Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe - Great Blend of Flavors

Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe takes the best of many different places, time periods, flavors and cultures and puts them together in an exciting new way. Housed in a historic pharmacy, this restaurants takes in the surroundings and history and uses it to its advantage. The corner used to be a busy transfer point for street cars and trolleys, giving the pharmacy its name. Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe definitely plays this point up with the eclectic decor and menu items.

Heading south on South First Street, Transfer sits near the beginning of Kinnikinnick and Mitchell Streets. The original stained-glass windows for the pharmacy are still present and are a great reminder of the golden age of this area of the city. Upon immediately walking into the space, you notice the u-shaped bar, original artwork and beautifully restored interior.

This morning I was meeting my friend, Sara, and her friend, Amy. Sara had joined me at Brocach for brunch before, and Amy follows me on Twitter. (Side note: if you are planning a wedding, you need to check out her blog: Little Miss Wedding Planner. Great info!)

We had planned to meet up at 11 a.m., and I showed up a little late. The girls had already grabbed a table, but were looking over the menu when I got there. They explained to me the special of 2-for-1 bloody marys for $6, and they had ordered using a neat little menu. You are able to select the type of vodka (two organic options are available) and then four add-ins from a list over 15! There is a small extra charge per item ($.50) if you want more than four. They described their bloodys as a great way to make the drink fun for the diner. The drink itself came in with mixed reviews. Sara found her drink to be too spicy (she chose a 2/3 for spice), while Amy said her's was not spicy enough (she chose a 3/3 for spice). Both agreed though the drink was a thick drink with spice and tomato juice. Perhaps more celery salt or some Worcestershire sauce could help the drinks, but they both loved the Lakefront Riverwest Stein chaser.

I ordered my usual (coffee, mimosa ($6) and water). I had to wait a little longer than I would have liked for the mimosa and coffee to come, and even the server, Kristina brought out our waters right before we ordered. My mimosa was delicious. A nice mix of sweet and tangy with no pulp.

The Transfer has only been doing brunch for about three or four weeks, so I was surprised to see the variation of the typical brunch items. Sara, Amy and I had a hard time deciding on what to order since all the items were interesting flavor combinations.  Sara ordered the Create your Own Brunch Pizza ($8). Although she really liked the menu offerings she wanted to try something of her own. She was able to choose four toppings (spinach, tomatoes, potatoes and green papers) with a choice of cheese (mozzarella) and the type of base (tomato sauce or egg). She chose the egg-based pizza, and it was amazing. The vegetables were fresh and delicious. The egg-base really made the dish. The scrambled eggs were light and fluffy and added that breakfast/brunch flavor to the dish. And even when you think the flavor is going to end in the crust, it doesn't. You cannot mistake the taste of freshly-made pizza crust. If this is the way the breakfast pizza turned out, the lunch and dinner menus have to be just as great.

Amy ordered the Stacked Crepes ($7). I have to be honest. I was so caught up in my entree, that I forgot to try this one. Amy described "the Hollandaise sauce as light and lemony—an almost near perfect rendition of a sauce that is sometimes hard to create.  The crepes were light and delicious—slightly sweet, which married well with the savory Hollandaise and egg.  The egg was fried to near perfection—not too runny, not too hard—just the right amount of softness.  The bacon strips were crisp and not too greasy—just like I like them!" One other thing to note about her dish: she said after finishing the plate (and wiping it clean of any last reminisce of Hollandaise), that this was the first time in a long time that she was a part of the "Clean Plate Club."  

I wanted to try the Eggs Transfer ($9). Reading over the creative description on the menu, the item sounded to be similar an Eggs Benedict (my favorite). Rather than just going along with a traditional Benedict, the chef took the structural elements of the dish and made it his own. The de-crusted Italian bread was a tasty base for the prosciutto and spinach. "Bombed" with a poached egg, this dish is then put in the stone fire to bring out the flavors even more. The entire dish then is topped with Hollandaise sauce and a few roasted red peppers. Each bite had a great combination of savory, creamy and roasted flavors. To complete the plate, a small side of fruit is included with the entree.

