7 Unique Restaurants in Milwaukee

Anyone else an uber foodie like me? I love food. And dining out. Oh, and eating. I love it all, and have eaten my way around Milwaukee. In the process, I have stumbled across some very unique restaurants. Here is my little list:

  1. Elsa’s on the Park: Elsa’s always has an amazingly interesting art installation on one huge wall in their restaurant. Need I say more on the matter of it being unique?
  2. Safehouse: You need a secret password to get into this restaurant. Yup, you read that right. You’ll enter in through their discreet alley side door and upon entering, a couple of their employees will ask for the secret password. If you don’t know it, then it’s some embarrassing act to perform for you!
  3. Kopp’s Frozen Custard: Kopp’s offers jumbo burgers and tasty custard. But that’s not what makes them unique (at least not in Milwaukee). They’ve got a huge waterfall on their patio area at one of their locations, and if that doesn’t do it for ya, there’s a row of life size cows in the parking lot at another location. Moo.
  4. Ian’s Pizza: Not only is Ian’s Pizza extremely tasty, but they also serve gigantic NY style slices with all kinds of toppings offered from macaroni and cheese to cheesy potatoes. Yum!
  5. Odd Duck: Odd Duck is a really cute spot in the Bayview neighborhood serving small plates. This is so you can try a few of their dishes and not just one! What an interesting concept.
  6. Sobelman’s: Bloody Mary’s anyone? Sobelman’s is known not only for their gigantic burgers but also for putting their big burgers, brats, and hell a whole fried chicken in their bloodies. You gotta see it to believe it!
  7. Centraal Grand Cafe & Tappery: How to describe this cafe’s unique ambience? It kinda feels like you stepped into a tropical France, but the decor is oh so subtle. Did I mention they also have a gazillion beers on tap?!

Get out there and be amazed with all this unique awesomeness in Milwaukee!

6 Awesome Restaurants in Atlanta

We finally got to visit Atlanta last year and it was awesome! There are tons of activities to do here along with a lot of cool restaurants. I wish we got to try them all, but here are some awesome spots we ate at that I definitely recommend trying:

  1. Lee’s Bakery: We snagged some chicken wings along with a huge bowl of Pho here. Our meal was affordable, filling, and delish.
  2. The Varsity: Another affordable spot serving yummy bites of hamburgers and hot dogs. There are several locations in Atlanta so there’s bound to be one nearby wherever you are in the city.
  3. Vortex: Another awesome spot serving wild and crazy burger dishes! Their burgers come in huge stacks and are super tasty.
  4. The Yard: There are very few locations of this dessert restaurant in the U.S. They have one right in Atlanta so we stopped in to try the ‘Cookie Monster’. What we got was a decadent milkshake, with ice cream, chocolate syrup, & chocolate chip cookies. They’ve got all kinds of different styles of milkshakes here-it’s a must try spot!
  5. Two Urban Licks: We went here for a nice dinner one night and it was such a great choice because this place is amazing! The food and cocktails were superb and the ambience was outta this world-romantic, chic, and modern, and cozy!
  6. Chick-Fil-A Dwarf House: This isn’t just your average Chick-Fil-A. They have special additions to their menu that you can ONLY find at this location, plus they really do have a dwarf door on the front of their building that you can walk in. It’s awesome!

There you have it-my restaurant recs for Atlanta for all you foodies out there. Enjoy the grub!

Where to Go for Breakfast in Milwaukee

Out of the two of us, Nate is more of the breakfast person in our relationship. I like a good plate of eggs, bacon, and crispy hash browns though and can’t deny a good breakfast spot so I’ve put together a list of our favorite breakfast restaurants in Milwaukee.

Blue’s Egg: This is a bit nicer of a place than your average breakfast diner. And the food is kiss-your-lips-with-the-tips-of-your-fingers-worthy.

Ma Fischer’s: This is an awesome spot on the east side of Milwaukee. It may appear a little divey-but doesn’t that make for the best restaurants sometimes?

Mad Rooster: This spot is ALWAYS packed with a long wait time, but you can hop on the Yelp app to put yourself in line so you don’t have to wait at the restaurant necessarily. Oh, and it’s totally worth the wait.

Build-A-Breakfast: They serve lunch here, too, where the name changes to ‘Build-A-Burger’ but I’ve only been here for breakfast and I’m here to confirm it’s delish!

