A TASTE OF THE EAST IN THE WEST… WEST ALLIS THAT IS

An exotic culinary adventure located in the heart of the city. Explore the orient without leaving the state. Click the link below to read the wonderful food and drink available to you. Hidden away in a strip mall you would never guess what is behind the doors. Click the link below and let me take you inside

CLICK HERE TO BE TAKEN INSIDE THIS HIDDEN CULINARY GEM

EVERY MONTH I CHOOSE TO SPEND MORE ON GROCERIES

Let us talk grocery shopping, shall we? Usually, my grocery shopping will find me in such stores as Meijer or now Aldi as Margie has become a huge fan. I look at the ads or the app to see what is on sale. Often, when I am at the store I compare brands and prices to find the best deals. I imagine that is not that much different than what happens in most households on grocery shopping day.

Then there is once a month that all of that is thrown out the window. Once a month I visit two local stores to do a little grocery shopping. The selection there is smaller and the prices tend to be a little higher. What might cost you one price at the larger chains may cost you a few cents to a dollar more at these locations. In addition, you have less items to select from. You might have 7 flavors and 6 brands of oatmeal at the large stores and only 4 flavors and two brands to choose from here. Both stores do have specials that tend to be very good deals to take advantage of, but as a general shopping experience you would say yourself some change at the larger chains. So why do it? Why would someone who searches out the best deals and coupons willingly shop somewhere with less selection and higher prices? Let us look at each store individually and examine why.

The first is Piggly Wiggly. It is a national chain that has 530 stores in 17 states. This is according to their website. I have not personally visited all of them. The local store here, however, does a good deal to benefit the community. I am not sure as to what extent they do that today, but I recall selling hot dogs there to raise money for the West Allis Charities. Another great thing about this store for me is the memories. Both of my grandparents shopped there. I recall going there as a young child and learning all about the joys of not only shopping but cooking and food in general. There are a few unique products here that you can find nowhere else. They also have a mascot of sorts, Mr. Pig, who always seems to be in a great mood. They also feature fun logo products with his likeness on it. After all, who wouldn’t want to see a smiling pig?

The second store is Rupena’s Fine Foods. Located a mere 10 city blocks from my house. Again, here the prices seem to be a tad higher and due to a small store size and limited shelf space, selection can be small. What makes this store great? Once again, community involvement. Not only do they have a stand at our state fair that serves amazing deep-fried stuffing balls, although sadly I heard that may end, they are often seen throughout the community. Another thing that makes this store stand out is its quality. Their deli and meat department are some of the best in the city. When cooking a meal for the ones you love, quality can mean a lot more than saving a dollar or two. They also have custom seasonings that add a little something special to any dish. My favorite thing about shopping at Rupena’s Fine Foods is the atmosphere. From the second you enter the store you are taken back in time. Back to a day when you knew the neighbors that you met in the grocery store. Back when cashiers not only made eye contact with you, but they engaged in meaningful conversation as well. For most of us these are things of the past but a quick visit to Rupena’s and you will find they are still alive and well.

A thing these two stores have in common other than logos featuring very happy members of the pig family, is they are brick and mortar places that provide good jobs to people in the community. They offer an alternative to the big box grocery stores. They offer a shopping experience where you feel like a valued customer and not just another number in the bottom line. If quality products and community involved businesses are important to you, than you owe it to your city to shop at places like this. You do not have to do so every trip, but at least once a month or so you should. The extra dollars you spend there are not just helping those employees that work there, but helping the community as a whole. Through the events they sponsor, the storefronts they keep filled and the sense of community they provide. Those extra dollars are not just an expense, they are an investment.

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #10)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Taste can ultimately conjure up thoughts of food. Some of my favorite tastes have little or nothing to do with food. This is extremely shocking considering I live with one of the best cooks I have ever met, my lovely Margie. Her culinary creations are second to none.  Why are they not my favorite tastes? I am going a little metaphorical here. I love the taste of success. When you begin to see something you have worked hard for begin to take shape, that is exciting. The taste of the spring air on your lips. This may be normally seen as a smell, but I think it is something so tangible you can actually taste it. The same holds true for me in an even more intense fashion when it comes to the salty ocean air. When you are near the ocean the entire ambience changes. It is a change in vibration. Not only can you see, smell and feel it, but I think you can taste it in the air as well.

This leads to my favorite taste – the lips of the one you love. I don’t care how full I am from eating one of her delicious meals, I always have room for a kiss from my lovely lady. To me, there is no dessert sweeter than that of her kiss. Talk about a taste with an emotional reaction. I can think of little that is better than enjoying a delicious meal prepared by one of the most amazing women I have ever met, sealed with a kiss to show how much she loves me.

Your tastes need not be so metaphorical. They can be a certain dish prepared just the way you like it. I am a big fan of my Mother’s lasagna. As I write I am always grateful for the flavor of hot coffee. Another author, Honore de Balzac routinely drank 42 cups of coffee while writing. Due to my heart condition and desire to keep typing instead of visiting the gents, I usually limit my consumption to two cups. I am grateful to be able to share that story with you. I look forward to hearing what your favorite tastes are. 