Step away from the normal brunch and transfer to something different, Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe. For less than $15 per person with a drink special, Transfer has come out of the gate running with their brunch menu. Also, Transfer makes every effort to use local organic produce when in season. Their supplier is only an hour north of Milwaukee and supplies the restaurant with a wide range of organic products when in season. But, don't wait until June to stop in for their brunch! Located near the border of Walker's Point and Bayview, be prepared for street parking.

Until next weekend, have a great week and happy brunching!

What have been your experiences at Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe (****)
101 W Mitchell St
Milwaukee, WI 53204

(414) 763-0438
Transfer Pizzeria Cafe on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: **** (very good)
Bayview meets the Fifth Ward in an eclectic atmosphere with a hipster vibe.

Food: ***** (awesome)
A creative take on regular brunch items and amazing pizza!

Service: *** (pretty good)
A little rough in the beginning to get our drinks, but overall friendly and welcoming.

Drinks: ****
Mimosa - ****½ (very good)
Bloody Mary - ***½ (pretty good)

Price: **** (very good)
Less than $15 a person with a drink special.

Food or Service?

I am getting close the end of the second month of reviewing some of Milwaukee's brunch spots. It's been a great journey around the city, but moreover the people that I have met on Facebook and Twitter! It's a great little community of foodies we have here! So I wanted to continue to reach out and ask for some help coming up with questions to ask you, the reader.

On to this Friday's question: Do you forgive poor service for excellent food or is bad service a deal breaker regardless of the food quality?

It's a great question to mull over for some time. I struggled to answer this one myself. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks to @YourMKEDining for the help in coming up with this week's question! Check out his blog at:

Envoy - A Brunch Spot Not to be Overlooked

Milwaukee is steeped in history. From the beginnings of three settlements: Juneautown, Kilbourntown and Walker's Point to the days of Prohibition that nearly brought the brewing industry to it's knees to today's celebrations of diversity and music on the lakefront, Milwaukee has many institutions to take pride in. One place in particular that highlights the "Glory Days of Yore" is The Ambassador Hotel and the restaurant, Envoy. This meticulously restored Art Deco hotel combines historic character with modern refinement and attentive service throughout.

Driving west on Wisconsin Avenue you pass through Marquette's campus and the beautiful architecture of the homes and buildings that span across many decades and architectural styles. The Ambassador, located on the corners of 23rd Street and West Wisconsin Avenue stands out as a reminder of how buildings and hotels were once built: proud institutions and welcoming spaces (notice the "A" logo ornament that lines the top of the building). Envoy is located right inside the side entrance to the hotel. Immediately after the sliding doors, you take a step into the past. The chandeliers, ornate metal dividers, steam heaters in the wall and the decorative floor greet the guest as they have since the hotel opened in 1928.

For this brunch outing I was joined by my friends Jeff and Carrie, both who love any reason to have brunch at Envoy, because brunch at Envoy is like no other place in the city (at least none that I have experienced). Envoy offers an all-you-can-eat small plate brunch for $13.95: any item that you desire on the menu, you can have, and as much as you want. There are no lines and no large vats of pre-cooked food that you have to scoop out on to your plate. The guests are allowed to take a leisurely journey through the menu items and enjoy conversations and a little Frank Sinatra playing over the speakers.

I had made reservations ahead of time, because the restaurant does get busy for their brunch. Jeff, Carrie and I were seated and our server, Ross, explained to us how the brunch would work. We were each encouraged to choose two plates at a time and order more once we were finished with those plates. He was very attentive and while pouring water in our glasses asked for our drink order. I had ordered my usual (coffee and mimosa ($7)). Jeff and Carrie both ordered coffees and mimosas as well. After our drinks were delivered, we launched into our meal.

I started off with the Crab Cake Benedict and Pancake plates. The Crab Cake Benedict was simply delicious. Since each plate was smaller than a typical entree portion, the crab cake was nice a flaky topped with a poached egg and very flavorful Hollandaise sauce. The addition of an asparagus stalk helped add a splash color to the plate. Also the southwestern potatoes with roasted pepper and a touch of heat were a nice twist to add to the plate. This is one of my favorite items on the menu, and it didn't last long on the plate.

