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Monday, May 5, 2014

Milwaukee’s Best Street Food

Shepherd Express kicks off summer with Street Eats festival

Street Eats
Street Eats Milwaukee
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The sun is warm, lake breezes have lost their bite and the grass and trees are turning green. The warm-weather activities we’ve been anticipating throughout a very long winter are here to stay. One great festival to help kickoff the season is the Shepherd Express’ Street Eats Mobile Food Fest, which will be held 4-8 p.m. on Friday, May 16 at Catalano Square in the Third Ward. Like last year, the Shepherd is closing down the street for an uninterrupted evening of food trucks/carts (and a bike!), live music and Lakefront Brewery beer.

The first of three Street Eats events planned for the summer, the unique street festival celebrates Milwaukee’s growing food truck scene. Assistant Event Coordinator Christian Caflisch says, “It’s about showcasing the best street food that Milwaukee has to offer.” Heather Pechacek, the Shepherd’s marketing coordinator, adds, “Milwaukee’s a great foodie city and this is just an additional fun and unique way to have a really good meal on the go. It’s all delicious food, and a lot of it, if not the majority of it, is made with local ingredients. Street Eats is a great way to celebrate this new, unique part of our city’s culture.”

More than 20 food vendors will fill the street and square, from a truck that looks like a log cabin to a café on the back of a bike. Food tickets will be available at the entrance, allowing guests to purchase as much or as little food from vendors as they desire, as well as Lakefront Brewery beer, water and soda at the bar. “It’s a little bit different from last year in that it’s not sampling,” says Pechacek. “This year, you buy your tickets and pay for what you’re able to eat. And it still gives you the opportunity to try all of the different vendors because you can just buy little tastes from everybody.” Caflisch adds, “Also, say you’re a vegetarian or on a particular diet—with the ticket system, you don’t feel like you’re trapped into a cost that is not worth your money.” Another perk: the more tickets you buy, the cheaper they are and if guests buy enough tickets, they’ll receive a free koozie sponsored by Lakefront Brewery.

While enjoying delicious food, sit back at a picnic table and enjoy the J Ryan Trio. And keep an eye out for a possible appearance from the Shepherd’s Art Kumbalek and Ruthie.

Street Eats is also a great opportunity for guests to chat with mobile food vendors and learn where they are regularly located. “The Shepherd really wants to be a supporter of the street food movement in Milwaukee,” says Pechacek. “We want to help them get the word out and let people know how awesome and wonderful their food is. That’s what the Shepherd does—we celebrate what our community has to offer. That’s what we’re here for.”

Street Eats will be a great way to end the winter and kickoff summer 2014 in Milwaukee. Join the Shepherd Express after work on May 16 for a fun, relaxing end to your day. Try some food, enjoy the music, unwind and have a couple of beers before you really get into your weekend. And the climate has been spoken for: “There will be sunshine and good weather;” Caflisch confirms. “We’re guaranteeing that,” jokes Pechacek.

For more information about the May 16 Street Eats Mobile Food Fest at Catalano Square in the Third Ward (138 N. Broadway), visit expressmilwaukee.com/streeteats or contact Pechacek at 414-292-3823 or Heather@shepex.com.

Additional Street Eats will be held Aug. 1 in conjunction with NEWaukee’s Urban Island Beach Party at Lakeshore State Park, and Sept. 12 at Catalano Square.