Friday, August 17, 2007

Support the Locals

All aboard for the Going-Off-On-A-Tangent Express!

For this rant, I'm not talking about Home Depot and their "We can help" slogan which is a complete load of crap. Many of you are on-board with me on that one, so I won't kick that dead horse again for a day or two.

This time, I'm talking about one of my favorite pastimes - food. There are national chain stores for food, just like there is for home improvement. Home Depot, Lowes, TGI Fridays, Outback Steak House, etc., are all examples. It's getting harder to avoid the chain restaurants these days, but if you can look past the glitz and advertising of a popular "Australian" restaurant (which has as much in common with Australia as a pair of my dirty socks), there can be some damn good food to be found.

My focus is directed in this case to a new Indian restaurant near by. Prior to it opening, I had a 20+ minute drive to the closest place for Indian (Taste of India, in Brookfield WI - damn good food, but too far for a quick meal or take-out). Now I'm nice and close to the Taj Mahal which also has excellent food at very reasonable prices. Unfortunately, Muskego Beth and I are two of the few people who actually eat there. We're there often enough that the owner knows what my wife will order before we even sit down. Hell, I don't even know what it is, but I know it's not on the menu and they happily make it for her.

There is nothing wrong with the food or menu, and it's in a decent location with plenty of vehicle traffic. It's also gotten decent scouting report here by the local food critic, just prior to him dying and before he could go back and finish his review. They've also got a kick-ass buffet at lunchtime, which is just within my time limitations during the week for lunch.

For those of you not paying attention to what the problem is, they're getting no business while people line up around the block for a fvcking Bloomin' Onion. They can't go on like this for long, and I fear that next time I go there for dinner, they'll be out of business. That will suck.

I'll be second (behind my brother) to say that this part of Milwaukee isn't filled with the most worldly of people - probably part of the reason he got the hell out of here - but come on people, get out and live a little before you die. Next time you're going out to eat, try something different. Try some place which doesn't have tens of thousands of dollars to blow on advertising. Hell, try a local pub or brewhouse if nothing else. Try Indian food, or a Mexican place other than Taco Bell. Speaking of Mexican, there is a local place in a somewhat dumpy looking building which serves kick-ass food. The inside is very nice, and the owner/chef has some serious credentials in the area. Word spread and the place does good lunch business and gets packed for dinners. Yeah, it costs more than a Nacho-bel-Grande and you won't be served while you sit in your car, but the food is top shelf. Every city has places like this, get out and find them!

* This isn't mean as a knock against Outback - I like their burgers and cheese-fries. Given the choice, though, I think local-owned places like Kopp's has better burgers for the money. I've only had Outback's steak once, and was far from impressed.

** Note to my brother - Taj Mahal is in the same strip mall as George Webb's in Hales Corners, across the street from A&W. Since those places were there before we were born, you'll know where I'm talking about.

*** Warning to everybody else, my brother's blog is filled with vegetarianism stuff and info about commuting by bike. You've been warned... or informed, if you like that kind of stuff. On the good side, it's also got plenty of beer reviews.

Since Google will eventually crawl this post and anybody looking for a review of the Taj Mahal Restaurant in Hales Corner may find this post, let me just say again that the food at Taj Mahal in Hales Corners Wisconsin is fantastic. 5 out of 5 stars. Thumbs up. Gold Spoon Award. Just go try it. Hopefully the owner of the place finds this and gives me a free meal for the effort! :)

I'm done ranting now.


Smudgemo said...

Actually, I got out the hell out of there to follow a girl, but it's been an eye-opening experience being gone. I agree, support the little guy and screw the chains. Try something other than the usual, get out of your comfort zone and expect to find a few things you don't like. It's not the end of the world.
I hope your place doesn't close, because I know what that feels like. I'm glad Taste of India is still around, that place was really good.
As for beer, there are a ton of excellent brewers throughout the nation. Ben Franklin supposedly said something about beer being proof that god loves us. I'll drink to that.

Muskego Jeff said...

Taste of India is there, but no longer in that crappy building near the zoo which was torn down a few years back. They're over by your old Tri City office. Much nicer digs.