Sushi in Japan.

Friday, April 29, 2011

BelAir Cantina

BelAir Cantina (Milwaukee, WI)

I remember a long time ago I went to a restaurant called the Good Life which served pretty awesome Caribbean style food. A few years ago I found out that it was no longer and was fairly disappointed because I wanted to try it once again. Awhile back though, I did learn that a new place had taken over the spot and that new place was Belair Cantina. Located right after you get off the Humboldt bridge, Belair is a pretty easy place to locate. The building itself is very unique by having huge front windows mostly taking over the wooden building and a unique rounded top, it stands out from any of the other places in the area. The inside continues the unique look by having a kind of California surf feel to it with surfboards and a mural on the wall. It has a very contemporary look to it, a decent amount of seats and overall had a very inviting and fun style to it. This will definantly not feel like a Mexican place when you walk in, which isn't a bad thing at all. Even though the look of the place is cool, the important part is the food.


Right off the bat the waiter came to us with 3 different kinds of salsa and some chips, which I went at the very second that they were put down. The three different kinds of salsa were a tomitillo, arbol chilis, and a roasted jalepeno. All of them were pretty good but the arbol one was a little bit spicy for me since I don't handle spice well. When it came to choose my meel it was a difficult choice, they have a lot of options but they all seemed to be a little pricey with the tacos starting at $2.59 and ending around $3.89 for just one Taco. One thing that stood out on the menu was all of the different things that they put into these tacos be it beef with orange soda and coco cola in the Barbacoa taco to the Tilapia Yucatan with pineapple and tomatillo avacado salsa, each one was very unique. This sort of style I guess is called California tacos, which I have never heard of before. I was a little scared to spend that much on a taco, because their generally small and I'm big, and even though you get rice and beans if you buy 3 I knew that it wouldn't be what I'd be getting.

I ended up looking at the burritos, which are my favorites, and even though the selection was small and the prices high, they all seemed pretty good. With a starting price of $7.29 and going up to $9.89, you gotta hope that you're getting your moneys worth with the burrito you pick and I ended up choosing the Polo Yucatan which was a burrito with chicken, pinto beans, pineapple, queso, lettuce, avocado salsa, and topped with salsa roja. One of the main reasons I decided to get this was because of the pineapple, I've never had a burrito with pineapple before so it interested me. My order did take awhile, and even though the waiters were friendly and were playing Tom Waits (which made me happy,) it still was a bit frustarating
that it took so long to arrive. When I got the burrito I realized why the price tag was $8.19, the thing was HUGE, I would say at least a little smaller than my face and once I saw it, I was ready to eat. The flavor was something different thats for sure. The pineapple made it very sweet which I wasn't really expecting them to make that much of an impact on the flavor. This sweetness mixed with a little spice from a seed that they added into the burrito and the rest was kind of just there and not really adding much to the flavor. I must say though that the chicken in the burrito was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Besides the sweetness of the pineapple, the chickens flavor really stood out and made up for the other incredibly being kind of bland. Even though the thing was huge, I ended up eating it all and even though I was initially a little disappointed by it, I ended up really enjoying it.


With a west coast inspired Mexican menu you will be trying something different while still sticking close to food that you are familar to. The Tom Waits playing in the background, the surf inspired decor, and the unique architecture also added to my enjoyment here. While the prices are a bit high and the food was a little above average, I would still say give Belair a try. They have taco tuesdays, margaritas, a huge list of tequilas (I'm not a drinker so I didn't have any interest) and a few nachos and salads to choose from. If your looking to explore something a little different but not looking to go far away from your comfort zone, Belair is a great place to check out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brewing Grounds for Change (Milwaukee, WI)

Enchiladas, Rice, and Beans

I'm not going to lie, I'm one of the last people that you will ever find in a coffee shop. I usually don't feel very comfortable sitting around a bunch of people pretending to be sophisticated while sitting on their Mac books and drinking a product that I don't care for. Out of all the coffee shops though, there is one that changed my feelings and that is Brewing Grounds out on Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee. I met someone who ran the shop very randomly almost a year ago and ever since then it has been the only coffee place I'll ever go to.

One thing I love about this place is the set up, it's very unique with a few booths and tables with artwork and photography covering the walls. There's also a couple musical instruments and board games to play. My favorite thing about it though is the free shop which allows you to drop off stuff you don't want and take things that other people leave for free. Even though it is a coffee shop, they also have zines to read, local music cds for purchase, have a bike shop in the basement and to make it even better it also hosts live music! While I can say that their chai tea is possibly the best in the land, that is not what I will be reviewing today.

A couple months back I was told that Brewing Grounds would start having Mexi Mondays which for $5 you can get rice, beans, or a drink if you prefer, and enchiladas (chicken or vegan.) I believe you can get tacos also which are all homemade by an awesome dude named Jason. I've only been able to stop by once for Mexi Mondays but my experience was quite delicious. The enchiladas tasted great and had plenty of cheese and flavor. You also get a good portion of beans and rice which both tasted very fresh, like they were being made just for you at your house. For Christmas I was given a whole dish of these enchiladas and I must say that it was an amazing gift to receive because Jason really knows what he's doing when he's cooking. One thing I really enjoyed about it was that it tasted like the awesome cart food that you get from people on the street in the summer, which is always good, fresh, and authentic. No taco bell like Mexican food here, this is the real deal.

If you're ever hungry, have $5 bucks on you, it's a Monday, and are on the East Side you should really stop by. Or if it's not a Mexi Monday, stop in anyways. Not only is the food good but the people there are some of the most friendly and amazing people you will ever meet, and have really good taste in music (if you like indie rap and punk rock you will get along with a lot of them just fine.) Since it is a coffee shop, I should also mention that they have a great selection of coffee and teas to choose from at really nice prices. It also helps that they are the only 100% fair trade coffee place in Milwaukee. Also, like I said before, if you like Chai tea, this is the place to go because they have the best I've ever had. Lastly I will mention that they always have little baked goods at the counter that are usually vegan such as muffins, cookies, breads, and other things along those lines and they are always delicious and usually cost under $2. So if your ever in the area, please forget about Starbucks and Roshambo because Brewing Grounds is the place to go.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New blog!

Well tumblr was nice but I think I'm going to try out this one for a bit and see how it goes. You can check out my tumblr here, maybe I'll still add to it! haha I dunno but yeah this is the new blog :-)