The single pancake was massive compared to the plate. Served with a side of butter and pure maple syrup, this fluffy, creamy hot cake is a great item to order in addition to a plate such as the Crab Cake Benedict. It acts as a "palette cleanser." Since the flavor of the real crabmeat can be potent, the pancake and sweet maple syrup helps clear that flavor and gets the diner ready for the next course.

Jeff started his meal off with Steak and Eggs and an order of French Toast. The steak was cooked as ordered (medium), and he asked for the eggs to be scrambled. Garnished with a side of the southwestern potatoes and toast, this dish was also a great start to the meal. The two small grilled filets were nice, tender and full of flavor. The eggs as well needed no salt and pepper and were nicely cooked thoroughly. Jeff and I also had the discussion about the proper amount of potatoes to eat throughout the meal. We decided we didn't want to eat too many to become too full too quickly, however we did not want to waste any food as well. It was a delicate balance, one that needed a planned out strategy.

The French Toast is amazing, simply put. Although the portion is not huge, it packs in the flavor and subtle sweetness.  The cinnamon brulee batter lightly coats the bread so that the diner does not get a chunk of scrambled eggs with their bite. The topping of whipped vanilla cheesecake is a nice tang to go with the bananas, strawberries and maple syrup. It is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy with a hint of cinnamon.

Carrie ordered the Eggs Benedict and Fruit with Yogurt plates to start. The Eggs Benedict was a nice portion, enough to get the great flavors of a Benedict, but not too much to fill you up. The single English muffin was toasted and had s slice of ham folded under the poached egg. The Hollandaise sauce was generously poured over egg and had a tasty combination of butter and lemon. The southwestern potatoes were cooked to perfection, once again with the earthy taste from the bell peppers and slight heat of the spices.

The Fruit plate with Vanilla Yogurt is a great addition to the menu for anyone looking for a lighter item. The yogurt is not overly sweet and the addition of melons, strawberries and grapes adds all the sweetness needed without high fructose corn syrup of some yogurts. Served with a small portion of granola, this plate is a nice choice for those that do not want a "heavy" plate with each course.

Once we finished our plates and Ross was filling our coffee cups, we looked into ordering our next round for the brunch.

Jeff chose to have the Crab Cake Benedict and an order of the French Toast. Carrie decided to try the Huevos Rancheros. This unique take on a Southwestern dish is a nice addition to the menu. The plate has a base of black beans topped with a fried tortilla two scrambled eggs, queso blanco, and dollops of salsa and guacamole. Although Carrie would have liked a little less egg, the plate was still a nice change of pace.

For my last two plates, I chose the French Toast and Green Eggs and Ham. Our server, Ross, did caution me as I ordered, "if you like pesto, you will love this dish. If not, you might not care for it." Having studied abroad in Italy for a semester, I have a passion for pesto, so I said, "bring it on!" The plate came out and sure enough the scrambled eggs were green! The pesto was folded into the scrambled eggs and added a wonderful pesto flavor. The aroma of the garlic and basil almost had me forgetting I was eating brunch. Rather I was back in Florence on the piazza enjoying a great meal. The ham was quickly seared on a griddle, which added the savory taste to the eggs. Mixed together, these two items would make a great omelette. The toast and southwestern potatoes were added on to the plate, but at this point in the brunch, I just could not eat them.

If you hunger for an excellent all-you-can-eat brunch experience and enjoy many diverse entrees, plan to spend a Sunday with the staff at Envoy. For only $13.95 (drinks not included), this restaurant sets the bar high and delivers with plate after delicious plate. Also, since it is placed in The Ambassador Hotel expect plenty of free parking in their parking lot and garage. As an added bonus, sit near the front of the restaurant for excellent people watching coming in and out of the hotel. So, if you sometimes cannot decide which brunch item to get on a Saturday or Sunday morning, choose Envoy at The Ambassador Hotel and have your pick of the menu!

Until next weekend, have a great week; enjoy the weather and happy brunching!

What have been your experiences at Envoy? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

Envoy (*****)
2308 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233

(414) 345-5015
Envoy Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
An upscale, renovated Art Deco hotel without the stuffy and old persona.

