August 04, 2012

Milwaukee Food Tours: Brady Street

I enjoyed my third food tour with Milwaukee Food Tours today, and I know the Brady Street area a lot better now. Chris and I go to Brady Street quite often to shop at Glorioso's, but other than one dinner at Balzac, we haven't spent any time actually exploring the neighborhood.

Now that I know more about the area, and received lots of recommendations from our tour guide, Maria, I'm looking forward to returning to dine in the Brady Street area. Below is a photo of the friendly group I was with today...I'm the one in the back who appears to be 10 feet tall :)

Photo by Wade Nemetz of Milwaukee Food Tours

Our first stop was Zaffiro's, which is known for its thin-crust pizza. The restaurant opened in 1956 and is still in its original location at 1724 North Farwell Ave. I prefer a thicker crust pizza than the cracker-like crust at Zaffiro's, however their pizza was really good and I would definitely eat there again.



Our next stop was my favorite. We sampled tacos at Cempazuchi and they were really good! Chris loves Mexican food, so I have no doubt that we'll return, and I plan to sample their margaritas next time.



The third stop on our tour was the Peter Sciortino's Bakery. I've purchased their bread many times, but had never been inside their store until today because I've always bought it from Glorioso's down the street.




We sampled delicious cannoli today and I'd like to try their cookies on my next visit. My co-worker was just recently raving about the cannoli from Sciortino's and our tour guide mentioned one reason why they're so good. They fill each cannoli on demand, so they don't become soggy.



Speaking of Glorioso's, that was our fourth stop on the tour. Before heading to their current location which opened a couple years ago, Maria told us the history of this family-run business as we stood across the street from their original location.

I didn't get a chance to visit the former location, which operated there for 64 years, but I've heard great things about the charm and character of the old store. However, I've also heard only good things about the new location.



At Glorioso's we sampled olives, salami and prosciutto. Chris and I have eaten lunch from their deli before and I like both their indoor and outdoor dining areas.



Next we headed to Brocach, an Irish pub, and I was impressed with the interior. Chris and I spent two years living in England, and traveled to Ireland during that time, so as someone who has visited a lot of pubs, I can say it had an authentic feel.























I was also impresssed with their outdoor area. Their patio has quite a bit of seating and looks out over the Milwaukee River. I'd like to return for their summer movie series, because the movies are shown on the patio. We sampled Shepard's Pie at Brocach and I liked my vegetarian version.



The final stop on our tour was a beer at Wolski's Tavern. I'm sure most people in the area have seen the "I Closed Wolski's" bumper stickers, and they're easy to get...just stay at Wolski's until closing time :)

The bar is smaller than I imagined, and the exterior is definitely not what I pictured, but it's a fun bar that I'd recommend stopping at.



Our one-mile tour brought us nearly back to the recommended parking lot, and I too would recommend parking right behind Balzac when you visit Brady Street. The parking lot is between Arlington and Warren, and offers 10-hour meters.

The other parking options are limited to 2-hours, and we learned the hard way when dining at Balzac that they ticket frequently. By the way, Balzac Wine Bar is a great restaurant. They're known for their Balzac Sac Mac, which is cavatappi pasta topped with a creamy blue cheese b├ęchamel sauce.




I've really enjoyed all three tours I've done with Milwaukee Food Tours. Previously I did the Historic Third Ward tour and their Pizza Bus tour. Today's tour was just as great as the others, but if I had to choose, my favorite would be the pizza tour.

Maria mentioned that tours in Bay View are starting this fall, which immediately piqued my interest. I was just recently trying to decide between Pastiche, Odd Duck and Braise for my birthday dinner in September, but now I'm really tempted to do the Bay View tour instead!

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