The Crumbs of My Shame

I just made a complete fool out of myself for the gazing eyes of the Pfister public, prostate and boy was it tasty.

Call it hubris, call it horrifying, call it so astonishing that you have to shake your head in my general direction. However you slice it, I’m relieved that I have worked through the inevitable so early during my time at the Pfister.

I didn’t split my pants or forget to zip my fly. No wardrobe malfunctions for me; nothing of that ilk. Instead, with no regard for my waistline, I consumed more bar snacks in the Pfister Lobby Lounge and at Blu than any self-respecting middle aged man should ever shove in his mouth.

I love lounging in bars, even though I’m a teetotaler. Though I don’t toss back drinks as I lounge, tadalafil I can eat bar snacks with the best of ‘em. I may be a little late to the party on this one, but, man, oh, man, there are some truly irresistible bar snacks lurking around the Pfister.

At the end of a busy day, I siddled up to a seat at the Lobby Lounge bar and, Mr. Excitement that I am, ordered a glass of ice water. I felt great as I sipped away at my cold and refreshing drink. There is nothing better at the end of the day than a nice crisp, clear, clean glass of water.

I’m lying, of course. Water is kind of boring. But it’s so good for me, and a man of my advancing years and baldness really must think about not drinking a 14th cup of coffee at the end of the day. Water is safe. No one has ever gotten into a bar fight because of overdoing it on H20.

Feeling like the model of health with my tasteless beverage, cialis I noticed a gentleman who took a place a few seats away from me and ordered two cocktails, one for himself and the other one for…well, for himself. Looking at the poor fella, it was clear to me that he had had a heck of a day. He was clearly in for the night and certainly seemed to be the perfect candidate to enjoy a couple of expertly mixed drinks before retiring to the comfort of his room.

I had chatted a bit with the bartender Katrina as I sat down, and with her great personality, warm heart and smile, she confirmed that everyone who works to serve the Pfister’s guests is delightful and charming. As the two-drink guy down the bar started to chat her up in a pretty friendly way, I was impressed with how she was able to redirect his cute come-ons into a fun conversation. It made the atmosphere at the bar even merrier than it naturally is on any given day.

It was a happy time, and my joy ramped up when I glanced down at the bar and saw for the first time the Holy Trinity of bar snacks in front of me. Triple snack choices were there before me in a silver container separated into three distinct bowls. In one, there was an assortment of crackers, in another, some sweet and salty nuts, and in the final, a mix of rice crackers, smoked almonds, wasabi peas, dried cranberries and other miracle bits so delicious that I almost faint thinking about them.

I reached into the bowl and grabbed out a tiny bit of the nuts. “Oh, my goodness,” I thought. “This is phenomenal.” My hand shot into the other bowls. Rapture. Bliss. It was heaven.

Something happens to me when I encounter a delicious snack. The rest of the world fades away. This is precisely what occured as I got cozy with the Pfister’s bar snacks for the very first time. There, in full view of the public, I showed myself for what I really am—a snack addict of the highest degree.

Mind you, I was sitting next to a man who had just ordered two drinks, seemed beaten down by the day, and was making goo goo eyes at the bartender. A stranger coming upon this scene might have thought, “Oh, poor guy…that’s a little sad.” But, no…this guy had pulled it together. He was suave, in control, not abusing alcohol, but slowly savoring his drinks while having a delightful chat with our bartender. I, on the other hand, was scarfing snacks like a dog and dropping crumbs all over my suit.

As I rapidly emptied the snack bowl, I sensed that the gentleman down the bar was looking at me. It was the sort of look you give a kid who has been given permission to eat all of his or her Halloween candy in one sitting. His eyes said, “Oh, little boy, how sweet that you can fit all of that into your mouth. Good luck to your poor tummy!”

I knew it was time to move on, so I gathered up the pen and notebook I had been writing in while I hypnotically ate all the bar snacks before me. I had to get away, and I was silently grateful that the man next to me seemed concerned that I might start eating my water glass. Crisis averted.

Now when you find yourself unable to stop eating all the delicious bar snacks in the lobby bar at the Pfister but don’t yet want to leave the Pfister, what’s the best thing for your no-will-power self to do? Why go to the Pfister’s other bar, Blu, for a Blutender Celebrity Bartender event where the tips support the United Performing Arts Fund.

I entered Blu and noted that a mime was serving drinks.

Someone to tell your troubles to over a drink who will never talk back.
Someone to tell your troubles to over a drink who will never talk back.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get him to speak. I tipped him a few bucks for his steel jawed silence, but I also gave his competitor, a stocky guy wearing a tutu, a few sheckles for style points.

I then settled in to enjoy the view and another glorious glass of locally sourced Great Lakes tap water. My smiling waitress swiftly and promptly brought me a tall glass of water and made me feel like I had just ordered a bottle of the finest French Champagne. She leaned in with a smile as she served me, and as she pulled back, I noticed that along with the glass of water, she had left me another surprise.  A fresh bowl of snacks.

Reflecting back on the moment, I realize now that the smart thing to do would have been to focus all my attention on the mime bartender, the mixologist in the tutu, the gorgeous view from the windows at Blu, or Greg Marcus who was taking a turn at the piano (who, by the way, has some real swinging chops). But the first step towards recognizing you have a problem is to admit that you finished another bowl of snacks in the Blu bar and then said, “Yes, please!” when your bright and attentive waitress offered you what turned out to be your third bowl of snacking delights.

The third bowl just about to be killed.
The third bowl just about to be killed.

My salty fingers and crumb-flecked mouth caught the eyes of the folks enjoying their tony cocktails as they basked in the glorious sun streaked early evening. It wasn’t my worst moment, but I pray that anyone who caught me doing damage to those snacks didn’t think that I was training for a professional eating competition.

This is all to say that the problem is mine, and I own it fully but will lick it somehow. For the rest of you enjoying the Pfister…dig in. Your belly will be glad you did.

Cooking with Chef Ash: Vanilla Creme Brulee

This recipe will surprise you! It’s incredibly delicious, but it’s also very easy to make. With a few simple ingredients you’ll be able to create this creamy, rich custard base coated with a decadent caramelized layer in minimal time. This is a one recipe you’ll turn to again and again.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 10 each egg yolks
  • 2 each vanilla beans

Directions

  • Split the vanilla beans in half and scrap the seeds place the whole bean and the seeds in a medium pot with the heavy cream.
  • Combine the granulated sugar and the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl, slowly incorporate the warm cream by tempering it into the egg/sugar mixture.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • In a shallow baking pan place bake proof ceramic dishes around 8 oz capacity.
  • Fill the dishes 3/4 of the way with the strained cream mixture.
  • Place into a 300°F oven, then fill the pan with warm water until it reaches half way up the side of the dish, cover pan with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until set may take longer or shorter depending on the size of the baking dish.
  • Dust the top with sugar in the raw and caramelize with a butane torch or under a oven broiler.
  • Serve with fresh berries.

 

 

Cafe at the Pfister New Menu Tasting [PHOTO GALLERY]

Chef Robert Ash took some of the Pfister staff aside to let us know of some items he is dreaming up for the new Pfister Cafe.

Have a look, see let us know what you think. Vote for your favorite items by “liking” or commenting on the image on Facebook.

We know we can hardly wait for the new cafe to open near the end of March 2011. Follow Joshua as he provides a tour of the new renovations to the cafe.

The Pfister Hotel Names Next Artist in Residence

Home to more Victorian Art than any other hotel in the world, click the historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee for the past two years has hosted a popular artist-in-residence program. The hotel and its selection committee has now chosen its third artist in residence, Shelby Keefe. She will move into the Pfister’s studio space in April 2011, sick replacing current Pfister artist Katie Musolff, and will remain at the hotel for one year.