Michael’s Family Restaurant: While this is a small space with not much to look at, their tasty breakfast definitely delivers!

Bruegger’s Bagels: I usually shy away from chains, but this place is just too good. Their bagels are top notch with a lot of awesome choices.

Grebe’s Bakery: They offer all kinds of deli food here, but what you really wanna snag here is their donuts, because they are outta this world!

If you’re in the mood for pizza or dessert, then check out these posts as well!

The Best Outdoor Adventures in Arkansas

While Arkansas lacks in having a major metropolitan city, it makes up for it in amazing outdoor adventures. There are endless outdoor activities to take part in in this state, but I’ve compiled a list of the absolute best!

Crater of Diamonds State Park southwest You can actually come here and dig for real life diamonds!! It’s a state park in the middle of no where southern Arkansas but it’s worth the trip out to dig for a few hours. While it’s likely you may not find anything worthwhile, the experience in itself you can’t beat!

My get rich quick scheme

Float the Buffalo River northwest This is an amazing experience that you must add to your list. You can rent a canoe at any one of the local stores in the area and paddle your little heart out all day. The views of the cliffs above are breathtaking.

Paddle time

Mt. Nebo State Park northwest Another hidden gem in the northwest part of the state. They’ve got several pretty views and awesome hiking trails here.

Mt. Magazine State Park northwest close to Mt. Nebo, Mt Magazine offers even more fantastic views. You can also reach the highest point in AR on a trail here.

Head in the clouds always

Big Dam Bridge central Right over the Arkansas River there is a huge bridge Little Rock citizens go to for recreation and exercising. It’s so fun and offers the best river views.

River gazing

The Old Mill central This is a spot right out of a fairy tale. There’s a mill of course, gardens, wooden bridges, water fountains and it’s all right in the city of Little Rock. It was even a film location for Gone with the Wind!

Call me Scarlett

Pinnacle Mountain State Park central Lots of hiking is to be had at this state park. It can be a little scary climbing the top of the mountain but the view at the top is totally amazing!

The tippity top

Emerald Park central Another awesome spot right in the city of Little Rock, this is a city parking that offers easy hiking trails with awesome views of the Arkansas River.

Down by the river

Petit Jean State Park central There a some rigorous hiking trails here but ones that lead to beautiful waterfalls, caves, and scenic views.

Cavin’

Hot Springs National Park central This is an awesome National Park filled with history, hiking, and even bathhouses on ‘Bathhouse Row’! It’s amazing and you can’t miss it if you’re planning a trip to AR.

HSNP ❤

If you didn’t notice, I added a lot of spots on here located in central Arkansas as well as northwest Arkansas so be sure to check out my other posts if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful state. Mega book nerd like me? Then you’ll also want to check out this post. You’re welcome.

All the Bars to go to for Your 21st Birthday in Milwaukee

When I turned 21, I did not live in Milwaukee at the time. I wish I would have though, because let me tell ya there are some *perfect* bars to add to your route of your 21st birthday bar crawl here in Miltown. All the bars in Milwaukee are pretty cool, but allow me to lay it out for you which bars are a must for your fun night of legal drinking.

City Lounge Southside: City Lounge is a hidden gem on the south side of Milwaukee. They’ve got a DJ, dance floor, large seating area, and reasonably priced drinks.

Belmont Tavern Downtown: Located near Cathedral Square, this is must to hit up because of alllll the aesthetics. It really is a friggin awesomely decorated bar.

Blackbird Bar Bayview: Another hidden gem. This is on my list because it’s such a cool, quaint bar but with big booths for a small party. And because Bayview.

Trinity Downtown: I’ve had many a fun night at Trinity. They have a DJ and dance floor here with booths off to the side. There’s actually three bars total connected here so it’s a huge space.

Red White & Blue Downtown: This place is huge! It’s got a big bar and an even bigger dance floor. It’s always a fun spot!

McGillycuddy’s Downtown: This is another big bar with lots of seating. It’s on popular Water Street and is always lively.

Who’s on Third Downtown: Located on Old World Third Street amongst a row of bars, Who’s is a great place to grab some delicious bar food and a shot!

Harp Downtown: Harp has all the best vibes especially in the summer. It’s a popular spot right on the Milwaukee River and has a dock for boats, too.

Victor’s Downtown: This is an underhyped bar, as it doesn’t shine along with the other more well-known bars downtown, but it’s a blast!

