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The Safe House

February 2, 2010

In a dark alley in Milwaukee, there is a restaurant that most civilians would easily pass up. However; any good spy knows there is always a Safe House at 779 North Front Street. Or for those without a background in espionage, you could have just seen it on the Food Network. Whatever works.

That is how my friends and I found out about this restaurant. We set a date to make the haul from the Southwest Side of Chicago up to the land of cheese on January 23. Of course, in tradition with every trip to Milwaukee, we got lost. Even with the GPS. Oh technology.

When you walk up to this restaurant, it doesn’t look  like anything you’ve ever seen before. Hidden behind signs that read “International Exports Ltd.” is a small door that leads you into a room that looks like it could be Sherlock Holmes’ study. You are asked if you know the password. I did, but being the ignorant foreigner I am, I blurted it out. Of course, no spy should just go around shouting out passwords. So my girlfriend Gina and I had to pretend we were bunnies on a farm and had to hop around the room before we were granted access. This is embarrassing enough to do in front of a few people, but there is a camera in the room which sends the live feed to TVs around the restaurant, which provides great entertainment while eating your meal. After entering the restaurant, you can see everyone at the bar staring at you.

The walls are decked out with pictures from spy movies and all sorts of memorabilia. The whole restaurant is a maze of rooms and stairs. Supposedly, someone got locked into the restaurant overnight once while in a secret passage. I don’t want to give everything away here, but trust me, it’s the most original restaurant I have ever been in.

There is a wide array of spy-themed drinks and food on the menu. The Mozzarella Wraps were unlike any type of cheese sticks I have ever had. I would highly recommend them as an appetizer. I got the Vegetarian Focaccia Sandwich, which was good, but nothing to write home about. Nearly everyone at the table got a drink that came in a different type of souvenir glass, which comes at a greater price, but the glasses are really cool.

At the end of the night, we explored the restaurant some more. Then all eight of us piled into a phone booth, put in a quarter, and disappeared into the foggy night.

Overall, the food was decent, but the atmosphere was phenomenal. It was a really fun experience that I would recommend to anyone who is in the area. Give yourself some extra time because there can be a wait. Reservations are highly recommended.

Address: 779 North Front Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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