's Point.

milwaukee food truck park site zocalo
The future site of Zocalo food truck park

We kick off this week's episode previewing the new food truck park Zocalo Food Park, which will open next month on a 7,000 square foot lot opening at the corner of 6th and Pierce Streets. Among the initial tenants are Bowl Cut, an Asian rice bowl concept; Fontelle's, a burger place from the creators of Fresh Fin Poke; Mazorca taco truck; Scratch Ice Cream; and Ruby's Bagels.

Then Ann discusses her interview with John Dye, who runs three of the city's most iconic cocktail bars: Bryant's, Jazz Estate and At Random. What drew him to these historic establishments?

Next Ann offers her tips for planning a perfect picnic, and shares details about the Tosa Farmer's Market and a beer dinner. And finally, we talk about a La Crosse chef who is hosting a dinner at the James Beard Foundation's Beard House in New York city.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Visit RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts to get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you. We have shows about food (This Bites), the local music scene (Tap'd In) and film (Cinebuds). Check it out!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Digging into Milwaukee's best barbecue and the city's Memorial Day dining specials

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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 Bites is supported by Society Insurance.

Read more and listen to the episode below to hear about the city's best barbecue and this weekend's Memorial Day dining specials.

This month in Milwaukee Magazine, Ann highlighted her favorite barbecue spots in the city. We discuss her picks, which include iconic old staples like Speed Queen, newcomers like Iron Grate on Howell Avenue and even a chain: DOC's Commerce Smokehouse, a newcomer downtown at 754 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.

Also, it's not every episode we get to announce a new opening in Riverwest, but this week saw the addition of Bar centro to the neighborhood at 804 E. Center St. It's a compliment to the ever-popular Centro Cafe next door, and will feature dozens of varieties of amari, which will be used for cocktails and spirits (or served on the rocks).

Also discussed: this weekend's Memorial Day dining specials and Bucks-related specials, and the new brunch service at Iron Horse Hotel. The menu reflects the involvement of DanDan chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, with an emphasis on comfort food staples like chicken and waffles, biscuits and sausage gravy and a smash burger breakfast (served over a bed of hash browns).

Heaven's Table Catering and BBQ Heaven's Table Catering and BBQ
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Ca'Lucchenzo brings fresh pasta to Wauwatosa and Little Duck gets snacky

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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 Bites is supported by Society Insurance.

Read more and listen to the episode below to learn about Wauwatosa’s newest Italian restaurant, Strange Town’s Rosé All Day block party, Little Duck's monthly Quack Snacks event and Crazy Water’s new Taco Thursday specials.

Owners Sarah and Zak Baker this week opened their new Italian restaurant Ca’Lucchenzo Pastaficio & Enoteca at 6030 W. North Ave., in the building formerly home to Juniper 61. A carb-lover’s paradise, the restaurant specializes in house-made pastas and will also serve snacks, appetizers, risotto and various polenta-based dishes, in a setting with a homey, casual feel.

In other news, Strange Town will celebrate the most summer-friendly of all wines, rosé, at its Rosé All Day block party on Sunday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature hand-selected rosés, as well as beer and craft summer cocktails and food from several local restaurants. 88Nine DJ Amelinda Burich will provide the music, and like all great block parties, there will be a bouncy house.

Then Ann shares some vegan recipes featured in the May issue of Milwaukee Magazine, including an unforgettable cauliflower and baked tofu dish and a recipe for aguachile, a brothy Mexican dip served with tortillas or tortilla chips.   

facebook.com/littleduckmke Quack Snacks at Little Duck


We close the episode by noting two days food lovers should mark on their calendar. The first Monday of each month, Odd Duck’s special events offshoot Little Duck hosts Quack Snacks, a casual drink and snack pairing series. No reservation is required; just swing by and see what the kitchen has created.

And finally there’s Crazy Water's new Taco Thursdays. Inspired by her trip to Mexico, chef/owner Peggy Magister offers a different selection of tacos and margaritas each week. Tacos are just three for $10.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Treat your mom right with these Mother's Day brunches in Milwaukee

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Mother's Day is this Sunday, one of the busiest days of the year in the restaurant world. And brunch is queen.

