Better Than a Weber
Fixed-price meals. No menus. A dozen or more cuts of meat served at the table by “gauchos” (Brazilian cowboys). That’s all happening beginning May 1 with the opening of Sabor (777 N. Water St., 431-3106). It’s the Brazilian “churrascaria” I talked about in my March 30 column. “Churrasco” is Brazilian for “barbecue.” There’s another word, probably foreign to you, that will be important: ridihzo. It refers to a “continuous” style of service. You’ll be able to signal to the servers – at churrascarias in other cities, there’s a wooden indicator that you can switch from red to green – that you want to be fed continuously. The first course (veggies, cheeses, etc.) will be a buffet of sorts. Then you’ll move on to the meat course and finally, dessert. Your fixed-price meal ($42.50) includes first course, meat course and all sides (mashed potatoes, plantains, black beans). It does not include beverages or dessert. Hours: Mon-Thurs 4:30-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4:30-11 p.m. Lunch service may start in less than a month.
Party of Five
In Mexico, Friday, May 5 is a huge deal. Cinco de Mayo commemorates an event that took place 144 years ago called the Battle of Puebla (Mexico prevailed over France in this tussle). It’s a holiday in Mexico and many cities around the U.S. So what’s going on here to celebrate this event? Sign up for a Cinco de Mayo cooking class at Milwaukee Public Market (400 N. Water St., 336-1111) on Thursday, May 4. El Rey’s Olivia Villarreal will make ceviche (shrimp marinated in lime juice), Mexican rice, and cheese and chicken enchiladas. The class runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and costs $30. If you’re interested in a Cinco meal, consider lunch at Rey Sol (2338 W. Forest Home Ave., 389-1860). There’s a special lunchtime buffet on the 5th, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with a choice of 18 items on the buffet table. Price: $8.50 per person.
Say It Again
I hear music in the word “spring.” Spring fling. Hot spring. Spring chicken. I’m hopeful with every one-syllable utterance. “Spring tasting menu” is terrifically catchy. At Jake’s (21445 W. Gumina Rd., Pewaukee, 262-781-7995), $34.95 gets you one spring menu, coming right up. The four courses are: morel mushroom soup, golden beet salad with goat cheese and micro greens, “filet mignon” of salmon ragout with spring asparagus sauce and coconut panna cotta. There are other “spring” phrases I like. Spring break. Spring to life. It just gets better, doesn’t it?
Irritation of the Week
Thanks to a reader who e-mailed me last week, I’m going to touch on a subject most of us have experienced in one form or another – the takeout order that isn’t right. It’s generally not until you’ve picked up the order, brought it home and unloaded the contents of the bag or box that you make a horrific discovery. Where is your side salad? The container of horseradish mayo you asked for on the side? The chocolate chip cookie you’ve been craving all day? And that bowl of chili with cheddar and onions, because the half sandwich would only keep your stomach occupied for a few hours? The only solution is to do what might seem, at the time, like a painful extra step: While you’re still in the restaurant, open the package and carefully inspect the contents. I know, all you want to do is get out of there. But once you’re home and the beer or wine is poured, you know you’re not going anywhere. And the call-in complaint usually offers little satisfaction.
Can’t get enough dining? I chat about restaurants every Friday with Jane Matenaer and Kidd O’Shea on “The Mix.” Listen between 8 and 9 a.m. That’s 99.1 WMYX-FM.
E-mail your worst restaurant gripes to me at email@example.com