Friday, May 14, 2010

brew city 2

Last weekend Matt and I made what was only my second trip to Milwaukee. This time we saw a restored copy of Japanese "horror" film, Hausu or House at the UW-Milwaukee Union. More silly and psychedelic than scary, it's the only kind of horror movie I'll sit through.

Before dinner we ate at a Chinese place called Fortune. The woman who teaches Mandarin Chinese at my school recommended Fortune because they offer separate American and Chinese menus there. Though it looks like your typical take-out Chinese joint from the outside, my coworker told me that it was "real" Chinese food. I thought it was a good sign that more of the restaurant's patrons were Asian than not.

ma po tofu

shredded pork with Chinese pickles

The ma po tofu was flavorful and more spicy than most Chinese dishes that are labeled "spicy". The pork dish was a bit salty for our taste, with soy sauce as the overwhelming flavor. I would like to go back and try some other unfamiliar Chinese dishes, perhaps with ordering recommendations from someone who knows actual Chinese cuisine.

After the movie, we headed across town to a bar that Matt had scouted out. The Palomino Bar is owned by the same people who run Comet Cafe, which I've mentioned before. They both have the same playful vintage charm that I'm a sucker for. They also both have interesting and appealing menus that I would love to try again.

The big draw for Matt was their Velvet Elvis sandwich, a This-is-Why-You're-Fat-worthy creation involving bananas, peanut butter, and bacon on grilled bread. It wasn't as bad as I'd expected, but I couldn't handle much of its richness so soon after the Chinese food. Matt was all about it.

The side options and dipping sauces were many and varied. We opted for onion strings and crispy brown tater tots with Cajun cream sauce. I wish I had some tots right now...

The biggest draw for me was the first item on the cocktail menu: a Moscow mule. I was recently introduced to this drink concept and knew at once that it was my new drink of choice. The Moscow mule is an old school easy-to-drink cocktail that apparently popularized vodka in the U.S. during the 1940s. The Palomino Bar is totally the kind of place that would serve the all-but-forgotten drink.

I first made these at home since I didn't know where I could order one. A couple of shots or vodka (or gin for a Gin-Gin Mule), juice from half a lime, and ginger beer are all you need. Oh, and cute copper mugs that I am now coveting. Does anyone know a place in Madison that serves Moscow mules? Gin and tonics just won't cut it anymore.

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