Launch of MilTex Kitchen at Paper Table, the new downtown virtual food hall


A new food hall is opening this summer in downtown Milwaukee. But guests won’t have to set foot inside the space to enjoy the food from the concepts inside.

Paper Table is the name of the new virtual food hall, a concept that capitalizes on the growing shadow kitchen (or cloud kitchen) model, offering personalized kitchen spaces for small businesses, start-ups and experimental concepts at a fraction of the cost of a brick and mortar restaurant.

In fact, the food hall, which will be located at 733 N. Milwaukee St., has officially secured its first restaurant partner: MilTex Kitchen, a restaurant and food truck with the tagline “where Milwaukee meets great Texas flavor.”

Exterior of Paper Kitchen (Photo: Lori Fredrich)

Unlike a traditional catering venue, which brings diners together in a more traditional restaurant-like space, Paper Table‘s primary goal is to make food from kitchen partners widely available through delivery through third-party services.

However, customers who choose to order from a Paper Table concept can obtain their meals in two ways: by delivery or by ordering on site.

To accommodate on-site take-out, Paper Table will have a very small indoor dining space (maximum 20 seats). Guests can place food orders with participating vendors at the kiosks, which will be placed on either side of the entrance. When the food is ready, a member of the reception team will deliver the prepared and packaged food to the customer.

“Philosophically, the model promotes the availability of more great food for consumers while providing economic space for kitchen partners,” a Paper Table representative noted in a phone conversation.

“Our partners are able to operate a fully functional restaurant without the usual overhead, giving them the ability to build and grow their brand faster and more efficiently. And we love that we can provide this service to start-ups, especially minority and women-owned businesses. »

Eventually, Paper Table will be able to accommodate between 15 and 25 entrepreneurs, each with access to their own discreet kitchen space. In turn, the virtual food hall can accommodate a wide range of dining concepts, including hypoallergenic businesses (gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.) that require dedicated kitchen space to meet safety protocols.

Raven Bivens Gee, owner of MilTex Kitchen, is Paper Table’s first official kitchen partner.

Crow Bivens Gee
Raven Bivens Gee (Photo: Miltex Kitchen)

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Gee moved to Houston in 2014 where she started a restaurant business called Taste of Love. In 2019, she acquired the funds for a food truck, which she used to share her food with customers at area festivals.

When the pandemic hit, Gee says she decided to return home to be closer to her family. When she did, she started looking for a commercial kitchen so she could run her food truck.

She found what she needed at Paper Table, which provided her with the kitchen facility she needed to offer both transportation and delivery services, as well as a hub for the food truck, which serves a variety of homemade comfort foods that blend the flavors of Wisconsin and the Midwest with those of Texas.

Gee says she built her business to support the local community and bring people together to enjoy home-cooked meals.

“Everything I do is made with love,” she says, “and everything we serve is homemade, except the bread.”

Gee’s menu features appetizers like Wisconsin Beer Breaded Cheese Curds ($6) and Astroballs: deep-fried mac and cheese balls served on butter lettuce and drizzled with his creamy sauce. with H-Town Garlic ($9.50).

Astroballs (Photo: Miltex Kitchen)

The inventive spring rolls are also a signature for MilTex Kitchen, which will offer many variations, including Lincoln Park spring rolls filled with ground corned beef, sauerkraut and baby Swiss drizzled with super secret Wild 100 sauce (three rolls for $12 ).

Miltex Kitchen will also be offering “Jacked Up Fries” from Hello Wisconsin (a basket of fries topped with melted Wisconsin cheese, $6.50) at Third Ward (topped with braised brisket, pico de gallo, jalapenos, cilantro, cheese and a drizzle in its signature Capital City steak sauce, $8.50) the South Milwaukee (topped with ground beef, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, cheese and a drizzle of H-Town sauce, $8.50).

Spicy Fries with Beef Brisket
Spicy Fries with Beef Brisket (Photo: Miltex Kitchen)

Burgers & sandwiches

Gee’s menu also includes burgers and sandwiches, all of which she created with unique toppings and homemade sauces, which replace the usual ketchup and mustard.

Among Miltex Kitchen’s burgers is the Big Texas Brisket Burger, a burger stuffed with cream cheese and jalapenos served on Texas toast with bacon jam aioli, candied bacon, brisket smoked, red onion, candied jalapenos and a pickle ($14.50).

But corned beef lovers can also order the MilTex Reuben, a Texas take on the classic with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss baby and Wild 100 secret sauce on Texas Toast ($12.50).

Fish Fry & Soul Food Sunday

Miltex Kitchen is also set to serve Fish Fries on Friday night with a choice of fried catfish strips or salmon strips with a choice of two sides (dirty rice, spaghetti, salad or coleslaw) and bread accompanied by a homemade tartar sauce ($12 or $15). Blackened catfish is also available, along with a fried catfish sandwich or salad.

Gee also hosts Soul Food Sundays with a different menu each week with dishes like BBQ meatloaf, smothered chicken or pork chops, fried ribs, fried catfish, plus sides like macaroni with cheese, salad dressing, green vegetables, yams, rice and beans. fried stuffed eggs.

And customers can rest assured they won’t leave MilTex Kitchen hungry, says Gee. In fact, she figures her portions are large enough that most people end up with leftovers that can be enjoyed the next day.

“Everything is bigger in Texas,” she says with a smile.

Once open, the MilTex Kitchen menu will be available through GrubHub UberEats and DoorDash with hours Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Fans can also expect to see the MilTex Kitchen food truck at various festivals throughout the summer. You can follow MilTex Kitchen on Facebook or instagram.

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