While most restaurants on the 16th Street Mall seem to be constantly overcrowded and their happy hour deals are almost laughable ($1 off a glass of wine?) Gumbo’s on the corner of Wazee and 16th has flown under the radar with what is quite possible the best happy hour in town. Unfortunately, the restaurant is scheduled to close at the end of October, so hurry and take the Mall Ride down to Gumbo’s before it is too late.
The classy restaurant has a beautiful interior with great paintings that match perfectly with the jazz music quietly playing in the background. Not exactly the kind of place one would expect to hear they serve $1.50 PBR cans and $1.00 cups of gumbo. That’s right, just a buck for a cup of either chicken and sausage or seafood gumbo with the purchase of a drink during happy hour which runs Monday through Friday, 2 pm to 6pm.
It does feel a little strange to be drinking a can of some of Milwaukee’s finest at such a nice establishment, but not when thinking about the roots of gumbo and creole cooking in general. The stew originated like most great soups, as a sort of “peasant” food from the poor, so offering it up for just a dollar only seems appropriate, and washing it down with a cheap beer makes it even better.
The happy hour menu at Gumbo’s does not stop at cheap cans of PBR and the cheapest and maybe the best gumbo around, they also offer a $4.00 food menu and specials on wine to whiskey or pretty much whatever you choose to wet your whistle.