Blue's Egg - Modern Diner, Amazing Food

My sister was in town from Cleveland, Ohio the past week, and she has been following my brunch outings for some time. She is always jealous that I get to go out and explore Milwaukee's brunch offerings every weekend and write about it to my audience. So first off, I wanted to thank you, the reader, for taking the time to read these reviews, commenting on the blog and giving me suggestions on where to go out to brunch in our great city. You all are the best.

When my sister came, Alicia, into town for a weekend visit, a brunch review was at the top of the list of things to do. So I searched to find a great Saturday morning brunch location, and I have heard a lot about Blue's Egg near Wauwatosa. I did a little investigating and found out they server breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Well, if you serve during those hours, it was safe to assume, there could be a good brunch outing here.

Located in a strip mall on 76th street, Blue's Egg is not just a little hole in the wall kind of place. This brightly colored diner looked like a remodeled restaurant from that show on Fox with Chef Ramsey. Once walking in it looks like a Norman Rockwell painting of a 1950s diner, complete with the desert display. The counter is lined with old-school stools and behind stood a vintage cooler with beer and wine. From the onset, it seemed that we were going to enjoy ourselves.

After a sort wait for a table, Alicia and I sat at a high top table near the window and looked over the menu. Our server, Sara, came over and asked us for our drink order. I ordered the usual, mimosa ($4.50), coffee ($2.25) and water. Alicia ordered a diet Coke ($2.25). For the price, I thought the mimosa was great. It wasn't too sweet, but it did contain pulp. Not my favorite, but still, really good. The price point was the lowest I have seen in my brunch endeavors, but one of the best I have had.

Another interesting point to the drinks was the tall bottle of water each table gets upon sitting down. The rubber top is held down by a wire clamp, like you would find on an old milk jug. Alicia and I agreed—it was really neat.

After looking over the menu, we made our selections. Alicia chose the Creamy Polenta ($9.95). This creamy entree was served with kale, mushrooms, two poached eggs and a  cheese sauce. Overall the dish has the consistency of grits, but a little creamier. The kale and mushrooms is where most of the flavor came from. The eggs were nicely poached and the sauce was very rich. Alicia thought the dish was good, but she would have liked something with a little more flavor. Along side the polenta, she had the choice of one side. The Yukon Fries called out to her, and they were amazing. I tried a couple and the sweet potato flavor was there but not over powering. All-in-all, it was a good plate for an establishment whose sister restaurant fare is Southern comfort food.

I was told by a fan from the Facebook fan page, that I needed to try the Blue's Classic Benedict ($10.95). Once the plate arrived at the table, I was amazed at how much food was placed in front of me. The two benedicts were sitting in a pool of Hollandaise sauce. Looking a little closer at them, I noticed that the traditional circle of ham was instead pulled ham. I asked our server, Sara, a little more about it. She told me that it was from the roast that they make every day, and the ham is pulled and mounded on the homemade English muffin. I was floored at the amount of flavor and texture it brought to every bite. This has to be one of my favorite Benedicts thus far! And the square of hash browns to the side was amazing as well. I had my choice of several sides, but these "browns" (as their called) just seemed right for the plate. After scraping every last bit of the sauce up, I was only able to eat about a quarter of the grilled potato strips. What a great way to start off any day!

If you love brunch as much as I do, and crave it everyday, I would highly recommend Blue's Egg to anyone looking for an excellent experience. For a total of about $15 per person, this retro diner is well worth the price. From the pleasant atmosphere to the other great breakfast and lunch entrees, Blue's Egg has a lot to offer. I am so thankful that they don't limit it to only one or two days a week. With plenty of parking and near the highway, there's no reason not to check out this restaurant. Another note of this restaurant: one dollar of every meal is donated to a specific charity of the month. Check out their website for more details on the lucky nonprofit of the month.

