Urban Beets Cafe & Juicery

“& everyone has a seat at this table.”

Above are the last words of Urban Beets Café & Juicery’s manifesto. That’s right they don’t just have a slogan or a mission statement they have a manifesto. It includes words like compassionate, empathy, and progress. Words that resonate with almost every human being and most of the time invoke thought.  See it for yourself.

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To live their manifesto, Urban Beets gives back to the community with their monthly Paws and Straws fundraising event which happens each month on a Thursday from 5:00-9:00pm. 50% of proceeds go to an organization of their choosing. They also sell eco-straws where 100% of the proceeds goes to the organization.  Pretty cool, huh.

Beside oozing positivity and building community, they are all about serving plant-based foods that are healthy, quality, and eco-friendly.  Their menu is full of colorful, inspired dishes and juices that could turn any meat eater into a vegetarian. Plus, they sling whimsical sake drinks, wine, and beer at their bar.   I tried the Pineapple Mojito and envied the Bloody Mary. I had never tried cold sake before and was pleasantly surprised.

I asked what five things any visitor should know before stepping into Urban Beets:

  1. They make everything from scratch. I mean everything. Cashew Cream Cheese, homemade. Carrot Lox, homemade. Coconut Bacon, homemade.
  2. Every item on their menu is accessible and identifiable. You won’t find any weird soy concoctions here.
  3. Variety is key. Their dishes range from poke’ bowls, to juices, to pizza, to burgers.
  4. Community impact and being environmentally conscious is important. As I mentioned, each month they hold an event for an organization that they believe in.
  5. Their atmosphere is made to relax and hangout. It’s a great place to study, read a book, catch up with a friend or even listen to live music if you catch it.

Urban Beets’ Wauwatosa location opened in August, so now you have two locations to add to your list this weekend. I had the Smokey BLT Burger and the UB Poke Bowl, however, my favorite thing on the menu is the Nutty Nib smoothie bowl.


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Christmas Lights & Desserts with Milwaukee Food and City Tours

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”- Charles M. Schulz

This past weekend, I was invited to join Milwaukee Food and City Tours Christmas Lights and Desserts Tour. Christmas Lights? Desserts? Who could turn that down! Milwaukee Food & City Tours is in their 10th year of business and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. They offer something for everyone: from Tacos & Tequila to Churches & Chocolates. The Christmas Lights and Deserts Tour was so fun and a must-do this holiday season. We stopped at three different parks to see lights, had a glass of wine paired with one of Indulgence Chocolatiers delicious treats, a glass of mulled wine and strudel at Mader’s, and a cupcake push pop from Classy Girl Cupcakes! Of course we had hot chocolate and coffee along the way – you have to stay hydrated for all of the christmas carols! We also learned a few tidbits about Milwaukee that I didn’t know before the tour. It was great to see how many repeat customers there were on the tour and how they attract multiple generations.

Milwaukee Food and City Tours owner Theresa knew something was missing in Milwaukee, before Milwaukee knew something was missing. That something was walking tours of Milwaukee! The first tour she offered was of the Brady Street area which was about two miles in total. The patrons who took the first tour were ladies that used to work together at Kopps Custard and drove up for the day in limo from Chicago. How cool is that? The tour has changed over the years, but still remains close to her heart.

One thing you may not know about Milwaukee Food and City Tours is that they offer vacation packages as well – both within the US and internationally. She was telling me about a trip to Poland that I may just have to book in the future. They also offer day trips to places like Chicago!

Their most popular tour in Milwaukee is the Pizza Bus, but I think next on my list is the Bloody Mary Brunch walking tour. Check out their website to see what tour you’d take next! The Christmas Lights and Desserts tour runs only during the month of December, so you still have a chance to pick up those tickets and experience some Milwaukee magic.

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Up next, I sat down with local fashion icon Pamela Kieck. Stay tuned for her take on what makes Milwaukee great.

A special thank you to Editor-in- Chief Ciara Beckers for always keeping my grammar in check.

Hey, Poké, Hey

” You only live once, lick the bowl”

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of trying Fresh Fin Poké on North Ave of Milwaukee’s east side. I sampled all of their 5 signature dishes and was I amazed.  Nate (one of the co-founders/ owners) also took the time to sit down with us and share is story of bringing Poké to MKE.

Being a local, I always love to hear people’s stories of how they decided to share their passion with our community. Nate is not an exception to that. He is full of energy and is so excited to share his love of the culinary arts with anyone he meets. He has created dishes that meet the needs of the sushi aficionado, the vegan, and the person who won’t go near fish. And his sauces, man oh man. You could pour them over raw onions, and I’d think it was the best thing ever. (side note: raw onions, not my jam. so this is impressive).

