The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: May 9

Tulips, chicken tenders, books and more make this week’s list.

1. Read a Novel About Food, Religion… and More


Michelle Huneven has hooked me just a few paragraphs in. The novelist and former LA restaurant critic’s newest book, Search, blends food, spirituality and the search for meaning. Sounds heavy-ish. But I’m promised humor… and recipes! Seafood chowder, cinnamon rolls, coconut custard pie and others. In search of a topic for her latest book, protagonist Dana Potowski decides to (secretly) write a memoir about serving on the search committee to choose a new minister for her Unitarian Universalist congregation. That this also involves food makes me love it all the more.

Search by Michelle Huneven; Photo by Ann Christenson

2. Grab a Brew and Some Curds at Camino in West Allis


Last Friday, one of my many enemies invited me to a sit-down to discuss our differences. Being a generous and forgiving soul, I accepted his invitation (but was certain to bring a pair of large, intimidating friends in case the discussion took a nasty turn). We went to Camino in West Allis, an off-shoot of the popular bar in Milwaukee. Over a tray of delicious curds and a couple brews, my enemy and I realized that we had more in common than we originally presumed. We are both connoisseurs when it comes to the films of Nicolas Cage. We both smell of rutabaga. We both enjoy the delicate blend of shrimp and cereal that lesser palates balk at. And we are now the best of friends. I credit this, in part, to Camino’s easy parking, fine atmosphere, wide selection of beer and, as mentioned previously, delicious curds. You can obviously visit the Milwaukee location, but if you’re out west, the West Allis one is dang fine.

3. Go To a Tulip Festival


I had always been a purveyor of sunflower festivals, so it was pretty life-changing when I heard about the springtime tulip iteration. Last year I made the hour-long drive to Richardson Farm’s Tulip Festival and had a blast. There were snip-your-own bouquet spots, food trucks, live music and tons of photo ops. It was the highlight of my spring! Richardson’s festivities kicked off on Mother’s Day and will run a week or two – or until the flowers are out of bloom. Follow the farm’s Facebook for updates. But this year, I will be trying out a new field closer to home. Happy Day Farmhaus in Germantown is kicking off its second-annual fest on Saturday (it was postponed from last week due to late bloomers), and trust I will be there to frolic through the tulips, plus grab pizza from the Flour Girl & Flame and drinks from Vennture Brew Co. 

Richardson Adventure Farm Tulip Festival; Photo by Evan Watters

4. Take Your Kids to 3rd Street Market Hall


On Mother’s Day, mom wanted to garden so the sixth-grader and I had an afternoon for dude stuff. We decided on lunch at 3rd Street Market Hall, and it did not disappoint. We wandered the whole floor first to get our bearings and take stock of the eat, drink and play options – an absolutely mandatory starting point for any first-time visitor to the food hall. The many options here are mostly lost on kids with conventional kid tastes; while I get excited about ramen, Middle Eastern dishes and pizza baked on artisan bread, I’m hoping the forthcoming Paper Plane Pizza will improve the offerings a bit for less adventurous eaters. Louie and I ended up splitting a basket of chicken tenders, curds and fries from Dairyland, and holy smokes those are some great tenders. Kids don’t know this but the name refers to the actual tenderloin, a distinction that has little meaning on menus these days, but Dairyland takes it to heart with extraordinarily juicy slabs of meat lightly battered in a flaky, peppery crust. They’re so delicious I didn’t really even want to use the dipping sauce. The curds are bomb, too. More generally, the hall is great for families; we played some Mario Kart, cornhole and shuffleboard (the kid smoked me!) with minimal wait even on a busy Sunday afternoon. 

Chicken tenders and cheese curds from Dairyland at the 3rd Street Market Hall; Photo by Chris Drosner

5. Finally Do Some Spring Cleaning


I’ll be honest, cleaning my apartment wasn’t the most fun way I could have spent a Sunday evening, but after the few hours it took to tidy up, it felt great to finally tackle that spring cleaning I’ve been putting off. My partner and I, in the spirit of teamwork makes the dream work, swept the floors (even in the hard-to-reach places!), dusted the surfaces, picked up all of the random stuff, cleaned the stove, the toilet, the bathtub, the sinks, washed the dishes and vacuumed. We also went through our clothes and determined which to donate and which to keep. And listen, I know someone reading this is probably thinking, “Brianna, you should be cleaning like this more than just once in spring,” and I hear you. But the last few weeks (months?) have been busy and chores were put on the back burner, so despite the fact that it was way overdue, it felt great to finally get the house in shape. And to those of you who are right there with me at procrastination station, you got this – there is still a good month and a half of spring to get it done.