Good Times and Danke! Gracias! Cheers! Thanks! Ta! You Rock!

Good times were had by all at the 10th annual Food Slam this past Friday night. Thanks to all you spectacular Slammers for coming to eat, drink, bid, and support WMSE, making Friday’s fiesta the biggest, funnest, and successfullest Slam to date!

And hey, check out that sweet video up there expertly shot in a gritty, dizzying, hand-held style by yours truly, Food Slam blogger Erin Harris. I think I missed my calling, Milwaukee. Writing, schmiting. I was meant to be a cinematographer on classic films such as Saving Private Ryan, etc. JK. But do dig the tune by magnificent Milwaukee musician and musical mastermind Rick.

Oh and big, big thanks to the fine local establishments that provided the awesome auction items, and a special shout-out to the following delicious vendors for supplying the tasty vittles:

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., Atomic Chocolate Co., Ball ‘N Biscuit Catering, Beans & Barley, Blue’s Egg, Bolzano Artisan Meats, Centro Cafe, Chubby Cheese Truck, Eat Cake!, Hector’s On Delaware, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Jake’s Deli, Jow Nai Fouquet Thai, Kasana Concierge Gourmet, Martita’s Mixers, Maxie’s Southern Comfort, McBob’s Pub & Grill, Milwaukee Ale House, Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern, The Noble, Outpost Natural Foods, Paciugo Gelato, Purple Door Ice Cream, Red Rock Saloon, Revolucion Mexican Restaurant, The Rumpus Room, Sala da Pranzo, SPiN Milwaukee, Times Square Bistro & Pizzeria, and The Wicked Hop

Nectarous! Cheers! See you next year!

–Erin Harris


Food Slam Sold Out

That’s all. If you got tickets, we’ll Slam with you tonight.

Oh, and you should all probably eat a light lunch. You’ll want your full appetite come tonight.

Food Slam! Tomorrow Night! Rock!

Hungry Slammers unite! A few things to keep in mind about the Food Slam that’s goin’ on tomorrow night from 6 till 10 p.m. at the Grohmann Museum on the campus of MSOE:

  1. There might be one or two tickets left. Sales stop tonight at six, so get down to the station before then if you want to get your taste buds rocked tomorrow night.
  2. Don’t forget that when you bring two or more nonperishable items to donate to the Hunger Task Force, you get a ticket for the free beverage of your choice.
  3. The Food Slam ain’t just about tasty vittles—it’s also a bidding slam for getting awesome deals on sweet stuff like such as the following for instance:
  • Starting at just fifty smackers is a makeup party for four, a unique experience that includes a one-on-one makeup application and lesson with Blush’s premier artists! Bring out the feather pillows, the Cyndi Lauper records, and the margarita mix, ladies, cuz the girls are gonna have some fun!
  • Two pairs of tickets to any of the Brew City Bruisers’ exciting home-season bouts! Get out the Band-Aids, the crutches, and the steaks for them black eyes! Wait . . . you’re just a spectator—no first aid kit necessary. Just bring the good times! OK—the Bruisers supply those too . . . and lots of ‘em. How ‘bout just bring your splendid self and your vigorous vocal chords for cheerin’?!!
  • You must be a luckystar cuz you shine on the opportunity to bid on this fabulous special-edition three-piece from Luckystar Studio’s Chimp Series. There’s a dude with a yellow background who’s gettin’ pretty chesty with the Superman thing, and then he’s over there regarding that banana peel, and I don’t know what he’s doing in that suit, but it’s definitely cool. Yeah, that chimp stuff’s definitely gots it goin’ on!
  • Holy supercool handcrafted handiwork, Batman—get down to the Slam and check out the wrought-iron “Squiggle” candle holder hand-forged by Bay View’s own Milwaukee Blacksmith. Ain’t nothin’ as cool as something that took fire and muscle and iron to make—this thing’s gonna floor ya.
  • Whoa, daddy, a two-hour experience aboard the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern! A 16-person bicycle-powered party on wheels! Whether you’ve got a pub crawl, a bachelor party, or a company event coming up, this is the travelling apparatus and terrific adventure for you. Bid starts at sixty bucks. SIXTY BUCKS? Pretty sweet for a super-fun segue to good times. Forget rotting away in dark bars—get some air with your booze, Milwaukee!
  • Itchin’ for some ink? Put the pedal to the metal and the needle to the skin and bid on a $250 gift certificate for a custom tattoo from Spencer at Zoe’s Vicious Circle in Bay View! When the bidding starts at $55 for Spencer’s spectacular work, we’re talkin’ pirate’s booty here, ladies and gents. You’re liftin’ the loot, pilferin’ the plenty, and you ain’t even gonna walk the plank for it.

