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Race to these Derby Day parties in Milwaukee

Today, we’re talking about all the upcoming foodie happenings including the Nomad Nacional pop-up, Derby Day in Milwaukee, news from the Dans of DanDan and where you should get Mother's Day brunch reservations in the city.

Each Friday 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 whole podcast below.

Nomad Nacional

The people behind Nomad World Pub are opening a pop-up in the old La Fuente space in Walker's Point. This Latin-inspired concept, Nomad Nacional, will serve "global street food" and show the fútbol games for the 2018 FIFA World Cup June 15-July 15. They say it will be a place for "soccer fans and the community to come together, celebrate and have a great time."

Nomad Nacional will be popping up today and will be open from May through November, though there's potential for it to turn into a permanent location.

Derby Day

Whether you are placing bets or just looking for an excuse to break out an elaborate hat or bowtie, there are plenty of Kentucky Derby parties in Milwaukee this weekend. Here's where to watch (but more importantly, drink mint juleps during) the best two minutes in sports:


Party for charity: eat Kentucky Hot Browns, Bourbon Barrel Ale Beer Cheese Soup and drink Bourbon Mint Juleps and Vodka Derby Tea for a good cause, The Hunger Task Force. The party will be hosted outside with live jazz music, a photo booth and contests.

Iron Horse Hotel

At the Iron Horse Hotel's Talk Derby to Me event, you can enjoy a champagne bar, bottomless mint juleps and take a picture with a living, breathing Iron Horse in your best seersucker suit.

Monarch Lounge

Pick your bourbon, your bonnet, and your horse, and grab a front row seat for the viewing at the Hilton's Monarch Lounge. They'll have two horses and jockey on 6th and Green for photos and  Derby-inspired complimentary appetizers

Mini Hot Browns: Open-Faced Turkey, Bacon, and Pecorino Cream Sandwiches
Cold Benedictine Finger Sandwiches
Kentuckyaki Wings
Bacon Bourbon Popcorn

Here are even more options for getting your Derby Day on in Milwaukee.

News from two important Dans

Don't despair that Coquette Cafe closed—it won't be empty very long. Chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite (the Dans of DanDan) have plans for a new restaurant there. We don't know much yet. We know that it's supposed to open in the middle of the summer, and that they'll announce the name and concept in June.

Whatever it is, we know it's going to be good because of the people they've hired:

Matt Haase, the pervious executive sous chef of Ardent, will be culinary director for all three Jacobs-Van Rite restaurants: DanDan, EsterEv and this new spot. Culinary director is a new position. The Jacobs-Van Rite restaurants are growing, so this new role should bring them all up yet another level.
Blair Herridge will be the new restaurant's chef de cuisine, previously sous chef at Goodkind.

And, back over at DanDan, Kristen Schwab, who has been their leading sous chef for some time, was promoted to their chef de cuisine.

Mother's Day Brunch

Mother's Day isn't until May 13, but it's about time to start making your reservations for one of the most popular brunch days of the year. Here are Ann's recommendations for where to treat the important ladies in your life to Mother's Day brunch in Milwaukee:

Story Hill BKC

This is one of the best brunches in Milwaukee with specialty plates like shakshouka (a Tunisian lentil-tomato-egg dish) and baked French toast bread pudding. Expect some Mom-inspired specials, too! (Mom-osas, perhaps?)

Pro-tip: use the Nowait app to get a spot in line on the day of, if their reservations fill up.

Crazy Water

Crazy water is doing a three-course menu ($35 per person) with several options in each course. You might order chicken liver mousse with plum relish and toasted brioche, steer beer tenderloin with Portobello and potato gratin and chocolate bread pudding with whiskey caramel for dessert. (And, yes, this is the same as their Easter Brunch)

Tarik suggests perhaps breaking away from the brunch crowd to do something a little more adventurous, which might be more special. If your mom likes trying new things (and you do too), he suggests a special food experience, like getting dinner at a Hot Pot restaurant for more quality time.

P.S., if you are a chef or a restaurant and have a food-related announcement or event, please send us any information or press release to

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee