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Restaurant Reviews

Camino, Now Open

Do you have a news app on your phone? I do and usually it provides only mildly useful information. I learn what politician is saying what about whom. I learn what new tragedy is facing us in this unpredictable year. On occasion I can also learn what the Kardashians are up to. Once in a while this app comes through with an immensely helpful bit of intel. Such was the case Tuesday morning. It informed that a new restaurant had opened in West Allis only blocks from my house. The restaurant in question was Camino. It had overtaken the space previously occupied by the Crimson Club at 7211 w. Greenfield Avenue. I had been there several times and was interested to see what the current business had to offer. It is important to note that this is Camino’s second location. They have operated a location in Walker’s Point on 2nd street for a while.

I suggested to Margie we try this new establishment and she was all for it. I called to make sure of their hours and was told the kitchen was open until 10pm and they usually close shortly after that. We arrived a little after 8pm and were immediately greeted upon entering. The bartender informed us that we could either chose a table or eat at the bar. A quick glance at the interior of Camino brought three words to mind. Those words were open, airy and clean. Not a bad start. The front of this building is a garage door type window facing Greenfield avenue. It was open as it was a very pleasant evening outside. There were two other tables seated and a few patrons at the bar. We chose a high-top table close to the door. In what seemed like a short time we were greeted by our server Gabby. A high energy young woman who was kind and cordial.

The first of many pleasant surprises was that in addition to menus and an extensive beer list, Gabby arrived with adult sized glasses of water. When you enter Camino there is a colorful sign listing all of their specials. It was a Tuesday evening so the special of the day was $10 Links and Drinks. I pride myself on being a rather astute fellow but asked for a little more guidance when it came to what this special was. Gabby informed us that you could choose any of their sausage offerings, along with 3 possible sides and a tall boy of Pabst, Miller Lite or Bud Light. The ‘adult happy meal’ if you will, was $10. Being that the regular price of the sausages was $8, it seemed like an economically sound decision. As we pondered which of the 8 starters we would like to try. 

As with many aspects of Camino’s menu, deciding on which of these we would like to try was a challenge. There were many items that sounded quite intriguing. The Watermelon Salad featuring basil, feta and walnuts sounded amazing. Knowing that my lady is a big fan of wings we decided to try Camino’s version. Their wings come in a one-pound size (which turned out to be 8 wings) and come with fries for $13. They list five options on the menu. We chose the Chimi Wings. These were served with an herbal Argentinian verde sauce. When the basket arrived, we noticed the fries were of the thin variety and had seasoning and some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. They were done a little too much for my liking but had an amazing flavor. Speaking of amazing, the wings fit that description. First thing of note was the size, they were meaty. Gabby brought us both napkins as well as wet naps. Very handy and thoughtful. The sauce was not only herbal but had a strong lemon citrus aspect to it. I found it quite enjoyable. We ordered a side of both blue cheese and ranch. Both sauces were good on the wings as well as the fries. Upon our next visit we look forward to tasting one of the other wing flavors.

Only a short time after we had finished the wings, our food arrived. We both chose the Links and Drinks special. Much like the wings when the sausages came the first thing of note was their size. They were roughly twice the size of the bun. Margie ordered the Cheddarbrat. This, as you might imagine, was a brat filled with cheddar cheese. It is served on a bun with chopped pickle and house beer mustard. From the very first bite you had your share of cheddar. Many stuffed sausages leave you wondering what happened to the filling. Not at Camino. This sausage had plenty of cheese in every bite. The only suggestion Margie had was to serve the mustard on the side. She felt the amount on the sausage detracted a little from enjoying the wonderful flavor of the brat. With her sausage she ordered the Crispy Brussels. These are what you would imagine them to be – crispy Brussel sprouts. You do get a healthy portion. If you are a fan of Brussel sprouts, they make a great addition.

I ordered the Spicy Polish. It certainly lived up to its name. It had a great bite and a snappy casing that made eating it a fun and juicy adventure. It was served on a bun with sauerkraut, tomato and a horseradish cream sauce. After tasting the end of the sausage that was sticking out of the bun, I was concerned that the combination of the spice of the sausage in addition to the horseradish cream would be too much. I could have not been more incorrect! The flavors melded perfectly. Although quite full, I was left wanting more when I was done. The side I chose was the Roasted Beet Salad. I could not have chosen any better. This included roasted beets, crumbled bleu cheese, apples, walnuts, shredded basil, greens and a balsamic dressing. I am not going to lie, I might have drooled on my keyboard as I typed that. This was quite possibly one of the best salads I have enjoyed in a long time.

After we had finished our dinner, I was looking forward to trying their Dessert Pierogi. Sadly, we were informed they had sold out of them the day before. Although rather heart breaking, this gave us yet another reason to return to Camino. Couple that with their great specials including $5 burger Mondays and ‘Build your own Mac’ on Wednesday. There were ample televisions to see almost anywhere you sat. The airy and open atmosphere was enjoyable. The customer service provided by Gabby could not have been better. She was friendly, informative and was the perfect mix of attentive without being over-bearing. Camino has menu items you are unlikely to see anywhere else. One of these I am determined to sample on my next visit is the BBT. It is a bacon, basil and tomato sandwich. There is also the humorously named Cubanski. It is, in essence, a Cuban sandwich with Polish ham.

If you are looking for a wonderful experience at a modern and fun establishment, you owe it to yourself to visit the new Camino location in West Allis. Their menu features fresh and local products. Their craft beer menu is so lengthy you are bound to find one to dazzle your palate. The service we had on this night could not have been any better.

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