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Brewski’s: A Milwaukee Steakhouse

Attentive service amid mountains of meat

Aug. 25, 2010
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By itself, a name like “Brewski’s” would indicate the type of place for tap beer specials, chicken wings and electronic dartboards. But adding the word “Steakhouse” changes things. The ambitions of Brewski’s Steakhouse are emblazoned in front of its building, where a sign announces that chef Richard Alvarado formerly worked at Coerper’s. That would be Coerper’s 5 O’Clock Club, a longtime Milwaukee favorite for jumbo steaks (and, in fact, a place rated as one of the finest steakhouses in the United States by Saveurmagazine).

So is Brewski’s a clone of Coerper’s? Yes and no.

Coerper’s has a classic 1950s supper-club look not found at Brewski’s, which is located in a former Chinese restaurant. Brewski’s color scheme includes landlord beige walls and gold and brown patterned carpeting. While the small bar is not quite large enough for the waiting customers, the outdoor dining patio is a nice amenity.

The similarity between Coerper’s and Brewski’s lies in the menu. You will find enormous steaks, jumbo shrimp and whole racks of ribs that spill over the platter. Resist the urge to order an appetizer or the crock of onion soup. The soup is perfectly good, but a lot of food is on the way—in fact, servers use carts to bring items out.

The first delivery will be a salad, relish tray and loaf of sourdough. All are included in the entrée price. The simple salad includes lettuce, red onion, tomato and slices of cucumber and mushroom. Dressings come on the side; the blue cheese has the flavor of sour cream. The relish tray is retro with scallions, cherry peppers, carrots, pickles and pepperoncini. The bread is served with a section of a butter stick, not butter that has been whipped and likely recycled. Eat lightly and allow time for the entrees to arrive.

The next time the cart arrives it will be loaded with meat and potatoes. The king of the steaks is a 38-ounce porterhouse, but even the smaller filet is a small mountain of meat. A pair of pork chops weighs in at 16 ounces each! Steaks are cooked at high temperatures. Do not be surprised if one ordered “rare” arrives with a charred crust—it will still be perfect in the middle.

One popular cut is the bone-in rib-eye ($38). The meat, as with all of the steaks, is juicy and tender. The char shows hints of marinade, which is fine for the beef but less so for the lamb chops ($32). The three chops are cooked correctly, but they are thinner than any of the beef cuts and the charred crust detracts from the flavor and identity of the lamb.

There is more here than simply beef, including a pair of pork chops ($26) and a rack of barbecue ribs ($26-$27), as well as jumbo shrimp, king crab legs and lobster tail at market prices. Six of the shrimp will run about $26. They are definitely jumbo, but not the oversized prawns. The scampi preparation means they come with butter and abundant garlic and are served over white rice. Most diners choose a large baked potato for a starch. The potatoes are slit open as they arrive at the table. Sour cream comes on the side. A rice pilaf is also offered, but it is nothing special.

With a name like Brewski’s, the beer list should be more comprehensive. The selection here is sparse and all beers are the same price. Five dollars for a Sierra Nevada Ale is not bad, but the same price for a Miller Lite? Ouch! The wine list is not much better, but the prices vary and the bar gives a generous pour.

Nobody goes unnoticed due to Brewski’s attentive service. The kitchen maintains its pace at all times—this is a carefully run business. Expect to take home some leftovers in a brown paper bag. For the amount of food and the quality, the value is not bad. This is very much a Milwaukee steakhouse, and there is always room in the city for a place like Brewski’s.

Brewski’s Steakhouse

6024 W. Bluemound Road

(414) 312-7891


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