Are you looking for to try something new, or missing the taste of the West Coast/ Islands?

Check ’em out!

Oh Lordy, Lordy

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”- C.S. Lewis

It’s been a minute friends. I make no excuses, other than living this here life. If you’ve been following me on Instagram @howsheseesmke, you’ve noticed that I haven’t missed a beat…except for this whole blogging thing.  I can’t promise that it won’t happen again, but what I can do…. is tell you that I’ve missed it.

I’m back, bad grammar and all.

Well… What have I been doing in the past 7 months you say? Taking a new position, moving out of my parents house, moving in with my boyfriend and his two cats, losing one of our cats, and adopting a new one that  we can only hope to love as much. Yep, I’m a cat lady now. Full disclosure: there will be a photo of one of my cats at the end of this post. (Scroll to the end if you just cannot contain your excitement)

Welp, we have some catching up to do then don’t we! I’m going to run down the highlights of the past few months. Stay with me now…

Maxie’s 

What I love about it: Happy Hour. Maxie’s has an amazing happy hour. $1.00 oysters & discounts on drinks and apps. A must try: the Pork Confit Flatbread.

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Cranky Al’s

What I love about it: Sunday’s my boyfriend and I will stop in for breakfast. If they ask you…get avocado on it…don’t ask questions. No, I’m not talking  about the donuts. They may be famous for their donuts, but in my heart they are number one on my bagel sandwich list. (This is a very real thing…don’t judge me or do…whatever)

Pro tip: if you’d like a decent donut selection, you better get there early.

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At this point you’re probably thinking, “Geez, does she even leave tosa anymore?” My answer… Yes, but only to drink apparently. I’ve been on a couple tours lately… Milwaukee MKE Brewing Company and Great Lakes Distillery. Both an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon if you’re looking to feel just a little fuzzy.

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I could go on and on, but I’ll finish with Sobelmans. I finally checked them out. I have to say, they are doing something right. 45 minute wait for a bloody in Wisconsin? Surprising, yes. You can pretty much find a Bloody Mary on most menus of places that open before the dinner rush. None of those will have fried bacon cheese crack on them like this one. Well worth the wait!

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It’s about that time for the cat photo! You thought’d I’d forget, didn’t you? Yeah, right! Remember if you have questions, comments, or concerns let me know! Until then, keep hash taggin #howiseemke!

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Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woollen Mittens

“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”

 The Babe: The Sandlot

Recently, since I’ve started blogging of course, people have been asking me for my favorites…favorite restaurants, favorite parks, favorite festivals, favorite views of the city, or favorite stores. Honestly, here is my answer, I find new favorites everyday. I stumble upon places and they become my new favorite.

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I have an uncanny ability to feel at home in the strangest places. I could be in a bar in Austin, a coffee shop in Jackson Hole, a sushi place in Appleton, or even the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Those are all places I’ve been and fallen in love. (see above and below) Not with someone, but with myself, with the people I’ve interacted, and the time I took to just take it all in. Now that you know my secret, I’ll give you a little list of favorites and if I can’t pick one… I’ll pick two or three or four. Enjoy!

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Okay here we go…

Favorite Food Anywhere: sushi, chicken salad, and bagels with cream cheese

Favorite Bars: Matty’s Bar and Grill (New Berlin, WI), Rosie’s on Water (Milwaukee, WI),  Camp Bar (Shorewood or Wauwatosa, WI)

Favorite Drink to drink at said bar: white Russian, vodka soda, mojito, Cosmo, and think that’s hand mixed and doesn’t include dark liquor or grenadine.

Favorite Restaurants: Lulu’s Cafe and Bar (Bayview, WI), Belair Cantina (Wauwatosa WI), La Reve (Wauwatosa, WI), Cafe Benelux (Third Ward/Milwaukee, WI) Tochi (Shorewood, WI), and Kanpai (Third Ward/Milwaukee, WI) These are just a few. I eat somewhere new 90% of the time.

Favorite Flowers: hydrangeas, wild flowers, anything that’s big that has real color

Favorite Coffee Shops: Colectivo (Wauwatosa or Bayview locations), Aggies (serves Stone Creek Coffee) on Greenfield in Milwaukee, and The Starbucks on Bluemound near 124th. I don’t discriminate.

Favorite Ice Cream places: Leon’s Frozen Custard (Milwaukee, WI), Purple Door Ice Cream (Walker’s Point/Milwaukee, WI), Babe’s (Bayview, WI) and Gilles Frozen Custard ( Milwaukee, WI). I could eat all of them right now… where’s my spoon.

