A melange of Milwaukee flavors

It was a bit of a tasting day in this city.  We started out at Watt’s Tea Shop, which has been in business since 1870, and serves a really great breakfast. How can you beat stuffed French toast and Eggs Benedict on homemade English muffins? Well, you can’t. Plus, they really know how to make a pot of tea.

We dieted by walking back to our hotel and then headed for a must-see in Milwaukee – the Miller Brewery and its tour. We all know the product, but the story is impressive. Unlike many competitors, they weathered prohibition (gee, thanks, Carrie Nation) by making soft drinks, but the day it ended, somehow they were able to ship thousands of kegs off to lots of thirsty customers.

Guess I wasn’t paying attention in 2008 when they merged with Coors. At any rate, we saw where they make, bottle and distribute all their brands, of which there are many. We were in the original “Miller Valley” and some of the older buildings are lovely. I never realized how central their “girl in the moon” icon is to them, but it was sweet to see it everywhere.

Any tour that ends with samples of the product is a good tour, and this was a good tour!

Then it was off to another must-taste Milwaukee legend – Kopp’s, a frozen custard local staple since 1950. It came highly recommended and justifiably so.  Unfortunately, the Heath-Bar custard daily special disappeared before I could snap it, but trust me – when in Milwaukee, try Kopp’s.

Our late lunch/dinner will be at another local legend – Karl Ratzsch’s German restaurant. Following that we are seeing “The Color Purple” performed by the Milwaukee Rep, right downstairs in the Milwaukee Center. See?  We don’t just eat when we travel. But some days you might get that impression…

Just one more postscript to add about Milwaukee for all of you “Happy Days” fans.  It is required to have your picture taken with the bronze statue of the Fonz here, and Don obliged – even sharing his new hat. Looks good on the Fonz.

But, we can go one better and tell you about seeing Henry Winkler in a New York theater recently. This was the best shot I could get discreetly, but thought it belonged here.

2 thoughts on “A melange of Milwaukee flavors

  1. Yes, the Fonz Fedora; quite snappy. But what’s with the big yellow fist? Also, if you’d gone to the Schlitz Brewery (the beer that made Milwaukee famous), you would have seen the Golda Meir school across the street — yes, the Israeli prime minister went there as a kid!

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    • Ah, if only the Schlitz brewery still existed. Miller is now the only operating brewery in Milwaukee (outside of the microbreweries) and the Schlitz label today belongs to Pabst, whose HQ is LA. Sad, eh?

      As for Golda, we were aware but did miss the school. There is just tooooo much to do in Milwaukee!

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