Milwaukee: Riverwest Filling Station

Tags: dinner lunch

Talk about a hidden gem! The other day when I stumbled upon Riverwest Filling Station, I figured it would be a bar with your typical pub fare on the menu.  I clearly didn’t do my research. Unless you consider duck and truffle oil fries, a lox and goat cheese sandwich, or babaganouj to be “typical pub fare.” I most certainly do not! Although Riverwest Filling Station is a known for their diverse brews, they are a gastropub with a menu that boasts an impressive display of dishes from all over the globe. The eclectic artwork and decorations are the icing on the cake.  Overall, a recipe for a good time!

We started out by sampling a soup that seemed to be new to the menu, the seafood gumbo.  A cup was not enough. Seafood, andouille sausage, and just enough heat. It’s the kind of soup that I could have easily made to be my entire meal.  Hopefully it finds its way back to the soup of the day soon!

I wasn’t really in the mood for breakfast food, but actually ended up ordering off the brunch menu. Why? The shakshouka.  A Middle Eastern dish that sounded mysteriously delicious. The description had me intrigued.  Poached eggs in a sauce of diced tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, cumin, coriander, tumeric, cilantro, and other spices.  It’s served in a cast iron pan and accompanied by a side of toasted French baguettes and s’koung (a really spicy green spread that I found to be quite delicious!). I honestly couldn’t picture in my head what this dish was going to look like before they brought it out to me. Nonetheless, I’m always up for a surprise!

I’m so glad I went out on a limb, because this was unlike any brunch item I had ever experienced before. I lathered a bit of s’koung onto a piece of toasted baguette and added some of the red sauce, veggies, and egg. It was an extremely well-seasoned dish, and I will definitely be going back for more. Although the s’koung is a bit funny looking, give it a chance! They start you out with a small amount and you can ask for as much as you’d like. Our server says people either aren’t interested, or they love it and ask for more. I would be considered one of the latter.

My mom ordered the Filling Station burger. I thought I loved my dish, but hers was seriously just as tasty! It was an 8 oz. charbroiled Stout marinated and JUICY hamburger, topped with Fontina cheese, stout glazed mushrooms and onions, with Garlic Stout Aioli on a burger bun. Not only was the burger cooked to perfection (which is the trademark of a great burger, in my opinion), the combination of that, the mushrooms, and the Fontina cheese just about melted in our mouths. Kudos to whoever decided to add that aioli. Her sweet potato fries were the best of their kind. Crispy and perfectly salted.

I was thoroughly impressed with everything that Riverwest Filling Station had to offer! Great vibe, great food, friendly staff. Another one for the books! Or well…the blog!

Riverwest Filling Station (701 E Keefe St, Milwaukee, WI // 414.906.9000)

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