Upon arriving in the Third Ward, we swung through the iconic Milwaukee Public Market. I feel like this is obligatory if you're visiting the TW.
The Milwaukee Public Market offers a range of delicious and unique edibles including Mediterranean olives, fresh tamales, live lobsters in tanks, beautiful flowers, and a serious slew of baked goods.
My favorite offering at MPM were these cute (and tasty!) Wisconsin-shaped chocolates. A chocolateir after my own Sconnie heart.
After ogling all of the stuff at the Market, we walked (literally) across the street to one of the best brunch places in the city: Cafe Benelux. We arrived at 11:00am and it was hoppin'. Clearly, many of Milwaukee's twenty-somethings have discovered the unparalleled beer list and the well-executed, squeal-worthy menu at Benelux.
The wait for a table was about 45 minutes, which gave us just enough time for a round of drinks at their bar. Greg tried the Confession Grand Cru; it got a rave review. Another favorite among our group was a beer called Santa's Rampage. I was impressed that their beer menu was substantial enough to make a modest codex. I also have to give this place some serious street cred because their beer menu is updated and republished MONTHLY. Benelux has four beers that are brewed in Belgium exclusively for their bar. Swanky!
If you do go to Benelux, do yourself a favor and order the "Tater Tots" (bacon bits, bleu cheese, Sriracha mayo). It'll set you back 9 shekels, but it's TOTALLY WORTH IT! These aren't your lunch lady's tater tots, my friends. These are more like warm, gooey, balls of deep fried hash brown awesomeness.
The brunch menu was impressive. Above is the "Sprocket Burger" which boasts a Miller baked pretzel bun, thick-cut bacon, cheddar, duck fat fried egg, garlic aioli, and tomato jam. Seriously, sign me up for anything that has duck fat as an ingredient. Greg even dared to name it his favorite burger ever. We also tried the "Mrs. Hollander" (croissant, two fried eggs, black forest ham, belgian bier cheese sauce, and Benelux breakfast potatoes) and the "Salmon Benedict" (smoked salmon, poached eggs, hollandaise). The sweet potato fries that accompanied the burger were excellent as well! I also tried the spicy Bloody Mary. It was so awesome that we didn't have a chance to snap a picture before I put a dent in it.
After brunch, we took a stroll through the Third Ward. Even though is was a frosty day, the blend of historic and modern architecture in the district made exploring worthwhile.
Our final destination was the Clock Shadow Creamery. Fun fact: the Clock Shadow Creamery is the only urban cheese plant in the state.
It was a slow day when we arrived. They weren't making cheese on the weekend, but that didn't stop us from snapping a few photos of their cheese making operation and buying a few wedges, too.