Food: ***** (awesome)
Amazing flavors for traditional brunch fare with unique twists on others.

Service: ***** (awesome)
Attentive, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly

Drinks: *****
Mimosa - ***** (awesome)
Bloody Mary - n/a (didn't try)

Price: ***** (awesome)
About $20 a person with food and drinks

Food Critics or Bloggers?

I was reading an article on about the Decline of Food Critics. It briefly talks about how the newspaper industry is having to let go the food critics of the paper. Some things they attribute to this need is falling subsciptions and bloggers and opinion websites.

On to this Friday's question: Do you put more trust in a food critic or a food blog?

In my opinion, food critics have a definite place in this world. They are the ones with the respect, experience and reputation to make the final call about restaurants. They understand the nuances of food preparation, presentation and service. Bloggers have a valid role as well, more or less to uphold or challenge the critics reviews.

But, what do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great rest of the weekend and happy brunching!

The Knick - Always Creative Food

Right in my neighborhood and an Easttown staple, The Knick, is a great place for any meal, but especially a Sunday Brunch. Great views of Prospect Avenue and Lake Michigan further back, The Knick always delivers creative food. If you are looking for an interesting place that takes brunch and adds their own flare, you must try The Knick.

Located in The Knickerbocker Hotel, walking into The Knick restaurant is like walking into a Kandisky painting. The bold, rich colors and curved bar and divider wall greet you as you walk into the space. Even the large support poles placed in the middle of the dining area emulate the signature style of the modern abstract painter. The large windows always provide an excellent view towards the lake and help accent the bright palette of colors.

Joining in brunch today were my friends Paul and Liz. They have wanted to go out to brunch for a while and suggested we check out The Knick. I have been here for many dinners before, but not for a Sunday brunch. I was looking forward to checking out a neighborhood spot in support of the "Eat Down the Street" project (see the reference in the Burp! Where Food Happens blog). Liz made the reservations, and I met them at the restaurant. By the time I got there, they had already been seated.

I joined them and ordered my usual (water, coffee, and mimosa ($5.75)). Paul had ordered the Queen Mary ($8.50), a 22-ounce blood mary that was packed to the upper deck with add-ins. A full stalk of celery, pickle wedge, pepperoni, hot pepper, seasoned shrimp, olives and lemon and lime wedges. From the photo, you can see how it stacked up. I was amazed at the size. Paul said it had a great balance of flavor, heat and spice and for the price, it was a great value. My mimosa was a nice addition to the meal. It had a cherry at the bottom (something different) and only a little pulp at the top. Not too sweet, the price for this drink was also a good value. Liz ordered a grapefruit mimosa ($7) (not pictured). It was a creative mixture of ruby-red grapefruit and champagne that was served in a red wine glass. She was very happy with the color (pink), flavor and price.

After pouring over the menu for some time, we finally decided on what to eat. I had chosen the Crab Hash ($11). The portion was huge! The nicely cooked, crispy hash browns and onions had an exceptional amount of real crabmeat mixed in with it. The finely chopped and shredded crabmeat was nice departure from other chunks of imitation crabmeat that can sometimes be found in brunch entrees. Topped off with two eggs (I chose over hard) and flanked by your choice of toast (I chose rye), this entree was full of flavor. The combination of real crabmeat, egg white and hash browns was a great way to start off my morning. The four pieces of toast came out not pre-buttered (always nice) with some grape jelly on the side. This large order for any meal was perfect to take home and have for seconds later on in the day.

Paul had ordered off the special menu for the day. He chose the Jalapeno Corned Beef Hash ($10). The hash browns were again nice and crispy and had pieces of bell peppers, onions and jalapenos mixed in. The corned beef had an authentic, yet subtle flavor to the dish. It seemed to Paul that there could be a bit more meat added to his plate. However, the addition on jalapeno peppers added a nice burst of heat with every bite. This mixture of heat, corned beef, bell peppers and onions was a paired nicely with the potatoes. The dish was topped with two eggs (he chose over easy) and a choice of toast. He chose a bagel that was served with jelly, since cream cheese was an extra charge. Although this is not a normal brunch menu item, it was a creative way to take a usual brunch entree and spice it up a bit, literally.

