Bay View Bites

” I am and always will be- The Optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes. The dreamer of improbable dreams.”- Doctor WhoI am. I  am. I am definitely an eternal optimist. Always have been, always will be. If it makes me naive, then so what. If it makes me ignorant, well guess that’s something you could call me. If it makes me happy, damn right.

I love Bay View. I’ll shout it from the rooftops. It’s been “up and coming” for years. Doesn’t that mean it’s here? Whatever. Lately, I’ve been hanging around a decent amount.

Drinking some wine and mowin down some meats at Pastiche…


(Ratatouille photo by James Blair @jimstagram17)

Drinking some pineapple cider and margaritas at The Palomino Bar. Even though they’re known for their whiskey…


Brunching at Honeypie..


and finally stopping in to the Sparrow Collective to pick up my new favorite mug.


We’ll just say…I’m a fan. It’s like small town USA on the south side of Milwaukee.

Good people, good food, and good shops.

Do you know where I should eat next or want to share your thoughts with me. Leave a comment  or #howiseemke to join me in our love of this city.

Walker’s Point: La Merenda and Blue Jacket Bar

Disclosure: The following is not written by me. These are her thoughts and her words…edited and formatted by me. Enjoy her point of view kids.

“Blessed are the curious, for she shall have adventures”

Hello Milwaukee! My name is Ciara, and I’m so excited to be guest blogging for Howsheseesmke! I’m looking forward to sharing my experience with all of you!

When Elizabeth told me she had never been to La Merenda in Walker’s Point, I jumped at the opportunity to join her. La Merenda has been on my list of Top 5 Restaurants in MKE for years. I usually don’t like to return to the same place twice, and like to try out new places and new food. But this place is a huge exception. The experience is different each time I go and it reminds me of great experiences with my closest family and friends. This place offers so much more than great food and drinks.

La Merenda is a tapas restaurant in Walker’s Point that uses local ingredients to showcase small plates from across the globe. Each plate that comes by subtly reminds me of all the places I haven’t been. It is like they put “wanderlust” in the tap water. My favorite dishes are the Patatas Bravas y Chorizo, Butter Chicken, and the Prosciutto Salad.



I also had a Pink Gin, which was fresh and sweet. Elizabeth had a mojito, because she drinks rum like a pirate. La Merenda also offers communal seating, forcing us out of our comfort zone, but giving all of us the opportunity to meet other adventurers out there. We sat a the bar, however. (I like to let my feet dangle.) After having a global cultural experience, from Spain to India and everywhere in-between, we walked to the restaurant next door to explore a bit closer to home.


Blue Jacket is a trendy seafood restaurant that I cannot wait to try. I highly recommend making a reservation. I drank the “Jamrock Beauty” and Elizabeth had an “Every Corner”. The staff was extremely fun, engaging us in conversation and playing Paul Simon on a record player. I can’t wait to go back!
Overall, we had a fantastic night. We ate delicious food, drank delicious drinks, and explored our city! I love a good adventure. MKE is an adventurer’s dream, so many hidden gems just waiting to be dug up!

Thanks for letting me share my MKE experience! Follow me on the instas! @cbeckers813

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


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


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.


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.

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.

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.

Le Rêve Patisserie & Café

“Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you’ll have a marvelous time!”-Julia Child


Here are some more need to knows about me:

I love French food. I love Julia Child. I love Le Rêve. The End.

Yes, this is the second time I have eaten French fare within three days, but who’s counting. I was introduced to Le Rêve back in college. Let’s say 2009, if we’re putting a date on it. It is located in the Village of Wauwatosa,Wisconsin. My aunt Ellen met me there for lunch before I headed back to school. I instantly fell in love… a case full of pastries, the best cappuccino I’d ever tasted, and the cutest place I’d ever laid eyes on. (It was the tiled floors, exposed brick, fresh flowers, and dark wood that got me. I’m a sucker for ambiance.) I never looked back. I’ve been going off and on ever since with anyone who I oblige.


This visit was for lunch with my two sister’s. Although, I have also eaten brunch and dinner there as well.  I have recently taken a new position that is conveniently located less than a five minute drive away. They’ll be seeing a lot more of me and they don’t even know it yet.

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I ordered the Sandwich Au Portobello with Pommes Frites, (left) my sister the Salade Niçoise with Salmon (right) and my other the Porc et Fig. (braised pork cheeks, not pictured, but still delicious as ever) I would try to describe how tasty everything was, but I cannot do it justice.


Lastly, as if your main dish wasn’t enough there is the patisserie case.

The desserts are handcrafted and stunning to stay the least. I’ve tried a good portion of them and have yet to be disappointed. Things that taste good don’t have calories… right? That’s my motto anyways.

As Julia Child would say, ” A party without cake is just a meeting.”

Beauty in Bloom & Chez Jacques

“I know what I bring to the table… so trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone.”-unknown

Do I like to eat alone? Sure why not. Living in Saint Paul and Minneapolis on my own taught me a great deal about how to be comfortable with my own company.  This is truly something I recommend every twenty something girl who’s trying to find themselves gives a try. No seriously. Put your phone away, talk to the bartender, and maybe make a new friend with the kid in a suit from Montana.

