The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Sept. 18

Take your dog to Petfest, cook some Goodles and more.

1. Try Goodles Mac and Cheese


I made so many boxes of Kraft mac and cheese when I was a teenage babysitter. A guaranteed grand slam, that stuff was crack for kids. I ate my fair share of it, too, and though I haven’t eaten it since I was probably a teenager, I remember the pasty, goo-like texture and mildly processed flavor. Plus, what you’re looking at is a just a big glob of carbohydrates with little to no food value. This is why, years later, I’m intrigued by this brand of “healthier” boxed mac and cheese called Goodles. I found it first at Whole Foods, drawn to the protein (14g) and fiber (6g) promised in each serving. Plus the box is stamped with a Purity Award from the Clean Label Project, which means Goodles meets the standard for consumer exposure to chemicals of concern.

Other than that, the product mixes up much like other boxed macs and cheese: Cook the (whole wheat) noodles in boiling water, drain, return to pot, add package of cheese powder, milk, stir, eat. Goodles comes in a bunch of different flavors, from which I tried the Mover & Shaker (inspired by cacio e pepe). Instead of adding milk, I saved some of the pasta water and added that. I also dropped two tablespoons of unsalted butter into the pot and mixed until smooth. Was this mind-blowing? No, but it’s good for a boxed mac and cheese – flavorful, filling, not too salty. At $3.99 -and-up per box (I’ve since seen it for $2.99 at Target), I like having this in my cupboard when I need a fast, healthy carb to go with a salad or sautéed veggies.

Photo by Ann Christenson

2. Hear from Author Sarah Thankam Mathews at Boswell Books


I reviewed Sarah Thankam Mathews book, All This Could Be Different, for our March issue this year. Now, she’s coming to Milwaukee to talk about her book this Wednesday, and you already know I’ll be there to hear her talk and, of course, get my copy of the book signed. I love the novel because it’s one of those second-coming-of-age books about a young woman in her 20s trying to figure out her life (#relatablecontent). Oh, and because it takes place in Milwaukee! The event is at Boswell Books, and registration is free. 

Photo by Brianna Schubert


Nominations are open for the 2024 Unity Awards! 

Know an individual or group committed to bridging divides in our community? Nominate them for a Unity Award by Oct. 31.

3. Enjoy Some Late Night Grub at Steny’s


The day was Wednesday. The time was midnight. The vibe was funky. Your friendly local managing editor was prowling the streets in search of sustenance. You see, I had attended the Milwaukee Magazine Day Brewers game that night, and made an error in judgement. I opted not to pay AmFam Field prices for food and now my stomach was growling, and all my favorite spots were closed. Hope fled from me like every woman I’ve ever asked out. But then, in my desperation, I found it – Steny’s. I’d heard about the Walker’s Point bar and grill before, but never had I entered its doors. Well, enter I did, and upon entering, I consumed heartily. Chickens, fried and crafted into tenders, were everything I needed. My stomach was finally sated, and the Steny’s atmosphere – surprisingly full for a Wednesday – turned my funky vibe into a satisfied one. 

4. Grab a Coffee at Roast


New resolution: Revisit cafes I haven’t been to in a zillion years. OK, not a zillion, but a long time. First up is Roast (2132 E. Locust St.). As per usual, I’m talking through what I want to order with the barista because I can’t decide what I want. They gave me a taste of their nitro cold brew, which was delicious. I opted for the brown sugar and lavender nitro cold brew, asking them to dial back the sweetness. It was floral and herbal, with just a sliver of sweetness. This one might become habitual.

Roast Coffee Co.; Photo by Ann Christenson

5. Take the Dog (or Cat!) to Petfest

“It’s an amusement park for dogs,” says Bryan Nieman, the founder of Fromm Petfest. For one day each September (Sept. 23 this year), the Summerfest grounds are transformed into a paradise for pets with agility courses, dock diving and even a costume contest. While the majority of the attractions are for the over-4,000 dogs that show up, felines are welcome to play at “Kitty City,” located at the Summerfest store. “It’s a day to sit back and give back to your best friend who does so much for you and really let them loose on the best day for pets,” Nieman says. 

Alli Watters, from our September issue