Recipe: Baked Buttery Pretzels

Buttery PretzelsGrowing up in Milwaukee, one of my fondest memories was the constant smell of yeast from the breweries that just permeated the air.

But one of the best yeast smells from the Brew City was whenever we drove on I-94 going toward downtown Milwaukee. Just east of County Stadium, what now is Miller Park, there was a little brown brick factory nestled next to one of the off-ramps. I remember driving by with my mom, who would always have her window cracked just a bit whenever we drove (a little thing I need to do now whenever I’m in the car), but as we got to this brown building – with its towering chimney and the white plumes of smoke hovering over the Menomonee Valley, she would open all of the car windows to let in the vibrant scent of yeast. It just filled the entire car and I inhaled the effervescence with pure joy.

That brown factory building was home to Red Star Yeast company. In 2001, the company was sold to a French firm and in 2004 a joint-venture took it over. Today, while Red Star Yeast no longer is manufactured in Milwaukee, there are still factories in Alabama and Iowa. But the Red Star corporate headquarters remains on Milwaukee’s west side near Wisconsin State Fair Park.

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Congrats to Golden Gate Restaurant

Golden Gate Restaurant in Waukesha, Wis., has again been named one of the top 10 Chinese restaurants in the country.

Congrats on the achievement! The awards were handed out Jan. 10 in San Francisco and were hosted by celebrity chef Martin Yan (love him!), chef Theresa Cheng and San Fran Mayor Edwin Lee.

Read the full story from Fox 6 Now.

Golden Gate has some of the best crab rangoons in the Milwaukee area – full of crab and a little peppery. Their pressed duck is also a special treat, and it won’t break your wallet. They also have a great Friday Fish Fry that puts an Asian twist on a Milwaukee fave.

Can’t wait to come back and enjoy!

Goodbye Milwaukee

Boston skylineIt’s with great sadness, but with a flurry of excitement, that I have to write this post. I have accepted a new job in the Boston metro area, which means that after spending most of my life in Milwaukee, I will be leaving.

When my husband asked me last week, “What will you miss the most about Milwaukee?,” I hesitated. Obviously, I’m going to miss my family and friends. But then the answer quickly turned into a laundry list of food places.

So, I thought I would say goodbye to Milwaukee (and Wisconsin) with a Top 10 list of the things I will miss most. On the flipside, soon I’ll have a Top 10 list of the things I’m most excited about in Boston and New England.

I must apologize that with this move – there may be a little lag between posts. I’m doing my best to write posts in advance but it’s been a little hectic. Hopefully, I won’t be without high-speed access for long in the new digs.

10. The Klement’s Sausage Race at Miller Park

The Sausage Race at Miller ParkWhile I am gaining the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park in the move, no other MLB team can say that they have Racing Sausages. I have a deep place in my heart for Guido, Stosh, Brett Wurst, Cinco and Frankie Furter. When I first moved back to Milwaukee after grad school, I had the great privilege of being a racing sausage…once. It was a horrifying experience that ended up on ESPN’s “Sportscenter.” (I had also been a sausage that went to greet people in the parking lot, but that also ended poorly.) However, it is also a cherished memory that very few can say they have had.

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Fein Brothers: Where shopping meets food

To help celebrate Black Friday, we’re going to take a peek inside Fein Brothers.

Since 1929, this two-story shop on Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville neighborhood has been selling new and used restaurant and food service equipment for businesses and the general public.

Fein Brothers exteriorMLK Drive was under construction on the day I stopped by a few weeks ago. You can find ample parking along the neighborhood’s side streets.

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Dr. Dawg opens in Glendale

Dr Dawg exterior in Glendale.Dr. Dawg, a hot dog/fast food restaurant, has opened a second location in Glendale, Wis. Owner David Ross already has a popular location in Manitowoc, Wis., but this new location on N. Port Washington Road brings a slice of Chicago to Milwaukee’s North Shore.

I love the bio that Ross has on his website. The doctor, as he’s called, says this about himself:

I grew up in Chicago during the era of the explosion of the Hot Dog industry. After serving in the Marines in the mid-sixties, I started my first business of towing cars. This gave me the incredible opportunity of learning the whole city/suburbs of Chicago and also experiencing all the great Hot Dog stands along the way. I found that I became particularly aware of every nuance and detail that separated the good from the really great stands. I was immersed in the Hot Dog culture and now consider myself an aficionado and connoisseur of the Chicago style Hot Dog.

…I’ve always dreamed of owning my own Hot Dog stand. Recently, I’ve earned my PhD (Professor of Hot Dogs) at the famed Hot Dog University. Not too long ago, HDU was acquired by Vienna Beef, LTD. This is “The Harvard of Encased Meats.”

…Now, finally, after all these years, I’m proud to fulfill my dream. I am passionate about Hot Dogs and look forward to sharing this wonderful experience with you.

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Construction update: El Beso Mexican Restaurante

Updated 11/3/10: Greenfield NOW reports on opening of El Beso for February 2011.

We were out ‘n about yesterday near Southridge so I took some shots of the progress of El Beso, the new Mexican restaurant that has taken over the spot once filled by Champps in Greenfield.

There isn’t a whole lot of obvious changes on the outside, but ladders, construction equipment and particle board are in plain view. Still no official website has been made live for El Beso, which means “The Kiss,” and is owned by the same group that owns El Fuego on Milwaukee’s southside.

El Beso construction photoLots of construction materials are taking up space in the parking areas around the building.

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Gourmet vacation and treasure hunt from Andrew Zimmern

Mix together social media, food, a tropical getaway and a celebrity chef …what do you get? A chance to win a gourmet trip to Mexico this fall from Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern and Travel Leaders.

Using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, contest participants will find the clues so they can find the place in Milwaukee where the grand prize trip tickets are located.

“I have accumulated so many frequent flyer miles that I decided to give some of them away in a creative way to someone here in Milwaukee,” said Zimmern, who hosts “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” on Travel Channel. “Knowing how much I love to travel and explore different locations, I want to give them to someone who has a sense of adventure, a love of travel and a passion for the Greater Milwaukee Area.”

The grand prize for the participant who interprets the clues and finds the prize will be a Mexico vacation package from Travel Leaders and Funjet Vacations.  The winner will receive roundtrip airfare and stay at the El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma in Riviera Maya. The seven-day trip features an all-inclusive gourmet food menu available 24-hours a day during the trip.

Finding the tickets won’t be easy, but it should be fun. Participants must correctly answer trivia questions about Milwaukee, travel and Andrew Zimmern, and fill in a puzzle. More details about the contest, and the actual clues, are available at www.paradisepursuit.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParadisePursuit and Twitter at www.twitter.com/ParadisePursuit.

The first trivia question is: What Milwaukee baseball player has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom? (Hint: He’s also known as the Hammer.)

Zimmern will be in town at Alterra on Prospect Ave. on Saturday, Oct. 30, to give the prize away to the winner.

Good luck hunting, Brew City!