Award-Winning Steak House | Classic Surf 'n' Turf | Live Entertainment | Californian Wines | Supper-Club Decor
When to Go: Try to plan your dinner for a Friday night around 8 p.m. That’s when musicians hit the adjoining Alley Cat Lounge stage, playing everything from oldies and jazz to modern rock and R&B.
Inside Tip: Show up hungry. All meals come with a salad, relish tray, and sourdough bread with butter and honey. A side of butter-sauteéd mushrooms also accompanies every steak.
Media Mentions: Over the years, 5 O’Clock has drawn national attention. The Travel Channel featured it on the program Steak Paradise, Saveur magazine named it one of the best steak houses in the country, and Travel + Leisure said it has a "Mad Men vibe."
Behind the Name: According to the restaurant's lore, the steak house got its name from an alarm clock that would ring every day at 5 p.m., alerting customers that it was time for a free drink.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Tour the Tripoli Shrine Center (3000 W. Wisconsin Avenue), a replica of the Taj Mahal and a member of the National Register of Historic Places.
After: If the entertainment at the Alley Cat Lounge isn't to your taste, head over to The Coffee House (631 N. 19th Street), which offers acoustic music and poetry performances.
At Loucci's NY Pizza, chefs bake the eatery's titular pie in the classic New York style, a thin, toothsome, bubbly crust loaded with savory sauce, cheese, and toppings. Guests sink their teeth into slices of pizza covered in feta cheese, veggies, or italian sausage, or dig in to hearty spaghetti dinners, baked lasagna, or Greek gyros.
At Paje' Restaurant and Lounge, owners Temacca McMurtry and Devon Dent welcome diners with warm, friendly service and heaping plates of satisfying southern cuisine. The restaurant takes its name from the McMurtry family's ancestral home in Africa, hinting at the careful attention paid to tradition, even displayed in the menu's sides of seasonal veggies, creamy shrimp and grits, and caramelized candied yams. The bill of fare infuses classic country feasts with modern twists, such as its fried green tomatoes layered with creamy mozzarella or its chicken wings sided with the kitchen's signature red-velvet waffles. The space itself captures the restaurant's blend of past and present, with rugged, 70-year-old brick walls updated by sleek blond-wood accents, geometric light fixtures, and portals into deep space.
In 1999, Dave Sobelman was serving burgers and pitchers of beer to blue collar workers in the rough and rugged Menomonee Valley. With the checks he cashed on weekends from the humble factory workers he began ordering some of the finest ingredients for this burgers - locally baked country-butter rolls and the best beef available.
Then one day, Dave walked out of his burger bar and saw a newspaper stand for the Shepherd Express. The cover story highlighted the Top 5 "Pub Grub" locations in Milwaukee and Dave's did not make the list. This omission was a turning point in Sobelman's history.
After seeing the article, Dave called the author of the story and invited him over for a burger. The local writer came into Sobelman's the next day and sat at the bar, ordered a PLAIN burger, and a beer. That very next week, Dave Sobelman had his own feature article on the front page of the Shepherd Express praising the burgers at Sobelman's Pub and Grill as the absolute best in Milwaukee.
Dave became wild with the possibility of fame after seeing his name and acclaimed burger in print. So with the help of this wife - Melanie - Dave began placing his energies into continuously providing the most quality ingredients and best tasting menu he could create for the public - and of course this menu included drinks. Dave's location is after all, a storied Schlitz tavern.
It's really not what's inside the glass that makes Sobelman's Pub and Grill's signature bloody mary stand out. The drink, or "Bloody Masterpiece" as it's affectionally called (not to be confused with the "Baconado" or "Crown Mary"), arrives with 13 garnishes. Brussels sprouts, celery, sausage, cheese, and even a cheeseburger slider stick out of the drink like an edible bouquet. The creative drink has garnered many fans, not to mention a feature on Good Morning America.
That slider garnish serves as an introduction to Sobelman's menu. The husband-and-wife team will proudly tell you that they have always had the best burgers in Milwaukee, and they back up the claim with a 2013 Readers’ Choice Award from Milwaukee Magazine and three other local Best Burger Awards in the last 3 plus years. Each Certified Prime Black Angus patty is sandwiched between a fresh baked country-butter roll and rests beneath toppings such as homemade chili, diced jalapeño, or The Piggyback's pork belly, which comes drizzled in bourbon sauce. These burgers have often been imitated around the city, but never duplicated. Aside from burgers, the cooks craft chicken cordon bleu sandwiches and host a Friday fish fry with beer-battered cod.
Despite the creativity shown on the menu, Sobelman's Pub and Grill's original location on St. Paul Avenue has a timeless element. The Sobelmans make great use of their building and they've kept original Schlitz tavern elements such as beer-barrel tables and strict adherence to the law of gravity in the revived Menomonee Valley neighborhood. Simply put, Sobelman's Pub and Grill is Classic Milwaukee.
Beers unfurl from taps into sparkling pints at O’Brien’s Irish Pub, ready for hearty sips or splashes from ping-pong balls during bar-sanctioned games of beer pong. In between rounds of darts and cheers for pro teams playing on the bar’s TVs, patrons dig into a menu of house-roasted prime rib sandwiches, taco pizza, and Guinness french onion soup. O’Brien’s also welcomes tailgaters before every home Brewers game, and provides two complimentary shuttle busses to and from the stadium.
You can write on nearly every surface at The Loaded Slate. A slate strip runs down the bar for tabulating tips, wooden tables have hunks of slate where you can copy the chalk drawings by local student artists decorating the walls, and even the glasses have surfaces you can chalk your name onto in case you forget every word except "slate." The bar delivers on the promise of its name in other respects, too, with a menu loaded with filling pub sandwiches and nights packed with games, sporting events, and DJ sets. According to OnMilwaukee.com's 2011 profile, co-owner Joe Kuntz built drop-leaf tables that can be folded flat against the wall after the kitchen closes to flood the space with revelers. "We're family friendly till 10," explains co-owner Shawn Mellon. "Then we become strictly a bar."
During dinnertime, half-pound Angus burgers and the chef's panini of the month arrive with a pile of pub fries, waffle fries, homemade chips, rosemary red potatoes, or coleslaw. Poultry sandwiches also abound, with baked chicken piled with pineapple and pepper jack or assembled day-after-Thanksgiving style with provolone, spinach, and cranberry mustard. Throughout the night, five taps may pump out Strongbow cider, frothy Guinness, and New Glarus Spotted Cow Ale, which refreshes between bites of nachos made on a base of seasoned waffle fries, or reuben sticks, a fried wonton containing the sandwich's famous fillings and last words. Visitors spill out onto the patio on balmy nights, or pile into the back room—dubbed The Tailgate Zone because of the Ford and Chevy pickup beds jutting from the wall—to watch sports on a laptop-compatible projection TV, a 46-inch TV, and two 26-inch TVs.