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Green Madness
Green beer, really? Some cooking demos, and the Olive Garden. Seriously.

Keep It Green
Cubanitas’ “Menu of the Americas” put the spotlight on Puerto Rico this week. You’ve got until tonight – Thursday, doh! – to order the El Jibarito sandwich, arroz con gandules (rice cooked with pigeon peas) and pasteles (savory pastries) before the menu goes away. It will be replaced next week by Spain. I’m about to tell you about a St. Patrick’s Day connection in a, perhaps, very unlikely place. The Milwaukee Street Cuban restaurant is mid-way through its Mojito Madness month. The mint-infused rum cocktail can be had for the low, low price of $5, only in March and only Monday-Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. Mint? That’s Irish, isn’t it? Forget green beer. Screw the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. Come one. Mint is natural. (728 N. Milwaukee St., 414-225-1760)

Demos for You-o
Don’t you want to go to The Realtors Home & Garden Show? Of course, you do. It’s coming up – March 23-April 1. And, hey, celebrity sighting alert! Eleven local restaurant chefs are doing cooking demos. Not to steal anybody’s thunder, but… three of the chefs are on the semifinalist list for the James Beard Award for Best Midwest Chef. They are: Sanford’s Justin Aprahamian, Meritage’s Jan Kelly, and Hinterland’s Dan Van Rite. All three are scheduled for April 1. Click here for the full cooking demo schedule. (Wisconsin State Fair Park, Wisconsin Exposition Center, 8200 W. Greenfield Ave. in Stallis; 414-778-4929)

Olive Branch
If someone publishes my review of Applebee’s – or the dining equivalent – when I’m 85, I’d say I’m doing pretty well. Last week, the Grand Forks Herald published columnist Marilyn Hagerty’s take on the “long-awaited” Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks, N.D. The 85-year-old’s review, posted here, became an Internet sensation. But the Olive Garden, you say? Hagerty’s sincere review – including observations such as, “The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway” – drew sarcasm from some food bloggers, but surprisingly not from often-testy Anthony Bourdain. The New York Daily News reported that Bourdain even helped her get a table at NYC’s Michelin three-star Le Bernardin. Hell, nationally known sportswriter Joe Posnanski also came to her defence. Go, Marilyn! Want to read more about this vibrant octogenarian? Her son, James R. Hagerty, wrote a charming piece about her in the Wall Street Journal. Read it here.

Look for Dish on Dining on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

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If you spot a restaurant opening or closing, post it on the comments section of my column, or e-mail me directly: ann.christenson@milwaukeemagazine.com

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