Have you ready about my experience with the Milwaukee Food Tours – Craft Brewery and Cocktail Tour? Well go do that first and then come back. I’ll wait . . . . . . . . . . .
Though the whole tour was fantastic, and I truly enjoyed learning about all the different places we toured, there were a few that really stuck out to me – one of those was good City Brewing in Milwaukee’s East Side. I visited GC twice while in Milwaukee, so this will largely be written per the timeline, however some researched information will be interwoven a bit.
Good City was technically the fourth stop on our tour…
…so I concede that part of my initial feeling of love may have had something to do with the fact that I was already feelin’ pretty fine (and that they were going to both give us beer and feed us curry fries). The very first thing I noticed when stepping off the bus was the striking shape of the building’s facade and the massive windows.
Once inside the bar, my eye was drawn in every different direction. The whole space is effectively open-concept, with a little bit of segmentation. The layout reminded me very much of my favorite bars in Korea. Directly in front of me was a long bar with lots of seating (and a good amount of space behind the bar for staff to move around freely without crashing into one another). Looking down past the bar, I was able to see a few giant brew tanks. The area off to the left has a variety of seating options – a combo of regular and high-top tables, and a small loungey-feeling area right by the door and I think I may have even spotted a fireplace! Also by the door, and a pretty clever addition in my opinion, was a shelf unit stacked with games. And ya know what else was stacked?
(get your mind outta the gutter, you filthy animal)
Our tour was ushered to the right side of the bar – into a semi-private section. During normal operating hours, this space is used as part of the bar, but for the sake of the tour it had been held off for us. As we were filing in, my friend Maria (who has a great understanding of how much I love swag) pointed and said, “oh look they have t-shirts!” Because our tour was a little behind schedule, we had to be efficient with our time and I was only to take a few moments to check out their stuff for sale. One thing is very clear – their graphic designer is a genius. Their logo and branding throughout the bar is excellent.
And if you’re wondering, no I did not get a t-shirt, and yes I totally regret it.
Dave, one of the three owners, came out to get our group kicked off with a round of samples, giving a little context to the tap menu. Good City opened its doors in June 2016, and was the brain/beerchild of David Dupee, Andy Jones, and Dan Katt – who all, upon further research, seem to be an unlikely bunch, but it always feels that the unlikeliest of groupings tend to yield the the greatest outcomes. Added to the trio is a fourth, their head chef Guy Davies, who is responsible for the fun mix of traditional and and creative menu items. More on that later.
Dave explained that the name “Good City” is a nod to the city in which it is located. The name Milwaukee comes from an Algonquain word ‘Millioke’ – which means good/beautiful land. Poor Dave – our time there was limited so the rapidfire diversions that came in the form of larger-than-typical beer “samples” and curry fries proved to be too distracting for our touring bunch. He wisely took the approach of waking from table to table and as he passed mine, he dropped the word that made me perk up in a major way: laksa. I think I surprised him a little when I mentioned that I LOVE laksa. Part of me had wanted to see if I could get some to-go, but I knew we didn’t have enough time. Sadface.
Fast-forward to Saturday evening.
Summit sessions had ended and I was exhausted – the only thing that would help would be a good, brisk walk around the block. In true Katie form, a simple walk turned into a 2.7 mile walk north – because, well, I wanted laksa, the weather was nice, and I was too stubborn to take an Uber.
I initially shot past Good City to get a glimpse of Black Cat Alley – I had made pretty good time, and even though it was past 7:00pm, I still had some daylight to work with. After a quick pass through the art zone (and getting caught in a gaggle of teenagers headed to prom), I made it to my destination.
I must’ve looked a little confused…
…because a very kind bloke wearing a Good City shirt that had been socializing with a table of patrons came up to check on me. He assured me that I could sit anywhere I wanted and they wouldn’t kick me out for being a solo gal taking up a 4-person table. Sense of humor: check.
I settled on a spot at the bar (better people watching) and though I graciously took a food menu, knew that there was only one dinner item for me. I wasn’t waiting long, as I sipped a Counterpoint eagerly anticipating the arrival of my meal. Like a glorious reunion, I got a little nervous when I saw the bowl coming my way. And just to be clear, I’m not drunk right now – I just want to add a little absurd literary flair to give proper descriptions of just how effing excited I was to have found laksa stateside.
What is laksa?
Laksa is a versatile noodle dish mainly found in Malaysia, Indonesia, or Singapore (SG is where I first encountered it). The dish can either be based off asam (sour, fish/tamarind base) or a spicy/rich coconut curry. I love the latter.
Spice Level: Face Sweat
It’s weird – the broth wasn’t super spicy on the tongue, but it definitely made my face sweat. The portion size was a little more than I could handle considering I had a beer as my appetizer- but I soldiered through until I could see the bottom of the bowl. Happy and full, I settled the bill and went back to the hotel (relenting and taking an Uber this time).
I’m glad I followed my impulse to return to Good City. Black Cat Alley had been on my list of things I wanted to do, so I really killed 2 birds with 1 stone (note: no birds were harmed in the research and creating of this blog post). I’m hoping to get back to Milwaukee before the winter, so hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to see their roof deck, chow down on some laksa, and finally buy a t-shirt!
Find them here:
- Have you ever reconnected with a long-lost favorite food?
- What breweries/wineries/distilleries have you visited that really stood out?
- I anticipate GC will have an amazing roof deck – but what makes a good roof deck in your opinion? Where is best roof deck you’ve encountered and what made it awesome?