Life advice moment over. On to the weekend!

This weekend was Beauty in Bloom at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

IMG_20150328_113546 IMG_20150329_171848 This exhibit featured local floral designers who were challenged with the task of inspiration from a couture outfit from previous covers of Ebony Magazine. ( The pieces were beautiful and just what I needed to keep believing that spring is on it’s way! They also featured local vendors such as Hometown ( and La Tulipe ( who gave away bouquets with a renewal of a previous membership or a new membership. My mom renewed her’s so we selected a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers! (seen below) I highly recommend this event. It’s a joy to go with family or  grab a few girlfriends!

La Tulip

So what did I do Sunday?

I am so glad you asked. I got a meet a fellow foodie and blogger! I met the author of MKE What’s Up…Dani.  Check her out —> ( had a lovely brunch at Chez Jacques. Chez Jacques is located in Walker’s Point, as they put it “in the shadow of Milwaukee’s most notable landmarks-the Allen Bradley clock tower.”  If you can’t find it with that hint well… you’ve probably never visited MKE. We both decided on Mimosas. I had the Spinach & Roquefort Croissant sandwich and Dani had the Veggie and Feta omelet.

Chez Jacque

I will definitely be stopping back for dinner. It was so great to meet another local blogger and make a new friend. I see some MKE What’s Up and How She Sees MKE collabs in the future. I mean at least some more brunch, lunches, dinners, bloodys, or wine!


I’ll be the first to admit it… I am not a reader. I read the following things: cook books, recipes, menus, things written on Starbucks cups (that’s really the best way to reach me), the blurbs written under the things people pin on Pinterest, health, restaurant, and fitness blogs, Buzzfeed, and food labels. I only look at the pictures in Magazines so I can’t even count those. My point is… if I am going to read something it better be damn well worth my time.

IMG_20150325_192035This evening I came home from work to find this gem sitting on the counter. My mom had been cleaning out the office and found some older books I’d honestly never seen. I’m not going to lie it was the title that caught my eye. Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer by Chef Sanford D’Amato. AKA I thought it was a cook book. More information can be found here –> ( I won’t lie to you, I didn’t and I won’t read it from start to finish. What I did get out of it was some great recipes and a little bit about Milwaukee history I didn’t know. Plus it begins with a Julia Child quote, no woman in their right mind should ever disregard anything that begins with a quote from Julia Child.

Here are the highlights:

Sanford (Sandy) D’Amato was raised in Milwaukee. His Grandfather and Father owned D’Amato’s Grocery Store on 1547 N. Jackson St. Milwaukee, WI. D’Amato opened Sanford restaurant in 1989 after going to thirteen banks to try to get the money to open it up at the location of his family store. D’Amato no longer owns Sanford, rather his Chef de Cuisine does these days.

Why you should care:

Do you like the Coquette Cafe? La Reve? Braise? All of these Milwaukee staples are owned by chefs that passed through Sanford’s doors during D’Amato’s glory days and worked under the man himself.

The moral of the story:

Pick up the book, read a few great recipes, learn a bit about Milwaukee and for gosh sakes go eat at Sanford. I know I am.


Hi There!

It’s me…she. Raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin I’ve called this city home for 25 years. Is this my quarter life crisis? Maybe. Don’t get me wrong I love to travel and you will see some of that here, but this is about Milwaukee. Eating here. Drinking here. Living here. Loving here.

Well let’s jump right in. Here’s what happened this weekend…


Friday night was calm, but Saturday we checked out Pizza Man. Now if you’re a Milwaukee native you remember that the original Pizza Man was on North Avenue and Oakland. It burned down in January on 2010.  See here —> ( Since it was Saturday we did wait for about an hour, but that was to be expected. We snagged a spot at the bar. Pizza Man features only Wisconsin Breweries on tap on a rotating basis, which is pretty awesome. Also for you wine-o’s out there, they have about eight on tap as well. As for me, I am a mixed drink kind of girl so I of course tried one of their craft cocktails called Rose and Diamonds I believe which was delicious. I highly recommend it. The food way equally as pleasing. I tried an artichoke cream cheese pizza that was delightful. They also offer a gluten free crust for all you non-wheat eaters out there! Check them out —>

Sunday morning we (meaning my parents and I) ventured down to Bay View. Bay View has so many great places to eat and drink if you’re looking for more of a causal atmosphere. We took a walk at South Shore park; a must do if you haven’t. The view of the skyline is my favorite. We then stopped at Groppi’s Market which is located on Russell. ( This local spot has been around for years. I mean YEARS. They feature local bakeries/products, homemade items, fresh produce, tons of meats and cheeses, and a great liquor selection. It’s an ideal spot to stop for a quick bit as their panini’s are ready in eight minutes and are fantastic. My favorite is the Chicken Caesar.  SOO GOOD! I also picked up some Purple Door Mint Chip. ( Located on 2nd Street they are a must stop for any ice cream lover. Their pints are feature in a good amount of grocery destinations around the city as well! They always get a thumbs up from me.

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That’s it for now. Have a great start to your week! Until next time… sheseesmke.