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

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

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

Blue's Egg (****½)
317 North 76th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53213
(414) 299-3180
Blue's Egg on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Every day: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
Modern diner with a vintage flair

Food: **** (very good)
Amazing benedict!

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

Drinks: **** (very good)
Mimosa - **** (very good)
Bloody Mary - n/a

Price: ***** (awesome)
Around $15 a person with large portions.

Brunch: Breakfast or Lunch?

Happy Friday! Did you think we were going to get here this week? With crazy temperature swings from 60° to near 90°, this week was a roller coaster. A couple of weeks a go I asked the fans of Milwaukee Brunch Reviews on Facebook what are some questions to ask out here on the blog. I had some great suggestions.

This week's question comes from Dan Polley from A Duo of Chefs food blog:

On to this Friday's question: When you eat at a brunch, do you prefer more breakfast items or more lunch items?

I loved this question, because when I brunch, sometimes I see people enjoying a nice eggs benedict next to someone having a large burger. At times, I am torn on what to order: a breakfast item or a lunch item.

Let us know which you prefer at your weekend morning meal in the comments below.

Have a great day and have an even better brunch this weekend!

Roots - A Foodie's Dream Brunch

On one of the last sunny warm Sunday mornings of summer, I wanted to go to one of the best patios in the city. I have been saving Roots for a great Sunday morning weather-wise, and I finally got my day. I made plans to meet up with my friend Katie Felten of MKELive, and we were off.

I have always thought Roots has an amazing menu. Their mantra of using locally-grown, fresh organic ingredients makes their ever-changing entrees amazing. There are times when I think I am being served a Food Network dish when the server brings my food out to me. Perched up on Brewer's Hill, Roots looks over the stunning skyline of Milwaukee. The patio off the main restaurant shows off the city in all it's beauty. I have been asked to check out Roots be several people on Twitter as well as other friends of mine, so I have was looking forward to this day for some time.

I met Katie after she was done at Bikram Yoga (which by the way is a great way to work off the brunch calories). I was sitting out on the patio when she arrived. We sat and talked while we waiting for our server to come to take our drink order. John finally came, and I ordered a coffee ($3), mimosa ($6) and water. Katie just wanted to stick with water after her 90 minute yoga session. My mimosa was very good. It almost completely filled the wine glass that it came in and was made from excellent orange juice. Not so much pulp and a wedge on the side, this drink was worth the price.

We quickly looked over our menus to decide what we wanted to eat. As a starter though, we did opt to try some muffins ($5). This mini muffins were unique combinations of flavors. Each were warm and homemade that day. Looking back at them, I am not sure exactly which muffin was which, but I remember the bacon and walnut muffin was my favorite. The flavors were excellent together. And to make the plate a little more extravagant, we have the pleasure of trying out tomato jam. Yes. Tomato jam. At first we were both hesitant to try this spread. Was it going to be like savory like tomato soup? Spice- and herb-laden like Italian sauce? Neither, it was sweet with a hint of cinnamon. It had the consistency of apple butter and was delicious.

After these little muffins were devoured, Katie and I enjoyed our meal. Katie ordered the daily omlette ($9). Made with fresh, locally-grown ingredients, this omelette is always a great item to order. This particular omelette of the day featured items all beginning with the letter P: Pumpkin seeds, pesto, pomodoro (tomatoes) as well as other ingredients. Served with the choice of toast or an English muffin and sausage, ham or bacon, Katie really enjoyed this omelette of the day. The creativity of the flavors were amazing she said. The egg was light and fluffy and cooked perfectly. Although, she would have liked sausage patties rather than links, the sausage was good too. Overall, it is always a good entree to order, since you are guaranteed to get the freshest ingredients as well as the most unique flavors in this brunch item.

