Milwaukee- land of Solomon Juneau, the self-proclaimed first white guy spotted in the area; Leif the Discoverer of Iceland, and of course, a town synonymous with beer. It seemed ever-so-close to Chicago (my current stomping grounds) and therefore warranted a visit on an early-fall Saturday. So, my travel bud and I hopped on a Megabus and drifted our way up to the state up north with dreams of strong brews and delicious cheese.
The first stop was the Milwaukee Public Market located in the posh Third Ward. It seemed to call out to picnic provisioners and lost souls alike, so we crossed over the bridge and landed smack dab in what my version of shoppers heaven might look like. I grabbed first for some nutmeg nuts to grind fresh, feeding a recent baking addiction. And while paying for my delicious treasure, I quickly realized that it was the cleanest market I had ever visited. Unlike Barcelona’s Boqueria, the floor was spotless. There were few, if any, identifiable tourists and I didn’t fear for the life of my purse.
It didn’t even smell like a market, but I was soon distracted by a quiet gentleman who helped us pick out a cheddar (a test of the five-year cheddar taught me that I wasn’t ready for that degree of sharpness) and a local muenster, known as the world’s best sandwich cheese (pretty damn good when eaten with raisins too, just so you know). A fresh loaf of bread and some award winning fire-brewed (whatever that means) root beer later, and our indoor picnic was set.
We stowed the leftovers for later and set out to explore the city on foot. Neither of us were too interested in seeing the Warhol exhibit at the museum, but I heard the museum structure itself was worth the hike. It was one of the most literal translations of a boat onto an architectural structure that I have ever seen, except the ‘hull’ was made up of windows over looking Lake Michigan.
It was early afternoon at this point, and the sun called for a nap in the park next to the art museum, so we obeyed. Finally, it was time to get down to business and grab a brewsky. I paired a Rocky’s Revenge (Nut Brown Ale) with mac’ n’ cheese, and my bud had a famous Spotted Cow. At the brat eating contest, I lamented the absence of my camera while teams of four scarfed down bun and dogs as fast as possible. Quote from a contestant, “Yeah baby! That’s how you eat a brat!”- insert loud frat boy voice here, please.
Brewsky number two was a Furthermore’s Fatty Bombalatty which I enjoyed with even more cheese, which I knew was a lot of cheese, but was seemed worth it- especially since I don’t know when I’ll be back next . The bus ride back to Chicago was uneventful, except for the stomach ache. All-in-all, Milwaukee made for the perfect escape form the city, which I would highly recommend, especially the cheese over indulgence.