The One Where I Hate On Milwaukee But Not Really

At The Cheese CastleNow I don’t blame Milwaukee itself for the miserable trip we took up there, but man what a waste of a couple days. I was desperate to get away from the gray of Chicago, so what better thing to do than replace it with the gray of Milwaukee? It’s only a couple hour drive and it’s something different to do. I Priceline’d a 4-star hotel and we headed out on a 2-day adventure north.

What we ended up with was a trip where we curled into fetal positions, sick from the bar nuts we ate and the alcohol drank at the hotel bar, and watched Blades of Glory before ultimately being woken up by a goddamned seagull tapping on our window. Did I mention the walls were so thin we could hear water running constantly?

Breakfast wasn’t much better. We ate the buffet, which was surprisingly decent for a hotel buffet, but we never had a server. Apparently we could have ordered pancakes, waffles, and omelets as part of our buffet experience, but we didn’t find that out until some random server came up and asked if we’d even been helped. Too bad we were already finished with our meal.

4-star hotel.

But that’s not Milwaukee’s fault. That’s Priceline’s fault for saying the Hyatt Regency was a 4-star hotel when it felt more like a 2-star affair at best.

It also didn’t help that my back went out 2 hours after we got there. All of the plans we had, which mostly involved food and museums, were pretty much scrapped as we headed back to Illinois, defeated and not nearly as full of beer and cheese as one could hope.

I do blame Milwaukee for their drivers though. I’ve never had so many people tailgate me in a city before. What kind of bumper car logic is taught up there? All I’m saying is stay off my ass.

We’ll probably go back to Milwaukee so we can go on the brewery tours and check out the art museums, but it will be a bit before we do.

But that’s not to say it was all bad. We were able to go Palomino Bar &fried goodness, which of course means LOTS OF DEEP FRIED FOOD. And this is why I wanted to go to Palomino. Not because they were known for a decent selection of vegetarian options, although that is a plus, but because they had an appetizer called the Aw-Fuck-It Bucket.

Aw-Fuck-It BucketLet that roll around in your mind lobes for a while. It’s an appetizer that in and of itself gives up on the argument that you shouldn’t order it. And why shouldn’t you order it? It’s a platter of deep fried awesome: cheese curds, corn dogs, corn fritter, tater tots, jalapeño poppers. The main disappointing thing about this dish is that it didn’t come in one of those buckets you see normally reserved for casinos. I wanted it to come in a pail with Aw-Fuck-It etched on the side. It sounds like a mistake, and I wanted it to look like a mistake.

Deep fried cheese curds are a midwestern thing. I don’t care if they’re served somewhere else, but only midwesterners can invent such an idea. And I thank them for it. I love cheese and deep frying it only makes it better. Cheese curds are part of my childhood. My grandparents used to bring back bags of them from their trips to Wisconsin, I’m assuming from Mars Cheese Castle, and to this day I love those little clumps of cheese.

But if you happen to find yourself at Palomino, a place from the outside that looks like a typical neighborhood bar, please to avoid the corn fritters. More like hushpuppies and dry beyond belief, they were the second big disappointment of the appetizer. Possibly even more disappointing than it not coming in an actual bucket.

The rest of the food? Delicious. I had the seitan Faux Boy and Katie had the chicken and waffles, which came with three giant pieces of chicken and one large waffles. I’m glad I didn’t go with more deep fried though, because that bucket expanded in our stomachs, even though that Vegan Fried “Steak” sure was tempting.

How’s my weight loss going? Not well. Not well.

Seitan Faux Boy

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