Founded in 1929 with the hope of promoting the palatable prowess of the pheasant, MacFarlane Pheasants remains in familial hands while doling out fresh, high-quality meats alongside condiments, sides, cookbooks, and other gifts. Avian eats revolve around the illustrious pheasant, with choices including boneless breasts ($19.95/package), strips ($19.95/package), sausage, and a hickory-smoked bird ($26.95/package). Game meats round out the shop’s protein-centric chops and include cuts of everything from alligator, elk, and ostrich to venison, bison, and bigfoot. Dress carnivorous slices with a selection of savory sauces, including the cranberry chutney ($6.25/10 oz.), or dazzle dinner guests with meat-enhancing sides, such as hot olives ($8.99/16 oz.) and wild rice ($6.95/8.75 oz.).
The Exclusive Company—a Wisconsin-bred music-and-movie retailer—has given the gift of song since 1956, earning a Best of Milwaukee award from Shepherd Express readers in 2011. Passionate staffers guide visitors toward sprawling collections of rock and jazz and bins brimming with DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and loose 8mm slides from Kenny G's summer vacation. In addition to peddling new vinyl releases such as El Camino by the Black Keys and Revolver by T-Pain, the shop functions as a trading post, helping to find loving homes for preowned films and music. All used discs are carefully buffed into shape before meeting their new owners, and each comes backed by a money-back guarantee, which promises store credit if a preowned item exhibits biting tendencies. Most used CDs, DVDs, and vinyl cost less than $20.
Dozens of local products and cheeses populate the comfortable confines at the Wisconsin Cheese & Wine Chalet, where a knowledgeable staff greets guests with friendly grace. Catch the breeze on the outdoor patio, or sample from the wine selection as the team prepares its signature Wisconsin Cheese & Sausage 18-inch tray, a massive mound of meats and cheese perfect for sating starving Labor Day revelers. The platter arrives stacked with one pound each of mild cheddar, colby jack, and pepper jack cheeses from the Wisconsin Cheese Company. The array of summer sausages includes 12 tasty ounces of the Wisconsin Sausage Company's original, garlic, and cranberry summer sausages, each crafted from 100% Angus beef.
The professional photographers at Target Portrait Studios capture paramount moments in premier lighting with high-tech digital cameras and a choice of vivid background images. After clients discuss pose preferences with their portraitist, subjects take the stage for approximately 10 minutes of flashing bulbs, bright smiles, and focused lenses. Clients are welcome to bring props and shadow puppets from home, and after choosing a background, they can further customize each image with one of the studio's props, if desired.
Sizzling burgers and steaming tangles of pasta leap from kitchen to plate in Ground Round's family-friendly dining room or sports-centric lounge. Families pile into cushy booths on one side of the restaurant to peruse the ample menu of generously-portioned burgers, gluten-free offerings, and desserts as decadent as a king playing badminton with truffles. Adults can congregate in the adjoining lounge crowned with a full-service bar, and personal TV screens at each booth provide instant access to big games and TV shows.
The Metropolitan's chic, lounge-like interior gleams with polished wood and rich-colored furnishings, with exposed brick walls showcasing a variety of eye-dazzling art pieces. Adventurous appetizers cushion culinary landings, ranging from bacon-wrapped water chestnuts served with honey dipping sauce ($9), to spicy chicken egg rolls packed with jalapeño and mozzarella ($9). The Metropolitan's high ceilings accommodate the towering flavors of entrees, which include steak frites, a succulent cut of beef napping fitfully in a bed of potatoes and fresh greens ($24), and the shrimp and scallops, shyly cloaked in a veil of white wine sauce with asparagus and lemon ($26). The Metropolitan opens its lush interior to the public for lunch and dinner on weekdays but limits epicurean visits to dinner hours on Saturdays to encourage people to catch up on cartoons and lazy clocks to count faster.