Located in the historic Hoffman House, Tello's Grille and Cafe crafts a dizzying array of edible offerings, from American-style hot dogs and hamburgers to Mexican classics such as tacos and burritos. The sprawling menu is the confectionary result of owner Angel Tello's experiences cooking in a mix of Mexican and U.S. eateries; it includes a mouthwatering mountain of breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. Traverse the meaty crevices of the carne a la tampiquena, a grilled-and-spiced skirt steak resting nestled in the gooey arms of a cheese enchilada ($14.95), or the mucho burger, crowned with grilled poblano peppers, mushrooms, onions, swiss cheese, and avocado ($7.95). A selection of imported and domestic beers ($2–$7) and wines ($4.50–$6.50 per glass) punctuates orders of homemade baklava ($2.95) and mid-meal checkbook balancings.
Amid a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, Beanies doles out daily made chips and fresh salsa while serving dishes from a menu replete with contemporary Mexican cuisine. Choose from an array of aperitivos, tostadas, ensaladas, soups, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas; the restaurant is known for its Mexican chili, which it claims was voted #1 in the "Hot in the Harbor" chili cook-off. Choose a bowl of the spicy, chickeny goodness ($4.95) or debate about what made the dinosaurs extinct with a selection from the cantina. Adventurous patrons or monkeys who miss the gentle rocking of a palm tree in the wind can take a booze cruise on Beanies' big tree-swing while sipping a margarita, cerveza, or seltzer water.
Attentive diners will notice a few things missing from Taste of Africa’s meals—wheat, barley, and rye. The naturally gluten-free entrees also eschew dairy products, relying instead on tomato sauce or egg to thicken their sauces and stews. One such specialty stew, red red, blends fried plantains and baked beans; another mild option, pili-pili, combines cabbage, meat, and red beans to create an African-style chili. Traditional African spices ignite other meals, from plates of grilled goat to tilapia fillets. Not to be outdone, vegetarian dishes such as saffron or coconut rice soak up swells of the eatery’s signature sauces, which are flavored with unsweetened peanut butter or egusi spice. Diners can also take home glass jars of these sauces to share with whatever friends they have left after the glue stick incident.
In addition to the authentically prepared cuisine on the menu, Taste of Africa sells gifts handmade by African artisans. Every $15 spent on the collection of clothing, jewelry, and raw shea butter provides a meal for a child in a Congolese or Senegalese orphanage.
Punctuated by festive colors, a plentiful bar, and ample outdoor seating, La Chimenea's two locations put diners in the mood to celebrate. Owner Hector Jimenez—who also has a website dedicated to healthy Mexican food—offers dishes that run the gamut of Mexican staples. Menu items include homemade guacamole and sirloin-steak fajitas, along with more innovative creations, such as the specialty chilies en Nogada, which fills two poblano peppers with ground beef, peaches, apples, and nuts before slathering it all in a creamy cashew sauce. At the bar, a variety of tequilas anoint lime, strawberry, or raspberry margaritas, and patio seating keeps the seasons at bay with a fire pit during the winter months and a restaurant-sized snow globe over the summer.
Milwaukee Ale House echoes with notes of live music and the laughter of pub goers, but the building is also the site of serious work. Beyond a pair of glass doors, the pub's stainless steel fermentation tanks bubble with Milwaukee Brewing Company's creations. When they're ready, these beers make the short leap from brew room to bar tap, forming a beverage selection that Esquire described as, "plentiful and tasty, complementing the top-notch food."
The menu sports a convenient pairing chart that helps diners match prime rib, pulled-pork sandwiches, and spicy beef-and-chorizo burgers to house brews. Ideal with chicken, Louie's Demise exudes the smooth maltiness of a typical amber ale but with a balanced kick of Perle and Tettnanger hops, A meat-and-potatoes porter, the Admiral Stache ages for one month in bourbon barrels, lending a toasty vanilla flavor to subtle notes of milk chocolate and dried fruit.
Situated in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee Ale House's century-old building provides the main dining room and patio areas with waterside views of the Milwaukee River. The pub's decor exudes its own historic charm with exposed brick, a scattering of empty wooden barrels, and vintage beer signs. When live bands aren't performing, focus turns back to the bar area, where the taps form an ornate centerpiece built to resemble a copper-topped wooden vat. Around the vat hang white mugs belonging to members of the Mug Club and office workers who "got lost" during their coffee break.
Downtown Pizza’s chefs crown their signature pies with inventive toppings such as hawaiian jerk sauce and sliced corned beef before pairing them with wings, pastas, or gooey desserts. Tufted leather booths squeak as diners vie for the final slices of German pizza loaded with sauerkraut, bratwurst, and potatoes or steamy pot-pie pizzas that pile tender bits of chicken atop rosemary-crumble crust. Vegetarian pizzas arrive slathered in creamy pesto sauce or topped with marinated mock duck, and six varieties of sauce souse the breaded and baked chicken wings. Hanging lights emit a soft glow that accents the retro pizzeria’s red and turquoise walls on which vintage plates and kitschy salt and pepper shakers perch in shadowboxes and await puppet-show requests.
Beach volleyball is traditionally a summertime sport, but it's a year-round affair at Bic's Place. In addition to two outdoor sand courts, the sports bar shelters two indoor sand courts, all of which host league games and tournaments. Perfect for postgame celebrating or commiserating, Bic's Place's menu includes sports bar staples such as deep-fried macaroni and cheese, housemade pizza, and wings tossed in one of more than 10 sauces, including Wild Turkey bourbon. Bartenders behind the curving wooden bar help pair each meal with the right libation, while eight big-screen TVs stay tuned to the latest sports until at least 2 a.m. six nights a week.