I have been on a serious taco binge lately. I have eaten at Bel Air Cantina (always and forever), Iron Horse Hotel (The Yard), and Cloud Red all within a 3 weeks time, trying out a tempeh, fried cod, chorizo, and a veggie fajita skillet with chips and salsa over the weekend in Houston. I have even made my own seitan and cauliflower tacos for the past 3 weeks with avocados, cilantro and corn salsa. Making food at home has been something fresh and more exciting for me as I make more plant-based options, but going out is also something I thoroughly enjoy. (the reason I have this website) Each visit to the aforementioned restaurants has given me a chance to try a myriad of proteins/meats (fried tilapia, cod, carne asada, soy-based) flavors and toppings, along with drinks. Bel Air serves up refreshing ginger beer while Iron Horse serves up a gamut of margaritas, and even a non-alcoholic mint mojito and gin and tonic! Cloud Red also serves up a WIDE range of wine and brews.
Bel Air's $6 special (can choose from a selection of tacos, 3 get you free rice and beans) on Tuesdays and Thursdays is always a good deal, but the Iron Horse hotel recently just launched their own Taco Tuesday deal that gets customers all you can eat tacos (chicken, carnitas, fried cod) rice and beans, chips and salsas and two margaritas for only $20. (per person) This is a steal, especially when able to eat outside on Iron Horse's patio, also known as the yard. Live music also runs on Sundays from 3-5 p.m. and Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m at the Yard. This deal is impressive considering the tacos are all you can eat versus the drinks being all you can drink. Cloud Red (opens at 4 p.m.) also has a $5 taco special on Tuesdays that serves us plentiful tempeh, shrimp and one more meat-based option with strong chips and salsa. Although Cloud Red's taco deal is only a dollar off, it is still a great deal and gets you chips and salsa and a pretty nice portion. Drink specials run on Mondays at Cloud Red as well and provide people with a chance to kick back and have a couple drinks.
While there are some places I need to try including Mazorca, Gypsy Taco and the Laughing Taco, I do think the aforementioned deals are great buys and can grant you a lot of food for less money you would typically pay. Milwaukee is a great place to live on a budget while still enjoying some top-quality eats at moderate prices. If anyone has any other taco deals that they know about please let me know! Overall, all three spots provide Milwaukee folks with a unique set of taco deals, and I am excited to see what else comes inside these corn tortillas at other spots around town. Peace and grub!
Karma Bar & Grill is located on Milwaukee's east side on 600 E. Ogden Ave. and offers a wide range of bar eats including burgers, chicken and wraps. I had walked past this spot numerous times and decided to check out this place's Friday fish fry, which I had scoped out while doing research on venues near me!
But first, walking into Karma felt like home, as there were televisions everywhere showing NBA and MLB games. There was even a large scoreboard up on the walls that reminded me of a decrepit high school gym in small town America. (much to my chagrin this scoreboard did not actually turn on) There were long wooden booths and high chairs, which is normal, but when I went downstairs I was thoroughly surprised to come across what I saw-a lounge-like seating area that reminded of a place where jazz music is bursting through a saxophone amongst a well-dressed crowd. After further investigation, a waiter told me that the spot is called the Sutra lounge, a place where people host banquets and other upscale events. It was a nice touch to this otherwise typical American bar (other than some unique lighting fixtures and scoreboard) and seems like a revenue generator to supplement slow days for the bar area.
Once I got back to my seat, I decided to go for the cajun panko breaded fish fry with waffle fries. (I should mention they do have baked and beer battered options.) I did not know what to expect, but I knew the breading was going to be very crunchy, a wonderful contrast to an otherwise flaky fish, which happened to be cod. (typical of fish fries) The seasoning that was used on fish was paprika, cumin, garlic powder, among other spices according to our server. The waffle fries were crisped to a perfection, and paired with rye bread and coleslaw made for a tasty meal. The pieces of cod were extremely large, and filling, and the panko breaded exterior was absolutely phenomenal and will have me back for more in future. Karma lived up to its own name and provided me with good eats, good energy, and great service. (I asked the server at least 7 questions and she answered them all with no attitude.) I have returned the favor with this post and hope I receive some more eats with the same flavor in the future. Peace and grub!