Monterrey Smoke House at 551 W. Becher, owned by chefs Robert Bergeron and Dion Jefferson, is one of about 20 restaurants participating in the second year of Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week.
“It’s mostly seafood, because that’s what we like. We like to call it more of like an upscale Southern-Creole-Cajun feel,” said Jefferson.
Neither Bergeron or Jefferson went to culinary school. Jefferson learned to cook from his mother, grandmother and other relatives and then moved on to work under others chefs, while Bergeron said he learned a lot about cooking with fresh ingredients while living in Germany.
The restaurant has a full service bar and a hookah lounge offering a variety of flavors. “It’s kind of like a one-stop shop, where we’re putting off this sexy, grown-up, casual dining feel for people to come and enjoy themselves,” Jefferson said.
Added Bergeron, “It’s not soul food that we cook, but everything comes from our soul.”
Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week is sponsored by BlankSpace MKE, an urban art cooperative whose mission is to serve as a conduit for “cooperative economics.” The event is running from April 17-23. No coupons are needed and each restaurant has its own specials.
Other participating restaurants include:
Ashley’s Bar-B-Que, 1501 W. Center St.
Chic Cafe, 770 N. Jefferson St.
Coffee Makes You Black, 2803 N. Teutonia Ave.
Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille, 754 N. 27th St.
Dee’s Elegance, 7420 W. Villard Ave.
Irie Zulu, 7237 W North Ave, Wauwatosa
Jizzles Sandwich Shop, 4618 W. Burleigh St.
Mama Nana’s Pick-Mar Family Restaurant, 7276 N. Teutonia Ave.
Mister BBQ, 5908 N. 76th St.
Pass Da Peas, 7870 W. Appleton Ave.
Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant, 2001 W. Atkinson Ave.
Rise & Grind Cafe, 6007 N. Teutonia Ave.
The Big Eazy, 2053 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
Terri Lynn’s Express, 10704 W. Hampton Ave.
Tony’s BBQ Unlimited, 3510 W. Villard Ave.