Flannery’s Downtown: Flannery’s has two different areas, the bar and then the dance floor in the back with another bar. It’s more low key compared to the other bars in the area but a must to add to your list!

I’m sure I left some awesome bars out on this list as there are so many amazing bars in Milwaukee. This should get you started and make for a super fun and memorable (or maybe not) night!

9 of the Best Local Pizza Spots in Milwaukee

What’s your favorite food? Mine is pizza! I could it eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have decided to pair together two of my loves in life: blogging and pizza. Read below for some of the best pizza Milwaukee has to offer!

  1. Pizza Shuttle: Located on the east side of Milwaukee, this is a great spot to stop in after a night of drinking as they’re open uber late. You can order a whole pie to yourself or ask for a slice or two instead.

2. Ian’s Pizza: Another spot open late but only ont he weekends and they also offer pizza by the slice here. They get real creative with their toppings, too. Oh, and their slices are HUGE but thin like NY style!

3. Balistreri’s Pizza: If you love a greasy, garlicy pizza then Balistreri’s is your spot. I, for one am obsessed with garlic so I love the pizza here!

4. Riverfront Pizzeria: The amazing pizza here is matched with an amazing ambience. They’re located right on the Milwaukee River so if you sit outside you’ll get some beautiful views while you dine.

5. Organ Piper Pizza: This is a buffet spot so it’s very family friendly. They’ve got delicious pizza and a fun game room, what more does one need?

6. Glass Nickel Pizza: Glass Nickel is probably the best local pizza restaurant in all of Milwaukee! It’s so delicious, with thick, doughy crust, crispy toppings, and the perfect combo of flavors. Heart eyes for dayssss.

7. Jet’s Pizza: Another awesome spot that presents their pies in squares. Just go with it-you won’t be disappointed!

8. Mamma Mia’s: This is an Italian restaurant offering much more than just pizza but they’re pizza is legit so if you’re not sure what to order here go with the za for sure.

9. NYPD Pizza: Another great spot open late and perfect after hitting up some bars downtown. Their crust is a bit on the thin side but their pies are delicious!

I take my pizza with thick crust and pepperoni-so very classic (and boring) but hey I like what I like. Check out my other post 13 of the Best Casual Restaurants in Milwaukee for more restaurant recommendations in Milwaukee.

15 Date-night Worthy Restaurants in Milwaukee

I’ve been with my fiance for over 4 years now, and we still do date nights! One reason is because he’s amazing, but another reason is because Milwaukee’s food scene is friggin awesome! There are countless incredible restaurants to choose from but if you’re looking for upscale, fancy shmancy spots perfect for date night then take a look at my list below!

Number One Carson’s: Downtown Carson’s originates in Chicago, which is just down the road from Milwaukee but it explains why the steaks here are so insanely delicious! Best steaks you’re gonna find in Milwaukee-hands down- is at Carson’s. This Nate’s favorite spot.

Number Two The Noble: Fifth Ward One of my favorite places in Milwaukee, this is a smaller quaint spot but with a menu that will knock your taste buds outta the park. They change up their menu every week and you can find their updates towards the end of the week on their Facebook page.

Number Three Crazy Water: Fifth Ward A lively spot in the Fifth Ward of Milwaukee, Crazy Water won’t disappoint for your next date night!

Number Four Crawdaddy’s: West Allis We recently visited here not knowing what to expect other than a Cajun-themed menu. We were blown away by the food here! It was an absolutely unforgettable meal.

Number Five Tess: East Side Another smaller place but with an awesome menu and quaint vibes.

Number Six Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn: Wauwatosa This is truly the perfect spot for date night. The menu is great, of course, but the ambience is quiet and dark and very romantic!

Number Seven Maxie’s: Southside Another Cajun-themed spot in Milwaukee serving delicious food.

Number Eight Tenuta’s: Bayview A beautiful Italian restaurant in the heart of Bayview neighborhood. Don’t Italian food and date nights just go hand in hand?

Number Nine Caterina’s: West Allis This is such a great spot! When you walk in, you feel like you just walked into an Italian village. Oh, and the food is delish!

Number Ten Pasta Tree: Eastside Another quaint Italian spot, it has all the romantic feels and vibes.

Number Eleven The Packing House: Cudahy The Packing House is a perfect date night restaurant and even has a slight 1970’s retro feel to it. Seeing as I love that era-this place calls to me!

