Hunger Task Force supplies approximately 60,000 meals to 82 pantries and meal programs across Milwaukee County, and more than half of the 35,000 people who visit the pantries every month are children. The Hunger Task Force's emergency-food fund provides nutritious meals such as peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, chicken-noodle soup, and grilled cheese to those in need, with a special focus on children facing hunger. It costs Hunger Task Force $10 to provide a month's worth of lunches for one child.
French, of course, for French Alliance of Milwaukee, Alliance Française de Milwaukee transplants the culture and language of the French-speaking world to the city's Lake Michigan shores. Several teachers help students learn the smooth, mellifluous language even if they weren't born with a Frenchman's velvet tongue, and a variety of events commemorate French history, from the joyous summer hours of Bastille Day to the annual release of the beaujolais nouveau wine each fall.
ComedySportz showcases sidesplitting talents in team-based improv spats on Fridays and Saturdays. In the signature ComedySportz shows ($8–$12/person) and ComedySportz Kidz matinee show ($7.50/person), comedic squads square off against one another in a some-holds-barred refereed stage match that is surprisingly appropriate for all ages. In an effort to keep humor clean, referees and audience members can call for the brown-bag foul, which puts offensive performers into bagged timeouts to think about both what they've done and what it feels like to be a grocery item. Each show is unique, with catalyzing situations ranging from rambunctious elimination rap battles to time-twisters that flash-forward and rewind as per the ref's arbitrary calls. ComedySportz encourages audiences to toss in suggestions throughout the performance to keep improvists on their witty toes and off their humorless heels. The laugh-riot arena hosts 180 unobstructed views to witness unscripted feats of farce. In between giggles, onlookers can nab some fermented ales at the on-site full bar or snag an order of fresh eats from the Howie's Restaurant menu featuring comfort fare such as hot dogs, deep-fried Twinkies, and boiled afghans.
Amid Centercourt’s 14,000-square-foot hardwood haven, people entertain their eyeballs with 20 flat-screen TVs, their ears with frequent live music, and their taste buds with a hearty spread of pub grub and brews. Centercourt fields a full team of wines and spirits, in addition to the 16 on-tap offerings and 30+ bottled beers awaiting their release. Sports enthusiasts can create an edible lineup with build-your-own sandwiches or Hobo fries (spud spears smothered in cheese and beef gravy; $4.95)—an appetizer that can be customized with bacon, chicken, or steak (up to $3.95 each). For a meal as light as a globetrotting eccentric’s hot air balloon, there are salads ($3.95–$9.95) and a roasted-vegetable wrap ($8.95).
Most of MOCT's patrons start the experience with an appetizer of Serbian-style sliders (ground pork and beef with kamjak, a feta and red-pepper spread, $6) or O.G. wings (classic buffalo sauce, $7) and a $4 draft of any of the seasonal beers on tap. One of the special imports such as Big Nik Serbian beer or Strongbow ($6 each) pairs well with a 14-inch MOCT pizza (Serbian sausage, mushroom, and onion, $13) or beef burek (ground beef and onions layered in phyllo dough, $12) before you move on to liquid desserts such as a blackberry margarita ($7).
Every night the notes of renowned jazz, blues, and R&B performers echo through the glimmering walls of 88 Keys Piano Martini Lounge, where martinis and small plates meet beneath mood-setting blue lights in West Allis’s downtown stretch. The relaxed spot was conceived by co-owners Greg Barczak and Suzy Ball who, as West Allis Now reporter Mark Schaaf notes, “hope the city is turning a corner and want to make something more of the downtown” by attracting a younger crowd and lending the area an intimate, upscale nightlife option.
Inside the low-lit lounge, glass windows open and close to bathe guests and performers in a cooling breeze. Artwork and Wisconsin gangster memorabilia, including John Dillinger photographs and high-school report cards, beam down upon pots of fondue and gourmet pizzas. Behind the glowing bar, master mixologists blend a lengthy list of 28 specialty martinis and fill glasses with wine and beer.
Skaters circle around Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park—part of the Milwaukee County Parks system—amid trees strung with lights and the arched façade of the 1000 North Water Street building. The refrigerated oval rink accommodates 100 skaters at a time, making it ideal for family outings and confusing games of super-hockey. And inside the rink’s warming house, visitors can hide from the chill with a cup of coffee.