Favorite Parks: Lapham Peak ( Delafield, WI), Peninsula State Park (Fish Creek, WI), South Shore Park (Bayview, WI), and Seven Bridges or Grant Park (South Milwaukee, WI)

Favorite quotes: “The important thing is not to be bitter over life’s disappointments. Learn to let go of the past. And recognize that every day won’t be sunny, and when you find yourself lost in the darkness and despair remember it’s only in the black of night you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or stumble and fall, cause most of the time the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wish for. Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.” -Whitey Durham from One Tree Hill

“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with.”- Carrie Bradshaw

“Be in love with your life, every detail of it.”- Jack Kerouac


I think that’s a good place to leave you. Try some of my favorites or let me know what some of your favorite’s are. I’d love to hear about it.

Lulu Cafe & Bar

” The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” -Audrey Hepburn

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms out there!

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I spent today celebrating at brunch at Lulu Cafe & Bar with my family.  Lulu is one of the few places in the city we all can always agree on. My little sister made the reservation and boy was that the right move. We waited outside with others in the morning before it opened at 10am and got seated promptly.

We started going to Lulu probably almost five years ago now, after church on Sundays. It has, over the years, become one of the staples in my diet. Brunch, lunch, dinner, or drinks. They have specials that change weekly. My, by far, favorite dish is the Mediterranean Steak Pita…strips of steak, large chunks of feta, and kalamta olive and tomato relish with their homemade chips and blue cheese dip. YUM! They also have a delicious roasted vegetable salad and their burgers never disappoint.

 Today, I ordered the Parisian Eggs for brunch. My sisters both had the Moroccan chicken sandwich one with the Asian slaw, the other with Lulu chips!

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As always our server was cheerful, even though she was about to have a long day ahead, and the food was superb.  I didn’t have a bloody or a mimosa today, but I’d recommend them! If you ever find yourself on Kinnickinnic, Howell, and Lincoln stop in for some good service and scrumptious food.


Have you been to Lulu? What did you get to eat?

Do you Derby?

” There is something about the outside of the horse that is good for the inside of a man. “- Winston Churchill

Kentucky Derby that is.

Who wants to celebrate? Milwaukee has some great parties if you’re looking to get down and “Derby.”  All events have prizes for best Derby attire, so grab your best bow-tie or your over-sized giant flower/bow hat and sit your butt on a bar stool Saturday, May 2nd.  The first race starts at 5:24pm, but from what I’ve seen this could be an all day event!  I couldn’t choose one so I have complied some of my favorites in no particular order:

Iron Horse Hotel

The Iron Horse is hosting their annual Derby party “Talk Derby to Me”.

Time: 3:00pm

$35.00 all you can drink Mint Juleps from 3:00-6:30 pm

Photo op with a horse and live music

Matty’s Bar and Grill

Time: 3:00pm

Bourbon Flights and Mint Juleps

Derby style food such as Crab cakes, Hot Brown, and Burgoo Stew

Maxie’s

8th Annual Derby Day Party

Entry: $15 and doors open at 1:00pm

Derby “bets” raffle, photo booth, Derby style food, and a Jazz Orchestra

The Wicked Hop

Time: 3:00pm

$5.00 Mint Juleps

Complimentary crawfish boil at 4:00pm

Woodford Reserve Samples from 5:00-6:00pm


If these events don’t get you excited for the weekend…

Here is a couple of others you need to check out!

The Maker’s Market

Sunday, May 3rd from 10am to 4:00pm at  Collectivo in Bayview

South Milwaukee Food Truck Festival

Sunday, May 3rd from 12:00-4:00pm on 11th and Milwaukee


Are you planning on going to any of these events? Did I miss your event? Leave a comment and let me know!

Engine Company No. 3

” Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful.”

– Ali Ibn Abi Talib

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I have an undeniable love for people. All people. Young, old, black, white, red, purple, tan, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, or Buddhist.  I have what some people would say the ability to talk to anyone. Has it gotten me into trouble? Yes. Has it gotten out of trouble? Also, yes. What else has it done? Enabled me to hear some really interesting, wonderful, and heartbreaking stories. While sitting in on a meeting on Friday morning, in a room scattered with Doctors, Nurses, Professors, and Community members, I heard a very interesting perspective. The topic was community engagement.

A community member rose during an question and answer session, which honestly turned into more of a forum. She stated something to the point of the following, “I do not have the credentials of many in this room, but what I’d like to say is… a lot can be learned from listening. Two ears. One mouth.” What is my point here.