Number Twelve Elsa’s on the Park: Downtown Omg. Elsa’s is awesome. They serve great food, of course but really gives this place its ‘wow’ factor is their ambience. They change up their large art installation -yep- every couple months or so. Check. It. Out.

Number Thirteen Odd Duck: Bayview They do things a little differently here by serving small plates which is a different concept to most Americans. Small Servings-delicious food.

Number Fourteen Ward’s House of Prime: Downtown Ward’s is best known for their Steaks and Prime Ribs of course so if you’re in the mood for exactly that this is the place to go.

Number Fifteen Open Flame: Greenfield If you wanna avoid downtown this is the spot for you. A lovely ambience with great food without having to find parking.

Ok, now it’s time to get all dolled up and head out for a night on the town! Be sure to check out my more casual list of Milwaukee restaurants, too for a more laid-back night out!

13 of the Best casual restaurants in Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Food Scene is legit! Sure, this city definitely has its fare share of fine dining spots to scope out, but sometimes you just want something quick, fun, and casual while still satisfying your taste buds. So, here is a list of excellent restaurants to go to when you want to go somewhere casual in Milwaukee, straight from a local!

Number 1: Oscar’s Frozen Custard Super cheap, consistent, and satisfying, Oscar’s never disappoints. AND their portions are the perfect amount of food, so you can definitely save room for custard!

Number 2: Sammy’s Taste of Chicago Chili dogs, anyone? A humble spot known for their hot dogs, Sammy’s is great for quick-fare easy dining.

Number 3: Taqueria Buenavista They have a small dine-in restaurant as well as a food truck parked around town. It’s perfect for some quick and delish Mexican food.

Number 4: Golden Gyros There’s ALWAYS a line out into the street for their drive thru, but with a place constantly this busy-you know their food has got to be amazing. And it is! And so worth the wait!!

Number 5: Jonny Hammers This is a small neighborhood bar, but oh man their grub-primarily their wings- is the best in town, hands down.

Number 6: West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe This is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, with yummy bloodies and mimosas mmmm!

Number 7: Fortune Restaurant I love me some Chinese food and this casual restaurant does not disappoint. They have the best traditional Chinese dishes. It’s my fav spot to order take out from in all of Milwaukee.

Number 8: The Wicked Hop A hip spot located in the Third Ward of Milwaukee serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, and of course cocktails.

Number 9: Paul’s Fish Market Another casual restaurant located downtown serving some amazing seafood! I love fish so it’s right up my alley for a delicious meal.

Number 10: Grebe’s Bakery Ok so, I’m guilty of primarily going here for their perfectly baked donuts, but they also serve deli-style hot foods here, too.

Number 11: Ian’s Pizza With locations all over Milwaukee, they sell whole pizzas or even fresh pizza by the slice here. They also get quite creative with their toppings. It’s one of the best places to grab pizza in the whole city!

Number 12: Milwaukee Ale House They brew their own beer here, so what’s not to love about that?? It’s also a water front restaurant on the Milwaukee River. You can sit on their patio and watch the boats go by while enjoying a tasty beer.

Number 13: Sobelman’s Y’all ever scrolled Pinterest (addict for several years now) and saw those bloody mary cocktails with a whole fired chicken in the glass? Yea, they’ve got those here. Known for their insane bloodies and mouth-watering burgers, this is the perfect location for casual dining!

All of these restaurants offer delicious, budget-friendly menus with a very laid back atmosphere. They’re perfect for when you just want to grab something quick, or dine in but without the pressure of having to apply a full face of makeup before arriving. From one foodie to another-bon Appetit!

13 Books to Read Before Your Southern U.S. Vacation

The southern part of the U.S. is a beautifully wanderlusty area and it has a special place in my heart. I’m from there! Even though I have since moved away from that area I love reading books that have a southern U.S. setting. I’m always finding myself reading a book I haven’t read yet set in the south before we head down there for a vacation. It really gives me alll the southern U.S. vibes. Here are 13 book I recommend you pick up for a great read before your next vacation down south:

  1. The Heat of the Sun by Louis D. Rubin, Jr.: Set in South Carolina in the 1940s, this book has romance and southern twang. What more could you need?
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: Following The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I liked this one better. I liked reading about Huck and Jim cruising along the Mississippi River and the shenanigans they get into to.
  3. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin: You guessed it, this book is set in Mississippi (and yes, I sing the song in my head to spell it correctly). I absolutely loved reading this book-it’s hard to find a great southern setting novel set in contemporary times.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: Wow. This book. It’s probably my favorite classic American novel of all the ones I’ve read. And I’ve read my fair share, believe me. Read about Janie and Tea Cake’s adventures in this beautiful story set in Florida.
  5. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines: I was actually assigned to read this story in high school in English class, but man am I glad I was because it was such a page turner and very deep. Set in Louisiana and about a man who is sentenced to death, and another man who must visit him in jail to educate him during the last days of his life.
  6. True Grit by Charles Portis: This is an awesome story set in Arkansas (my home states, yea!) and follows a girl who wishes to avenge her father’s death.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Set in 1920s Alabama, this is a wonderful story about a young girl, her recluse neighbor, and an unfair trial happening in town.
  8. The Little Rock Nine by Stephanie Fitzgerald: The Little Rock Nine were the first black students in Little Rock, AR to attend a public all-white highschool. This book recounts the horrors they faced during this process of segregation.
  9. A Painted House by John Grisham: Of course John Grisham must be on this list. My favorite of his has to be A Painted House. Set in the farming days of Northeast Arkansas, this story is told from the viewpoint of a young boy who recounts one summer on the farm and all that went down that season.
  10. The Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams: This is actually the second book of a three book series, but you can read them out of order. I loved reading about Peter Osborne and his college days at a university in Georgia. He learns a lot and grows as a person over his 4 years away at school, meeting all sorts of characters along the way.
  11. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: This is a bit of a sad story but ends happy, I promise! A little girl is deserted at a young age and raises herself in the marsh of the North Carolina coast. She must learn so much on her own and become independent fast.
  12. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice: Set in New Orleans when the Parisians first settled in the area, this story follows the lives of three vampires over several decades.
  13. Lightning Bug by Donald Harrington: A strange but interesting book following the lives of the residents of a tiny town in Northwest Arkansas. It has all the humor and mega southern U.S. vibes.

I hope you find that you enjoy reading at least a few from this list. They’re all different genres so it just depends on what you like! I have another recommended list strictly for an Arkansas vacation if you want to check that one out, too. Happy reading!

6 Things to Know Before Visiting Miami

Miami is an awesome city to visit! But, there are things I wish I’d known before I went so I was better prepared and faced less frustrations on my trip! I’m hoping the followng six pieces of advice will help you:

  1. There are Beggers: I am not referring to homeless people here…instead I am talking about the restaurants. We noticed specifically in Miami Beach while walking up and down the streets restaurant employees would nearly be begging you to come into their restaurant for lunch or dinner. I thought this was strange as I’d never seen this anywhere else in the country before.
  2. A Trip to Miami Makes for a Pricey Vacation: This is an expensive city to visit! It’s so worth the cash you’ll be dropping here, but just letting you know so you can plan and budget accordingly.
  3. Forecasted rain=no rain: We visited Miami in October which is their ‘shoulder season’. Heavy rain is expected in Summer, while little rain is present in the Winter here. However, if you see on the forecast that it will rain every day on a Fall trip, don’t listen! It was supposed to rain our whole time here and we didn’t get one drop-at least not during the day while out and about.
  4. It’s HOT: Miami gets extremely warm-even at night! I don’t think this place ever cools off. You’ll be sweating in pants for sure so dress for hot weather!
  5. Street parking is a pain: We rented a car for our Miami trip and drove all over town to different sites. If you can find a free spot, it may take you a while to figure out how to actually pay for it! And you definitely want to pay, because you will totally get towed or ticketed. Several times we went to pay at a machine and it would be out of order and/or wouldn’t take card or cash. The best thing to do is park then pay through their app Park Mobile. It will prompt you for your zone number (listed on a sidewalk sign) and then you can enter in your card info to pay.
  6. Opt for a land animal: If you’re like me you’re thinking ‘Oh, great we’re in Miami so I’m going to stuff my face with all the seafood!’ Yeah, I don’t advise that. I tried a few fish plates at various restaurants thinking they’re going to be amazing because we’re right on the ocean and all and was disappointed every time. It wasn’t until I switched to beef and chicken plates until I truly had a delicious meal in Miami.

I wish for none of the above to deter you from your Miami excursion. It’s a wonderful place to visit! Check out my other posts on Miami to read more about this oceanside paradise: Where to Eat in Miami that Won’t Break the Bank and What to do in Miami.