The bad news is it’s cold, dreary, and dark in Wisconsin and it’s going to probably only get much worse in that regard before things turn around in, like, late April or whatever. The good news is we’ve firmly and emphatically entered casserole season. Yes, when the temperatures become frigid, the dishes get hot on dinner tables throughout the region. Though they’re not exclusively a Midwest thing, the almighty casserole (or “hot dish” if you’re from Minnesota) is an undisputed seasonal standby around these parts.

In an effort to celebrate this creamy, cheesy, hearty, affordable, tasty, and wide-ranging culinary creation, Milwaukee Record is proud to present the inaugural “Casserole Call” event this weekend. Yes, on Sunday, December 10, a variety of Milwaukee-based restaurants, bars, specialty grocers, and meal services will come to Central Waters Milwaukee Taproom to dish up samples of their own casserole creations. While it’s a pretty self-explanatory event, we figured we’d get you up to speed on pretty much everything you need to know about the first Casserole Call (of hopefully many to come).

When and where is it again?

Casserole Call will take place Sunday, December 10 at Central Waters Brewing’s Milwaukee Taproom (located at 1037 W. Juneau Ave.) from 12-5 p.m. Though the event runs until 5 p.m., we strongly recommend getting there before 4 p.m. while the casserole is fresh and abundant. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

How does it work?

You buy your ticket (or pay at the door if any of the 200 total tickets we’ve issued for this are left). Upon entering, you’ll be given a ballot and three tickets for free samples. Additional sample tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece either at the ticket counter or from a Milwaukee Record staffer walking around the space. We strongly recommend bringing cash, though we will have Square readers to process debit card transactions as well. From there, just give your tickets to vendors and get a sample of their casserole. Spoon the food into your mouth, chew it adequately, swallow it, and begin the digestion process. Repeat the process. It’s as simple as that!

Who’s all involved in Casserole Call?

You’re encouraged to taste samples from the likes of Archie’s Flat Top, Beans & Barley, Crafty Cow, Flour Girl & Flame, Hot Dish Pantry, Red Maple MKE, Riverwest Co-Op, Semolina MKE, The Real Good Life, and Trouble Makers Cocina. With such an eclectic lineup, you’re bound to find a wide variety of casseroles to try, including some veggie options for those who don’t eat meat.

What can I drink?

Fortunately, Casserole Call is taking place at the Milwaukee location of one of the best breweries in Wisconsin, so there will be tons of delicious beers available for purchase at the bar if you want a drink or two to help cut through the sodium. Not a beer drinker? Central Waters also makes hard seltzer! Don’t drink alcohol? There’s hop water, sparkling botanical beverages, soda and water available as well.

What’s with the ballot?

We’re glad you asked! Beyond being a day to sample a bunch of tasty casseroles, those who attend are also invited to cast their vote for their favorite casserole they try. Circle your selection and drop it in the ballot box. The winning casserole competitor will be announced on this very website on Monday morning. They’ll also receive a trophy (eventually, it’s still not finished) and some well-deserved free ad space on Milwaukee Record. Most importantly, the winning establishment can also confidently say they make The Best Casserole In Milwaukee. Make your voice heard, support your favorite local restaurant, and come on down to cast your vote.

But the Packers are playing?

No, they’re playing Monday night. And we’re sure Central Waters will be playing other NFL games on their TVs during this, so you’re all set there, too!

Anything else?

Yep! A portion of proceeds brought in from Casserole Call ticket sales and sample purchases will be donated to Kinship Community Food Center, so you can feel good knowing that hanging out in a taproom and chowing down is actually helping those in need. Come to Central Waters on Sunday, December 10 to eat some casserole with us, drink some beer (or N/A beverages), and help an area food pantry in the process. We’ve officially issued a Casserole Call. Will you answer?

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.