Sooooo…. continuing from where we left off….. We were in Milwaukee visiting family for Memorial Day Weekend…
When I first started dating Tim 10.5 years ago (eek, 10.5 years ago?), all I really knew about Wisconsin was that people who lived there ate a lot of cheese and brats and liked to drink beer. Hey, I was 22 and easily subscribed to stereotypes.
Well, that said, from my experience visiting Wisconsin numerous times in the past decade- that is only partly true. There are actually some pretty awesome restaurants in Milwaukee and I’d go so far as to say there’s a bit of a “foodie” vibe depending on where you are in the city. Of course, don’t get me wrong- when we do visit I tend to abandon my relatively healthy diet and overdo it a bit on processed junk, but hey, I’m human.
That said, this past trip was filled with some memorable meals. On Sunday morning, Tim and I took his mother to one of my all-time favorite Milwaukee restaurants, Cafe Benelux. We’ve been to several restaurants there owned by the same group and it’s always a great meal and experience.
Cafe Benelux is a super cool, super hipster, super trendy (well, at least from the outside perspective) joint in a funky district of downtown Milwaukee. The sun was finally shining and we were able to take advantage of their rooftop deck.
We noshed on some delicious sweet potato fries, which they serve with an assorment of yum dipping sauces like curry ketchup, basil aioli and cilantro pesto. I ordered the Pazanella salad sans parmesean cheese, as I was needing some plants after overindulging in some ridiculous smore-brownie concotion the previous night at the birthday party.
Their Panzanella salad continued a bit of a different mix than the standard bread, tomatoes and cucumbers. This one had arugula, capers and red onion in addition to the usual Panzanella suspects. It was quite good, light and refreshing- which was exactly what my body asked for!
After a leisurely lunch at Benelux, we walked over to the Milwaukee Public Market, a must-stop whenever I visit the family. This place is super cool and filled with different foodie vendors and stations, from vegan juice bars to fresh seafood markets, to Italian markets and wine bars…. Yes, they even have a wine bar there- check, please!
During our stay this time, we also hit up Cafe Lulu. This was my first time to Cafe Lulu and they had great vegetarian options and a funky, cool vibe. I was feeling a bit under the weather by this point and paranoid that the flu that had been going around Tim’s family last week was starting to kick into my cells, so I ordered up a plate of antioxidants- I got their Summer Berry Salad with raspberries, blueberries and strawberries on a bed of mixed greens and spinach with toasted walnuts and a lemon poppyseed dressing. Another two thumbs up. Not pictured? The giant trio of Boursin cheese, olive tapenade and hummus with pita that I helped the family put a dent in.
Alas, that was our Milwaukee adventure in a nutshell. By the time I got home on Sunday evening, I was feeling the effects of all the processed gunk and partying that was had. Notice there are NOT pictures of the aforementioned smores and other gunk. I’m pretending if I didn’t take a picture of them, it didn’t happen.Oy.
So it was a rough Memorial Day, especially considering I had to work on Monday- yup, the perks of working at a hospital- there’s no holidays for sick people! But I began my Monday morning with a yoga flow filled with twists and compressions to wring out my body and by Monday evening, I found myself at True Food Kitchen with a few friends. Hey, I would have just chilled out for the evening and given it a rest, but I had a coupon for 25% off, so, you know….
I haven’t really blogged on my love for True Food Kitchen, but it probably deserves a post of its own. So I’ll save it for another day. But suffice to say this is the place where food and wine, healthy living and balance all come together in one ginormous orgasmic space. I’ve tried several dishes there, but my body called for something super light this time, so I ordered the vegan and gluten-free Asian Vegetable Salad. It was a mix of kelp noodles, shiitake mushrooms, cucumbers and asparagus in a ginger dressing.
It was quite beautiful and certainly healthy and alkalizing, but I have to say, it was just “meh”. It wasn’t my favorite and I wouldn’t order it again, but hey, you live and you learn. Regardless I had fun with my friends and sipped on some organic vino, so all was well in the world.
I’ve got a lot going on this week and I’m hoping to share it with you on Vitadventure. My birthday is this coming Sunday, so there are lots of birthday festivities to come. I’m one of those “you’ve got a solid month to celebrate your birthday” people, so it’s time to put on your party hats and throw some confetti!