Mara & Holly’s Day of Fun!

by Holly on December 4, 2011

in blogger meet-up,eating out,Milwaukee,Wisconsin

On Saturday, I got the chance to hang out with one sassy lil’ teacher.

That’s my homegirl Mara. She writes a delicious blog called What’s For Dinner?. She likes to pretend to eat meat in the shape of PBR beer bottles. She and I met at last year’s Foodbuzz Festival (love at first bite, obvs). Many months ago, she and I decided us food bloggin’ ladies were long overdue for a trip to Milwaukee for what we entitled “Mara & Holly’s Day of Fun.”

On the agenda: food and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

We like to keep it simple.

(1) Lunch at Cafe Benelux in the Third Ward…starting with the Merckx burger (brie, gouda, goat cheese + garlic aioli) and sweet potato fries with an unpictured locally-brewed amber ale.

After we split the burger (halfsies!), Mara and I still managed to devour 3/4 of this pannekoeken, a slightly sweet, European-style crepe topped with parmesan, asparagus, pancetta, fried egg and Belgian beer cheese sauce. Lunch was a food blogging success to say the very least.

(2) A stop at the Milwaukee Public Market for dessert. A peanut butter meltaway for Mara; a dish of caramel peanut ice cream for moi. This is also where Mara pretended to eat the meat-shaped PBR bottle (see above)

(3) A scenic cruise on Lakeshore Drive followed by a rather short visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum, seeing as we arrived at the ticket desk just after 4pm and the museum closed at 5pm. Attempt at being cultured, artsy human beings? #FAIL

Attempt at being funny, make-the-most-out-of-what-you-got human beings? #SUCCESS

(4) Boutique shopping in the Third Ward. I somehow managed to buy nothing at Anthropologie, even though (a) I got paid last Thursday and (b) this moneysuck of a store had the most to-die-for mustard yellow peacoat that screamed, “BUY ME HOLLY THY HEALTHY EVERYTHINGTARIAN FOR I AM YOUR SIGNATURE COLOR!”

Instead, I ignored that Darth Vader-like voice and bought three tank tops at a locally-owned boutique. Never forget, buy local whenever you can kids.

(5) Pitstop back at the Milwaukee Public Market. Tea…learning about Mara’s hilarious family (shoutout to Grandma Bertha + Myra!)…helping judge a gingerbread house contest…resting our weary legs…and using the adorable sleeve Mara crocheted for my hot green mint tea.

(6) One word: Graffito. Two words: Ryan Braun. Three words: HOT WING RAVIOLI.

This perfectly-portioned plate of ravioli with braised chicken, hot sauce, gorgonzola, tarragon butter + fried onions made my eyes water, my throat burn and my stomach do a spicy salsa dance, and I mean that in the best of ways. I also wanted to propose to Mr. Braun (aka owner of the restaurant aka Hebrew Hammer aka Milwaukee Brewer’s MVP) after eating it.

Sipped alongside a glass of malbec and finished with a chocolate hazelnut dessert tray – chocolate hazelnut mousse, salted caramel gelato, hazelnut crunch and dark chocolate ganache.

Split between the two of us, it was the perfect ending to Mara & Holly’s Day of Fun.

And just to be clear, if you would rather eat good food than analyze the post-modern long-term repercussions of Impressionistic art, hang out with a food blogger.

You won’t regret it.

*     *     *     *     *

Thank you to everyone who has donated to this year’s blog fundraiser for Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin so far – we already have more than $200! If you haven’t yet, please check out this post and donate to a very worthy cause. Thank you!


Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel December 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm

This may sound weird, but damn that is a beautiful burger. Really, though.
Also, I have to say, I love that you clearly enjoy fun food and not just sticking to super-healthy choices all the time. It’s refreshing…you truly are an everythingtarian :)

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Mara should totally sell those little cozy things!! Too cute! As was your day!

Lisa @ Fit in the Midwest December 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

So, I just discovered your blog last week (I live in Milwaukee, so I always love reading WI food bloggers).

And tonight I went in my google reader and because I am a dork, I subscribe to my own blog in there to make sure things look ok, etc. on the reader side. I posted about my MAM experience today and the reader happened to pick a picture of my parents by the same statues as you and Mara. Your post was right below mine and I saw the picture of you and Mara by the statues right below the one of my parents. It was a strange coincidence I just had to share.

Karis ( is a local food blogger and she just wrote me an e-mail saying she noticed the same thing!

Mara @ What's For Dinner? December 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Best. Day. Ever.
Love you friend!!!!

Jennifer@ knackfornutrition December 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Looks like a pretty delicious day to me!

Lauren December 5, 2011 at 5:51 am

Ahhh so fun! Adore that girl and adore you. Can I please come to this party next time???

Hillary December 5, 2011 at 6:25 am

Yeah. I’m coming to Milwaukee so we can do this. Get ready.

Megan (Braise the Roof) December 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Fun! That hot wing ravioli sounds like it’s probably the best thing ever (no exaggeration, of course). I will totally drive up to Milwaukee and do this with you sometime! Balls 4 life.

kerry December 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I love the idea of planning your fun, and putting a title to the day. For me, happiness is anticipation. I want to copy you!

Jen December 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Sorry, I got stuck on “meat in the shape of PBR beer bottles”. WHAT

Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Okay, this may be a little off topic but could you, if cut properly, have a white girl fro? I say this because all my life I have wished I could, and if you could, you should. You could definitely rock it.

Just consider doing it……that’s all I ask.

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef December 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Seeing as how I have a BA in Art History and am a food blogger… can’t I do both? :) Looks like you guys had fun and the food also looks amazing!

janetha December 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

jealous! at least you guys texted me!

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