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Conquer menus!

A great meal is an adventure. It can transport you to places you’ve never been or remind you of times you’ve had. Through texture, flavor, aroma & presentation, great food sticks with you long after the meal is over & brings happiness at the memory of it.


the cheel

 105 South Main Street
Thiensville, WI

Amazing experience!

We visited in the summer during a live outdoor concert that Cheel was hosting, so the vibe was probably a lot more lively and festive than it usually is. There was a buffet set up outside but we wanted our first visit to be closer to the usual experience, so we headed inside. Still lively and fun… the servers and bartenders all had bright chalk thrown on them, making it look like they’d just finished a color run. Delicious food, prompt and friendly service (I thought our server said he was the owner’s son… although my dining companion thought he said brother), and a very welcoming setting. We’ll be back!

Tender, juicy meatballs of lamb, onion, & ginger in a crispy layer of peanuts, panko, and parmesan c - Petite Lamb Bites at the cheel

Petite Lamb Bites

A bit dry but obviously forgiven on such a chaotic night! Amazing flavor… I will order these again!

Savory dumplings with ginger, red onion, and fresh herbs, wrapped in a delicate flour dough. Choose  - Momo at the cheel


Glad we tried them but looking forward to exploring other things on the menu…

Traditional Bhutanese soup made of creamy brie cheese soup with shiitake mushrooms, onions, potatoes - Ema Dhatsi at the cheel

Ema Dhatsi

This was my favorite thing of the night… and I don’t even like potatoes!

Traditional Nepali dinner including a selection of various dishes: bandel roganjosh, kukhura tarkari - Thali Dinner at the cheel

Thali Dinner

A great sampler and perfect introductory dish.

Sugar & Spice

Pretty tasty.

Old Overholt Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, Absinthe Rinse, Simple Syrup, Lemon Zest - Sazerac at the cheel


First time having this drink. I’ve had it elsewhere since (at upscale restaurants serving only premium liquor) but still think they make it the best here!



 3900 West Brown Deer Road
Brown Deer, WI


Located in the space formerly occupied by Habañeros, this new kid on the block is doing it right! While the service wasn’t phenomenal, the food was excellent and the space is nicely done. A bit of a wait for the food but worth it!

Tom Kha Gai

Hard to go wrong with coconut broth! This is my favorite comfort food… I didn’t even mind the slightly dry chicken.

Kang Massamun

I sometimes forget how delicious Massamun Curry is. This dish reminded me… and I will definitely be back for this!

Pad Thai

I figured first visit to a Thai restaurant, a good indicator would be this dish. A little too sweet, even for Pad Thai (although the leftovers were fabulous). So while not to my taste, a phenomenal dish. I’ll try the Pad See Ewe next time.


Lazy Susan

 2378 S Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI


I’ve been meaning to try this place because I kept hearing so much buzz about it. Finally got around to it and am so glad I did! A very small place so make sure to have a reservation… otherwise they may not be able to seat you (it seems they do not necessarily save any of their tables for walk-ins). Also be prepared to share your table… we were seated at a 6 top and since there were only two of us, a couple of women joined our table about halfway through our meal. Surprisingly, it wasn’t awkward at all. Unfortunately I can’t remember what I had and the online menu has already changed. I do know I enjoyed everything… we shared about 5-6 things. Soup, small plates, an entree, something chocolate for dessert (on a side note, I remember being very impressed that they had a vegan pot de creme). I do recall that the least exciting thing was a baked cheesy mushroom spread on toasts. And amazingly, the root vegetable chips (beet, turnip and potato, I think) with an eggplant cardamom dip blew my mind! I will definitely be back!


Buddha Lounge

 1504 E North Ave
Milwaukee, WI


Spanning the south and southeast region of Asia, from Vietnam to China to Japan to Thailand. And a little American thown in for good measure… I did spy a traditional burger and chicken sandwich with fries on the menu.

Every single thing on this menu looked delicious and since I couldn’t decide, I ordered more than one entree. Gold star to Buddha Lounge for only using grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. Most dishes are V, VG and even GF friendly upon request. I’m going back next week and can’t wait!

Bó Né at Buddha Lounge

Bó Né

“8oz grass-fed beef tenderloin cooked in a savory sweet sauce and served with an egg. Warm wheat bread served on the side.” Amazing… slightly on the swwet side for my taste but delicious nontheless… perfectly cooked beef, flavoful sauce.

Banh Mi at Buddha Lounge

Banh Mi

I didn’t actually see any jalapeños but this sandwich had a nice kick nonetheless. I don’t know why but not many Vietnamese restaurants in the area serve this… although the French bread is slightly inferior, I’ll definitely be back for this.

Buddha Bowl, small at Buddha Lounge

Buddha Bowl, small

The description didn’t mention the veggies (cucumbers, romaine, daikon, sprouts, etc) so I was glad to see that they were indeed included… peanuts and all. 2nd best rice vermicelli bowl I’ve had in Wisconsin!

Tik-Tak-Tofu at Buddha Lounge


“Lightly battered cubed tofu, fried. Served with House dipping sauce.” Big portion, large bite-sized pieces. Addictive!


Pho Hai Tuyet I

 204 W Layton Ave
Milwaukee, WI

As excellent as ever

Sadly, the Fox Point location closed but maybe that’s a blessing in disguise, as I was starting to form a very serious banh mi and rice vermicelli habit. Since I cannot walk to this new location, I no longer get my daily fix but oh-so-worth the 40min drive!

There’s a Vietnamese restaurant in Mequon that suffices for pho but they don’t have the sandwiches… and if there’s a better noodle bowl in the area, I have yet to try it. No one does it as good as Pho Hai Tuyet! This is their 3rd location since I was first introduced to them in 2011 but no matter… I will follow them anywhere!

