Hotch-a-Do - Home Cooking on the Eastside

Since I just moved away from the Lakefront almost three weeks ago, I have had a taste for a good brunch in my old neighborhood. I wanted to try to find a place that I had never been to, but offered a great brunch. I was told by some friends that Hotch-A-Do was a hidden gem in the heart of the Eastside, and I needed to check it out. These friends have been pretty reliable in the past on suggesting good restaurants, so I decided to check it out.

Set just off the intersection of Oakland and North, Hotch-A-Do is a neat cafe that definitely encompasses the vibrancy and diversity of the Eastside neighborhood. The large space has enormous windows on two sides of the building. The large ceiling has a "light clouds" that give the square space some nice architecture divisions. Right when you walk in, there is a shuffleboard game next to the host station: a nice way to enter the place knowing that you are going to have some fun.

Joining me on this trek was Andrew and my friend, Chris, who came along on the Twisted Fork review. We met around 11:30 and were seated at a table for three, once one opened. While we waited, Andrew and Chris ordered a bloody mary ($8), and I ordered a mimosa ($8). Andrew and Chris really enjoyed their bloodies. Andrew said it had the right amount of flavor and spice that was followed up with a little kick at the end. My mimosa was served in a juice cup, but it still had all the flavor and a little sweetness to last throughout the meal. When were seated, we all ordered come coffee and water to accompany our other drinks.

Our server, Tai, came over to our table and sat down to take our order. It was a nice break for her in the 90º heat. She took our orders and then came back with silverware in a basket with muffin tops and butter. Yes, they served us cinnamon muffin tops. They were delicious and helped bridge the gap between when we ordered to when we were served our food—nearly 25 minutes. Tai was very attentive and refilled our coffees twice.

Once our food was delivered to the table, it looked delicious. Chris ordered the Eggs Benny ($8.50). The two organic eggs were poached to perfection on the English muffin. He had the choice of bacon, ham, sausage or tofu. He chose the ham and commented that it was one of the better benedicts he's had. The menu noted that in addition to the Hollandaise sauce, there was also fresh avocado topping the dish, however our server told us they were out of avocado when Chris ordered. No worries, he said. The morning spuds were cooked wonderfully, while he had the choice of spuds, fruit or cottage cheese.

Andrew ordered Will's Biscuit Benny ($8.50). This open face biscuit was topped with ham, two poached eggs and mushroom gravy. What a combination of brunch items! The gravy was simply to die for. The creamy sauce had chunks of mushrooms throughout and was nicely seasoned with pepper. Combined with the runny poached eggs and biscuit, I wished I had ordered this plate! Andrew also had the same choice of sides (spuds, fruit or cottage cheese) and decided upon the spuds.

I ordered the Shipwreck Scrambler ($11.80). This dish is normally only $8, however I added a couple more ingredients. The two organic eggs can be combined with the choice of two add-ins. I instead selected ham, bacon, tofu, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes and cheese. This scrambled eggs dish had so much flavor! And the tofu was delicious. Tofu is not a part of my everyday menu, but I have to say, it was really flavorful and I didn't mind the consistency. The spuds were a great addition, and I ended up mixing them in with the eggs at the end. I also had wheat toast which I am guessing was more like 12-grain bread, the number of seeds in the crust and in the bread made me think I was eating more than just a normal piece of wheat bread.

All-in-all, this brunch was great. We had a good time catching up even though the food took some time to get to the table. I would highly recommend that if you are a vegetarian or have specific dietary restrictions, Hotch-A-Do can accommodate. For a total of about $16 per person, this little cafe supplies healthy, home-cooked brunches with a smile.  Located near the heart of the Eastside, parking can be a little tricky, but don't let that stop you from making the trip to Hotch-a-Do for brunch.

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

What have been your experiences at Hotch-A-Do? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

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

Hotch-A-Do (****½)
1813 E. Kenilworth Place
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 727-2122
Hotch-A-Do on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
Cafe with big windows, lots of light and a whimsical, eclectic feeling

Food: ***** (awesome)
Fresh, organic, flavorful and great combinations of entrees!

Service: *** (pretty good)
Our server, Tai, was great, but the food took too long to get to the table.

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

Price: ***** (awesome)
Around $16 a person with a full stomach at the end.

Molly Cool's - All-You-Can-Eat with a Twist

The summer guest reviews contines with Christin Logarakis. Christin grew up in Greendale, WI, but lived in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina sent her back to her roots. She loves talking, arguing and writing about food, especially seafood and ethnic foods. She is @Im_X1 on Twitter, and her alter-ego is @MKErestaurants, which she uses for promoting her stint as Milwaukee's Ethnic Restaurants Examiner for Her ethnic restaurant reviews can be found here:

Part Southern-style fish house, part Eastern Seaboard restaurant and part Midwestern sports bar, Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern seems to be the perfect fit for brunch-goers and seafood lovers of all types. Appropriately nestled against water (the Milwaukee River), the aquatic theme starts at the walls, with snarky, somewhat naughty signage and encompasses the menu. Opt for a seat near the windows, overlooking the Milwaukee River and the passersby on the Highland Avenue Riverwalk.

The brunch menu is a dream. It's printed on paper, so that it can be changed to include the freshest seafood delivery of the day.

Brunch is $15.95 per adult ($8.95 for children), and is all you care to eat, including a Mimosa or glass of Orange Juice. You order by the plate, and each plate could be a meal in itself. There is a choice of at least three styles of Eggs Benedict, including Crab Florentine (Crab meat, spinach, Feta, roasted tomatoes), Classic Molly Style (Prosciutto, Hollandaise), and the oddly colored Seared Salmon (Salmon, Prosciutto, and a beet Hollandaise, which gives it a bubblegum pink appearance). The Crab Florentine is rich; the spinach is not too bitter, and sets off the buttery crab nicely. The Seared Salmon Benedict is actually extremely mild and very flavorful. The beets are not overwhelming. All the Benedicts are served with homestyle fries.

Next on the list are other egg dishes, including Huevos Rancheros, Vegetarian Frittata, Scrambled Eggs and Lobster, and a breakfast sandwich. Most come with a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce if you care to liven up your morning.

French Toast, a fruit, granola and yogurt dish, and two kinds of salads round out the selections.

If that wasn't enough, for an additional charge, you can add fresh Oysters on the half shell (market price: about $.69/ea) or a half pound of peel n' eat shrimp for $3.99.

It wouldn't be brunch without a Bloody Mary, and Molly Cool's offers up a whopper. You can get the regular, ordinary Bloody, or, for $10.95, try The Bloody Goblet, which is a 20 ounce monster Bloody that is overflowing with pickles, asparagus, Bleu cheese stuffed olives, green olives, lemon and lime wedges, a slice of sausage, and a boiled shrimp.

If Mimosas are more your thing, aside from the one included with brunch, you can opt for the Bottomless Mimosa, also for $10.95.

The waitstaff and barstaff are friendly, the service is excellent, and the food arrives promptly.

What have been your experiences at Molly Cool's? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

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

Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern (****)
1110 N. Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 831-8862
Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern on Urbanspoon

Atmosphere: **** (very good)

Food: ****1/2 (very good)

Service: ***** (awesome)

Drinks: **** (very good)

Price: ***1/2 (pretty good)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Vegetarian Items: Yes

Gluten Free/Celiac Options: Yes

Low-Carb Options: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Reservations: Not Required (but a good idea)

Large-screen televisions: Yes

Children's Menu: Yes

Large Group Accommodations: Yes