Where I Grab My Morning Coffee in Kenosha

Coffee flows freely in Kenosha. We're neatly tucked between Milwaukee and Chicago, so our local shops have a lot of roasters to choose from. Here's a breakdown of where I stop on my morning commute.

1. The Daily Dose

The Daily Dose is a tiny breakfast and lunch joint in the middle of town. They specialize in paninis and soup. They also brew up the best cup of Colectivo in town.

What to eat: Awesome Beef sandwich or Bisculicious.

2. The Buzz

The Buzz recently opened in Kenosha, bringing with them a new (to Kenosha) coffee roaster—Metropolis: a self-proclaimed "small batch artisanal coffee roaster" hailing from Chicago. Their coffee fits right in with most Third Wave coffee roasters—pretty acidic and floral. The Buzz also boasts a handful of fancy flavored lattes if pretentious coffee isn't your thing.

What to eat: there's always a new tasty dessert to choose from. Can't go wrong there (Mini apple pies!)

3. Linnea

Linnea brings a groovy dose of IKEA to Kenosha. They're a Scandinavian themed bakery and cafe. The highlight of their offerings is a special cardamom roast made specifically for them by Stone Creek Coffee (Milwaukee).  Sadly, they aren't open yet when I drive to work so my visits are limited to Saturdays after the farmer's market.

What to eat: delicious baked goods that I can't pronounce.

4. Mike's Donuts and Chicken

The name says it all. They brew Just Coffee Co-op and will do Intelligentsia pour overs by request. I avoid the Intelligentsia (not sure how long it takes for those opened bags to get used) but the Just coffee is solid. They also have a few varieties brewing every day which is nice.

What to eat: Honey Butter Chicken biscuit for breakfast, Original Fried Chicken Sandwhich for lunch.

5. Starbucks

What? Starbucks? I know there isn't anything special about Starbucks but for being a small town of 100k people, Kenosha still manages to keep 3 Starbucks locations (all on the same stretch of road) busy.

What to eat: who cares, it's Starbucks. Go grab a Jimmy Johns sandwich or something.

My Love/Hate Relationship with the WI State Fair

Well, the Wisconsin State Fair has come and gone just as fast as my last relationship.  And I must say, the 2016 State Fair I hardly knew thee.

As someone born and raised in the "Great" city of West Allis, I have grown up almost literally every summer in and at the fair.  I have many great memories of going with my mom during the day and splitting a cream puff with her and then washing it down with a delicious 25 cent milk from THE LEGENDARY WI senator Herb Kohl.  Full disclosure, milk wasn't actually produced from him, just a sponsorship.

Well anyway, I only went once this year which is a significant decrease from the normal 4 or 5 times I usually go.  Not sure if it's because I'm becoming an old man or the fact that I am trying to avoid spending money all together.

Regardless here are a few of my favorites and a few of my dislikes from the Wisconsin State Fair:

What I love:

1)  The Bison Burrito - This isn't as cool as getting something edible on a stick, but it's definitely more tasty and worth the money.  I get this every single year that I've gone and it's a tradition that I will not stop.

2)  Cover Bands - One thing about Milwaukee and it's surrounding neighborhoods, they LOVE their cover bands.  Especially bands that cover 80s and 90s music.  It seems that every mullet and fanny pack come out to see their favorite cover band hammer out Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits.  And I can't seem to get enough of it.

3)  Carnies -  I really like the midway.  Let me rephrase that, I LOVE THE MIDWAY.  I love watching people win giant dolls (this year Pokemon were popular again) and also hearing the melodic voices of all the toothless, nicotine addicted carnies yell at me to knock all the milk bottles off the pedestal.  I never attempted it, but gives me a sense of nostalgia watching and hearing the unwashed masses try to coerce money from my pocket.

What I hate:

1)  They raised the price of the milk - When I was a child you could get a flavored milk (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and root beer) for a quarter.  That was when Herb Kohl sponsored it, but now it's the Bucks.  So not only do I need to pay for their new arena, but I need to pay 50 cents for a small cup of milk.   OH THE HUMANITY!!!!

2)  The Heat - I get it, summer is the best season of the year, but dang it can be unbearably hot some of those days.  The heat doesn't take away the fun from the State Fair, but it does make it have a stronger B.O. aroma.

3)  Driving around the fair - If you've ever driven to/from the Fair, you know what a pain in the arse it can be to get around.  People drive like morons and don't obey the traffic signs.  And if you're walking to the fair, watch out for a Vin Diesel wannabe in their beat up Honda Civic, while they attempt a hairpin turn around 84th Street, completely ignoring the pedestrian right of way.

Well I can keep going for both likes and dislikes but then this becomes one long blog post.  Definitely look forward to our State Fair episode while Josh and I go into much more detail about this legendary Wisconsin Event.

On Wisconsin!

Tim

A Tasty Cream Puff!

A Tasty Cream Puff!

  

This is WI where Beer Festivals are KING!

Do you live in Wisconsin?

Do you enjoy beer?

Do you enjoy festivals?

Do you enjoy drinking beer at festivals in Wisconsin?

If you answered to one of those questions, you're definitely in our demographic.  Like you, I often find myself going to beer festivals throughout Wisconsin.  And this state is definitely full of them, and that is NOT a bad thing.

For the most part, many of these festivals feature great breweries throughout our great state, as well as neighboring states.  I may be biased but I think WI has some of the best micro breweries in the country.  (Don't worry Portland, Oregon, I'm sure you're great too.)  Look for some episodes in the future where Josh and I focus on a specific brewery and sample many of their great beers.  

This past weekend I went to my ALL-TIME favorite beer festival in the state.  The festival was Firkin Fest.  And in case you don't know what a Firkin is, do yourself a favor and find out.  Many of the beers featured were created specifically for this festival, and distributed through that firkin.

Josh and I are looking forward to many episodes featuring beers, because full disclosure, we love beer.

As always, On Wisconsin!

Lessons from my first Summerfest

Even though I've lived in Wisconsin for 18 years, I've never been to Summerfest. The opportunity to see Death Cab for Cutie for free finally lured me out of Kenosha. Here's a list of observations and HOT TIPS from my first trip.

  1. Kicked off the evening right with some drunk girls singing "I'm In Love with a Stripper". Milwaukee doesn't disappoint!
  2. There are many ways to get in for free. Free tickets from corporate parters, can of soup days, or children's book days to name a few. Exhaust all options before paying.
  3. You're also bound to waste an absurd amount of money on food and drink. Make the right choice and eat a Saz's Sampler.
  4. Want good seats to a show? Mooch off some friends that have been camping out all day. Rolled up to the second row at 7:30pm.
  5. Belligerent drunks will try to steal said seat as the show's start time approaches, claiming they were there all day. Ooookay.
  6. You will endure all forms of smoke, vape and spilled liquids as you wait.
  7. On that note, don't wear flip flops.
  8. Parking and traffic is horrible. If you're staying for a late show, park in the Third or Fifth Ward and walk.
  9.  A buck will get you a few bottles of water from a stranger on your way out. This is a lifesaver after sitting on a bleacher for 4 hours.
  10. It really was a better experience than I expected. I'll definitely be back next year!