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Taps: 24 / Bottles: 120
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
2608 N Downer Ave
phone: (414) 963-6366
(Place added by: DaPeculierDane on 01-15-2007)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Specializing in Belgian style beers, it's no surprise to come back to see Ommegang and Hoegaarden umbrellas adorning all the tables outside on the corner. The beer menus were also contained in Duvel folders complete with pictures of the beer as well as a description.
We sat outside again, but I can remember the inside being a collaboration of raw, rustic looking wood, and upscale-style decoration. Bikes, and parts of bikes, as well as pictures covered the walls and wicker-backed chairs surrounded the tables.
The building itself is on a weird corner that's similar in shape to the Flatiron building in NYC. Very cool setup and seating.
The quality of the beer was good as it was fresh as well as the food which was tasty as usual. The sweet potato fries, for $5, came in a giant cone that took quite a while to put back. The Margarita flat bread pizza is delicious but a little small for $7. It was in square form (maybe 8" across) and cut into four slices.
The service was average. We went around 3 in the afternoon and almost no one was there. Instead of being attended to regularly we were pretty much left alone (which is good and bad). Really, just average. Not crap but not outstanding.
The shining, yet dull part of Cafe Hollander is their beer selection. 14 tapped beers and a long list of Belgian bottles and cans. That's the shining part. The dull part is your tears hitting the menu as you look at the prices. Regular beers aren't bad for going out: Miller Lite - $4, Bell's Oberon - $6, Unibroue 330ml bottles - $7 (ouch). As the beer got bigger or more rare it got ridiculous. I really want to put the value at $$$$ but I have a hard time because the "cheaper" beers aren't outrageous like the pricer ones. I like it there though, so I'll be back like usual.
Probably, the worst part though is their discarding of the best soup ever: The White Cheddar Ale soup. That was the best thing ever!
07-06-2009 23:31:53 |
More by BeerFMAndy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Was in Milwaukee this week on business and stopped by this place for an early dinner/drinks. Good selection of Belgian Beers and some selection of other styles. I really enjoyed how they served the beer in the glass it is supposed to be served in. The waiters/waitresses were friendly and knowledgeable, and one even pointed me to a liquor store that I could pick up some of the selections they were offering at the cafe. I had the Hollander Burger and my wife had the Mashed potatoes over Sausage, both were delicious. The atmosphere in the outside seeting was more than pleasant, this place has become a must GO whenever I make my way back to Milwaukee.
06-19-2009 16:37:16 |
More by campbellj21
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This is a great, euro-beer cafe. Service is good, selection is very good and food quality seems very good as well.
We had the pot pie and definitely recommend it. Likewise, the bread pudding is awsome.
The interior is a bit dark, run-down and dive-like, but definitely has a "euro-vibe" to it.
I've been back several times, and will continue to stop here when in the area.
My only slight criticism is the lack of rotating taps. The selection is great, but doesn't change that often. I'd like to see more seasonals, etc.
05-26-2009 21:03:54 |
More by datamike
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I've been here a handful of times. A few times for breakfast, and other times for a few beers.
They have a nice list of beers. I enjoyed reading through their beer menu. Always good to be at a place where they stress serving it in the correct glass!
Prices will add up pretty quick, especially with food.
I've only had breakfast here and they serve you a good meal. Various delicious breakfast meals. They also have pretty good bloody marys. I've certainly had better, but nothing to complain about. However, once with one of their bloodys, the chaser they served (i don't know what that was) seemed very skunky. It caught me off guard and seem to have a pungent taste.
Great place over all though.
04-18-2009 01:51:19 |
More by Brewsconsin
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
i went for a beer and a small bite at 2pm on a weekday, so it was a very sparse. i was the only one at the bar and there were 3 couples scattered. again it was raining, so i lost the chance to capture some of the beer bar atmosphere.
that being said, i sat at the bar, and the bartender was very friendly and attentive. as was the waitress towards the table guests. the only reason i took service down a notch rating it was, while i was there, a customer came in to gather a togo order, and the bartender was almost dismissive of him. minimal interaction.
other than that, i tried a cup of the beef-turkey chili, and i must say it was wonderful. very thick and flavorful. just what the doctor ordered on a rainy and chilly february day.
On tap i ordered the Grimbergen Abbey Ale. always a nice touch when a beer is served in its own glassware. the head was thick and held wonderfully. the beer was dark and solid, and went well with my chili.
overall, the place was very clean and tidy. my timing was off, so i couldn't see the place in action, but otherwise a pleasant experience. so many beers, so little time there, i shall be back
02-12-2009 10:27:33 |
More by sabalon
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped here after Discount Liquor thanks to autmunaldave, as I had never heard of this place before. More of a restaurant than a bar, upon entering you can either head to the bar or be seated at a table. The tables span the floor surrounding the horseshoe shaped back in the middle. Lots of dark wood here with an urban-hip sort of upscale atmosphere, dimly lit.
