5.15.11 Brunch. INdustri Cafe (Historic Walker's Point/5th Ward. Milwaukee, WI)

This past Sunday, me and Jamie (a fellow foodie) woke up and initiated our typical Sunday...texts back and forth trying to decide where to go for brunch.  Rough life, I know.  The common question is, one of our usuals or something different?  We got adventurous and picked something new.  Jamie, loves her some onmilwaukee.com, and an article recommended that we go to INdustri Cafe.

Front of the restaurant with chair/couch seating
We get to INdustri right around the time that it opens up for brunch on the weekends, 11am. Despite it being open for less than 30 minutes, the place was pretty packed.  There is an awesome sitting area at the front of the restaurant of chairs and couches, there is a bar that you can sit at, tables dispersed throughout the main floor and an upstairs that sits over the bar and overlooks the main dining floor.   First thoughts of the place is "woah, this is freaking awesome."  Nice little gem in the area.  Cream city brick and wood flooring with art along the walls and an old school gas station logo.  Five points for whoever knows that gas station logo it looks like...too lazy to research.

Where we sat at the bar
There is a short wait for a table but we are offered seats at the bar.  Initially, we were told that food wasn't served at the bar, which we were fine with.  We are rarely on a time crunch and it gives us more of a reason to start the day off with a delicious beverage, whether coffee or bloody mary or in this case...both.  The bar was super busy with orders for the bloody mary and mimosas.  We saw the bloody mary and first thing that came to mind was (in the words of the woman from Napoleon Dynamite when she lays eyes on the model boat) "I want that."  It was just ridiculous.   I'll just post the pictures of it and provide some details.

INdustri Loaded Bloody

Yes, that's a side plate for your fixins' enough said.  One fantastic aspect is the grilled prawn.  The bloody details:  24 oz, house INfused(roasted garlic, roasted red onion, roasted poblano, and horseradish) Rehorst vodka, pickled goodness, grilled prawn and wisconsin gouda.  Rim was dusted with some special smokey rub/flavoring...tasted a hint of what I thought was nutmeg.  A bit of spice that hit you in the back of the throat but did not cover up the overall flavor of the bloody mary.

Thoughts on the bloody mary: good ratio of alcohol to tomato, great amount of spice in the basic blend, slightly sweeter than the typical bloody mary, no chaser (But, who really needs one with a meal worth of fixins and a whole 24 oz of fluid? Not I but, wouldn't have turned one down either.)  SWEET DEAL ALERT: bloody typically costs $13 a pop.  But, we saw at the bottom of the menu, it's $5 off with a purchase of a meal.  Only one per meal allowed. 

As more people started to sit at the bar, the hostess gave the bartenders the heads up that we can now dine at the bar.  I dig dining at the bar because I like watching the art of mixology.  The bartenders here, Steve and some other nice guy, kept us entertained.  Jamie and I tend to be question masters when it comes to food and beverages.  We learned that they make their own INfused Rehorst vodka and SIDE NOTE, they support local brews and spirits.

So, let's talk food.  You will learn that we tend to try the same type of dish at various restaurants to compare.  Jamie = eggs benedict  and Lisa = corned beef hash and the all american (eggs, toast, bacon and some sort of potato).  We had asked our two bartenders for their recommendations.  One, had never looked at a brunch menu before and the other, had five things he recommended (I'll spare the details, this ones getting a tad long already).  We were both debating between a few options.  Jamie = corned beef eggs benedict, savory crepes or the fried egg muffin sandwich with a side of potatoes o'brien.  Lisa = corned beef hash and basted eggs with a side of english muffin or the corned beef benedict.  We obviously knew we couldn't get the same dish and I remembered I don't dig hollandaise.  Jamie ordered the sandwich and I, the corned beef hash.

Fried Egg Muffin Sandwich with side of Potatoes O'brien
Let's start with Jamie's. 
Sandwich.  toasted english muffin, applewood bacon (2), sauteed tart apples and red onions, fried egg (1), wisconsin cheddar cheese.  $4.29
Potatoes added to dish. $2.00 (roasted potatoes with roasted poblano peppers and roasted onions)

Jamie's thoughts: Liked the onions as they were somewhat pickled like.  Great flavor.  To quote her "a fancy egg McMuffin" and "great bang for your buck."

Corned Beef Hash and Basted Eggs with side of English Muffin

Here is my meal.
Corned Beef Hash and Basted Eggs: corned beef with roasted potato, roasted poblano pepper and roasted onion and egg (2).  $8.95
English Muffin: toasted, dry (no butter served on it. available upon request). $2

My thoughts:  Pretty damn good.  I tend to not like mushy corned beef hash as some places tend to cook them too long that the potatoes get starchy.  This hash is almost not like your typical hash.  Corned beef was very lean.  No fat was noted..which is awesome texture wise.  corned beef is pieces of brisket with thinner cuts and not minced up.  potatoes are kept dry and roasted.  Yolk is what adds some "sauce" to it.  If you're a nut about having all the egg white cooked through, possibly ask for an "over" cooked egg (i.e. over easy, over medium, etc.).  Great flavor in my opinion.

As I mentioned, we each had a coffee.  Pretty good flavor.  A dark roast.  Fairly strong but not so strong that it's bitter.

Other factors that come into play for the overall experience:
- Fun music to enjoy while dining/drinking (old school rock that you can sing along with...for example, bohemian rhapsody)
- Fresh squeezed OJ was noted while sitting at the bar
- Great conversation with employees (host and bartenders) and other restaurant patrons (check out their website bestbloodymary.com and new finds from other patrons that Vintage plays gLee, Tuesdays, on the big screen and serves slushies!)
- Different brunch items on the menu including three types of benedicts, lobster dishes, dishes that include common items (tart apples, poblano peppers, and bacon polenta griddle cakes
- Great place to just chill.  We stayed there for a few hours... more so because we were in a food coma and couldn't mobilize right away.

I was really digging this experience.  It was a pretty good first go at this restaurant and I'm sure if people ask me about a new brunch place, this will be a top on my list.  This dining session totally got me throwing my arms up and saying "I love my life."  So, hit it up!

Overall Dining Experience (average of food, drink, atmosphere and service):  4.2/5
Food: 4.5/5 (great flavors, different menu options)
Drinks:  average 4.25/5 (bloody with great fixins...a meal itself.  coffee, with good flavor, no need for cream to cover it up)
            Bloody 4.5/5       Coffee 4/5
Atmosphere: 4.5 (small  yet two levels provide enough space between tables, good bar service, 5th ward style)
Service: 4/5 (friendly bartenders and hostess)

Recommend to others? Big fatty yes.
Go again? In a heart beat.  Probably to try lunch or dinner and get adventurous with a house INfused Rehorst beverage.  

INdustri Cafe
524 S 2nd St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414.224.7777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            414.224.7777      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Kitchen Hours
Brunch: Sa/Su 11-4pm
Lunch: Mo-Fr 11-4pm
Dinner: Su-We 4-10pm
      Th 4-11pm
            Fr/Sa 4pm-1am

1 comment:

  1. Standard Oil Company of New York then Mobilgas then Exxon Mobil. 5 points...put it on the board please. thanks.