Cooler near the lake

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(1 vote, average 4.00 out of 5)

The Knick
1030 E. Juneau
Milwaukee, WI
(414) 272-0011

Located in the Knickerbocker on the Lake hotel, the Knick is a hip, attractive restaurant that draws an equally hip and attractive clientele.

But you won’t find attitude on the menu here. When we waddled in one cold morning for a blow-out brunch before our New Year’s diets began, everyone from the hostess to the servers was friendly and eager to please.

Shortly after being shown to our table, our server stopped by to check in and take coffee and cocktail orders. Normally, I’m not much of a drinker early in the morning, but the Queen Mary caught my eye: a 22-ounce tower of spicy tomato juice garnished with blackened shrimp, celery, a cherry pepper, pickle and olive. It was delicious and guaranteed to burn off any morning fog. Other unusual brunch cocktails include the “Manmosa,” a combination of Absolut ruby red grapefruit vodka, orange juice, Champagne and pineapple vodka.

The extensive brunch menu features all the usual suspects — omelets, pancakes and basic egg dishes.

However, it was the more unusual dishes that caught our eyes. Crab hash combines crispy hash browns with crabmeat and onions, then tops it off with two eggs any style. I thought the potatoes could have been crispier, but was overruled by my spouse and our friend Carrie.

I opted for the breakfast pasta, and I think I’ve found a new favorite dish. Fettuccine pasta is tossed with scrambled eggs, onions, tomatoes and bacon, then topped with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, making for a hearty and satisfying meal. There was just enough grease to this dish to make it the perfect hangover remedy. A few grinds of black pepper were all it needed.

Our friend Carrie is one of those sporty lesbians who can eat just about anything and still stay thin (hate her for that!). She tried one of the daily specials, a Brie omelet. Fluffy eggs were sautéed with slivers of crisp asparagus and topped with a huge slab of melted Brie. The dish came with toast and a side bowl of fruit topped with yogurt and honey. Carrie found the dish delectable, but too rich to finish — which might give a hint as to how she stays so fit.

A neighboring table got another of the day’s specials — French toast bites. The mound of marshmallow-sized pieces of egg bread dipped in cinnamon and sugar looked too good to resist, so we decided to split it as a dessert. The dish was pure heaven, topped with whiskey butter and maple syrup. We each ate about three cubes and took the rest home for another day.

The Bottom Line: Brunch will run about $15 a person, including tax, tip and non-alcoholic beverage. Add another $10 for a specialty cocktail.

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