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #4)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

This is a really tricky one for me. I grew up surrounded by great cooks. Now I live with one amazing cook. They all have their special dishes they create and depending on the mood, a different one will sound perfect on a different day. Recently, my mother recalled a recipe from my grandmother called “Wash-day quickie”. Named, I would presume, for something prepared with haste on a day you are doing laundry. There is this basic casserole of hamburger, mac-n-cheese and onion I am quite found of. I love everything with basil. There are quite a few dishes Margie makes that I could eat vast amounts of.

After much thinking on the subject, none of these are my favorite. My favorite food is the one that is in front of me. The thought never escapes me that no matter how many other challenges I may have in my life, I have never had to go without food. Living in a society where a meal is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I would have to consider myself very blessed. I never have to hunt for my dinner or go out into the field to pick it. That is unless of course I am in the garden. Being able to afford and have access to a wide variety of food would be unheard of even a few generations ago.

What is your favorite meal? Is there one that has a special memory attached to it? Is there one whose flavor you just happen to like? Food has such a wonderful place in culture. I have learned doing my food reviews how important the enviroment in which food is served plays a big part in how much you enjoy it. I would love to hear about your favorite dish.

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FULL OF IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING

A WEST ALLIS HIDDEN GEM

Do you enjoy a great coffee shop? Maybe a cafe with healthy and delicious food is more your thing? Are you looking for a relaxing place with craft beer and hand-crafted cocktails?

What if I told you there was a place you could find all of these under one roof and they would all be served with the most amazing customer service?

This does exist and you can find it closer than you think. Click the link below to read my review of one of the most unique and amazing places I have reviewed yet!

CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVORITE PLACE

Middle east in the west?


My latest restaurant review explores a location with exotic cuisine that really satisfies! Click the link below to read my latest post to the fabulous website Chow Down in Milwaukee. In this post you will not only learn about a great restaurant I recently dined at, but learn a little about Middle Eastern culture and even more about Middle Eastern cuisine!
Are you ready to discover a clean, modern and inspiring location that can leave your taste buds reeling and your mind and stomach hungry for more? Than click the link below to read where you can enjoy all of this!

CLICK HERE TO TRAVEL TO THE MIDDLE EAST!

GO AHEAD, YOU’RE WORTH IT!

This is a prepackaged slice of cheese. You may have been able discern that already. It is not terribly good for you and does cost more than it probably should. I believe this 4 oz. wonder was roughly $6. Not going to break the bank, but let us face it, you could get a lot more cheese with $6 than 4 oz. Here is something else, I bought the damn thing. Not only did I do so, but I did so gleefully.

The reason I am sharing this with you is to highlight a very important life point. The difference between a expense and an investment. What possibly, other than increasing the profit of the cheese company is this an investment in? Quite simply, a moment of joy. It is true that this cheese is priced more to be a luxury item. It is not something you would buy to say place between two slices of buttered bread and melt in a hot pan. It does not make good fiscal sense to purchase this cheese often.

Why did I buy it? I purchased it knowing that I would relax and eat it slowly while doing something I enjoy. That just so happens to be writing these words to you. I also know that spending a little more on this cheese will not break my checking account and it will give me a moment of bliss. That is what this post is about – investing in your bliss. This is what I recommend you do this weekend. Begin to form a ‘Bliss budget’. An amount of money dedicated to purchasing things a little above and beyond what you might normally spend. Before we get carried away, let me add a small caveat to this. This money should not put you in financial hardship. Do not justify spending your entire paycheck at the casino as practicing being more of a risk taker.

The important point is to get into the habit of spending money on things that bring you joy without feeling guilty. These need not be large items, but ones that you normally would not treat yourself to. A slightly better bottle of wine, dinner in a nicer place or an expensive slice of cheese. Then take a moment to really enjoy these items. Share the wine with a good friend or drink it all yourself while watching your favorite movie or reading your favorite book. Light a candle, pull out your computer and slowly snack on your red wine infused cheese as you write your daily blog. Take your time to savor the moment of bliss you have invested in. Relish in the moment. You may even take a little time to jot in a diary about it or record your thoughts in some fashion.

Why would we do all this? Adding peaceful moments of bliss in a chaotic, crazy world can help balance out the stress you will face and reaffirm your self-worth to yourself. So go ahead, you’re worth it!

SOMETHING WILD IN WEST ALLIS!

Below you will find a link to my latest restaurant review. Wild Roots is located in the eastern corridor of West Allis and is unlike any other place the city has to offer!

Find out what makes this place so unique and what rare dishes you can find. You will also discover the one quality ingredient found at Wild Roots that is not listed on the menu. I can’t wait for you to read my adventure at one of the newest dinning options in West Allis!

CLICK HERE TO READ MY REVIEW OF WILD ROOTS

OUR TRIP TO A SOUTHSIDE COCKTAIL GEM


A few months ago, my Lovely Margie, my mother and I all visited a unique south-side establishment for dinner and a cocktail. We visited McKiernon’s Irish pub, located at 2066 s 37th St. Click the link below to read all about our experience as well as the history of a place like no other.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THIS UNIQUE RESTAURANT