September 29, 2012

Milwaukee Food Tours: Walker's Point Dine Around

Last night was the launch party for the newest tour from Milwaukee Food Tours, which is a Walker's Point Dine Around.  As you know, there are many restaurants in Walker's Point I've been wanting to try and this tour was the perfect way to sample four restaurants plus Clock Shadow Creamery and Purple Door Ice Cream.

Our first stop was The Iron Horse Hotel, which I've been to once before when I visited The Yard (their outdoor bar), however I had never been inside.  The hotel has two restaurants - Smyth and Branded, and the items we sampled are on one or both restaurants menus.

Our meal started with a choice of wine - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Johan Vineyards in Oregon (the winemaker is originally from Wisconsin).  We were then served a bread basket, a Sweet Water Organics salad, Blue & Blue (Great Lakes blue gill with Wisconsin blue cheese) and P.L.T (pork belly, lettuce and tomato) served with house chips.

Walker's Point Food Tour, Milwaukee Food Tours

The server we had was really nice and provided interesting details about the hotel.  For example, the flag pictured above was made from 36 pair of Levi jeans, and the swing in front of it was used for a photo shoot.  I also found it interesting to hear that the hotel was a former mattress factory.

Next we headed to Ginger Tapas Bar, where we had sangria, macaroni & cheese with rosemary and miso steak kebabs.  There was a special tofu kebab for me, which I appreciated.  Although I don't eat 100% vegetarian, I did request vegetarian options, which Milwaukee Food Tours has been great about accommodating on each tour I've been on. 

Next door to Ginger, is Zak's Cafe, where we were given a choice of two sandwiches - Ahi Tuna or Pulled Pork.  I heard a lot of rave reviews from others on the tour regarding the tuna sandwich, which is a fresh ahi tuna steak served on a bed of arugula with a vinaigrette dressing.

I chose the pulled pork, which is slow cooked pork, house made bbq sauce, topped with cheddar and fried onion, which I liked.  I made Chris try it too since a favorable review of a pork sandwich isn't as credible from a mostly non-meat eater, and he liked it too.

Walker's Point Food Tour, Milwaukee Food Tours

I was quite full at that point, so the next stop was perfect.  Clock Shadow Creamery opened this past summer and is Milwaukee's only urban cheese factory.  We sampled cheese curds, quark and LaBelle cheese. 

As you know, I love quark.  In fact, I almost bought some at the store because Woodman's has been out of stock for the past two weeks, however Woodman's only offers plain quark and the store had flavored quark options such as tomato basil.

Walker's Point Food Tour, Milwaukee Food Tours
Sharing space with Clock Shadow Creamery is Purple Door Ice Cream, and it's such a great combination.  You can pick up locally made cheese and ice cream, all in one stop!  I love that the flavors and prices are on a large purple door hung from the ceiling :) 
We each received a mini cone and I chose salted caramel, which was awesome.  They had quite a few flavors available for sale in pints, however the selection was fairly comparable to Outpost Natural Foods, which is closer for me, so that's where I pick up Purple Door Ice Cream. 

Walker's Point Food Tour, Milwaukee Food Tours

Our final stop of the evening was at Chez Jacques for dessert, where we sampled crepes with a vanilla sauce and berries, as well as banana nutella crepes.  Coffee was also offered at this stop. 

I love crepes, so I thought they were the perfect ending to the tour.  While at Chez Jacques, we took a peek at their outdoor patio area, which was very nice.  I only wish there was still time this season to go back and dine on the patio.
Walker's Point Food Tour, Milwaukee Food Tours
I would definitely recommend the Walker's Point Dine Around, especially this winter when the neighborhood walking tours aren't available.  On a dine around, you travel via bus and the focus is on the food, with just a little bit of neighborhood history shared. 

After attending two previous walking tours, which I really enjoyed, I also like the new dine around concept.  We spent a longer time at each stop, which gave us a chance to slowly enjoy our food and get to know other tour members.  Luckily, we were with a great group of people to chat with.


  1. The Walker's Point tour sounds awesome. I'm actually going to Clock Shadow tomorrow after work to stock up on quark. I cannot find it anywhere else. I've checked the West Allis cheese mart in the Public Market and Sendik's with no luck :(

  2. Um, yes please! I just sent Chris your entry plus the link to this tour as we've got to do it. All places I'd like to get to and, wow, you get a lot of food!