Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Location: 1041 North Old World 3rd Street, Milwaukee
Cost: About $40 per person

My parents and I were up in Milwaukee a few weeks back, and we decided to grab a bite before making the trek home. My dad used to do a bunch of business in Milwaukee when he started out as an accountant. Accordingly, he knows all these different places and suggested we try one of the more famous spots in town, Maders.

Maders is right down the road from the Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee. The entire place is decked out in an old fashioned German style. In between the beer steins there are countless pictures of every celebrity who has ever stepped foot in the place. I mean, I didn't know Milwaukee even drew that kind of crowd (no offense intended, it's just that there's practically a picture of every famous person ever in that place, even the ones that you wouldn't think eat food). The waitresses are all dressed up like the St. Pauli girl too.

Our service was great except for the hostess. We stood at the stand up front for a good five minutes while she was in the bar having a drink. One of my biggest issues with this place was the cost. Appetizers were about $10, and all of the entrees were around $30. With half of the plate covered by spaetzle (which is practically of no cost) it turned out to be a pretty big rip.

The Food
The first thing we ordered was a plate of the Reuben Rolls. These were basically egg rolls filled with a reuben. It was the perfect combination of Chinese and deli (basically a jews dream food [if they don't keep kosher that is]). Then my dad and I split the Liver Dumpling Soup. It was unbelievably salty, but I was digging the dumplings. They were meaty and doughy, but they probably didn't help the overall saltiness of the dish. Oh, they also brought out some homemade pretzel buns with our appetizers that were just fantastic.

The Reuben Rolls

The Liver Dumpling Soup

 The Pretzel Rolls

We ended up splitting two main dishes, the Sauerbraten and the Goulasch. The sauerbraten came out with four thick slices of meat doused in a ginger snap sauce. The sauce was way too sweet and the meat was well done and chewy. The goulash also had an unpleasant sweetness to it from the wine sauce it came in. I thought the spaetzle was rather plain, and it came out somewhat cold.

The Goulash

 The Sauerbraten

For dessert we went for one of my dad's favorites, the Apple Strudel. The dough was light and flaky, and I liked how you were able to cut off a bite without all of the apple filling spilling out. The ice cream was rich as could be, but I'd expect no less out of Milwaukee.

 The Apple Strudel

Our appetizers and dessert were on the ball at Maders, but I can't get past how overpriced and unappetizing our main dishes were. What we really had was some overly sweet, over cooked meat in two different varieties with a lifetime supply of lukewarm spaetzle. Maybe they're living on a long reputation, and I doubt I'll be able to knock them down any pegs. I'm giving them 1.5 Pearls.

Mader's on Urbanspoon


  1. I thought this was Jeff Eats Chicago, not Jeff Eats Milwaukee?