Beneath the glow of warm lights, Casa Tequila delights taste buds with the vivacious flavors of authentic Mexican dishes. Chefs draw on fresh ingredients and produce exclusively, ensuring that every dish is free of packaged sauces and Lincoln Logs. Sauciers prepare guacamole before tables, and the restaurant's many flat screen TVs fill the space between bites with UW Badger and Green Bay Packer games. A full bar, replete with imported beer, margaritas, and daily specials, keeps spirits merry and coasters employed.
Every Friday night at The Hairy Lemon Irish Pub, the menu expands?cooks add six seafood entrees to their usual repertoire. For the Friday Night Fish Fry, cooks bake cod, fry beer-battered perch, and sear fillets of walleye, serving them alongside parsley butter potatoes, coleslaw, potato salad, and rolls. But the menu is just as hearty the rest of the week, as cooks craft pub classics ranging from wonton-wrapped mozzarella sticks to reuben sandwiches heaped with sauerkraut. By way of entertainment, the cozy eatery hosts tournaments of the popular Sheepshead card game on the first and third Saturday of the month.
Far from the bustle of the city, The Jail House Restaurant's historic farmhouse towers over surrounding cornfields and golden pastures. Dating back to 1845, the striking wooden edifice once housed a general store and tavern before being converted into the upscale steak house it is today. Inside, a logwood staircase leads to the dining room, surrounded by walls of rustic wood paneling. In the kitchen, grills sizzle with hearty new york strip steaks, prime rib, and seafood, along with a rotating selection of daily specials. Meanwhile, the staff of bartenders?renowned for their wit and trampolining skills?doles out fine wines and cocktails.
The top brass twisters at Auntie Anne's, one of the world's largest hand-rolled, soft-pretzel franchises, create enough twirly treats every year to wrap the earth in deliciously salted dough three times over. Pretzel professionals prepare a wide array of sweet and salty snacks, spiraling them into ornate knots with the delicacy of a grandmotherly sailor and baking them to golden brown in full view of customers. A plain pretzel offers a satisfyingly simple snack, while sacchariferous ingredients such as cinnamon sugar and toasted-almond toffee make tongues sweat with anticipation. Mouths will mambo to the Mediterranean flavors of the garlic pretzel, a perfect treat to submerge into a dunk tank of marinara or one of the other available dipping sauces. Or, sample slender tubewiches swathed in the warm embrace of pretzel dough with signature pretzel dogs. Pair braided bites with a chalice of lemonade or a frozen ICEE drink, both of which pack a flavorful punch that’s more refreshing than a brisk morning run that successfully evades a pursuing snow leopard.
Riverside dishes up a delectable menu of American favorites and handcrafted beverages against the backdrop of the Milwaukee River's placid flow. Feast on a fleet of specialty sandwiches, including a quartet of grilled paninis teeming with tasty portobello, prime rib, or tuscan chicken ($8.95–$10.95) and a saucy slew of barbecue baby back ribs lounging with fresh veggies on a grilled kaiser roll ($8.95). Carnivorous patrons can sink mouth swords into a lean petite sirloin filet ($15.95) or savor a cluster of skewered tequila-lime shrimp grilled in butter ($18.95). A crab and lobster ravioli bursting with crab mousse, drawn butter, and a charming bouquet of fresh herbs courts a shy blush alfredo bedecked in a ravishing parmesan crumble ($24.95).