Metro Milwaukee Guide

The go-to guide for activities in the greater Milwaukee area


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Good Food and Giant Jenga at Horny Goat

So, I’m really just a big kid. I know this about myself. I am a giant child in an adult’s body. And normally that’s fine. Well, except when a dash of immaturity jumps in – like when I giggled in the car the entire way to the Horny Goat Hideaway. Look, we live 45 minutes away. That’s a lot of giggling. But it is at least a LITTLE funny, right? Right?? Guys?

The Horny Goat Hideaway along the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee

The Horny Goat Hideaway along the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee

Anyway. Once I had control and we left the parking lot, the experience was really a mixed bag. Kyle found a lot of Yelp reviews before we went talking about how the staff is rude, and I’m sorry to say that I can’t disagree with that. The guy that sat us seemed completely put off that we didn’t want to sit by the bar and preferred a table upstairs. Although, I’m not entirely sure if he was being obnoxious or if he was just really confused. He seemed like he had no idea what was going on the entire time we were there. Maybe just first-day jitters? Who knows. The place wasn’t excessively busy when we arrived, but I got the sense that our waitress was feeling super rushed, and it came across in her attitude. She seemed to hit her stride as the dinner crowd came in and throughout the meal became friendlier as she got busier. Continue reading

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Elsie Mae’s Does Jam and Pie Right

About a year ago, I started canning. It was too hot for my wussy self to be outside gardening last summer, so instead, we bought all the fruits and veggies from the grocery store. I had wild dreams of making the best damn jams on the planet. I got to work making cantaloupe jam, mimosa jelly, raspberry jam… but none of it set, regardless of how much pectin I shoved in those little jars. In effect, not only did I waste perfectly good fruit, but I also wasted my supplies. Which is why I couldn’t be happier that Elsie Mae’s Cannery and Pies is now open in downtown Kenosha. Well, to be fair, they’ve been open since November, but this was the first time I had been there.

Cutest storefront ever.

Cutest storefront ever.

The store is owned by an adorable couple with a brand new son (congrats guys!) and all the products are made with locally sourced ingredients. We stopped in around breakfast time – which, for me, is about 10:00 – and I had a slice of Buckeye Pie. It’s just like the traditional buckeyes. Chocolate, peanut butter, and delicious. Yeah, I know, it’s not the healthiest breakfast option… but it was good. Don’t judge me. Anyway.

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Winter at Apple Holler

Okay, okay, I know it’s winter time and it’s all snowy outside and all that garbage, but I can’t stop thinking about Apple Holler in Racine County. Not because I miss apple picking season (although I do – I’ll get back to that later), but because of the goats. That’s right, GOATS. Goats are quite possibly one of the best animals on the planet. Don’t believe me? Have you SEEN this video?

That’s some serious amazing goaty goodness. Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that goats are awesome. And Apple Holler has some you can feed. And they have a goat bridge so they can goat walk over to a goat food pulley system and… and then I fall apart from cuteness. Alas, the goats don’t seem to be out during the winter time. But you know what is? REINDEER. (These people, I swear. They just have a direct line into my big sappy heart.) Which brings me to the point of this post: Apple Holler rules in winter, too!

apple holler 2

The goat watches over us all.

My family normally hikes up our typical Midwestern flannel sleeves (I’m lying, only me and my mom wear flannel shirts, sometimes) in September or October and hauls it to the Holler so we can grab an apple stash. Apple Holler has 74 acres of orchard and 30 varieties of apples. You can also take a hayride, watch pig races, shop in their bakery and store, watch some dinner theater, eat some delightful food in their restaurant, go through the corn maze… you get the idea. Last year we brought home something like 130 apples. We always spread them all out on the dining room table and divvy them up to go to our respective homes and morph into pies, applesauce, cakes, and all that delicious nonsense. It’s something of a family tradition. So when we decided to go Hollering in winter this year, I was a little trepidatious.

apple holler 1

How do you like THESE apples?

I was hoping the cold and snow would calm the crowds a little bit. It didn’t. Which is good, I think, because the owners are super nice and will chat with you like an old friend if you get them talking. We waded through the crowd to our table. Now, one of my favorite things about Apple Holler is the weekend breakfast buffet, and it did not disappoint. Cheesy hashbrown casserole, pancakes, eggs, apple walnut French toast, bacon, cinnamon apples, and then some. The regular breakfast menu is equally as good. Have you ever seen a salmon gorgonzola omelet? I hadn’t, until my brother ordered it. And I stole a bite. And it was delicious. The waitstaff offers hot, homemade apple cider to everyone. There’s really not much better than hot apple cider on a cold day. Well, except for going outside and taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Which we didn’t have time to do, but still. We spent the time after our meal browsing the gift shop, bakery, and store. We visited with the reindeer outside and threw a couple snowballs. Then we headed home with bellies full of excellent food (and a to-go container of the cheesy hashbrown casserole. MAN I love that stuff).

Plan your visit:
Address: 5006 S. Sylvania Avenue, Sturtevant
Phone: 262-884-7100
Website: appleholler.com
Parking: Regular lot, overflow lot, and ample street parking available along the frontage road.


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Milwaukee Public Market

I love food. It’s no secret. Anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy culinary indulgence. Bury my face in a plate of spaghetti? You got it. Want someone to taste test your twenty flavors of wedding cupcake options? I’m your girl. So really, there’s no better place for me to go in Milwaukee than the Milwaukee Public Market in the Third Ward. It’s a foodie paradise. Let me tell you how a normal trip goes.

Milwaukee Public Market

Here’s the market. Ain’t she pretty?

Kyle and I will walk in the door and immediately veer into Oro di Oliva, the gourmet olive oil and vinegar shop. The only thing better than a good piece of bread – which, by the way, you can purchase right outside the store at Breadsmith – is a good piece of bread dripping with delicious olive oil. Oro di Oliva is about half flavored olive oil and half flavored balsamic vinegar. Now, you could circle the store using the adorably teensy tasting cups to try each individually, but trust me on this. You want to combine things. Pretend you’re a four-star chef trying to find a new spectacular combination to accompany your mind-blowing dish that no one’s ever heard of. You’re making magic here, people. Tangy, smooth, vinegar and olive oil magic.

Inside the market

It’s pretty loft-ish, I think.

Once your masterpiece is perfected, check out the rest of the market. If you love the Spice House as much as we do, you’ll be happy to find a satellite store in the market. Don’t those pink Himalaya salt blocks just make you want to slap a slab of fish down on top? Me too. You can get it a few steps away at the St. Paul Fish Company. What’s that? You think fish is lame and you want a big, juicy, manly piece of steak instead? Again – me too. (Did I mention I love food?) Turn around and Nehring’s Family Market will be waiting to get you appropriately beefed up. Or chickened. Or porked. Or sausaged. Yeah, and they have beer, too. The ladies can get wine at Thief, and all us boozers can come together at Margarita Paradise. And when you inevitably do something drunken and stupid to annoy your significant other, grab some flowers at Locker’s and apologize in style.

Cheese

Why yes, I would love some cheese!

Or, you know, you could save yourself the hassle of picking a fight and just get some coffee from Cedarburg and food-to-go from West Allis Cheese and Sausage, Aladdin, Sushi-A-Go-Go, The Green Kitchen, or the Soup & Stock Market. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a T-shirt at Brew City and some sweetness from C. Adams or Kehr’s to make up for the flowers you didn’t get after you didn’t have a fight because you didn’t get drunk… whatever, just get something to make your better half feel special. It’ll be worth it. Plus, it’ll give you a reason to go back to the market when the demands for more start. And yes, you will want to go back. Trust me.