Meat will take center stage on the menu at HotWax, the newest vendor at Crossroads Collective food hall on Milwaukee's east side.
A spinoff of chef Ben Crevensten's Meat & Co. sandwich pop-up, HotWax is scheduled to open April 20 with smash burgers, Nashville-hot fried chicken sandwiches, chili dogs and other comfort foods, like tenders with "a slew of sauces," Crevensten said, and a pimento-cheese plate to share.
It takes over the stall vacated by Lao restaurant Thum in December.
HotWax's house burger will be two smashed 3-ounce patties with caramelized onions, pickles, burger sauce and Cooper sharp cheese, a melty American cheese with the flavor of cheddar, Crevensten said. The "skinny" burger will be a single, 4-ounce patty.
The Nashville hot sandwiches will have hand-breaded chicken thighs that are fried and topped with pickles, pimento cheese made with hot Calabrian chiles and a mix of shredded romaine and cabbage. Diners can get the sandwich with chicken thighs that are grilled instead, spiced with chipotle.
The hot dog for the chili cheese dog will be about a quarter pound, split and seared, Crevensten said, with house chili, bacon, onions, mustard and shredded cheddar.
A couple of Meat & Co. sandwiches will be on the menu — griddled mortadella and a mini version of the muffaletta.
Besides the pimento-cheese plate, other shareables for two will include fries (topped with chile cheese or bacon jam for an extra charge), smokehouse-style potato salad (with bacon, green onion, cheddar, smoky house rub, in sour cream dressing), charred corn and bean salad (called mix-tape caviar, with jalapeno, green onion, tomatoes and cilantro in light vinaigrette) and crispy cauliflower, coated in gremolata bread crumbs and baked, served with Green Goddess dressing.
Crevensten said he hopes to expand the menu; for instance, a Friday fish fry might be in the cards.
HotWax, which refers to the method used decades ago to press records, will have a record store theme, reflected in a mural of album covers at the stall. Plans call for showing vintage cartoons at the stall and spinning records. (Crevensten and his so-far-silent business partner bonded over music.)
The chef first worked at Fattoni’s in Wauwatosa and went on to Twisted Willow in Port Washington. He was chef at the former Ugly’s on Old World Third Street, now King Drive.
Crossroads Collective is at 2238 N. Farwell Ave. It has online ordering at crossroadscollectivemke.com and offers delivery by its own drivers. The food hall, which has a full bar, is open for dining.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: HotWax to bring burgers, chili dogs to Milwaukee Crossroads Collective