Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Night Out: Best of MKE - Shepherd Express Style

A few weeks ago, I got an email that shared details about Shepherd Express' Best of Milwaukee event at the Intercontinetal Hotel. It was just $5 for a ticket and said it would have food and beverage samples, giveaways, services and more. My friend Tiffany and I are always looking for fun things to do in downtown and decided to check out this event.

I wasn't really sure what to expect to happen at the event, but we dressed up a little and drove into downtown. I scored an excellent spot just a few blocks away on Broadway and we walked on down to the event.

We were greeted by very friendly event staff and upon entering the room, were overwhelmed with the delicious smells and beautiful people of Milwaukee enjoying some eats. We did a lap around the room, got a Horny Goat and Captain Morgan Black sample and then decided to jump in line for food. We got there at just the perfect time because when I visited the ladies room, the line was down the stairs now.

I will admit off the bat that I was horrible at taking photos and remembering where I ate what from but I will do my best to describe it. From the website, here is an event description:
     Thousands voted in the 22nd annual Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee readers’ choice awards, and some of the winners may surprise you. We’ll reveal them at this award ceremony and party at the downtown InterContinental hotel, which will feature complimentary food from more than a dozen Milwaukee restaurants and bakeries, including Shahrazad, Motor, Centro Café, Revolucion, Zaffiro’s, Miss Cupcake, Alterra, Zak’s Café, Tazino’s, Kiku, Jow Nai Fouquet and more. The event is open to the public. Admission is $5 in advance, $7 at the door, and the proceeds benefit St. Ben’s Scholarship Fund.

Food tables filled the outer three walls of the ballroom with a large bar in the middle and projection screens on the back wall. We decided to just jump in line and start filling our plates. We started at Shahrazad and had the Hommus (that I am a huge fan of lately) and Kashkeh-E-Bademjan with pita. I picked up a menu and saw they have a Sunday brunch and my menu offered me a $5 off coupon. SCORE! The Kashkeh-E-Bademjan is similar to a hommus dip but made with eggplant, whey and onions. This was absolutely delicious and I didn't grab enough pita, so I used a bun top to scoop up the rest. 
Best of Milwaukee food!
 We then tried some sushi from Kiku that I saw was the Best of Milwaukee winner in 2010 when I drove by their restaurant a few weeks ago. The California roll was super stuffed with avocado (double yum) and the other roll I tried that I thought was filled with mango, but ended up being something yellowish and crunchy was also really good. Sorry I don't know what was in it

The pork belly sandwich with crispy deep fried onions was really good from Motor. Tiffany and I split the wrap from Two Bucks which was chicken, peppers, lettuce and a lovely creamy ranch dipping sauce. 

I grabbed a plantain wrapped in wonton from ???? (help!) that was absolutely delicious. My foodie penpal last month introduced me to plantain chips and I am a big fan. This warm plantain "egg roll" was heavenly as an appetizer or a semi-savory dessert

We went out into the hallway to eat our findings. In the hallway was the door prize table, dessert tables, massages and photo booth. We registered for door prizes, but I don't think either of us won, however we didn't eat any desserts this night. We headed back into the hall for wine and this is when I caught a glimpse of one of my ex-boyfriends. About three minutes later, I spotted a guy that I went on a not-so-good date with. Funny that in the last week, I have had so much interaction with my past :) 

I grabbed a glass of wine, Tiff went back to get more of the delicious sushi and I waited for pizza from Tazino's. I tried their basil, mozzarella, tomato 'za - excellent. It was a little piece and I wish I grabbed two but I didn't want to be greedy. While munching on these, the awards started and we watched as each place was revealed. 
Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio - very refreshing in a warm room!
Some of the winners were ones that I picked, others I hadn't heard of and a few of the winners surprised me  - like At Random for most romantic bar??? Here is the complete list of winners

Best of Milwaukee Award Time
I'm planning to do a post about the winners that I have been to in the next week or so, but I have added so many new places to my ever-growing list, I don't know how I will ever get to all of them! I need to win the lottery and stop working, or grow a money tree but I seem to have misplaced the seeds for that :)

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