Friday, January 8, 2010

Palomino Bar – Milwaukee, WI (Bayview)

While looking for fun places to eat in Milwaukee that cater to vegetarians, I came across the Palomino Bar. What intrigued me was the fact that it was voted highly by a number of vegetarian sites and many other websites raved about the number of deep fried items on the menu. Normally those things are exclusive, but this had my curiosity piqued.

We walked in and heard “Wildboys” by Duran Duran on the jukebox. We knew this was going to be an adventurous afternoon snack. We grabbed a table and looked around at the decorations: bowling pins, signs on the ceiling with devils on them and shotgun shells, paintings of horses with glowing eyes pulling chariots with gladiators, a motorcycle with xmas lights on it, a pool table in back. And there were signs for bingo on Monday nights.

The waitress gave us menus and took our drink orders. I saw a couple of girly drinks on the table top menu that I wanted. I decided on one: The Chocolate Pony – Van Gogh Chocolate Liquor, cherry vodka, Bailey’s Irish Crème, and cream on the rocks. Callous-un got the Mango Rita – Three Olives Mango Vodka and fresh squeezed limes. Both of our drinks were extremely good, especially the Mango Rita. I will have to try to recreate these at home, clearly. And oddly enough, they have jello shots as well. We opted not to get any, but it was REALLY tempting.

The waitress knew the menu very well, including the various sauces you can add to things. The menu actually had a ton of things on it. About half of the menu is vegetarian or vegan fare, so Callous-un was in heaven. There were entrees and sandwiches and pizzas and appetizers and all kinds of fake meat things. I decided on the pulled chicken and pork sandwich with bbq sauce. I ordered the tots and red beans and rice for my sides. You get to order a dipping sauce as well, so I got the red pepper chili sauce. Callous-un was absolutely torn between about 10 things, but finally got the southern fried tofu sandwich with hush puppies and sweet potato casserole. Callous-un got the Cajun crème sauce for her hush puppies.

The food came out rather quickly, and I snapped a couple of photos.

This is one of the better pulled pork sammiches I’ve had. The shredded pork and shredded chicken were all mixed together and covered in a really tasty BBQ sauce. The tots were super crispy and soft on the inside and went really well with the red pepper chili sauce, although the red pepper chili sauce was not nearly as spicy as it should have been. Actually, Callous-un’s Cajun crème sauce made them phenomenal, so I stole as much of her sauce as I could sneak. The red beans and rice were actually TOP NOTCH – better than Popeyes and not soupy (if you know about my Popeyes infatuation, you’ll know this is a pretty big deal).

Callous-un’s sandwich was not as good as she had hoped, but was decent. The tofu patty was filled with herbs (to give it SOME flavor) and it was dipped in soy milk, flour, and then deep fried. I thought it was decent and edible, which means a lot coming from the person that compares tofu to eraser. The red pepper chili sauce that came on her sandwich went really well with the herbed patty on a bun. The hushpuppies were a big hit, according to Callous-un, but I’m not a hushpuppy guy. With the Cajun crème sauce, she said they were even better. I had some of the mini sweet potato casserole and it was good. Probably the perfect size for a side dish without filling you up.

We hung for a short while, but we were still going to eat one more time that night, so we couldn’t get all loaded or full up on food either. The place is a great neighborhood bar and I’m upset with FunHater for never taking me here. I’d live at this bar if I lived in the Bayview area).

Top 5 things about the Palomino Bar
1. Pulled Chicken and Pork Sandwich
2. Red Beans and Rice
3. Cajun crème sauce
4. Mango Rita
5. Chocolate Pony

Bottom 5 things
1. Amazing number of items on the menu – all of which look delicious
2. Southern Fried Tofu sandwich wasn’t all it was cracked up to be
3. Red pepper chili sauce was sort of bland
4. It kept reminding me of an inappropriate Wesley Willis song
5. I would have loved to try some more of the girly drinks there

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