Weekend Pop-ups at Laughing Taco Include Bagels and Burgers

You can also order Carlisle ground beef and hotdogs by pickup and delivery.

Chef and restaurateur Justin Carlisle closed his Ardent restaurant back in February for a projected six-week remodeling project. Weeks into that, restaurants were forced to shutter completely or switch to operating only for carryout (and/or delivery). Ardent’s remodel is nearly complete, says its owner.  Does he reopen to offer Ardent, or some variation of what it does, for carryout? Does he wait for when restaurants do reopen, in some capacity, but what will that look like – how many people will be allowed inside at one time? These are the questions he asks himself. Questions he doesn’t have answers to… yet. 

In the meantime, there is other news. Red Light Ramen (1749 N. Farwell Ave.) continues to offer ramen-to-go. This is despite the robbery that took place last Friday morning between the time Carlisle was in the restaurant, picking up essentials for his pop-ups, and when his ramen chef came in for work. The thief broke a window and made off with alcohol, clothes and money. The robbery was more of an “emotional” loss, Carlisle says. But the landlord fixed the window, they cleaned up and went back to serving ramen that very day. Call 414-837-5107 for curbside pickup, or delivery through DoorDash.  

Also, every weekend in April (and perhaps May) The Laughing Taco (1033 S. First St.) is hosting pop-ups that feature brunch items from a restaurant-to-come called Allie Boys Bagelry & Luncheonette (slated to open in the old Blue Jacket/Drink Wisconsinbly space on East National). The pop-ups run on Saturdays-Sundays (Easter weekend included), 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Place your order here and you can choose the pickup time. Pickup is at Laughing Taco. You can also order Justin Carlisle’s Ardent Burgers and tots, as well as Carlisle beef and hot dogs through the same pop-up. Call 414-210-3086 or email at ardentmke@gmail.com with questions.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.