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Alphonso’s giant mozzarella sticks are coming to 3rd Street Market Hall

 A person wearing a t-shirt with a cartoon pizza on it holds an open cardboard box containing four oversized mozzarella sticks and five containers of marinara sauce.
Alphonso's The Original
Alphonso's Lightning Rod mozzarella sticks will soon be offered at 3rd Street Market Hall.

People love mozzarella sticks. This is not a subjective statement; I have the data to back it up. More on that in a moment, but for now let’s focus on some big (and I mean big) news coming out of 3rd Street Market Hall.

The food — and activities, but mostly food — spot in the former Grand Avenue just announced a slightly unconventional new vendor that eschews the typical move of an established eatery or food truck setting up shop in the hall. Instead, TWO existing entities will join forces to raise the cheese quotient of 3rd Street Market Hall by 284%

Alphonso’s The Original and Makk ‘n’ Cheese will bring the very best from their respective West Allis and Shorewood locations, creating Rod & Makk in the space previously occupied by Supernova Coffee & Doughnuts.

The “Makk” part of the name is pretty self-explanatory, as owner Greg Kieckbusch will supply a selection of goodies from the restaurant’s gooey menu, which brings a creative zing (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, birria, Philly cheese steak) to macaroni and cheese.

The “Rod,” of course, refers to Alphonso’s Lightning Rod Mozzarella Sticks, the love of which runs deep in the Milwaukee area and particularly the Radio Milwaukee website. I know because throughout my tenure here, this 2020 story about Alphonso’s foot-long mozz stix has never dropped out of the top 30 of page visits.

According to Tyler Maas over at the Milwaukee Record, Alphonso’s owner Tim Szuta has decided to stretch the limits of his famed offering by adding a spicy element, thus creating the Hot Rod. This immediately begs the question: Will Rod & Makk create some kind of eating challenge involving both mozzarella stick variations and an oversized bowl of cheesy noodles? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, we’ll have to patiently wait for this influx of dairy to the 3rd Street Market Hall, as no opening date has been set. Until then, please enjoy this walk down memory lane, when Szuta took us behind the scenes of his stick-making enterprise.