On this blog I will write about the good things I find. I will never bash an establishment. I may just leave a few points out.  There is a saying, “Everyone’s got an opinion.” This is mine. I will let you have yours.

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Saturday Morning:

I brunched at Engine Company No. 3.

I have heard rants and raves about this place for months. It was finally my turn to check it out. I went in with pretty high expectations. I read MKE What’s Up’s post about it and got pretty excited.

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Here are my thoughts:

Great service: I asked our waitress numerous questions about menu items… she was very knowledgeable and didn’t roll her eyes at me when they kept on coming.

Environment: I mean who doesn’t love a jazzed up old firehouse?!

Farm to Table: I am a freak when it comes to this. I immediately get goo-goo eyed and excited. If there’s a farmers market within 30 miles it’s pretty likely I’ve gotten my paws on some local produce. This is a reason we are blessed in the Midwest.  Hashtag: blessed.

Hollandaise Sauce: Homemade. That’s enough of an explanation on that. I got the Smoked Salmon Benedict. (delish)

Final thought:

I don’t think I gave it enough time to put it on my faves list. I believe it deserves a second look. We’ll just say I’ll be back. I’ve got some SWEETS to try.

Icing on the cake: The hostess gave me a wave on my way out. I dig a good human connection when I leave a place of business.

Have you been to Engine Company No. 3?

Share your thoughts with me.

South Side

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of everyday life.” -William Morris

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“Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature”

This is what the sign reads when entering Grant Park or Seven Bridges as I and others like to call it. If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies you’ll feel right at home. There is something magical about Grant Park and haunting at the same time. I think that’s why I find it so attractive. On Saturday morning, I took a solo adventure. The weather was classic spring in Milwaukee. Blue skies and a slight breeze greeted me as I got out of the car. As I walked down the path, there wasn’t a soul in sight. So often during the week I feel like I don’t have time alone or a chance to just listen.

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There are two options. The high ground or the low. I choose to go through the valley, this is where the magic comes in. The path winds through the valley across seven bridges and over a creek leading to the lake. As I reached the lake, I was greeted by a dog named Russ. His owner was skipping rocks on the lake. He followed me for a bit as I walked in the sun light.  It was a great start to my weekend.

http://county.milwaukee.gov/Parks

http://county.milwaukee.gov/MitchellParkConserva10116.htm

Later in the day, my family went to the Mitchell Park Domes. A Milwaukee Staple. Every few years, we’ll stop in around Easter to see the display. The tulips and hydrangeas were especially beautiful this year.

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Lastly, we stopped at Leon’s Frozen Custard. I have been begging anyone in my family to go with me for months. The excuses were always as follows…

“I’m too tired.”, “It’s too far.”, “I’m too full.”, and “It’s too cold.”

Let me tell you there is no excuse that will keep me from Leon’s.

http://leonsfrozencustard.us/

Located on 27th street, Leon’s has been family owned and operated since 1942. Growing up in West Allis, I have been going to Leon’s since I was a kid. It’s old school. You park and you walk up. None of that drive through business. You stand amongst your fellow Milwaukeeans and eat a delicious treat. I went for the Double Dip of Butter Pecan and Chocolate for $2.03. You can’t beat that price.

Let’s just say this girl was a happy camper.

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Check out Leon’s, the Domes, and Grant Park this weekend and let me know what you think.  I bet you won’t be disappointed.

Hotel Metro & Five Presidents

” Any fool can criticize, condemn, & complain… and most do”- Dale Carnegie

It has always been important to me to be positive. Talk about peoples success and joys, rather than the negatives or the rotten things in life. I’ve encountered a number of people through out my life who are the complete opposite.  I’ve never been able to understand it, but then again maybe that’s just me.

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http://www.hotelmetro.com/dining-en.html

Wednesday, night I met my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin at the Hotel Metro. My Aunt’s birthday who also happens to be my godmother was on Tuesday. We met for drinks and appetizers before seeing Five Presidents at the Rep.  Located on Wells and Water, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater always has a good variety of performances for all ages. We saw Five presidents which unfortunately is not longer playing. See below for their current listings.

http://www.milwaukeerep.com/

If you haven’t been, the Metro Lounge at Hotel Metro has a fantastic happy hour.

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Here are the highlights:

$5 martinis, half-price certain appetizers, $3 taps, $4 house wines

Since Hotel Metro is within walking distance of the Rep, we of course took the opportunity to enjoy the weather. It was 60 degrees and just gorgeous out. I captured this sunset on Mason and Milwaukee right outside the Hotel Metro. Is it summer yet?

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 What to share your Milwaukee favorites with me? Send me an email at howsheseesmke@gmail.com.