In Dining

Let's get out of our dining comfort zones and take convenience off the menu. Pictured : menu at Sport Club in Downtown Milwaukee.

Let's take convenience off the menu

Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted!

One factor seems to override all others when deciding where to dine: convenience.

Admit it, you go to many of the same restaurants because they're easy, close to home or work or you're just comfortable there.

Routines rule, and when it comes to dining, deciding based upon quality, locally sourced ingredients, design, personality of the owner/chef, price, etc., all sound great yet, many of us decide where to eat based upon convenience.

Where is the restaurant? Is it close? Do I know where to park? But, really, I don't care about parking you shouldn't either. It's Milwaukee. It's easy to park anywhere. Do I know the menu? Decisions. Decisions.

So, as I've said before, I urge you to make a "places I want to go to" list. Go to different places, different neighborhoods and step out of your dining comfort zone. There are so many great new restaurants, and seemingly something new opening every week.

And I don't write this just for you. Consider my lunch dining habits, for example. When I don't have a lunch meeting, I eat lunch at spots that are close: the Milwaukee Public Market, Sport Club, Urban Beets, Colectivo, Shah Jee's, Swingin' Door, and even the occasional Starbucks protein box.

As for dinners, we usually end up going to the places we already love. This list is long, but full of favorites like Calderone Club, San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana, Buckley's, Cubanitas, the Wisconsin Club, Jing's, Cloud Red and many, many others.

Yet, when I want to just got to "someplace new," I don't want convenience to be the only thing that rules our decision. Yet, it often does. Can we get in and out quickly? Is the food generally good? A place that fits this bill usually wins.

Like you, I also too often forget about places I love too. Elsa's, Beans and Barley, Bavette, Harbor House, Tandem, Xankia, Coquette Cafe. The list goes on and on. There are just so many options.

My point?

Be thoughtful about how and where you dine. Spread your love and dollars around the area. Make a greater Milwaukee dining list, read and review lists that are out there, and don't take Milwaukee's many dining options for granted.

Make a list, check it twice and bust out of your Milwaukee dining comfort zone.

We have it very good here, and it's your responsibility to get out and enjoy it all. Often.

Onward. Happy Dining Month, Milwaukee!


mygreendoor | Oct. 22, 2015 at 8:48 a.m. (report)

Ah but you forgot one very important aspect under the "convenience' umbrella - that is how convenient it will be to bring kids - especially kids like mine that are 1 and 2 and still learning how to behave in a restaurant. I do have that "try it someday" restaurant list but it's a lot harder to be adventurous not knowing for sure whether a place has high chairs and whether the staff is more likely to be OK with messy kids and kids who are still learning restaurant manners. Hence, the gravitation to the same old places we always go to. Unless you'd care to babysit?.....

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