The airport in Milwaukee is friendly and nice. It has very pretty brass inlays in the floors showing different parts of the state and icons signifying things about Wisconsin history. Canoes, for example. Fish. BEARS. And the really nice arrowhead shown at the head of this post.
The downtown area is similarly user-friendly. When there is snow in the air, you are on a short stay and in a fugue, only good food and drink will suffice. When this occurs in Wisconsin, only German food will do. There is a particular restaurant that I planned on visiting during my visit because it was famous even when I was a child for very good German food. Karl Ratzsch's. This place is AUTHENTIC. You can tell from the doors...
Everything I tried at Ratzsch's was very good. All washed down with multiple steins of fantastic German beer previously unfamiliar to me. This beer was also the real item and got better with each stein. An odd thing. I find that ALL beer gets better after multiple steins. Anyhow, for dessert, another diner said that the apple strudel was better than he had eaten in Munich the week before. It certainly looked good. Uncomplicated, light and fresh with lots of apples and a generous dusting of powdered sugar. The expression on this fellow's face as he was eating it confirmed his delight. The coffee was very strong and fresh. Just the thing to accompany a little glass barrel of Jagermeister.
You do not need to do much research to confirm how good Ratzsch's is. You need go no farther than to apply my fool-proof test of a great restaurant immediately upon looking at the KR menu and it would pass with flying colors. When the after dinner drink list includes the venerable but rarely seen entries Brandy Alexander, Grasshopper, Pink Lady and Golden Cadillac, you are in a great joint. Better to add a "first appetizer" course and lay in a Golden Cadillac or two. Then on to the meatballs and a "light" sausage sampler. Then a Rouladen. And a Strudel. Or a Schaum Torte.
The next morning, I was still in a gourmandine hangover when I got back to the airport on my way out of town. I felt sorry that I could not stay longer in this very welcoming city and have at least one more go at the Karl Ratzsch menu. And those Grasshoppers and Brandy Alexanders. But it was not to be. Just as I felt the gloom of a truncated visit descending, I saw a sign in the airport just past the TSA checkpoint. A sign the likes of which I have never seen before. I do not think another sign like it exists anywhere. I just stood there and laughed out loud...
Precisely what I needed. Recombobulation, indeed.
I had a marvelous visit to Milwaukee and I cannot wait for a return trip. To recombobulate in my home state. You see, my father-in-law was wrong. I had lost something in Milwaukee. And somewhere during my forty hour visit, I found it again.