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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summerfest Food

Gourmet brats are in, gator on a stick is out

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Zaffiro's Pizza and Trinity Three Irish Pubs are the latest Milwaukee restaurants to set up shop at Summerfest. A newcomer to the festival's Ethnic Village, Zaffiro's will be serving 8-inch mini-pizzas, available in cheese, pepperoni, sausage or vegetable, as well as garlic and cheese bread and a hearty “Kitchen Sink” salad. Trinity, meanwhile, will bring shepherd's pie, Irish nachos, Reuben rolls, corned beef sandwiches and loaded baked potatoes to the revamped Briggs & Stratton area.

Elsewhere, McGillicuddy's has reopened in the Ethnic Village as Flannery's, with a similar menu of bar-food favorites, according to Eric Heinritz, Summerfest's director of food and beverage operations.

Gone from the grounds this year are two restaurants that had featured some of Summerfest's most distinct offerings: Schwabenhof, the German restaurant famed for its massive funnel cake, and Crawdaddy's, the Cajun seafood hub known for its infamous gator on a stick.

Two popular additions to the festival last year have expanded their offerings this year. Sazama's Lakeside Grille debuted in 2010 as Summerfest's first fine-dining restaurant. Diners are seated at tables with white linens and are able to make reservations to enjoy a menu that includes blackened salmon, barbecued ribs, steak au poivre and wild mushroom ravioli, as well as a fine selection of wines. This year Sazama's is offering a prix fixe menu on nights that have fireworks.

“For $40 a person, you can make reservations to have a table right on the water to watch the fireworks,” Heinritz says.

For those who prefer to eat standing up, Rupena's is responding to the interest in the Hungarian sausage sandwich it debuted last year with an expanded lineup of gourmet bratwursts. They've added a mushroom and onion brat, a jalapeño and cheddar brat and, most intriguingly, an apple brat, made with fresh apples and cinnamon.