Today I stumbled upon what might be the most unique breakfast spot I’ve found in Milwaukee so far…and a renovated firehouse is its home. The atmosphere of Engine Company No. 3 will paint a picture of the history of firefighting in Milwaukee right before your eyes. With items on loan from the Milwaukee Fire Department, you can look at photos and old artifacts (think “jump nets,” badges, and hoses) while you dine.
The fire engine red accents to the decor almost had me forgetting about the blizzard ensuing outside! But not really. It was the food that had me most impressed about Engine Company No. 3. We decided to share a few dishes, because sometimes you can’t pick just one. Honestly, I could have closed my eyes and pick whichever item my finger landed on. I’m sure I would have loved it. They had one of those menus where everything looks interesting to me. And they’re also identified by which area of the world that the dish originates! Using locally sourced ingredients, of course.
Our first choice was the amaretto french toast, from the Sweet Fare section of the menu. The french toast is amaretto battered brioche, with a seasonal fruit compote on top. On the side were cinnamon whipped cream and Maple Valley Coop syrup. Both sides were delicious additions, but I would recommend trying it with just the fruit compote at first! It’s unbelievable. Then feel free to go nuts with the cinnamon butter and maple syrup! Because what’s french toast without maple syrup?
The next thing that stuck out to me was the brekkie scone. It was a house-made bacon and cheese scone. In the middle was EC3 bacon and Clock Shadow double cream colby baked into a Three Brothers Farm egg patty with brekkie sauce on top. The scone itself was soft and cheesy and on the side were the most amazing potatoes, smoked baby reds. They looked just like regular oven fried potatoes, but had that hint of smoky flavor that made them much more interesting.
Finally, we picked one item that was both sweet and savory – the duck confit and waffle. This was a malted waffle topped with duck ragout (which is stewed and seasoned duck). Plopped on top is one Three Brother’s Farm sunny side egg and Maple Valley Coop maple gastriche (carmelized sugar). Sounds fancy, but it will all make sense once you take a bite, I promise! If you need a great breakfast or brunch spot and want to experience a cheery and bright (fire engine red bright, to be exact) ambiance, Engine Company No. 3 is the place to be!
Engine Company No. 3 (217 W National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI // 414.226.5695)