Milwaukee’s best brunch spots and a farewell to Pastiche

Milwaukee’s best brunch spots and a farewell to Pastiche

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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.

We kick off this week’s episode with some unfortunate news from Tandem. The owner Caitlin Cullen shattered her ankle, which will interfere with service. She’s looking for experienced chefs, servers and bartenders to help out. If they can’t find that, she’s looking for a crowd-sourced loan to pay staff at the restaurant. Hopefully the community turns out the way it did recently for a cash mob at Coffee Makes You Black.

French toast at Sweet Diner |

Next, our conversation turns to brunch. Ann shares some of her favorite brunch spots, including Merriment Social, a place that makes even healthy sound delicious. She also gives a shout out to a spot in Elm Grove called Zisters, which offers everything from avocado toast to eggs benedict and chocolate-lover’s pancakes, and talks up the mimosas at Sweet Diner.

It’s not often we get to report Riverwest news on this show, so it’s exciting that Wonderland is opening at 732 E. Burleigh St., in the former West Bank Cafe. The restaurant was inspired by the Wonderland amusement park that used to be open on the Milwaukee River. It’s a diner with a very modern look.

We also talk about the Empty Bowls fundraiser, which is now in its 21st year. It’s Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Kern Center, and will feature nearly 2,500 handcrafted ceramic bowls with proceeds benefitting groups that address food insecurity. There will be more than 30 restaurants serving soup and bread.

We also discuss a “Hamilton”-themed meal planned at the Rumpus Room and a closing of a major downtown restaurant: Pastiche. You have about three months left to visit before the location turns to a new concept. The good news: Pastiche’s Brown Deer location will stay open.

Stream the episode below.

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