Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day events brighten Milwaukee winter dining

Mardi Gras Dessert Tasting

King Cakes will be among the desserts offered at the Wisconsin Bakers Association’s Paczki Party & Mardi Gras Dessert Tasting Experience on Feb. 5.

The Wisconsin Bakers Association’s Paczki Party & Mardi Gras Dessert Tasting Experience will be Feb. 5 at the Polish Center of Wisconsin, 6941 S. 68th St. in Franklin. Guests can sample one dessert from eight local bakeries, which may include paczki, king cakes or other Mardi Gras-related desserts.

Participating bakeries include Cranky Al’s, Grebe’s Bakery, Le Rêve Patisserie & Café, Elsie Mae’s Canning & Pies, MOR Bakery MKE, Greige Patisserie, The Cupcake-A-Rhee, and Breadsmith of Appleton. A cash bar with paczki pairing options will be available as well.

Advance ticket purchase is required, with the selection of a 45 minute tasting session time slot. Time slots begin at 10 a.m. with the last tasting session starting at 2:30 p.m. Also, a limited number of take-home boxes of desserts are available for pre-order and curbside pickup. Dessert boxes or tickets to the event are $20 and can be purchased online at

A range of Bloody Marys will be available for tasting at the Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation event.

Milwaukee’s Best Bloody Marys

The Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation’s annual Milwaukee’s Best Bloody contest will be held Feb. 26 at the Italian Community Center. 

Milwaukee-area bartenders showcase their signature Bloody Mary recipes while guests enjoy beer chasers, appetizers, and vote for their favorite Bloody. Proceeds help the Hemophilia Foundation educate, support and advocate for the Wisconsin bleeding disorders community.

General admission is $40 per ticket, until Feb. 1, and $50 after that date. All tickets include samples of every participating bar and restaurant, as well as appetizers. Additional multi-ticket packages are available for four, six and eight people, and include a reserved table. Designated driver general admission is $25 and includes nonalcoholic Bloody Mary samples.

Event hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 631 E. Chicago St. Order online at

Guests can try various chili samples at the Chili Bowl at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

MKE Chili Bowl XV at Potawatomi casino

Sample chili from Milwaukee area restaurants and vendors from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, 1721 W. Canal St.

Attendees receive eight chili cup samples, with bread and rolls, while supplies last. Tasting samples include traditional, spicy and vegetarian chili. General admission tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. A VIP ticket, $40 in advance and $45 at the door, allows early entry at 11 a.m. and includes a T-shirt. Bring two or more nonperishable canned goods to donate to Hunger Task Force and receive two additional chili samples. Maximum two additional samples per paid ticket. Purchase tickets online at

Mike Proulx serves the slow-roasted raccoon during the 95th Coon Feed in 2022.

Raccoon for dinner

The American Legion Post 196 will host its annual Coon Feed at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 28. The cost is $20 per person. The cooks at the American Legion Post use a 96-year old recipe for preparing raccoon meat, slow roasted, not a stew, and serving it with sides of sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Turkey will be available for those who feel less adventurous, with carrots, celery and pickles on every table. The dessert table will have pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and cupcakes.

American Legion Post 196 is located at 333 N. Lapham Peak Road, Delafield. More information (262) 646-3930.

A happy customer holds Cocoa Cream Puffs during a curbside pickup in December 2020 at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

Valentine Cream Puffs at State Fair Park

Wisconsin State Fair Park will feature strawberry cream and cocoa cream puffs for curbside pickup from Feb. 11 to 14. The flavored puffs will be sold in single-flavor packs only; no combination packs will be available.

Pre-order pricing is $14 for a three-pack, and $25 for a six-pack. Hours for pickup are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 11; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 12; 3 to 7 p.m. Feb. 13; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 14. Enter at Gate 5, 640 S. 84th St., West Allis. Order online at:

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