Liz decided that since the guys had both ordered hash dishes she needed to look into getting some thing else. She chose the Chicken Dill Havarti Omelette ($9). This omelette was the combination of three eggs, chicken and baby broccoli. Although the chicken was a little dry, the dill Havarti cheese was a great addition to the top of the omelette. The fresh taste of the cheese mixed well with the fluffy, well-cooked eggs. There is nothing worse than a runny, watery omelette. Served with a side of breakfast potatoes and your choice of toast (she chose wheat), this omelette was a mixture of great flavor and textures and was seasoned perfectly.

If you are looking for an upscale brunch spot without the upscale price, think about stopping in to The Knick. From about $16 - $19 per person, The Knick delivers on creative flavor combinations and presentation. Since it is located on Juneau Street in Easttown, be prepared for street parking, but on a nice day, it is worth it. Additionally, think about stopping here in the spring or summer months. Their patio is a spot to see and be seen.

Until next weekend, have a great week and happy brunching!

What have been your experiences at The Knick? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

The Knick (***½)
1030 East Juneau Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(414) 272-0011
Knick on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday starts at 9 a.m.

Atmosphere: **** (very good)
Bright, bold colors are accented on a clear sunny day through the large windows looking over Prospect and Juneau with the Lake in the background.

Food: ***½ (very good)
A creative combination of flavors for regular brunch items

Service: *** (pretty good)
Attentive to our drinks, but it took some time to get the bill

Drinks: ****½
Mimosa - *** (pretty good)
Bloody Mary - **** (very good)

Price: **** (very good)
Less than $20 a person with some leftovers.

What is Your Favorite Brunch Entree?

First off, I wanted to thank Alison Sherwood (@postcollegecook) of the blog Post-College Kitchen on JSOnline for the mention this week. I recommend following her on Twitter or be sure to subscribe to her blog on JSOnline. For the new readers, I really hope you enjoy the brunch reviews!

On to this Friday's question: What is your favorite brunch entree? What is that craving you have when you wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning that can only be satisfied at your local brunch spot?

Personally for me, an amazing eggs benedict or a succulent steak and eggs dish is what I crave at times. Pair those with the potatoes from Brocach (I loved them that much) and a mimosa, and I am in heaven for the rest of the day. Lately, I have been enjoying other items on the menu, but on the days when I am not "on the job," those are always my favorites.

Leave a comment, let me know what you crave on weekend mornings, and where is the best place to go in Milwaukee to statisfy that hunger!

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Have an awesome (and safe) weekend, and enjoy your brunch!

The Wicked Hop - Good for Bloody Marys

If you wake up on Sunday morning and are craving only one thing, a bloody mary, head to The Wicked Hop. Located in the Historic Third Ward, this place has a reputation around the city as having one of the best bloody marys. That is all well and good, but what about the rest of the menu? I wanted to see if this restaurant would live up to the hype that surrounds its most favorite drink.

The corner restaurant is located across the street from the Milwaukee Public Market, and although parking can sometimes be a hassle at peak times in the Third Ward, the Market has a lot underneath the highway. The building itself has large, floor-to-ceiling, windows that bring in a lot of natural light into the space. The steel sculptures of The Wicked Hop (and more-so the Jackalope Lounj next door) work well with the beautiful Cream City brick and exposed wood beams.

Joining me at lunch today was my friend Erin, and we needed to meet early since she had plans throughout the day. The Wicked Hop opens at 10 a.m. for brunch, so we decided to wait until 10:30 to meet up. I walked in the door and there was already a 25-minute wait for a table. I was early anyways, so I picked up the Shepherd Express and waited for Erin. Once she arrived, we waited about 10 minutes more before we were seated. The hostess ran up the stairs to seat us, threw down the menus on the table and turned to clean off another table.

