Sophie Bolich

Troublemakers’ Cocina Announces Dec. 16 Grand Opening

The Mexican fusion restaurant will make its debut at Central Waters next week.

By - Dec 9th, 2022 12:51 pm
Bar at Central Waters Brewing Co. Photo taken in 2017 by Jeramey Jannene.

Bar at Central Waters Brewing Co. Photo taken in 2017 by Jeramey Jannene.

Just in time for holiday mischief, Troublemakers’ Cocina will host its grand opening at Central Waters Brewing Co. at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16.

The fast-growing Mexican concept has progressed from pop-up to private caterer over the past two years, and now plans to make its brick-and-mortar debut at The Brewery District brewery, 1037 W. Juneau Ave.

Though owners Martin Magaña, Arnie Gonzales and Dillon Knight were a seemingly overnight success, the business, in reality, is the culmination of several decades of combined industry experience.

Magaña’s career has spanned both Madison and Milwaukee, where he worked at a diverse range of restaurants alongside award-winning chefs while developing his own unique culinary style. Magaña was previously executive chef at Tess and co-owner of Frida at Crossroads Collective.

Gonzales has also held a number of positions at Milwaukee establishments. Most recently, he acquired event-planning and catering experience while working at Good City Brewing. The two connected in 2020 through Chef Latinos Wisconsin, an organization designed to offer support and visibility to industry workers of Latino heritage.

The latest addition to the Troublemakers’ team is Knight, whose previous credits include Black Sheep and Ugly’s Pub.

Versatility is king for Magaña, as evidenced by the chef’s ever-changing menu and frequent sparks of inspiration — all duly recorded in the notes app of the chef’s phone. In fact, Magaña has continually tweaked the Troublemakers’ menu, adapting to the preferences and tastes of guests, during its trial run at the brewery.

And though nearly all of his waking hours are dedicated to the business, Magaña prioritizes fun in all he does, which is how he and his partners first earned the Troublemakers title.

The team’s passion is infectious and clearly communicated through Troublemakers’ dishes, which offer “a new vision on Mexican cuisine” while preserving the integrity of traditional flavors and cooking methods.

At the new location, guests can expect an extended menu featuring an assortment of sweet and savory small bites, tacos, fusion dishes and entrees specially designed for beer pairing.

Mexican Street Corn and Brussels Sprouts get a hit of umami from the addition of kewpie mayo, a Japanese condiment. Chili piquin brings the heat for a well-balanced and flavorful starter. Beef Birria Egg Rolls are the best of two cuisines, combining tender, braised beef and lamb, Chihuahua cheese and cabbage, deep fried and served with smoky chili aioli.

Tacos, topped with salsa, pickled red onions and fresh cilantro, are filled with your choice of carne asada, chicken tinga, tempura cod, al pastor pork with tajin candied pineapple or roasted brussels sprout and cauliflower.

For a sweeter snack, Troublemakers’ offers Sweet Chicharrones, a reimagination of the classic street food duros. The dish comprises fried wheat pasta wheels tossed with cinnamon sugar and served with dulce de leche. Though a departure from the usual chile and lime-topped snack typically served in a plastic bag, Troublemakers’ interpretation is equally shareable, craveable and fun.

On game days, Troublemakers’ will offer a special menu featuring wings, tossed with Tajin pineapple, honey lime mole, sweet chili adobo or tangy habanero sauce and the edamame hummus platter, paired with a blend of corn tortilla chips, grilled pita, crostini and pickled vegetables. Another game day option, sheet tray nachos, come piled with your choice of carne asada, al pastor, chicken tinga or roasted vegetables, plus nacho cheese, salsa verde and sour cream.

An assortment of sandwiches, including a birria gyro, salads and loaded fries round out the menu. Along with an emphasis on scratch-made dishes, Magaña said he tried to emphasize gluten-free and vegan options (marked on the menu), in order to appease a diversity of diners.

Troublemakers’ will replace Dairyland Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard and Hamburgers, which departed from Central Waters brewery in early October after operating for a little over a year in the space.

Starting Dec. 16, Troublemakers’ Cocina will be open at Central Waters Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information and updates, visit the Troublemakers’ website or Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us