Sunday, October 21, 2012

One night in Milwaukee

One of our very generous wedding gifts was a night’s stay at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee—specifically, “the horsing around” package that included a bottle of bubbly, couples massage, and complimentary breakfast “in the library.” Our registry was made up of “things to do” because of a general overwhelming sense that we have too many “things.” (A situation aggravated by the amount of gear Alex accumulated last month.)
So this Columbus day we headed north, enjoying the autumn scenery that made for picturesque drive through this Midwest we love so dearly.
Our first stop: Honey Pie Café. We left early enough on Sunday morning to make brunch in Milwaukee, choosing Honey Pie on account of their good standing as a supporter of local farms. Did you know that I’m into that stuff?
Alex decided to jump right into the Wisconsin spirit, starting his morning off with chicken-fried pork chops and sausage gravy with an over-easy egg, potatoes and toast, while I chose the lighter option of a ham, cheddar, egg sandwich on a buttermilk biscuit. Wisconsin knows how to make a meal without vegetables. We cleaned our plates.
Next, we headed to the Milwaukee Public Market. There were very few people out and about in the Cream City that morning—almost alarmingly so—and we were surprised to find every place we planned to visit was within 15 minutes of the next. Milwaukee is just a little guy!
The Public Market held a bounty of pastries, cheeses, and lobsters, and we picked up a few edible souvenirs like pretzels and mustard, a caramel apple covered in salty peanuts, and compulsory bottles of New Glarus, sold only in the Wisc.
Befitted with our snacks, we made our way over to the Lakefront Brewery (not actually on the Lakefront, turns out) for a tour, some samples, and some really great and unexpected ’90s jams. I’m talking TLC, Goo Goo Dolls, and Gin Blossoms. NICE. The tour costs $7, comes with four “six-ounce” pours (our cups were filled well over the six-ounce line), and includes a complimentary pint glass. Also: John, the tour guide, was hilarious, ensuring we all had a drink in hand at the start of the tour, and stopping the tour halfway at a minibar in the tank room for refills.
Plenty of disparaging Miller Light jokes later, Alex and I emerged from LB ready for our next adventure: riding a bicycle built for two along the Milwaukee lakefront.
Riding tandem is a little bit tricky—nothing to do with the beer, I am sure—but we worked it out and managed to find what Alex called “Milwaukee’s bike highway”—think Lower Wacker meets the lake path. Day drinking and biking, never gets old.
We rode down the lake, past the art museum, and into the Historic Third Ward, stopping at the delightful Home Market, a home goods boutique I’d read about, and buying an attractive half-sized casserole dish. I like to call it our Milwaukee-moon bowl.
After returning our bike, meeting a dog, heading to the hotel to check in, relaxing through our massages, and stopping for a drink (the Ginger Snap!) at the hotel bar, we ordered room service.
Cheeseburger with Nueske’s bacon (is there another kind worth eating?) for Alex, iceberg wedge salad and beer cheese soup garnished with popcorn for me. Who’s more Wisconsin now?
The morning found us in the library for waffles and eggs, then we hit the road, rounding out our trip with one last stop at a liquor store for hard-to-find Wisconsin brews—more New Glarus and a selection of the Lakefronts we’d sampled (including Wheat Monkey, Wisconsinite, and Cream City Pale Ale)—“souvi-beers,” if you will.
That’s how you spend one day in Milwaukee.

1 comment:

  1. Looks PERFECT. Love the photos and tale! Autumn is just your jam all right.