Soon our server approached us to take our drink order. Erin ordered a coffee and a bloody mary ($8), while I also ordered a coffee, mimosa ($8) and water. It took sometime to get the drinks, and the Alterra coffee and water came to the table well before our mimosa an bloody. From the second level, where we were sitting, we noticed the bar area packed with people and their bloodies. The bloody mary was a nice combination of flavor, spice and heat. Loaded with string cheese, a beef stick, a shrimp, olive and lemon lime wedges, the drink looked as good as it did on the menu. Even served with a small chaser, Erin told me it was one of the best she has ever had. My mimosa was the largest I had ever had, and was a good value. The orange juice had no pulp, but the drink was a little too sweet for my taste.

We looked over the small menu and decided on what to have. I had been to The Wicked Hop before and had ordered Father Damien's Belgian Wit Waffle ($9.95) with a side of ham. Since I posed the question on Friday of last week: If you only could choose between pancakes or waffles for brunch, I wanted to make sure this food item made it into this review. The waffle is made from the house recipe featuring the Father Damien's Belgian Wit draft beer. This added an interesting hint of Wit beer, but did not add that much flavor to the waffle. The powdered sugar and one orange slice was a simple garnish. I did not like having the Smuckers® maple syrup served to me in the single serving plastic cup. For almost $10, the presentation and flavor were lacking in this dish.

This trip with Erin I decided to try something different: the Sunday Sliders ($9.95). These three mini burgers are served on small pretzel rolls and are simply beef patty, small piece of American cheese and bread. They were not seasoned or served with any condiments. I had to ask for ketchup (which as you see, I added to my plate before taking the photo). When ordering, I asked the server if I could have them done medium-rare. I was told, "Well, they come done medium." Either way, these three-bite burgers were not seasoned well and needed to have more flavor added to them. There was the choice of side: Sunday spuds, fresh fruit or cottage cheese. I chose the Sunday spuds, which are red potatoes that are dropped in the fryer to get crispy on the outside. The inside is still very dense, and they definitely fill you up.

Erin chose the Fat Boy Brunch Burrito ($10). This was one of several brunch burritos to choose from. The Fat Boy had 3 eggs with cheddar and jack cheeses, sautéed onions, mushrooms, red and green peppers, fresh tomatoes and avocado. She chose to have the Sunday spuds as well, however said after one bite, "I should have chose the cottage cheese." The burrito looked like a monster of a meal, however once again, it was under-seasoned. The eggs were bland and taste as if no salt, pepper or other seasoning was added to them. The veggies were good and added a nice fresh taste to the burrito, but it could not help. Not even the cheeses were enough to add enough flavor to the dish. With each bite, I saw Erin adding her own salt and pepper.

If you are craving a great place for a bloody mary, you have to make a stop into The Wicked Hop. Grab a seat at the bar or one of the tall tables and enjoy one. For a total of about $18 per person, I would suggest just grabbing drinks here. The long wait for a table was not worth the under-seasoned food and sub par service.

Until next time, hope you have a great week and happy brunching!

What have been your experiences at The Wicked Hop? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

The Wicked Hop (***)
345 North Broadway
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(414) 223-0345
Wicked Hop on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Atmosphere: **** (very good)
Great natural light with large windows, cream city brick, exposed wood beams and interesting metal sculptures

Food: * (poor)
Under-seasoned and lacking flavor

Service: * (poor)
Long wait for table and poor service

Drinks: ****
Mimosa - *** (pretty good)
Bloody Mary - ***** (awesome)

Price: ** (ok)
Less than $20 a person for drinks and food, but drink prices made it worth it.

Pancakes or Waffles

Hypothetical situation: The world knows nothing of the amazing culinary cuisine that is brunch. No Benedicts. No Frittatas.The only thing on the menu in all restaurants for brunch is:

Pancakes      or       Waffles
 (Oh, bloody marys and mimosas are on the menu too.)

Now, you have your choice on how to personalize them. Don't think you have to have them plain Jane. (That would be cruel.) So, what would you choose, and better yet, what would you want on top of them?

Leave your choice with additional toppings in the comments!

Thanks to @Burp_Blog for the help in coming up with this week's question! Check out her blog at:
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Cafe Centraal - Amazing Saturday Brunch

If you are looking for a great brunch spot on Saturday morning in Milwaukee, look no further than Cafe Centraal in Bayview. A restaurant in the Diablos Rojos restaurant network, Cafe Centraal has a large import beer selections for any meal, and some great brunch items to check out.

