I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee is tradition. Drinking beer at the same corner bar with your friends. Friday fish frys. Never letting the Bears-Packers rivalry die. The things I miss most in Milwaukee are the classic dishes that will never change. I recently went home for a visit and my parents know that I cannot miss a stop for my favorite Italian cookies. Glazed biscotti, amaretti, limoncello. I doubt they’ve changed in the 60 years that Peter Sciortino’s Bakery has been open.
Down the street you can find Glorioso’s classic Italian market established in 1946. Though the storefront is new, the Italian roast beef sandwiches with giardiniera are a staple. This is Milwaukee (ok and maybe a bit of Chicago too!).
Milwaukee demands tradition in its food. In fact, after the beloved institution Pizza Man burned down in 2010, the public outcry never quieted and after three long years Pizza Man rose from the ashes and delivered the pizzas of our memories. Milwaukee is thin, crispy crust pizza– often of the supreme variety. However, Pizza Man has a non-traditional pizza that has been a guilty craving of diners for years. I can’t order anything but the Artichoke a la mode. Why did I ever think that cream cheese didn’t belong on a pizza? The combo of artichoke hearts, tomato, and cream cheese is famous at Pizza Man’s. And I’m content to know that the people of Milwaukee won’t let my favorite dishes disappear.