Bun Thit Nuong


Banh Mi



Red Light Ramen

 1751 N Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, WI

Go. Go. Have to go back!

A friend and I went to Allium last night and then decided to continue on to Red Light Ramen. This ramen place is at Ardent and when that restaurant closes at 10pm, they re-open as Red Light Ramen at 11:30pm Fridays and Saturdays only. It’s like a true ramen house… they open the doors, people flood in, diners have to hurry up and slurp down their noodles while it’s hot, and then hurry out to make room for all the people waiting in line. Red Light Ramen serves until the ramen runs out (or until 1:30am… whichever comes first). And they make one helluva Whiskey “slushie”… strong and delicious! My dining companion let me let me have a few sips of his… I stuck to my beer.

Red Light Ramen is leagues better than Tochi, worth the wait, and very, very good. The noodles were incredible, not to mention the broth. I know 11:30pm sounds late but the options of a soy-infused boiled egg, nori, bamboo shoots, pickled wasabi greens and extra pork (at 50¢ each) make it even better. And I know it’s east side but they have an ample parking lot!

I left Red Light Ramen feeling satisfied but woke up the next morning and within two hours, couldn’t stop thinking about a steaming hot bowl of ramen from this place. Probably going back tonight… see you all there?!

The only dish on the menu: tonkotsu ramen

Tonkotsu style ramen… so delicious! I ordered a bowl with a few extras: wasabi greens, soy-infused boiled egg, nori and bamboo shoots at 50¢ each. Stellar! Next time I am going to add the extra pork, greens and bamboo shoots and see if it is as good. Probably, and can’t wait!



 2101 N Prospect Ave
Milwaukee, WI

Going to order the other half of the menu next time!

There’s something to be said about letting the ingredients of a dish shine on their own… dates, chevre, prosciutto and vinegar was all that was listed on the menu for one of these plates and yet, it’s all I can think about. Clean, simple and delicious. And I am craving it like my next fix!

The soups were incredible, the salads were amazing, and they do offer dessert… just ask.


Get these. Soft, creamy, salty, sweet, firm. Yum.


Genius! The next time I make a quinoa salad, I am going to add currants and toasted almonds… great additions!

My only complaint is that there was nothing in this salad to effectively counter the slight bitterness. The currants definitely helped but maybe pull back a little on the citrus in the vinaigrette. Otherwise, this dish is fantastic!


Served with homemade rye crackers, this dish was amazing. A very generous portion… after everything else we ordered, would probably be enough as an entree for most people! Could have used a bit more of the horseradish yogurt… smoked fish plus capers put this dish a bit on the salty side. If you order, ask for a little extra on the side!

Mushroom Pate

I found it interesting that the pate was served chilled, which I think detracted from the flavor. We had to let it sit quite awhile to get up to room temperature… and then it was only fair-to-average. But the caramelized onions served on the side were fantastic, complimented by the homemade crackers and gherkins it came with!


Joey Gerard's - A Bartolotta Supper Club

 11120 Cedarburg Rd
Mequon, WI

Not a true supper club but I'll be back!

The usual suspects are not included with your steak dinner… if you would like soup and salad, those are sold a la carte. If you would like a side of mushrooms or a stuffed potato, there is an upcharge.

Nonetheless, Joey Gerard’s is a great place with great food and I’ll be back.

18 oz. T-Bone at Joey Gerard's - A Bartolotta Supper Club

18 oz. T-Bone

Very generous… I would say this was more of a porterhouse. Big cut of filet!

Button Mushrooms

If you love the flavor of things done on a charcoal grill, do not pass these up. Delicious!

Chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel crust and cracker jacks on top... what more could you ask for? - Ballpark Pie at Joey Gerard's - A Bartolotta Supper Club

Ballpark Pie

Their pastry chef is a genius! No matter what their Pie of the Day is, get it. This was the Ballpark Pie… made of stuff that you would find at concessions: chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel crust, cracker jacks… what more could you ask for?


McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant

 2550 North Mayfair Road
Wauwatosa, WI

Great value

We went for happy hour and had almost everything on their menu. I recommend it all! We’ll be back.

Even though the Happy Hour menu specifically states minimum beverage purchase of $3.25 per person, I ordered a non-alcoholic beverage that did not total $3.25 but our server didn’t contest it… maybe because the others in my group ordered 2+ drinks per person.

Crispy Shrimp Croutons


Blue Cheese Chips

So good, we ordered more.

Chicken Sliders




Baja Fish Tacos


Firecracker Shrimp

Has potential, very tasty! But this is the only dish I had a problem with as the shrimp came out raw. One of my dining companions (who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York) confirmed… raw. I sent it back to the kitchen and the second attempt was slightly underdone but good enough.


Red Lobster

 2801 North Mayfair Road
Wauwatosa, WI

If you have to plug your nose walking past the kitchen, run

Having worked in food service for a significant amount of time, I’m usually somewhat lenient when the kitchen is hella busy. If it’s slightly overdone, I won’t let that ruin my meal. But I have no idea what happened to the “food” that was placed in front of us here.


I have no idea what you have to do to shrimp to make it mealy and grainy but that’s what this was. We tried all the options: shrimp scampi, soy-wasabi grilled shrimp, shrimp alfredo and breaded shrimp. None of it was even edible. Maybe it was rotten?

That theory was confirmed by the fact that when we walked past the kitchen on our way out, the overwhelming stench made us gag… we had to hold our breath until we made safely it outside and we were horrified by the thought of what we’d just consumed.

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