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Louisiana Food With A ‘Midwestern Twist’ Coming to Westown

Crab It Your Way brings the Bayou. Charles E. Fromage styles itself after 17th century France. Draft & Vessel brings beer patio to Public Market.

By - Jun 20th, 2019 02:20 pm
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Crab it Your Way. Photo from Crab it Your Way's Facebook page.

Crab it Your Way. Photo from Crab it Your Way’s Facebook page.

Crab It Your Way, a new restaurant bringing “Louisiana-style fare with a Midwestern twist” is open for business.

Owners Devonzell Hollingsworth and Andre Johnson decided to open their restaurant, at 823 N. 2nd St., in order to bring takes on seafood “that don’t exist anywhere else” in the city.

The menu, created in partnership with Chef Avneel Williams of Chicago’s Smoke’s Island Chicken, includes wings, shrimp and grits, salads, and po’boys, among other dishes. However, the main attraction is the seafood boil, which OnMilwaukee’s Lori Fredrich has outlined:

  1. Protein: First, you choose your protein: lobster tail (market), snow crab ($20.99 per pound), king crab (market), shrimp ($16 per pound) or crawfish ($13 per pound).
  2. Flavor: Then you decide if you want your seafood seasoned or sauced. Seasonings include mojito lime, mango habanero and Kings Creole. Sauces include Jamaican jerk, Buffalo, creamy alfredo, butter or Crab It house sauce.
  3. Vegetables: From there, you can fill up your bag with any number of additions: sausage (andouille, spicy andouille, chicken andouille, Italian chicken, $4.99), broccoli ($1.50), red potatoes ($2), corn ($1), sweet potatoes ($1.75) or a veggie pack ($4.99).
  4. Heat: Finally, you choose your heat level: original (no heat), mild (some bite), hot (will wake you up) or spicy (something is wrong with you).

Happy hour will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday starting June 24th. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Charles E. Fromage Opens in Washington Heights

A new casual bistro recently opened at 5809 W. Vliet St. Owners Honore and Tony Shiro hope their new business, Charles E. Fromage, will provide the community with, “a place where adults can be adults.” The eatery, influenced by 17th century French salons, can seat 14 people inside and 12 people on its patio.

The husband and wife team say they are open to tweaking elements of the business, such as menu items and business hours, in order to match customers’ demands. Fredrich takes a look at the food and drink menus:

The small bar features four tap-lines, each pouring a Milwaukee-made beer. Current selections include 1840 Brewing’s Koselig Raw IPA, Third Space Brewing’s Unite the Clans Scottish Ale, Black Husky Dogfather Mosaic Pale Ale and Vennture Brewing Co.’s The Heights Saison ($6).

The wine list, which was crowd-sourced by a 18 of Schiro’s closest friends, includes a well-rounded selection, from summer-worthy whites like Fuso21 Verdicchio “Le Salse” Pinot Grigio ($7/$28) and Corvidae “Wise Guy” Savignon Blanc ($9/$32) to Casa Do Valle Rosado Rose ($8/$30), Jean-Marc Barthez Bordeaux Rouge ($9/$32), Compass Cabernet Sauvignon ($8/$30) and post dinner quaffs like Quintana do Infantado Porto ($6).

Beverages can be enjoyed alongside selections from a daily menu of simple appetizers and snacks including rosemary Marcona almonds ($5), marinated olive salad ($6) and their housemade five-cheese spread with sliced baguette ($7) along with a selection of sweets like locally made Ultimate Confections chocolates, priced $1.50-$2.

Tentative hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

New Owners for Fred’s Frozen Custard & Grill

Sam Kassel and Alex Ogden will be the new owners of Fred’s Frozen Custard & Grill at 4726 W. Vliet St. The couple will purchase the establishment in fall from current owners Jim and Carol Carter, who put the business up for sale in March. Kassel and Ogden are also the owners of FourOneFour Events LLC, an event planning company.

The two hope to carry on Fred’s 52-year legacy, with the only changes to the restaurant operations being “a few” new menu items, including soups and vegetarian options. BizTimes’ Maredithe Meyer writes more about the transaction:

Kassel and Ogden have applied for a $250,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation to help fund that purchase and to make minor improvements to the building. MEDC will review the loan request during a June 19 meeting…

Residents of the Washington Heights area, the couple had always been interested in taking over the popular burger and custard shop. So when the business went up for sale earlier this year, they seized the opportunity to become Fred’s fifth generation owners, she said.

The Carters have run the custard and burger joint for the last nine years and plan to retire after the sale is finalized. Fred’s will remain open throughout the summer.

Seasonal Beer Patio for Public Market

Draft & Vessel truck. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Market.

Draft & Vessel truck. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Market.

This summer, the Milwaukee Public Market will partner with Draft & Vessel to bring a beer patio to the sidewalk outside the market along St. Paul Avenue. When the patio is open, eight draft lines will serve beer from a 1941 Ford pickup truck.

Milwaukee Magazine‘s Elizabeth Johnson writes more about the patio’s offerings:

The patio will serve local drafts, none of which are on tap inside the market, and a Twisted Path Distillery custom cocktail. For guests under 21, root beer (from Potosi Brewing Company) and kombucha will be among the patio’s non-alcoholic options…

The patio’s opening day hasn’t been announced yet, but the seating area will be available whenever the market is open, while the truck will pour beer Thursdays through Sundays until the end of the summer.

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