I opted to try the Crab and Eggs ($12). This entree had a small crab cake with remoulade and two eggs any way. I chose to have mine poached. They were served some breakfast potatoes and a sweet corn salsa and toast. It was a great combination of items on the plate; I only wish it looked nicer when present to to me. It looked sloppily thrown together to get it out of the kitchen. The flavors were great together however, so the plate redeemed itself soon in the meal. However, for the price, I would have liked another crab cake or a larger patty.

Roots has an ideal location for spectacular city views. One hindrance is parking—the residential streets are narrow and easily congested with parked cars. If you are up for a little hike, think about parking down on Commerce and walking up the stairs to the entrance. The food is worth it. The creative combination of locally-grown items make any meal at Roots feel special. And at roughly $18 per person, the meal is on the higher end of brunches in Milwaukee, but worth it. If you want to make a great impression or show off the skyline of Milwaukee, have an incredible meal at Roots.

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

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

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

Roots Restaurant and Cellar (****)
1818 North Hubbard St
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 374-8480
Roots Restaurant & Cellar on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Reservations are recommended)

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
Great patio and great views of the city skyline

Food: **** (very good)
Locally-grown, organic ingredients always make amazing food

Service: *** (pretty good)

Not the most attentive, but knowledgeable of the menu and specials.

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

Price: *** (pretty good)
Around $18 a person making this one of the higher end brunches in the city

Rustico - Brunch with an Italian Influence

While I was in college, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester. It was one of the best experiences of my life: the culture, the history, the wine, and of course, the food. When it comes to Italian restaurants in this country, I have found some places that live up to the tradition of Italian cuisine. Other times, some places just miss the mark. I decided to see if Rustico in the Third Ward would satisfy my craving for a great rustic Italian influenced brunch.

I gathered group of friends to come with me for this brunch outing. Chris, David, Jason and Tony all met me at Rustico one Sunday morning. We all had to park in various locations around the Third Ward, but that is the norm for any restaurant in this tightly-packed neighborhood. Located on the west side of Water Street, Rustico's weathered wood sign gives the impression that this restaurant has been in place since the building was erected in the 1880's.

By the time I got to the restaurant, the guys had already ordered a drink at the bar and were waiting for me to be seated. We all walked through the restaurant to be seated on the back patio overlooking the Milwaukee River. Having the Riverwalk come right through the outdoor seating area gives one the chance to do some interesting people watching as well as boat watching. We sat at the table and our server, Jesse took our drink order. I ordered my usual with a twist: coffee ($2.50), water and a blood orange mimosa ($7). This twist of the normal brunch drink used juice from a blood orange, and it did provide a nice extra sweetness to the drink. However, I would have wanted a little more in the glass for the price. Chris and Jason ordered a bloody mary piccante ($7). Tony ordered a bloody mary verdue ($7). The piccante bloody used Van Gogh Vodka infused with garlic, pepper, and onion. Chris and Jason both enjoyed it, however they said it could be a little spicier for their tastes. Tony's bloody mary was made with Van Gogh Vodka infused with lemon and cucumber. He enjoyed his bloody, but said that it was definitely too spicy for his taste.

We took a moment to look over the menu and tried to figure out who would be ordering what. We were all very indecisive this morning, and we all wanted to try something different. Jesse was very knowledgeable of the menu and answered all our questions while we were trying to determine what we wanted to have brunch.

Tony ordered the Frittata Classica ($7.95). This three-egg frittata was packed with Italian sausage, green pepper and onions. Topped with some mozzarella cheese and sprinked with basil, the entree also came with a side of breakfast potatoes and wheat toast. Tony asked for a side of sour cream to use as a dipping sauce. Upon his first bite, he enjoyed the frittata. It was loaded with mix-ins and was more than enough for him to eat. Sadly though, he said his potatoes were undercooked and rather hard to eat.

Chris had decided to try the Frittata Rustica ($7.95) to see what the difference would be. Starting off the same with three eggs, this frittata had pancetta, onion and zucchini wrapped in it. Topped with asiago cheese, the entree was servered with the same undercooked potatoes. He felt that the dish was good to eat, but nothing really to "write home about." The pancetta came in little bits and he thought it would be more prominent like the Italian sausage. Also, the undercooked potatoes could have been a little fluffier and not so dense.

