Milwaukee has a very vibrant food scene. There are very few chain restaurants in the city. Instead, there are many independent, unique restaurants of all ethnicity’s. One business here has sought to showcase the many diverse choices we have here. That is the Milwaukee Food & City Tours – https://www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/
Milwaukee Food Tours has a series of gastronomic adventures throughout the year. Mostly taking place on a tour bus (such as the one above), they sponsor such interesting excursions as The Bloody Mary Brunch tour, Milwaukee Pizza Bus Tour, BBQ-Bourbon & Beer Tour, Craft Breweries and Cocktails Tour and Milwaukee Fish Fry Bus tour. These are just some of the many tours available on their web site. We just went on the “Tacos & Tequila” bus tour, which was entertaining, informative and satiating.
We arrived at the designated meeting spot in the Walker’s Point neighborhood around 6pm on a recent Saturday night. We were with 12 people total on the bus, none of which we knew before the tour. Our tour guide, Sarah, gave us the overview of what to expect. We would go to 4 different Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee and taste the house specialty taco and partake in a tequila based drink. Costs for the different tours does vary, we paid $65/person for this tour. This includes transportation on the bus to all stops, all food and drinks and a guided tour by a knowledgeable guide. No need for cash, the tour company pays the restaurant and tips the staff. So off we went.
It turns out that we had never been to any of the restaurants on the tour. The common theme of all 4 restaurants was that they were family owned, authentic Mexican restaurants. We were warmly welcomed at each place.
First up, El Jalapeno, 2106 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204. (https://www.facebook.com/El-Jalapeno-653911411322762/)
At El jalapeno, we were served Chicken Sope and a lime green margarita, along with chips & salsa.
Sope is a thick hand-made corn tortillas fried and topped with chicken, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. It was served with a very green margarita. All were tasty and well presented.
Next, we were off to Cocina 1022, located at 1022 S. 1st St, Milwaukee, WI 53204 (https://www.facebook.com/cocina1022/).
At Cocina 1022, we started off with chips & two kinds of salsa and the drink was a paloma. The paloma is a tequila-based cocktail, with a grapefruit-flavored soda such Jarritos and served on the rocks with a lime wedge. Adding salt to the rim (in this case sriracha flavored salt) heightens the tequila and grapefruit soda.
For the taco course, we were served Pork Al Pastor Tacos on a corn tortilla, with Onion, cilantro, and grilled pineapple. Again, very nice pairing.
Our 3rd stop was El Senorial, 1901 S 31st St, Milwaukee, WI 53215. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Senorial/119219108088191) and (http://elsenorialmexicanrestaurant.food83.com/)
Margarita w/salt on the rocks as well as Chips and salsa started the experience at El Senorial. What was noticeable was that everyone in our group laid off the chips. I think everyone had their fill of chips & salsa at the previous two stops. We rounded out the evening’s taco experience with Carne Asada (steak) tacos on corn tortillas. All three restaurants served their tacos on corn tortillas, which is more authentic Mexican than flour tortillas that are more prevalent in the US. Also, we were treated to a Mariachi Band as we downed our carne asada tacos.
We did have one vegetarian on the tour and she was accommodated at each stop with a vegan version of the taco being served to everyone else.
Finally we completed our tour at Taqueria El Cabrito 1100 S 11th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204 (https://www.facebook.com/Elcabritotaqueria/)Here, we had a homemade Flan. Unfortunately, they do not have a liquor license, so this was a Tequila-free stop. Probably a good thing in retrospect.
If you are in Milwaukee, I highly recommend checking out the Milwaukee Food & City Tours – https://www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/ It would be a fun time for a group to partake in any of the tours. And we had fun meeting new friends as we ate and drank our way through the south side of Milwaukee.