This past February Whisk and I flew out to Chicago for a week to visit with family and to catch up with some friends. On this trip we also wanted to have a little alone time together and take a quick overnight trip out of Chicago. We decided that we would spend a day in Milwaukee since it is only about a 90 minute drive from Chicago.
Whisk had been to Milwaukee before and thought it was a city that I would enjoy. She also has a cousin that lives near the Milwaukee area and thought it would be nice to visit with him and his wife. Whisk called her cousin and he suggested that we meet them at a coffee shop called Alterra.
Alterra at the Lake
1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Milwaukee, Wi 53202
Alterra coffee was started by 3 friends back in 1994, they now have coffee shop cafe’s throughout the metro-Milwaukee area. We met up with Whisk’s cousin and wife at Alterra at the Lake. This was a cool place, the building was built in 1888 and was originally home to the historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station.
Inside the cafe there is a lot of history from when it was the Milwaukee river flushing station and even some pieces of equipment that they decided to keep in the building to preserve some of its history.
Alterra serves much more than coffee; soups, salads, sandwiches, fresh baked goods made from scratch, espresso, and tea can be enjoyed in the cafe with its ample seating or for you to take with you if you don’t have the time to sit down.
Alterra carries a wide variety of coffee, you are sure to find one just right for you.
Plenty of seating to enjoy a quick meal or to enjoy a cup of coffee with some friends.
Whisk’s cousin made a very generous gesture and let us pick out a bag of coffee of our choice to take back home with us. On the back of each bag of Alterra coffee they have a flavor profile scale that helps you pick out the coffee best suited for you. Whisk picked out the Colombia Paso Fino blend, on the scale it was a medium-light roast, medium bodied with a bright acidity. It was delicious, we just finished off the bag last week. Lucky for us and for everyone who lives outside of Milwaukee you can order any of the delicious Alterra coffee blends off of their website at www.alterracoffee.com.
Whisk’s Cousin and wife bought us a pound of coffee as a gift, we picked the Colombia blend. Definitely going to be ordering more for home.
After coffee and goodbye’s had been said, Whisk and I headed over to our next stop, Lakefront Brewery. Whisk found out about Lakefront Brewery online while researching our trip. It seems like we would be missing out on an important part of Milwaukee if we didn’t stop by at least one brewery.
1872 N. Commerce St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Lakefront Brewery was started in 1987 by Jim and Russ Klisch and today the brewery is located right on the Milwaukee river. From its modest beginnings of producing under a 100 barrels the brewery now produces over 33,000 barrels per year
A tasty line-up of some of their craft beers.
Lakefront Brewery offers a wide variety of beers including seasonal beers, organic and gluten free beers, limited release beers, and beers that they carry all throughout the year. Whisk and I both picked the Fixed Gear American Red Ale as our favorite beer from the lineup we tasted.
We also decided to take a tour of the brewery which they offer several times throughout the day. If you are going to visit Lakefront Brewery then a tour is a must, what a good deal. For $7.00 you get a great tour full of history of the brewery and family, four 6 ounce pours of beer, and a souvenir pint glass. You also get a coupon for a free beer at a participating local bar to use before 6pm that same day.
We had a great time at Lakefront Brewery, now time for a little rest at the hotel before we head into the town for the night.
Downtown Milwaukee at dusk.
While Whisk was getting ready for dinner back at the hotel I decided to take a little walk around town. Downtown Milwaukee is a beautiful city, beautiful buildings, and the river going right through town.
For dinner we headed over to a restaurant called Honeypie. Whisk discovered them online and really like their menu and approach to food.
2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207
The first thing that struck me about Honeypie was their list of Wisconsin Farms and purveyors that they support. This is great to see, they use local grass fed beef in their burgers, as well as local dairy, poultry, produce, ice-cream, and coffee. They also had a great list of beers to choose from.
Honeypie supports local farms and suppliers by using local meats and produce.
House Green Salad- Growing Power greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots
Roasted corn clam chowder with a housemade corn muffin.
The cuisine at Honeypie is comfort food prepared in an elevated state. Almost everything is made from scratch and done very well. Everything I ate I liked, especially the roast chicken, that hit the spot on a cold Milwaukee Winter night.
Burger- Wisconsin raised grass-fed beef, American cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, special sauce, a sunny side egg on an egg-glazed bun.
Roasted Farm Chicken- fine herb spaetzle, wild mushrooms, wilted spinach, shallot butter, and parsley pistou.
After a great dinner at Honeypie we decided it was still early enough to take a walk over to Blackbird bar and have a night cap.
3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Follow on Facebook or twitter @blackbird_bar
The review I read about Blackbird online was “all the qualities of a dive bar without the dirtiness”, this described Blackbird perfectly.
It was a quiet night at Blackbird when we arrived. We took a seat at the bar and asked to see a list of beers. The bartender was very friendly and knew a lot about the local beers they offered on the list. We each ordered a beer and decided we would go into the other room to sit in one of their booths.
Aside from having a great jukebox, Blackbird also has pin ball machines, video games, a photo booth, and board games. This was a great stop to end our night with a nice relaxing drink.
We both really enjoyed our day in Milwaukee. I know it was only a small sampling of what the city has to offer. I would love to go back and catch a baseball game, as well as check out some more breweries and restaurants. If you find yourself in the Mid-West and you are near the Milwaukee area, it is definitely worth your time to stop over and enjoy what the city has to offer.