I was searching for a new Saturday morning brunch location around Milwaukee, and after stopping at one place without a brunch, Andrew and I decided upon Cafe Centraal. I have been here for dinners and drinks before, but wanted to check it out for brunch (of course). Similar to other Diablos Rojos restaurants, Cafe Centraal uses the architecture and Cream City brick in making a warm and inviting atmosphere. The long bar is decorated with unique bar stools. No two are the same! Also, as the host walks incoming guests down the long bar to their table, it almost looks like a subway train on the track passing through the station. The tables are put right up against the large windows looking out over the busy intersections of KK, Lincoln, Howell and Allis.

Parking was fairly easy with the lot across the street having metered parking on Saturdays (free on Sundays). We walked into the restaurant and were seated right away. Our server, Amy, asked for Andrew and my drink order and delivered the coffees, waters, Grand Mimosa ($7) and Bloody Mary ($8) with a smile on her face. The Grand Mimosa was one of several on the menu to try from: regular mimosa, grand mimosa, x-mosa (with x-rated), beermosa (must be a Bayview thing) and passionfruit mimosa. Each is only $7. Andrew's Bloody Mary was excellent. Filled with beef sticks, green bean, pea pod, olives, lemon and lime, it had a delicious mix of spice and heat.

I checked out the menu online on our way to the restaurant and saw there was different menu for Saturday Brunch than for Sunday. The Saturday brunch had the full menu of the lunch sandwiches on the second page. On the other hand, the Sunday brunch chose a couple sandwiches to feature, while adding on other brunch favorites (biscuits and gravy and lumberjack breakfast).

Andrew had a hard time deciding on what to order. Our server, Amy suggested the Fat Elvis ($8.95), and she was right. It was the best French toast ever: four pieces of Breadsmith thick cut French toast with banana slices and creamy peanut butter smeared between the slices and topped with chocolate sauce and bacon slices. The plate was garnished with berries and a side of maple syrup. This entree used to be a special, but lucky for us all it has become a staple on the brunch menus. Andrew only let me try one bite, since it was so good, and I could tell why he didn't want to share. The creamy peanut butter and bananas were a slightly warmed from the French toast. And the chocolate sauce was a great little kick of sweetness the dish needed.

I had chosen to take my two favorite brunch items combined: the Steak & Eggs Benedict ($12.95). Granted, this was a little bit more than I wanted to spend on a brunch entree, but it was worth it. I ordered my filets done rare with A-1 on the side. Looking at the plate, it was hard to see if there were any English muffins under the steaks, but there was. The Hollandaise sauce was amazing: a light tang from the lemon but still nice and creamy. The eggs were poached wonderfully by having a throughly cooked outside, with the yokes nice and creamy.  The steaks were also cooked perfectly and larger than I had expected. I had started to run low on A-1 sauce, so I asked Amy for more. She was on top of it! Great service! Last but not least, the house potatoes were well-seasoned and crispy. This item is well worth the price.

Whether it's for the atmosphere or great food, I would highly recommend Cafe Centraal to anyone looking for an excellent Saturday morning brunch experience. For a total of about $19 per person, this restaurant was a great recommendation from @stylishboots on Twitter and is well worth the price. If this how Cafe Centraal treats their guests to an amazing Saturday brunch, expect me back in the summer for a Sunday brunch on their patio!

Until next time, hope you have a great weekend and happy brunching!

What have been your experiences at Cafe Centraal? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments or suggest other places for me to try around Milwaukee!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

Cafe Centraal (*****)
2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Bay View, WI 53207
(414) 755-0378
Cafe Centraal on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
(note: different menus for the different days)

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
Cream City brick, traditional Milwaukee Restaurant

Food: ***** (awesome)
Great entrees and flavor combinations

Service: ***** (awesome)
Impeccable, attentive, friendly and knowledgable

Drinks: ***** (awesome)
Mimosa - ***** (awesome)
Bloody Mary - ***** (awesome)

Price: ***** (awesome)
Less than $20 a person with a minimal leftovers.