5 local restaurants that should be national chains
Milwaukee restaurants are known for big portions. Kudos to local chains like Culver’s and Topper’s for bringing some Midwest charm and cheese to the masses. But there are plenty of other local restaurants that could represent the city through stomachs and loaded plates. Big chains like Hard Rock and Bubba Gump started out somewhere—why not a local stalwart? The A.V. Club looks at some local contenders for conquering hunger and making people love the city through their tummies.
The Safe House
The food: The classic pub fare is okay, but the keeper glasses are the real star of the show. Those glasses already show up in exotic locations on the website, so why not have ones branded with other exotic cities?
The feel: The Safe House is the type of restaurant every other crap-on-the-walls restaurant wishes it could be. Wandering around the place looking for conversation starters makes eating here an experience.
The city: The Safe House needs to expand into a city known for its spies and intrigue. Washington, D.C. already has the International Spy Museum, so why not open up a location nearby?
The food: A great fusion of burgers and vegetarian/vegan options that allows for guilt-free food, even though the deep fryer removes the healthy and adds the delicious.
The feel: A great local neighborhood bar feel. Applebee’s wishes it could bottle .00000001 percent of it.
The city: Vegan options and filling meals would fit Portland like an animal-testing-free glove.
The food: The secret is out on this Bay View cheap Mexican mecca. The steak tacos are legendary, but anything on the menu is worth trying at these prices.
The feel: GTO’s new digs get rid of some of the dive-y charm of its original location, but it also doesn’t go for the faux-cantina look that a lot of Mexican places are guilty of.
The city: No nonsense and good food? Sounds like St. Louis to us.
The food: Piling odd toppings on burgers allows for that strange alchemy of finding delicious combinations that taste great drunk and pretty good sober.
The feel: The WWII theme mixes well with the shabby graffiti left by hundreds of fans from MSOE, UWM, and Marquette.
The city: This restaurant has already spread to the ultimate college town: Madison. The ultimate goal is someplace like Boston, a city featuring hordes of hungry students.
The food: The top dog (sorry) of hot dogs in town. The free fries just add to the deliciousness.
The feel: The blue-collar feel exemplifies the simple industrial roots of this town. It’s the good food of a truck stop without the diesel funk.
The city: Martino’s could easily take over Rust Belt hot spots like Pittsburgh.