Breakfast With A Beautiful View
Uncle Wolfie's in Brewers Hill overlooks the city with cozy vintage touches and tasty chow.
At Uncle Wolfie’s, you won’t see suits, ties, or pointy-toed stilettos. What you will see is a breakfast and lunch restaurant, where neighbors stream in, in twos, threes, and fours, to sit at banquette-style tables, or, to belly up to the bar. It’s casual, cozy, can be loud at certain busy times, and totally delightful.
This former bar, lodged in a Cream City brick building at the corner of Vine and Hubbard in Brewers Hill, has a killer view of Downtown, especially if your seat faces south. There’s a sunny ambiance that flows from those south facing windows, as well as from the customers, and the waitstaff.
Everything in the room looks like it’s been there for 100 years or so, even if it hasn’t. Take those stunning lights over the bar for example, or the pressed-tin soffits around the bar made from tiles rescued from the original ceiling.
Since the restaurant is small, 14 seats at the bar, and 26 seats at those banquette tables, you could have a short wait, but no problem. The owners figured that into their plan when they added a back room designed for their customers, a space so charming, friends and I were happy to linger on the couch while we waited.
On a first visit, breakfast was on our minds. A dozen entrees, a potpourri of choices from plate-sized Johnny Cakes, observed at an adjacent table, to Steak and Eggs, a 10 oz. 40-day aged New York strip with roasted tomato sauce made it hard to decide. A Pulled Pork Tostada, at another adjacent table, a mountain of meat topped with an egg and grilled vegetables, looked almost too good to pass on. But heck, there will be more visits and more breakfasts.
The Breakfast Burrito with coffee rubbed pulled pork, lived up to the menu description. The pork had a hint of coffee flavor, while the rest, chunks of roasted sweet potatoes, salsa verde and scrambled eggs, appeared to exceed the limits of how much filling can be stuffed inside a flour tortilla. The chef finished it with a drizzle of sour cream and some fresh pico de gallo, creating a burrito that stands among the best.
The Benedict, served on toasted English muffin bread, had pulled ham instead of the traditional Canadian bacon. There was a lot of that delicious ham, with just enough hollandaise to coat the nicely poached eggs, no runny whites, loose yolks, and then, those exceptional Tavern Potatoes. If you like crisp nuggets of spuds on the plate, you will love these potatoes, including one unexpected purple potato.
I returned two days later with two companions eager to sample something from Uncle Wolfie’s lunch menu. I’ll start with the Hamburger with Cheese, which I ordered because of its accouterments, American cheese, balsamic caramelized onions, and something curious, fancy sauce. This medium rare burger approached perfection in my book, and here’s why. The toasted bun, the onions, sweet and tart from the balsamic, the fancy sauce, a mustard-based tangy addition, and the melted American cheese on top, added up to a buttery combination of sweet, salty, tangy, and fatty, seldom found all together in an ordinary hamburger. Order this burger and I think you’ll agree.
All the sandwiches came with fries, every one crisp, not a limp one to be found.
The Millee Cheese Steak with coffee rubbed chuck, garlic pickled jalapenos and onions, and beer cheese sauce, on a hoagie bun was a disappointment. The flavors were there, especially the coffee-rubbed chuck with its mild, distinctive coffee note, but that chuck was also the problem. My companion found approximately one third of the meat tough and chewy, hard to eat, while the other two thirds were tender and juicy.
The Griddled Cheese Kessler, sharp cheddar, muenster, and beer cheese sauce, also in a hoagie, was a cheese lover’s fantasy. The cheeses were melted underneath the sauce, yet each retained its own flavor. This was a serious oozy, cheesy, sandwich that needed something more to make it pop. I poached a couple pickled jalapenos from the steak sandwich, and that made all the difference.
Also on the lunch menu, you’ll see a BLT salad with oranges, blue cheese, candied almonds, pickled red onions, arugula, and a white balsamic dressing, a Steak Salad, and the House Salad with herb bread crumbs.
For your wake-up call, you can order coffee eight ways, or hot chocolate. There’s soda for sale, a list of specialty cocktails, beer on tap, and five alcoholic drinks with bubbles.
Uncle Wolfie’s may be the new kid on the block, but it’s clear their presence on this corner in Brewers Hill is a fine addition to this distinctive city neighborhood.
On The Menu
- Location: 234 E. Vine St.
- Phone: 414-763-3021
- Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat-Sun
- Neighborhood:Neighborhood: Brewers’ Hill
- Website: http://www.unclewolfies.com
- UM Rating: 4.5 stars (average of Yelp, Trip Advisor and Zomato)
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.