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

This week, we talk about places to take your mom for brunch on Mother's Day, plus vegan dinners, pop-ups and more. Read more and listen to the podcast below.

This Bites is supported by Society Insurance.

Mother's Day Brunches

Brunch at The Iron Horse Hotel

MILB: Mother I'd Like to Brunch @ The Iron Horse Hotel
Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Iron Horse Hotel will be hosting a Mother's Day brunch that will include a raw bar, carving stations, from-the-kitchen menu, desserts from Batches and a regionally inspired buffet. Plus, enjoy a playlist of beats by famous moms!

Crazy Water's Mother's Day Brunch
Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Call (414) 645-2606 for reservations

Crazy Water is hosting a Mother's Day brunch featuring 3 courses:

  • First course - tuna crudo; mixed greens salad with blue cheese dressing and daikon, carrot and radish; a celery-root bisque
  • Second course - eggs benedict, steak and eggs with mushroom compote, fresh basil omelet with house-made burrata, salmon with napa cabbage salad, lemongrass reduction and green rice; sourdough French toast
  • Dessert: chocolate chip-marshmallow bread pudding; maple mascarpone cheesecake; Door County cherry croustade

I.d. at the Delafield Hotel Mother's Day Brunch
Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Call (262) 646-1620 for reservations

I.d at the Delafield Hotel will host a Mother's Day brunch, featuring a buffet including prime rib and Maple Creek ham carving stations, dessert stations, and more.

Vegan dinners and pop-ups

Maya Ophelia's vegan pop-ups and truck takeover

Maya Ophelia's is a new vegan option in Milwaukee. Owned and operated by Chase Roldan and Jack O'Grady, Maya Ophelia focuses on vegan dishes inspired by their Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Filipino roots.

Maya Ophelia's have been hosting pop-ups for a few months, like a ramen pop-up at Cactus Club back in March. On May 10, they will host a Pancit and Lumpia pop-up at Lost Whale in Bay View at 9 p.m.

On May 11, they will host a loaded nachos pop-up at JustGoods in Shorewood from 12 - 2 p.m. and at Cactus Club at 9 p.m. On May 26, they will host a Sio Pao (Filipino steamed bun) pop-up at Strange Town at 11 a.m. and at 9 p.m. at Cactus Club.

Maya Ophelia's Sonoran Cheesesteak (Mexican-style cheesesteak)

On May 13 and 14 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Maya Ophelia's will take over Taco Moto (818 S. Water St.). They will feature their take on Mexican and Filipino-style cheesesteaks. They will also have a house salad and chips to dip.

Vegans Rejoice! Lazy Susan vegan wine dinner
May 16, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Call (414) 988-7086 for reservations

Lazy Susan will host a night of vegan wines and excellent veggie pairings from Chef and Owner AJ Dixon, including a five-course dinner with amuse-bouche and reception. Here is the menu:

Reception
Ramp hummus, housemade crackers and spring crudite

Course One:
"Oysters" Rockefeller
Oysters mushrooms, wild nettles, Finocchietto, pea milk, cashew parmesan and shallots

Course Two:
Smoked Jackfruit Huarrche
Fried masa, cumin beet puree, apple salsa, smoked jackfruit and strawberry ancho hot sauce.

Course Three:
Ciopinno
Fennel, celery root, tomato and king trumpet stew with charred baguette and green garlic aioli.

Course Four:
Eggplant Mousaka
Lentil ragout, eggplant, potatoes and cashew bechamel sauce, wilted swiss chard.

Course Five:
Cocoa nib "Cheesecake"
Almond crust, cocoa nib and coconut filling, Fabbri cherries

Balzac Vegan Wine Dinner
May 14, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Call (414) 755-0099 for reservations

Learn all about it while enjoying five beautiful South African wines from Longridge Winery paired with five vegan dishes lovingly prepared by Chef Taylor. Courses include spring salad, ravioli bolognese, grilled seitan steak, curry cauliflower broth and more.

