Four Lesbians Walk Into a Bar: 24 hours in Milwaukee

Probably because Julie and I are relatively “new” gays, we don’t have many lesbian friends. First things first, this next statement is probably entirely insensitive to the LGBT community, but I do not like the word lesbian. I am completely fine with gay, but for some reason lesbian sounds like even more of an oddity, like it’s a sub-category for an amphibian. But since I try to live out of my comfort zone daily, I’ve opted for this title anyway.

We do have one lesbian couple we are friends with, who live about an hour and half north, near Milwaukee. About once a year, we drive up to see how it’s like to live in a city that doesn’t have a cost of living that prevents you from having a yard other seemingly approachable things in life when you are in your late thirties.

Aside from our stereotypical Saturday night where the four of us stayed in to watch college football, our friends showed us around Milwaukee, which is really a great city. I always say it’s like a little Chicago with almost everything you love about it, but nothing you don’t. It too is right on Lake Michigan, has a great craft beer scene and is booming with economic growth. Here’s a taste of what to eat, drink and do if you ever find yourself in MKE:

Where To Eat:

Belair Cantina

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Belair Cantina: learn Spanish in the bathroom!

Located in a pretty hip neighborhood near Water Street is great place for killer tacos in pretty much any variety you could imagine. They had a closeout on beers like Little Sumpin, Sumpin’ for two bucks and all the tacos are a la carte, for maximum mixing and matching. If you order three, they throw in rice and beans, so Julie and I split four between the two of us. The Korean beef taco was by far our favorite with a spicy sweet marinated beef and a Sriracha cream sauce. We also tried the Fried Avocado and Bacon, which was tasty, but maybe a bit too deep fried for my taste. Perhaps the highlight of the restaurant was that when you went to the restroom, there were beginner’s Rosetta Stone Spanish lessons pumped in while you pee. It was genius. I learned how to say, “May I have two tickets for the concert” or “Puedo tener dos entradas para la concierto”.

Sobelman’s North Shore

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I’ll have a garnish, with a Bloody Mary on the side.

A Sunday morning wouldn’t be complete without a Bloody Mary. I’ve had a few thousand or so Bloodies in my life, but and I had never seen one like the ones at Sobelman’s. The garnishes were not an afterthought, but the thought. There was a menu of 10 or so different varieties, one of which came with a whole deep fried chicken. We opted for two slightly-more toned down versions, both that were garnished with shrimp, sausage, cheese, asparagus, pickled mushroom, olive, celery, lemon, tomato and on mine, cheese crack. If you don’t know what cheese cracks is (I didn’t), it is a piece cheese and bacon that are deep-fried to make a hot, steamy finger sandwich. My Bloody came with three of them. Sobelman’s is know for it’s burgers too, so Julie ordered one of those and I had the Friday Fish Fry, that’s served 7 days a week of course. Both were on point and left us with the perfect taste of Wisconsin life.

What To Do:

Lakefront Brewing Company Tour:

Saturday afternoon we headed to one of the better known craft breweries in Milwaukee and for $8 got a great 40-minute tour of where Lakefront brews its best. The tour included four 10-oz. samples of what they were pouring on tap, and a souvenir pint glass thrown in for fun. My two favorite beers were Growing Power with a floral, hoppy taste and East Side Dark which was dark in flavor, but very easy drinking and light in flavor. The tour was both informative and fun and ended with a Laverne & Shirley sing along where they showed us the bottling facility. The tour both started and ended in a packed beer hall, where we elbowed up to some strangers to finish our beers and decide a nap was in order next.

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