Fiesta Cafe – 1407 S. 1st Street, Milwaukee
I met Doug at the Fiesta Cafe on a rainy Sunday morning. We were both on our bikes, hoping for less rain after breakfast—rather than the more rain that happened. I tried to remember what had been in this 1st Street/Walker's Point location before—couldn't, but some kind of a tavern is a good bet. It's across from the only bus stop with deco stone benches, as it's the corner of Allen-Bradley. The place looks a bit dingy outside, which is fine with me, because inside, then, it's like Dorothy arriving in Oz, which is like my favorite transformation. There's even a pretty big wall replication of the Allen-Bradley clock, about which there is much lore. It took me awhile (a lot on the menu), but I ordered breakfast, “Huevos A La Mexicana,” a good choice on a cold, wet morning. Also, coffee. This place is bigger inside than you'd think, and busy with Sunday brunch, but there weren't SUV-loads of brunch-yuppies waiting, fortunately, and we felt comfortable sitting for a long, long time drinking coffee. It takes me forever just to finish a breakfast that big, and the servers and bussers were more attentive than a postwar mother-in-law. You won't see one of those angry Yelp reviews (about not being waited on) at this place. Or you probably will, because the people who write those critiques about being ignored are—or perceive themselves to be—ignored everywhere they go—because when you wear your attitude like a bad cologne, astute service workers can smell you from far down Cranky Guy Street. Anyway, this place was kind of a revelation, and it's in a good location for me, walking-wise, so I'm likely to return during deep vortex winter, and if I find something I like better on the menu, perhaps another chapter will be in order. Oh, and then we tried to wait out the rain at the nearby Cermak grocery—we were there for about two hours—I could have had a taco doubleheader that morning, had the breakfast at Fiesta Cafe not been such an astounding stomachful.