The doughsmiths at Salvatore's Pizzeria assemble a menu of five specialty pizzas and six sandwiches made with fresh ingredients and dough and bread crafted by Peter Sciortino's Bakery, a Milwaukee staple. Like Pavlov's dogs on their Sicilian vacation, mouths water instinctively when the scent of fresh-mozzarella-and-marinara appetizers ($5.95) fills the air. Medium Veggie Lovers pizzas ($15.65) round up a posse of pugnacious greens, olives, onions, and green peppers to coax bubbling cheese into settling amid Salvatore's famous crust, and a medium supreme pie ($17.10) ups the ante with sausage and pepperoni. Sandwiches such as the meatball sub ($6.95) accompany sides of fries and expertly transport saucy contents, illustrating why the best suitcases are usually constructed from bread.
Goody Gourmet's specializes in adorning popcorn and other treats with a sweet shellacking of inventive flavors and toppings. The pop shop's friendly staff crafts more than 10 creative corn varieties on a daily basis, including medium-size bags of caramel ($8.50) and jalapeño ($7.25), and large bags of lemonade ($4.50) and white chocolate ($10). For customers of a sweeter persuasion, Goody's handmade confections provide chocolaty respite with batches of cacao-covered snackables, such as almond clusters ($4.50+), pecan turtles ($4.50+), double-dipped graham crackers ($3.15+), and pretzel rods ($4.40). Goody also bags up hull-less caramel and cheese puffs for those unable to consume the puff's pop-corned cousin.
Maple floors and exposed-brick walls contribute to The Riverwest Filling Station’s rustic ambience, which is mirrored in its menu of classic pub fare featuring upscale twists. Alongside indonesian scallops over udon and Southern-style fried chicken topped with beer gravy, the staff serves 30 draught beers. They also pour the libations into take-home growlers using specialized fillers that remove oxygen and pressurize the beer with carbon dioxide, which can extend the shelf life.
Just as Thomas Edison stumbled through useless prototypes of light bulbs and movie cameras before perfecting the phonograph, the alchemists at Qdoba Mexican Grill took 47 attempts before landing on the franchise's signature blend of three cheeses, known simply as queso. That attention to detail still pervades every aspect of the menu, as employees spend hours each day chopping, dicing, and simmering the fresh ingredients that find their way into burritos, taco salads, and grilled quesadillas. Beyond the marinated bites of chicken, beef, and pork and hand-crafted tortillas, cooks protect their ripe, fragile avocados from harm by smashing them into batches of fluffy guacamole.
Featured on OnMilwaukee.com during its early-aughts inception, Sala Da Pranzo's dinner and lunch menus offer both contemporary and traditional Italian fare to fill the boot-shaped hole in Milwaukee's collective heart. Dinner diners get the chance to taste the ricotta-enhanced grandeur of the house specialty appetizer, the eggplant con pane ($11). Pastas like the saporito ($18.50), which tosses shrimp, tomato, basil, and garlic into the capable hands of fettuccini pasta, are available all day, and scene-stealing entrees such as the grilled salmon ($26) with chive cream sauce or the tenderloin porto vino ($34) shine like a strobe light covered in smaller strobe lights. For afternoon eaters, the veggie balsamic sub ($7.25) staves off narcolepsy with the time-tested jolt of mozzarella, tomato, onion, cucumber, lettuce, and balsamic vinaigrette.