“I am so very honored and grateful to be chosen as the next Pfister artist in residence,” says Keefe. “I am thrilled with the opportunity to focus on creating a body of work that reflects the beauty of Milwaukee and to work in the magnificent surroundings of The Pfister Hotel. I look forward to growing as an artist and sharing my passion for painting with visitors and guests from all over the world.”

Keefe was one of six finalists to have been included in the public voting period, try which ended earlier this week. In addition to the public vote via Facebook, Twitter, online and in-person ballots, a selection committee consisting of leaders in the local art community made the final decision on the next artist in residence.

A contemporary impressionistic painter, teacher and performance artist, Keefe was born in Whitewater, Wis., and graduated in 1981 from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Since retiring from a career in graphic design in 2005, she has been operating her own art studio and exhibition space in Bay View. Her award-winning urban landscape paintings have earned her participation in prestigious national juried shows, plein air painting competitions and arts festivals, as well as garnering commission work for a variety of corporate clients and private collectors.

“I’m thrilled with the level of talent we saw in the applicant pool for our third year,” says Joe Kurth, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “The overall ability within our region for artists as exemplified in our six finalists is a testament to the growing opportunity for us to continue to use this program as a way for the selected artist in residence to connect with our guests. I am very excited to see what Shelby will bring to our program given her diverse skills as a teacher, artistic coach and performance painter.”

The Pfister’s Artist-In-Residence Program

Entering its third year, The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program features a working art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of each piece first-hand.

Celebrity BLUtender – ESPN Milwaukee Broad Side Battle – Trenni Kusnierek & Jen Lada

ESPN Milwaukee radio personality Trenni Kusnierek and Fox 6’s Jen Lada step behind the bar at Blu to slinging drinks to raise money for the Hunger Task Force.

Watch for more Celebrity BLUtender Battles coming soon!

Pit yourself against a friend or rival in a Celebrity BLUtender competition with a part of the proceeds going to a charity of the winners choice.

CELEBRITY BLUTENDER

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN BLU, 5PM – 6PM

To nominate a Celebrity BLUtender, give Adam Jones a shout at AdamJones@thePfisterHotel.com.

Stop and take in the Pfister

Yesterday, while walking through the lobby of the hotel, we took a second to stop and take it in.

The Pfister Hotel is filled to the brim with history and stories waiting to be told. It makes you think, “If only those walls could talk.”

After this brief moment of reflection, we thought, “When was the last time you got to sit in the lobby of the Pfister Hotel and really take it in?”

Here are some of the comments we received on Facebook and Twitter.

Ardith Richter: For the last 25 years, there are 5 times in a year that I have sat and just watched the spirits of the past. Miss my dear friend, Miss Betty.

Scott Heun: About 3 months ago I enjoyed a shakers martini at Blu with Mike Smith and a great pizza and a Spotted Cow from New Glarus in the lobby bar. The best lobby in the country!

Christine Butt: We love the Pfister lobby bar. We have a tradition of coming and watching the Christmas decorations go up in the hotel. Then we love to come for your Christmas Open house when Santa & Mrs. Claus are there.

Chrissy Jaworski: As a little girl, I used to come with my school music group and perform on the steps of the staircase in the Pfister lobby. Now I’m an event planner and I do business with you frequently!

What is your connection with the Pfister Hotel?

Photo by Christine Butt
















































East Town Elegance feature on WISN Channel 12

Great News everyone! WISN-TV will be doing a live shot inside the Pfister Hotel lobby tomorrow for the East Town Elegance Tour. What a privilege!

Reporter Kidd O’Shea will be interviewing Anna Opgenorth from Historic Milwaukee starting at 7:15 a.m. within the historic walls of the Pfister Hotel.

If you’d like to see the story, it will be airing on channel 12 – WISN from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m.

We’re looking forward to seeing the story.

Be sure to let us know what you think?