Taste of a Taqueria
Weeknights shouldn’t be weak nights. Try a restaurant that doubles as a ball of energy: Taqueria Azteca (119 E. Oklahoma Ave., 486-9447). Frank Sanchez, his sister, Iris, and the whole Taqueria crew are in a mucho festive groove these days. This past Easter, they started serving Sunday brunch. Tuesdays are Taco Night (also new) and Wednesdays are Cuban Night. Brunch features some American morning staples (pancakes, eggs, stuffed French toast, granola, oatmeal), as well as huevos rancheros, huevos con chorizo (served over hash browns), tacos de barbacoa and tripe soup. The restaurant serves from 10 a.m. (may shift to 11 a.m.) to 3 p.m. Tuesday’s all-you-can-eat tacos give you a choice of ground beef or grilled chicken filling. You start with three tacos (served with rice and beans, $7.95), but there’s more if you want them. Also on Tuesdays, the house Margarita is 3 bucks ($5 for a double). The next night (Wednesday), Cuba is in the air. Meat dishes are served with a condiment tray, containing aioli, cilantro, pineapple vinegar and others. Empanadas and pork in a citrus glaze with fried plantains stand out on the menu – a nice meal with a round of Mojitos (5 bucks each). Get ’em in guava flavor, if you like.
It was back in early March that I got a little dreamy about Turkish food. It’s coming to the Third Ward in the form of Tulip (117 N. Jefferson St.),which is not open for tagines and such yet, but is getting there, says co-owner Korkut Colakoglu, who owns a business on 17th and Saint Paul called House of Stone. I don’t have a firm opening date for Tulip, but Colakoglu says he and his crew are in the last phase of construction. The place will seat about 100. By the way, the address wouldn’t suggest it, but the restaurant will be on the corner of Erie and Milwaukee streets.
This week begins the Pfister Hotel’s anniversary celebration – 45 years as a property of Marcus Corp. Hotels and Resorts. The merrymaking officially started yesterday (April 25) and will last through May 4. This is the week you can get your first taste of the small bites menu served in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge. That spot is easy to find, by the way. It has a fireplace, piano and comfy sofas – your feet will feel a magnetic pull in that direction. The small bites range from almond pancetta frittata to sesame-seared ahi tuna with wasabi and Kahlua-soy vinaigrette. During anniversary week, the tapas are $4.50 each (after May 4, the price jumps to $5). Tapas are available daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also during the one-week run, the lounge will have signature martinis for $4.50 and Miller Genuine Draft taps for 45 cents.
You know Alfred Lunt as an actor/director. (When he and acting partner/spouse Lynn Fontanne weren’t on Broadway in New York City, they retreated to their Genesee Depot home, Ten Chimneys, a National Historic Landmark that now operates as a museum). Lunt, who died in 1977, also knew how to cook. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris and often cooked for acting chums like Katharine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward. The recipes he made during those times are in a new cookbook, succinctly titled Alfred Lunt’s Cookbook. It features 192 recipes, including many with a Swedish flavor. (Lunt was famous for his cardamom bread.) The book, $34.99, is for sale in the museum store at Ten Chimneys. You can also call 262-968-4110 to order it.
Can’t get enough dining? I chat about restaurants every week with Jane Matenaer and Kidd O’Shea on “The Mix.” Listen between 8 and 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 3. That’s 99.1 WMYX-FM.
And check out our Events Editor Julie Sensat Waldren’s picks for the best events in arts and entertainment on This Weekend.