Batches will close storefront on May 10

Batches bakery in the Third Ward will close its storefront to focus on wholesale business at places like The TandemAvenue Coffeehouse in South Milwaukee and the Anodyne cafes in Walker’s Point, Milwaukee Public Market and Wauwatosa. You can learn more at Milwaukee Magazine.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

African and Jamaican restaurant, Irie Zulu closes its doors in Wauwatosa

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

Read more and listen to the podcast episode below to hear more about the closing of Irie Zulu, Debry Day events, and more.

Irie Zulu closing in Wauwatosa

Earlier this week, Yollande Deacon, the owner of Irie Zulu, announced that she has closed the restaurant located at 7237 W. North Ave. Opened in 2015, Irie Zulu became one of the go-to places to get West African and Jamaican cuisines.

Irie Zulu owner Yollande Deacon
Yollande Deacon

Deacon plans to launch a new venture called Yollande Deacon Brands LLC, which will focus on product development, content development, events and strategic consulting. Before Irie Zulu, Deacon sold sauces and sausages under her Afro Fusion Cuisine brand.

88Nine featured Deacon in our video series about empathy, "National & North."

Laughing Taco closes their Crossroads Collective location

Laughing Taco owners Lucia Munoz and chef Justin Carlisle (Ardent, Red Light Ramen) announced May 5 will be the last day for their Crossroads Collective location.

The couple plans to focus more on their first location at 1033 S. First St and the Fiserv Forum location. They also mention there will be some menu changes to the First St. location.

Derby Day events in Milwaukee

  • Talk Derby to Me at the Iron Horse Hotel - It’s the Derby party that tops all Derby parties. And this year The Iron Horse Hotel and Maker’s Mark are pulling out all the stops. On Saturday, May 4, the hotel will be offering a lavish party experience, featuring additional bars, bottomless Mint Juleps, VIP table service, two DJs, a living wall for all those “Instagrammable” moments and jumbo screens showing The Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports.
  • Monarch Lounge Kentucky Derby Party - 2 Horses and Jockey on 6th and Green for Photos! (3pm-6pm), Live Music by Liv Held Quartet, Derby on Big Screen TV’s.COMPLIMENTARY Derby-Inspired appetizers including cucumber tea sandwiches, pimento cheese dip with crackers and vegetables, hot chicken sliders. mini hot browns, and Bourbon meatballs.
  • Maxie's Derby Day - Party for Hunger Relief - Your entry fee of $15 goes entirely to Hunger Task Force. Doors open at 1 p.m. and The Jackson Park Jazz Orchestra, our friendly neighborhood Big Band, will lead the party tent in a swinging good time. We’ll have pre-race coverage on screens throughout the restaurant and party tent leading up to coverage of the 145th Kentucky Derby, with race time at approximately 5:50 p.m.

Kidshare 2019

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, KidShare: Milwaukee’s Finest Culinary Event will bring together over 30 of Milwaukee’s best restaurants, chefs, bakers and caterers for the much-anticipated event on Thursday, May 9 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm at The Pfister Hotel.  Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for the programs of the JCC.

New for 2019, the theme of “Perfect Pairings” invites KidShare’s talented culinary participants to create unique menu items that celebrate a JCC program area, like early childhood education, camping, or after-school programs.  Chefs will use their creativity and inspired childhood memories to bring a new twist to their delicious dishes at this year’s event.  At KidShare, guests will also nibble and nosh on a myriad of savory and sweet food offerings from popular eateries like Carnevor, Lake Park Bistro, The Cheel and Mila’s European Bakery, as well as a number of new event participants, such as Birch + Butcher, Char’d, Fauntleroy, Fresh Fin Poké, and Giggly Champagne and Wine Bar at Saint Kate the Arts Hotel. The evening also includes a silent auction, as well as a raffle with a wide variety of themed prizes.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Through chefs he mentored, Joe Bartolotta's legacy lives on in Milwaukee

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Joe Bartolotta photo

Joe Bartolotta passed away April 23 at age 60.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

We're obsessed with mushrooms this week on 'This Bites'

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee