Sushi in Japan.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Solo Pizza

Solo Pizza
(Milwaukee, WI

If you know me at all, you know that pizza isn't one of my favorite things in the world unless you add something a little different to it. This is why my only pizza destination is usually Ian's but hey I'm always up for something new. If you've never been to Solo, it is pretty
easy to find, located right across from Oakland Gyros and between Goodwill and the Miramar Theater located on Oakland Ave. While my first experience there wasn't the best, which I will get to later, lets begin!

When entering the place you can tell that they really went
with a color pattern and stuck with it. I guess it represents the fire used to cook their pizza because their logo is a flame and the whole place is covered with orange and red, which I guess is a pretty creative idea. It's also not the biggest place in the world but it has a good amount of seating, with tables and booths, and also large windows that look out onto Oakland. It is also attached to an Irish bar called the Black Rose if that is more of an interest to you but I didn't get to check that out at all. Even though I liked the atmosphere, did I enjoy the food?

While looking through the menu you see your normal pizza place staples along with some Italian favorites such as ravioli and chicken Alfredo but at the top is their main focus, the pizza. Having three different sizes to choose from you have your personal pizza, which is called a Solo for $4.95, a Mezzo which is $7.95, and Doppio which is $12.95. You can also get a lot of different t
oppings added to your pizza such as pineapple, pesto, goat cheese, Gouda, Prosciutto, peppers, and a bunch of other stuff. They also have a pizza of the week, which just so happened to be chicken bacon ranch, and that is something you can't pass up. We asked the waitress if the Solo price for $4.95 worked for the special pizza and she said yes so we went for it and let me tell you, it was amazing.

The first thing I must bring up is the crust, it was perfect! It was crunchy and thin, but not super thin, and had a nice freshly cooked flavor to it. The toppings themselves were great also. Having a ranch based sauce on a pizza is new to me and I must say that it worked very well. It wasn't a super strong ranch flavor but it added so much to the pizza. The amount of cheese put on was also gre
at. I'm a huge cheese fan and they put on enough to satisfy me and the bacon mixed into the melted cheese made it even more delicious. I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes though, and they piled them on like crazy, but the pizza was so good that they tasted perfectly fine with it. They did add a little to much of the green stuff, I forgot exactly what it was, but it had a little bit of an overpowering flavor over the other toppings but didn't impact my decision over how good the pizza was. Overall, besides Ian's, this was one of the better pizzas I've ever had in my life. For a personal pizza, it was huge and left me full and satisfied, that is until I got my bill.

Sadly, the $4.95 price tag was to good to be true and when I got the bill it ended up being $9.50, a little more than I wanted to spend. We clearly asked the waitress if this pizza was $4.95 and she told us it was. What we didn't know is that they charge you $.50 for extra toppings they put on the Solo pizzas. Which I guess is better than the $.75 they charge for the Mezzo and the $1.50 they charge for the Doppio. I was very upset that this wasn't mentioned when we asked the waitress, which kind of upset me but didn't take away that I still got a good pizza, just a little more expensive than I wanted. I will say that it was a large amount of food for under $10, and that's sometimes hard to come by in Milwaukee. If you do plan on going here, plan on spending a little over $10 for anything else, except the sandwiches starting off at $8.95, and most of their pasta starting off at $10.95.
Even though I'm still a little upset about the price situation, I would recommend checking this place out because it really was one of the better pizzas I've ever had.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hi Hat Lounge

Hi Hat Lounge
(Milwaukee, WI)

Located on Brady and Arlington is a place that I often wondered about but never actually stopped to check it out. Yesterday I got my chance, and I must say it went quite well. The Hi Hat Lounge is one of the many little "hipster" kind of places to eat/drink on Brady St. Walking inside, it was nothing like I expected it to be. From the old brick walls of the outside, I didn't expect the inside to be this huge almost fancy looking place. Everything was super clean and had kind of an old fashioned look to it, which I guess is why they call it the Lounge. When you enter the building, you are taken to the top floor, which is mostly a small eating area. While your up there you can view the downstairs over the railings, which gives you a perfect look at the bar that they have. Another interesting thing that I found about this place is that they have a hall upstairs that leads to a place called the Garage. Which has the same menu and everything as the side I was on, but gives up a more loud bar feel, with louder music and not as much of a old school fancy look to it as the other side. If you end up sitting in the lounge, you will get a nice little view of Brady St, and the outside dining there, which is always a nice little way to people watch. While the look of the place interested me, the food is the important part.

The menu at Hi Hat was very bizarre to me and I had to have it explained to me but in reality, it's not that difficult to understand. Basically you get to choose from 2 different kinds of sandwiches, either a burger or chicken. If you just want the plain burger or chicken, it's $9 and extras such as cheese can be added for another $1. If just a plain sandwich doesn't interest you,
there are different options to choose from at the bottom the menu that can be added to your sandwich. They give you options such as The Knot, The Wisconsin, The Cowboy, The California, and the Rockefeller. Each of these has it's own little thing going on, such as the Wisconsin having apple, chedder and bacon, while the Knot has mayo, brie, apples and bacon. So you choose your meat, then choose which one of these you would like, or don't. Each of these is served with fries or a noodle salad. It was a tough choice for me but I wasn't upset with my choice.

I'm not a burger fan so I chose the chicken right way, the real debate came between the Knot and the California. In the end though, I chose the California which was a grilled chicken breast topped with avocado, a crab cake, bacon, and pesto for the price of $11.75. While I found the price to be a little much, when I took my first bite I know that it was worth it. The first bite was a little intense, there was so much flavor going on that I didn't really know what I was eating and I had to take a second bite to figure it out. As weird as the combination of these things sound, it was delicious! The crab cake was very soft and mushy, which was weird, but it had a good amount of crab meat in it and had a really great flavor to it. The bacon was done perfectly and added a nice crunch and saltyness to the sandwich, while the chicken was grilled to perfection. The avocado didn't really add much to it, but added a little texture while the pesto wasn't that noticeable, but when it was it added a nice little garlic, oily taste to everything. Af
ter I took my first bite, I couldn't put it down and I was finished within a few minutes. I must also mention that I went with the noodles instead of the fries, which were good and tasted like a basic noodle salad. The fries the I did try were also really good with a nice crunch to them and your normal french fry flavor. These two didn't really matter though because the sandwich really took the cake in this meal.

While my original concern of this place was the price, with everything basically starting at $9 and going up to about $12 for just a sandwich. It was really well worth it and I'd gladly pay the price again to get another one. If none of the things I mentioned really interested you, they have a few other things such appetizers that include chicken wings, fries, crab cakes, and cheese stuffed mushrooms, which range from $6 to $9. They also have a Friday Fish Fry which has your normal fried cod, or you can choose 3 fish tacos, which I found interesting, for around $10. The Hi Hat is also known for their Brunch, which is served on the weekend and has your normal breakfast items such as omelets, french toast and sandwiches. If food doesn't interest you, there are also the 2 bars I mentioned before, and it seems like they also have Djs that come in on Fridays. While the only negative thing I'll say is that the service was a little slow, but very nice, I would say that this is a place that is worth taking the time to check out if you are ever hungry out on Brady st.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Miller Park

Miller Park: Triple Play Sliders
(Milwaukee, WI)

Normally I wouldn't consider a ball park a normal food place, but lately ball parks have been getting quite creative with their food options. While this won't be a long review, I must talk about something I ate yesterday at the Brewer game.

While eating a hot dog, a brat and some peanuts are always classic normal ways to go when going to a baseball game, I can tell you one thing that isn't normal, and that's a pulled pork parfait. Now you maybe saying to yourself, what is that? Well it's exactly what it sounds like. I
t's a parfait class with mashed potatoes on the bottom, then some pulled pork over that, then more mashed potatoes, then more pulled pork, then more mashed potatoes topped with some bbq sauce and chives.

Being as this item is very strange, I just had to try it at the game I went to. With a price tag of $7, it's not the cheapest, but don't except a good price for anything at a ball park. First I'll hit you with the positives starting with the bbq sauce on top. The sauce was delicious, it had
a nice spice to it that wasn't strong enough to knock me off my feet and had a really nice flavor to it. The mashed potatoes were also really good, they were nice and fluffy and tasted almost homemade. There might have been a little seasoning in the potatoes, but I'm not quite sure. The meat was also well cooked and was your average pulled pork. Now that the positives are done with, let's get to the negatives.

Starting off, they barely put any meat into this thing. I watched the lady pick small pieces of meat and slowly put them in. She took a few big pieces, but nothing really spectacular. I was really disappointed by how little the amount of meat you get is, you couldn't even cover a piece of bread with the amount that they give you. While the flavor of the potatoes and the bbq sauce are qu
ite good, the pulled pork leaves you a little less satisfied. I've had many pulled pork sandwiches in my life and it's usually an easy thing to make delicious. While the meat was fine, and the flavor was ok, it wasn't enough. There wasn't a strong flavor at all and I could barely tell if there was even sauce on the pork. It was such a little flavor for something that usually has a lot of flavor to it. It wasn't bad tasting or anything, don't get me wrong, it just didn't have the flavor that was I was expecting. This was the real downfall of the parfait. It could of also used a bit more bbq sauce on the top, because there wasn't a lot, and it was delicious so I wanted more.

If you are ever at Miller Park and want to try something different than your usual brat, then this maybe something to check out. If you are interested when you

are there, you can find them at the little Triple Play Sliders stands located in sections 127, 214, and 417. For $7, it maybe a hit or miss for you but I think it is something worth checking out, and doesn't taste as bad as it looks and sounds.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern

Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern
(Milwaukee, WI)

Over the past few years seafood has become one of my favorite things to go out to eat for. Although I haven't been out to very many seafood places in Milwaukee, Molly Cool's was one of the first ones I tried. Located on North Old 3rd Street, near places such as Lucilles, Maders, and Turner Hall, it's a great place to stop by before a concert or an event at the Bradley Center. It is also located right on the river, so if you are lucky you may get a seat with a good view of the boats and the water. One thing I really like about this place is that there is plenty of seating. When I went, the place was packed and we still got a seat very quickly. It's also nice because it has very nice fancy atmosphere, but doesn't come off as a fancy dress up restaurant. Enough with all that though, lets get to the food.

I went out for lunch yesterday so I only really got to view that menu but from what I saw no one should be disappointed by the selection. This place offers one of the biggest seafood menu's I've ever seen with ton's of great options. With clam chowder, 1 1/4 live lobsters, crab legs, po boys, to seafood pastas, there is plenty to choose from. They also have their fair share of specials to choose from, such as $19.95 lobsters on Sundays and from 3-6 pm every Friday they have a "oyster orgy," where you can get $.69 oysters. If you're not a fan of oysters like me, they also offer $3.99 shrimp and $1 tacos. Like a lot of other seafood places, you will pay a little bit more for a meal. At Molly's the wraps are usually the cheapest, starting around $9.50, but as you go on to the other stuff you won't find much under $11.95. If you're looking to try some of the signature meals or pastas, be looking to spend more than $16.95. Which actually a pretty tame and average price for seafood. I was lucky the day that I went in they were having a special Milwaukee Dining week where I got to indulge in a $10 3 course meal.

There were a few options that could be chosen from the 3 course menu, and for my appetizer I chose the crab cake. Crab cakes are one of those items that are really hit or miss, some people can do them to perfection and some don't know what they are doing. In this case it was a mixture of both. Like a lot of places that sell crab cakes, they really jip you on the amount of crab in the cake and pile in the breading, thinking maybe it will cover up the lack of crab. At Molly's, had a decent amount of crab in it but not enough to overpower the taste of the breading. It had a good flavor to it, don't get me wrong, and the parts where there was crab were delicious. I won't really hold it against them though because the only time I've ever had a crab cake with a good amount of crab in it was a homemade one, and maybe 1 other place. The other thing that was kind of a turn off was that it felt a little to deep fried. Usually crab cakes are nice and soft as you cut them with your fork. This one was kind of crunchy on the outside, but had the soft inside that I'm used to. Besides these 2 little things, it was a tasty item and the coleslaw that came with it was quite delicious, and I don't even like coleslaw. If you're one for a dipping sauce, the crab cake with a thousand island like dressing, which I'm not a huge fan of. Since the eating of the crab cake was over quickly, I waited for the next part of my meal.

Originally I wanted the crab wrap as my entree, but I found out that it had olives in it and you couldn't get substitutions, so I decided on the walleye fish fry instead. When I got my basket, I wasn't really surprised by what I got. It looked like fish and french fries in a basket, which is basic for a fish fry. I tried the fries first, which were actually really good. They were soft, and not to salty. It's tough to win me over on fries since I'm not the biggest fan, but these were worth eating. As for the walleye, there is not much I can say. Do you like fried fish? Have you had a cod fish fry before? Or any kind of fish fry? That's what you got here. The walleye was in a kind of long stick form and tasted like fried fish. The breading didn't have any overwhelming flavor to it so it was nice to get a good taste of the fish over the breading, which some places have an issue with. It's tough to go into detail on the walleye because it wasn't anything breathtaking, just a bit of an above average fish fry. I couldn't tell the difference between the walleye or your average cod fry, but hey I like fish fries and it did it's job to fill me up. One of the reasons I wanted the crab wrap originally is that it came with a bowl of crab bisque, which I really wanted to try. Since the walleye basket didn't come with it, I just decided to order a bowl.

One of the best parts of my meal was the crab bisque. I have never had a better seafood soup in my life. Some people might be a little turned off by the little more intense seafood flavor and the thickness of the, but I couldn't of asked for anything better. Every bite had loads of crab meat in it and at some points I even got big chunks of meat, which I was impressed with. The slightly tomato like flavor of the soup added nicely to the to it also. My father said that it was a little to salty for his taste, but I didn't really notice because I thought whatever they added to give the soup it's flavor was perfect. For $5.95, you get a good sized bowl for an amazing soup. If you are a fan of crab and soup, come here just to get this. It was for sure the highlight of my meal.

Lastly, I must mention the dessert, because that's usually the best part of the meal. For the 3rd course you got to choose from key lime pie, cheesecake, or a chocolate mousse. I ended up going for the cheesecake, since it's one of my favorites, while my dad got the key lime pie. Even though the cheesecake was a small portion, I still got the full flavor of it. It was sweet, creamy, thick, and overall delicious. It was one of the better cheesecakes I've had. It tasted how you imagine cheesecake tasting and the texture was perfect and soft. While my cheesecake was good, the bite of my Dad's key lime pie was on a whole other level. I've never really had key lime pie before so I decided to try a little and I'm glad I did. Like the cheesecake, it had a nice creamy texture and the flavor was super intense, but in a good way. It was tart, sweet, and one of the better thing's I've ever tasted in my life. Our waiter said that people will order a piece, go for a walk, and then come back and order another. While I think some waiters make up stories to make their products seem better, I would have to believe his story upon trying this pie.

If you like seafood and looking for a place to try in Milwaukee, stop by Molly's. There selection is top notch, if your looking for sashimi, lobster, crab, burgers, oysters, a fish fry, they have it all. I've had some of their other items here in the past and wasn't let down. You maybe paying a bit more but you are getting a good quality meal out of it. If you are interested in checking out what they have to offer, all of their specials and menus are on their website, so you can check out what they have for dinner, or lunch. So if you're ever out for a concert at Turner Hall or a Bucks game at the Bradley Center and you're feeling a bit hungry, check this place out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


(Milwaukee, WI)

If you've been on the East Side of Milwaukee, I'm sure you've been to all the bars that it has to offer. One bar that I don't hear about a lot of people going to on a busy Friday night is Hooligans. While I'm not much a bar goer, I've been here a good amount of times with my Dad because it's one that he enjoys, so I've tagged along a few times. When you walk in, it's a old style bar that doesn't have a huge first floor but had a large bar and a good amount of seats to dine in. It also has a second floor but I have never been up there before. One thing that I like about Hooligans more than most bar restaurants is the menu. It has so much more for someone to choose from than just your normal burgers and chicken sandwiches. They offer mac and cheese, cat fish, Quesadillas, wraps, catfish and all sorts of different foods. Today my Dad called me randomly and wanted to go out for lunch and we decided to go to Hooligans because they have a nice outdoor seating area which is really nice on a hot day.

I usually just get a simple chicken sandwich from Hooligans because they are simple and always taste pretty good but when I was looking at their Wednesday specials, their mac and cheese caught my eye. While I haven't ordered mac and cheese and to many places (except for the Comet Cafe because it's delicious,) I had a craving for that so I thought why not. They had three difference choices, a normal mac and cheese, a chicken, mac and cheese, and blue cheese with buffalo chicken mac and cheese. The normal one you could add bacon on to the $8, or for just $9 already you could get the chicken one with the bacon already in it. I thought that was the better deal with the chicken so I decided to get that. My fa
ther ended up getting the blue cheese once since blue cheese is his favorite. I had a nice Sprecher Root Beer while waiting for my meal, which didn't take to long to come out. The set up of it was very nice, you got 4 pieces of garlic bread and a nice little bowl of the mac and cheese. From the looks of it, it seemed delicious. I took a bite of the garlic bread first, which was done perfectly. I'm not a big fan of garlic bread but the garlic wasn't strong, and the bread was toasted so it was soft but still had a crunch to it. Sadly I must say, that was the highlight of the meal.

While the mac and cheese looked delicious, it was sadly a disguise. The cheese sauce tasted nothing like cheese. I don't know exactly how to describe it but it had a very off taste to it, maybe like an old cheese or something along those lines. Even that flavor wasn't very strong, and didn't add much but that off taste to my mouth. The chicken was very plain and had almost no flavor to it at all, even with the added bread crumbs on top, it didn't do much to enhance the flavor. The only thing that give this meal any sort of taste to it was the bacon, which well...tasted like bacon, which made the weird cheese sauce a little bit better. It was a very good portion of food though, and even though I didn't enjoy it, I still ate every bite. It wasn't a pleasant dish but I was hungry. The buffalo blue cheese one on the other hand was bursting with flavor. I can't stand blue cheese so it wasn't a flavor I enjoyed, but if you like spicy buffalo chicken and blue cheese, then this dish is for you. The buffalo chicken was spicy but not spicy enough to destroy the flavor of everything. Even though the blue cheese wasn't for me, I know for those of you who like it would love this.

While my experience this time at Hooligans wasn't my favorite, I must say that I'm usually not very disappointed in their food. They make good burgers and their chicken sandwiches aren't bad either. The prices are what you'll find at almost any bar restaurant in the area with items usually starting around $7.50 and not much of anything really going over the $10 mark. So if your looking for a burger or other good bar food, check Hooligans out but if you wanna get some mac and cheese, stay far far away and just get some at the Comet Cafe.