Breaking a little from the egg-based dishes, Jason ordered the Breakfast Pizza ($10.95). This 12 inch pizza was placed in front of him, and I think I heard an "oh my god" escape his lips before the server walked away. The large thin-crust pizza looked really good, even with the cracked egg in the middle. The pizza was ham, mozzarella and provolone with the egg. It was missing one thing though we all decided: a sauce. It was a nice pizza, but Jason was looking for that creamy, tang of a tomato-based sauce along with the standard Italian seasonings. The crust was nice and thin, but it was lacking in true Italian flavors. He did end up taking home two enormous slices.

David took a complete departure from a typical brunch offering and decided to order the Breakfast Burger ($9.95). Sitting in at a pizzeria, I was surprised to see this on the menu and was really excited to see what it was going to look like. This Angus burger was topped with a fried egg, pancetta and Hollandaise sauce. Served with the same side of potatoes as the frittatas, the plate looked a little empty. It could have used some more potatoes or something just to fill the plate. David said that the burger was good, but the pancetta flavor never really came through. The egg, Hollandaise and burger flavor overpowered it too much. He said that he would choose something else of the menu next time.

I wanted to get something that I knew would keep me full throughout the day. I ordered the Breakfast Calzone ($10.95). The massive half-moon entree was set in front of me, and I knew this was going to be a large meal. Probably taken from the same crust as Jason's pizza, my calzone was packed with Italian sausage, mozzarella, two eggs, basil and onion. Served with a side of tomato sauce, this calzone had just the perfect amount of flavor and portion. I really enjoyed my calzone. I think it was the perfect blend of a traditional Italian entree with a brunch influence.

If you are in the Third Ward area and are looking for a brunch with an Italian influence, think about checking out Rustico. For around $15 per person, this restaurant will satisfy your brunch craving. Other than a lack of parking, this restaurant has some great specials on the other nights of the week, so think about stopping by for their pizza.

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

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

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

Rustico (***½)
223 N Water St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 220-9933
Rustico on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: starting at 10 a.m.

Atmosphere: *** (pretty good)
Long, narrow wine cellar feel in an old Third Ward building

Food: ** (ok)
Hit or miss on the entrees

Service: ***** (awesome)
Attentive, friendly and knowledgable

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

Price: *** (pretty good)
Around $15 a person with a minimal leftovers.

Buffet or Menu?

Happy Friday morning to you! Are you glad we made it through the week easily enough? I know that I am looking forward to a great weekend of cool, breezy days and some great Fall color on the way. This Friday Question comes from Stephen Carlson of Your Milwaukee Dining. He submitted this question on Milwaukee Brunch Review's Facebook page.

On to this Friday's question: What do people prefer more brunch buffet or order off the menu brunch? Why?

Now I have my personal preference, but I will wait to share that in after some other people chime in.  So, let's help Steven answer this question. Make your comments below.

Have a great day and have an even better brunch this weekend!
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Favorite regular brunch spot, why?

I am bringing them back, the Friday Questions. There will probably be two a month now, since I feel that we have covered all the important questions last spring. But, you can always suggest a question to ask my readers in the comments of this post.

On to this Friday's question: What is your favorite brunch spot that you go to every weekend morning? What keeps drawing you back week after week? Is it the food? The server? The prices? The location?

I have to thank my mom for this question. Whenever I travel up to the Northwoods to visit my parents, I always love going to Champs diner. It just has some great memories, and the food is great! Plus, the prices can't be beat. She gave me the idea for this Friday Question on the Milwaukee Brunch Reviews Facebook Fan Page. Thanks, Mom!

I hope you enjoy the day and happy brunching this Labor Day weekend!
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