And that ain’t even the half of it. There’s that, and more, and a ton of stuff galore. So sweet! Get stoked! And we’ll see ya at the Slam!

–Erin Harris

Centro Cafe’s Luscious Lasagna

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Riverwest’s smackdown, dynamite Centro Cafe is bringing its A game to the WMSE Food Slam this Friday at the Grohmann Museum on the campus of MSOE. For all you vegetarians who’ve had enough talk about salami and reubens and tuna and reubens and meat and meat and meat, chow down on Centro’s luscious lasagna layered with leeks, roasted butternut squash, garlic, and rosemary. It’s got this cream sauce, see, that makes you swoon, and the leeks are heaven, and the squash melts in your mouth, and it all comes together like the way a good band comes together, when everyone’s firing on all cylinders and you can believe in harmony and unity and perfection. And then there’s Centro’s vegan Caesar salad, which is cunningly creamy (how do they do it? Tahini and silken tofu, I think), fantastically fresh, and succulently snappy. These dishes are gonna shine as stars of the show come Friday night. You won’t be able to get enough.

And, while I was at Centro, I also tried their gluten-free pasta with marinara sauce, since I usually (except in anticipation of the Slam, when I get to write this blog) roll gluten free, and had shamefully not previously made it to Centro, though I had heard great things about their GF options. The pasta is good, you know, as good as gluten-free pasta can be, but what makes that dish is the well-balanced marinara sauce–bright, fresh, garlicky, rich, and neither too sweet nor too astringent. It hit the spot, I’m tellin’ ya–it was on the mark. I felt like Goldilocks, Slammers–the porridge was just right. Fo shizzle.

And regarding tickets, I really don’t know what to tell you. No, I’m kidding . . . I think there are a few left–maybe two–so if you ain’t got yours, hit up the station down at 820 N. Milwaukee Street during business hours (9 a.m. till 6 p.m.) through Thursday for a fix.

–Erin Harris

Anodyne’s Cuppa Mo-Joe

SCIENCE! And necromancy. I stepped down to Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. with the charismatic and magnificent Buzz, illustrious host of the great WMSE show Buzz’s Garage, and got a brewing demo and coffee tasting divined by coffee conjurer Steve Kessler. As you can see in that video up there, the siphon-pot demo was like some kinda mad, cool science experiment conducted by Bill Nye or Mr. Wizard. The brewing apparatus looks like something in a lab, what with the little Bunsen-burner-like flame under the glass vessel. The vacuum action of the siphon pot swirls and whirls and spins like a cyclonic particle accelerator and forces the water up to saturate the savory grounds and produce an exquisite extraction. It’s almost like you’re watching an illicit substance being cooked up, and, I’m telling you, what comes out of that carafe is so good it might as well be against the law. We tried the Ethiopian Limu Natural brewed with this device, and the coffee’s berry notes and light, clean, creamy body knocked us over with deliciousness. Buzz weren’t jestin’, ladies and gents, when he said “Hey, that’s good coffee!” Well, OK, he kinda was, but just to make you laugh–he was serious too. When the alchemical magic gets coaxed out of a naturally processed Ethiopian heirloom bean with some kinda necromancer’s mojo, that stuff truly blows your mind.

And it’s gonna taste like a million bucks with Kasana Concierge Gourmet’s panna cotta infused with Madagascar vanilla and topped with homemade caramel with rum. This classic Italian dessert is creamy, aromatic, and knockout delicious with its sensuous, exotic, islandy twist, and knocked-off socks will be flying around the Grohmann when Slammers savor the panna cotta with my favorite Anodyne offering–Guatemalan Huehuetenango, which wins first prize for fullest body, richest flavor, and funnest name to say. Way-way-ten-ango. Way-way-ten-ango. Way-way-ten-ango.

So you’ve really got to step on it if you haven’t gotten your Food Slam tickets yet. They’re almost 90% sold out, and we know you wanna revel in the food event that’s gonna rock Milwaukee’s taste buds on October 7, so you best click here, if ya know what’s good for ya.

–Erin Harris

PS. Thanks to Milwaukee outfit Sons of Saboteurs for the use of their spectacular tune (in the video) called “It’s Just a Slide.”

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