Fuel Cafe

Of all the amazing places restaurateurs extraordinaire Scott Johnson and Leslie Montemurro have opened, Fuel Cafe, their first born, is definitely the one I frequent the least. There really isn’t any conscious reason for it. I’ve been there before, and I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s just whenever I’m sitting around with friends, searching our minds for a place to eat, it never comes up. But last night, as I was eating at another Johnson/Montemurro joint – Bel Air Cantina – something clicked. So, today, I rounded up the usual suspects, and we braved the cold to check it out. Stepping…

Dr. Dawg

I’ve written about a lot of different types of food on this blog. Mostly burgers, fine, but also Thai food, chili, tacos, barbecue and the like. What I haven’t touched on yet is hot dogs. And the reason is simple: There aren’t really any hot dog places in Milwaukee about which to get excited. If I have one complaint about the Milwaukee culinary scene, it’s that. To me, it’s a crime that Milwaukee, the land of Klement’s, Usinger’s and all things German, is so lacking in the hot dog department. All of this brought me to Dr. Dawg (6969 N.…

Miss Katie’s Diner

You know that feeling you get when you think it’s Tuesday or Wednesday for a half second before realizing it’s actually Thursday? Well, that’s what I’m trying to provoke by putting Cheap Eats up a day late: “Man, I love reading Cheap Eats, but I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday….hey, wait a minute!” So, yeah, you’re welcome. Before we get started, I’d like to set the mood with some music. See, Miss Katie’s Diner (1900 W. Clybourn St.) bills itself as “Milwaukee’s Original ’50s Diner,” so a nice doo-wop soundtrack seemed appropriate. From the outside, Miss Katie’s has all the…

Sven’s Café

A few weeks ago, a new little sandwich shop opened up on the East Side, nestled on a dark stretch of Kenilworth Avenue in the shadow of Beans & Barley. The Melthouse Bistro bills itself as making “handcrafted grilled cheese.” And though they’re very good, I think it’s sort of a misnomer. While they do have some cheese-only options, just as many – if not more – are loaded with meat. To me, those aren’t so much “grilled cheese sandwiches” as they are “grilled sandwiches that happen to have cheese on them.” You can read all about The Melthouse in…

Mr. Senor’s

Hello, loyal Cheap Eats readers. Did you miss me? Sorry for the long delay in posts – things have been a little busy in magazine land. But I’m here now. Let’s get to work. (Yes, I quoted a Train song in my subhead. And now it’s stuck in my head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.)  When it’s 2:30 a.m., and I have those relentless, alcohol-induced hunger pangs – you know what I’m talking about – I invariably hunt for Mexican food. Judging by the Taco Bell drive-thru line, I’m hardly alone. (Why cops don’t just set up…

Baby Boomers

“Hey, we’re going to Baby Boomers.” “Baby Boomers? Where’s that?” “It’s in Bay View somewhere. You know, they have that weird baby in the army helmet on the sign.” “Oh, riiiiiight.” That’s, more or less, an exact conversation that took place last Friday as lunch time approached. Fresh off our successful trip to another dive-bar-cum-restaurant, My Office, we felt emboldened enough to raise the stakes and go for broke.  Unlike My Office, I’ve actually eaten Baby Boomers’ food before. One night last winter, I found myself at Gumby’s Pub, where Cristina Daglas was tending bar that night. For some reason,…

My Office

The other day, as I was fumbling through the latest Facebook redesign feeling how my dad must feel every time he logs on (just kidding, dad, love you!), a status update from my friend Milan (you probably know him as Dwellephant; if you don’t, he’s amazing) caught my eye. “Milwaukee people: Ever been to that bar called “My Office” downtown on Milwaukee Street? Dori Zori and I went there FOR LUNCH today. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to go there. I’ll now be conducting as many downtown meetings there as humanly possible.” Seven “likes” and 22 supportive…

Mr. Perkins’ Family Restaurant

Driving northwest on West Atkinson Avenue, no one would blame you if you drove right by Mr. Perkins’ Family Restaurant thinking it was long-closed and abandoned. The sign is sun bleached and barely visible, the daily special board is empty and the windows appear shuttered. But don’t let the outwardly appearance fool you. Inside, Mr. Perkins is bustling with life and soul. The first time I wandered into Mr. Perkins’ – having long heard it praised by people I trust (my dad, mainly, who they allegedly know by name) – I never in my life felt so out of place…

Brown Bag BBQ

I’ve heard some whispers, mostly coming from the art department, that my blog has been too burger-heavy lately. Fine. Who wants barbecue?! After a nearly 40-minute car ride into the heart of Waukesha, we pulled into a small parking lot of what appears to be an old bank. After growing impatient waiting for our fourth to show up, we decided to go buffet style, ordered ourselves a small feast and headed to the picnic table out front. Surrounded on all sides by houses, the location is a bit strange. But, man, property values (not to mention cholesterol levels) for the…

Leon’s Frozen Custard

Several weeks back, we at Milwaukee Magazine and InsideMilwaukee.com launched a bi-monthly photo contest. The first contest’s theme was “Classic Milwaukee,” and we received no less than four photos of Leon’s Frozen Custard. That got me thinking: Why have I never eaten there? Let’s rectify that right now. Four co-workers and I pull up to the retro, neon-wrapped stand on the corner of 27th and Oklahoma in my rented Dodge Avenger (it’s a long story). As my companions – already nauseated from the bumpy and odor-filled ride – peer through the cluttered glass front trying to read the menu, I…