of Joe Laedtkee.
So many new restaurants in Milwaukee, so little time. Luckily, a majority of the most innovative and high-quality eateries are within a two-mile radius in the industrial-rehabbed Walker’s Point, just south of Downtown.
And one of the best ways to try out a whole slew of restaurants happens this weekend. The second annual Walker’s Point Food Crawl is this Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. along South 2nd Street and beyond. Flavor-seekers will have the opportunity to stroll through the Historic Walker's Point neighborhood at their own pace tasting while tasting delicious small plates from restaurants and shops, including Milwaukee’s first urban cheese factory, Clock Shadow Creamery. Get there between 11-11:30 a.m. to get a free Bloody Mary from the participating restaurant of your choice and start your day off right.
Last year's event went so well that organizers complied with the many requests for a repeat performance and expect even more people to attend this year. Since Walker's Point is such a thriving restaurant destination, it was really a no-brainer. And of course, the restaurants love the steady stream of foot traffic and the chance to show off their best creations.
“I think part of the brilliance about Walker's Point is that there are a lot of different dining options. Food crawl restaurants include high-end options like C.1880 and more casual spots like Times Square Pizza. There's really something for everyone,” said Paul Fredrich, co-founder of MKEfoodies.
“Walker's Point is an attractive place for new businesses because rent is affordable, condos are cropping up all over, and the area is gaining in popularity. With so many excellent restaurants in the area, the bar is also set pretty high – so restaurants know they have to be at their best to compete, which makes it a great place for diners.”
Each restaurant will offer at least two small plates: one vegetarian and one meat option. Drinks are not included, though many of the restaurants run drink specials for the food crawl.
Paul tells me that last year Ginger was the resounding favorite, based on the number of tickets redeemed there. “Since they tend to offer four or five small plate options, it's a pretty popular spot for people to hang out and try a number of dishes.”
How does it all work? Everyone convenes at the beginning of the event to pick up their tickets at the corner of South 2nd and National Avenue, then disperses from there. Food crawl participants also meet and chat with one another along the route, but there is no agenda or expectations.
From last year's crawl: C.1880's veal breast with carrots four ways.
Participating restaurants this year include: Atomic Chocolate, Braise, Circa 1880, Clock Tower Creamery, Ginger, Indulgence Chocolatiers, INdustri Cafe, Milwaukee Brewing Company, The Noble, Purple Door Ice Cream, Steny's Tavern & Grill, Times Square Pizza, Zak’s Café, Ashley’s, and Chez Jacques.
And here is a sampling of what some of the establishments will be serving:
Indulgence Chocolatiers: Coconut habañero truffle; citrus pistachio nougat; vanilla bean crème fraîche truffle.
Braise: Curry cilantro dal with roasted lemon yogurt; milk-braised pork on foccacia with horseradish quark and ramp jam.
Zak’s Cafe: Veggie spring rolls; mini crab cakes.
Chez Jacques: Spinach roquefort crepe; roast beef mushroom crepe served with mushroom au jus.
C.1880: Onion carbonara with pheasant confit; vegetarian carbonara.
Ginger: Peruvian ceviche with shrimp and scallops in a passion fruit citrus marinade with plantain chips; jambalaya fritter with shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage, roasted tomato aioli and cilantro salad; duck nachos with braised duck breast, poblano corn salad and manchego cheese sauce.
Clock Shadow Creamery: Soft pretzels with three different flavors of quark cheese.
Purple Door Ice Cream: Five, one-ounce samples of various ice cream flavors – whiskey, salted caramel, banana chocolate walnut and raspberry green tea are just a few of their signature blends.
Are you drooling yet? Click here for tickets before they are gone. Silver Plate admission ($50) includes eight small plates and Gold Plate admission ($75) includes 14 small plates. This event is family friendly – and what a great way to teach your kids about delicious, local food and allow them to build a refined palette while they're young. They will (hopefully) thank you for it later.
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