This is a Belgian centric bar with 12 Belgian brews on tap including Delerium Tremens, Tripel Karmeliet and more. Plenty for everyone to find a favorite. There's also a nice bottle list here as well that was quite impressive, again with Belgians being the focus.
Mussels and frites are on the menu along with plenty of other more American selections. I went with a burger with smoked gouda, ale onions and coarse ground mustard. Ran me about $10 and was tasty, however the overall food didn't blow me away and the prices were a bit on the high side overall.
Our server was attentive and always there to fill up water and ask if we needed anything. Overall, Cafe Hollander was a nice place to go, especially if you enjoy Belgian beers. Just be ready to pay a little more than you might elsewhere.
12-01-2008 02:22:46 |
More by orbitalr0x
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
wow, if you're a fan of Belgian beer it can't get much better than this, very extensive list, I went with my dad and the only thing that was a bit of a problem was the lack of selection for someone more accustomed to drinking American macros or Euro light lagers but at least it forced him to try some new things.
I enjoyed the selection of larger bottles available at a reasonable price.
I did not sample the food but would love to on a return trip, very nice place, reasonable pricing, friendly service. overall a great bar.
08-17-2008 01:14:31 |
More by evanackerman
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This a great little eastside cafe (formerly Gil's Cafe) in a beautiful part of the downer strip. First things first, regardless of what people like or dislike about this place, it is great to see a place like this in the area that I live. Anyways, the atmosphere is nice with a slight euro cafe feel to it. Summertime is great since they have a good number of outdoor tables to eat at. The bar is decent sized and wraps around into a back room. It sort of has a renovated farmhouse feel to it. The beer selection is pretty decent for mainstream Belgians including many of the trappist beers. They are a little light on American craft beers besides Ommegang and Goose Island series. One thing I did enjoy was their tasting sampler which consisted of four 4oz samples of any of their Belgian tap lineup. A bit pricey, but nice to be able to try 4 different Belgians before dinner. All beers are served in their appropriate glasses which always warrants two thumbs up. After the sampler, my friend and I order GI Matilda, Kasteel Bruin and Westmalle Triple. The food was very good as all four of us enjoyed our meals. Yes, like others have mentioned, the frites are pretty fantastic. They even have a very nice kids menu. The staff was very friendly and seemed quite knowledgeable, and garbed in typical east side fashion. Prices were a bit steep on the beer, but I guess I am just happy to see places in Milwaukee offering beer selections like this. And if you are so inclined, they offer DeuS for $50 for all those special occasions.
06-04-2008 04:35:15 |
More by ALESwhatCURESya
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
cafe hollander is a wonderful place to grab a brew, but you will pay for it. the beers are served correctly, in the right glassware, and at the right temperature. these guys know how to serve brews! the only downfalls here are that the selection is heavily biased towards the Belgians, with a mediocre selection of others at best. The prices are also pretty substantial, but still good for a once in a while experience.
i got a Westmalle Trappist Ale for $9. served in a chalice at the perfect temperature (for 9 bucks, it better be).
the food is great as well (try the frites, trust me). good quality and service as well. the food is reasonable, not as expensive as the beers.
check Cafe Hollander out if you are on the eastside of Milwaukee, you will not be dissipointed. cheers!
08-11-2007 03:20:44 |
More by botham
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I visited Cafe Hollander after a co-worker mentioned it for lunch with a friend of mine. I thought the decor and food were very good, but the beer selection boring and the food very slow.
We arrived and scrutinized the beers on tap. I ordered a Delirium Noell and my friend an Avery Reverend, both of which were sold out. My friend re-ordered, only to discover his third choice was also sold out. We ended up splitting a 750ml of La Chouffe. Beer selection was pretty ordinary, with (obvioulsy) a fair number of stock-outs. I was disappointed in a number of other beer choices; Stella, Amstel Lt, Guinness, Leffe, etc.
Our server was friendly, but did not seem very beer-knowledgeable. We ordered sandwhiches, which probably took 45 minutes to emerge from the kitchen. Service was extremely slow, but friendly and the place seemed to be staffed entirely by young, good-looking women.
Food was quite good. French fries come with a bevy of saucing choices, and my club sandwhich had a spicy mayo and apples on it, which were both unique and delicious.
Given the slow service and fairly pedestrian imported beer menu, I would be reluctant to return here for Beer Advocacy reasons. I might return because the food was good, there a lot of french fry sauces yet to try, and because it was a pleasant environment.
01-19-2007 21:22:22 |
More by BeerBelcher
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Café Hollander in Milwaukee, WI
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