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  • Milwaukee Fish Fry

    Post #1 - July 19th, 2012, 8:02 am
    Post #1 - July 19th, 2012, 8:02 am Post #1 - July 19th, 2012, 8:02 am
    I'm on my way to Milwaukee this weekend for Festa Italiana, but before I indulge in all things red sauce, I'd like to go to a fish fry on Friday night. I found the Friday Fish Fry Guide, but it's quite overwhelming and only lists the locations without any review. Does anyone ave a favorite Milwaukee Friday Fish Fry location?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - July 19th, 2012, 10:05 am
    Post #2 - July 19th, 2012, 10:05 am Post #2 - July 19th, 2012, 10:05 am
    Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden usually tops most people's lists. The fish is usually very good but the atmosphere, coupled with great beer (and tours of the brewery) and live polka music makes it so much more than just a fish fry.

    Serb Hall is good, but the atmosphere doesn't do much for me. I feel like I am eating dinner at a convention or wedding reception. I prefer my fish fries in tavern-like settings.
    Visit my new website at http://www.splatteredpages.com or my old one at www.eatwisconsin.com
  • Post #3 - July 19th, 2012, 12:27 pm
    Post #3 - July 19th, 2012, 12:27 pm Post #3 - July 19th, 2012, 12:27 pm
    Always wanted to check out Festa Italiana but I'm heading down to STL this weekend so I'll have to wait at least another year. A few spots I have had on my list for if and when I find myself in MKE on a Friday are the aforementioned Lakefront Brewery. I've heard same things that eatwisconsin said in that they have great beer and a happening atmosphere but I've been told and read about the fish fry being better than good too.

    Another stop on my radar that I guess I'll share here before I get to go (Insert Winky face here) is the Swingin' Door Exchange. This place came rec'd not only because the guy said they do an excellent fish fry but also because they offer lake perch and blue gill (cod too) and its setting is an old school basement tavern. Sounds/seems like some classic Milwaukee eating to me. Anyone ever been?
  • Post #4 - July 19th, 2012, 6:55 pm
    Post #4 - July 19th, 2012, 6:55 pm Post #4 - July 19th, 2012, 6:55 pm
    I love festa.
    Not a fish fry per definition, but in mequon try Taylor & Dunns for great fried fish on friday.
    Also (in my kid's opinion) the best wings in the area. (panther on the menu)
  • Post #5 - July 20th, 2012, 3:26 pm
    Post #5 - July 20th, 2012, 3:26 pm Post #5 - July 20th, 2012, 3:26 pm
    The best I've tried so far was at Wegner's St. Martins Inn in Franklin. The chef/owner, Dennis Wegner, is a veteran of Mader's, where, as far as I can tell, he invented the reuben egg roll. It's German-American during the week, but on Fridays, the restaurant does fish fry only, with a choice of Icelandic haddock fish fry, fresh lake perch fish fry, Cajun salmon, shrimp and other seafood items.

    The biggest bang for the buck has to be at The Saloon in Oak Creek. It's a dive bar with only a tiny food prep area behind the bar and they serve only one dish per night. On Fridays, you get three nice-sized pieces of cod plus fries for $3.50.

    Image

    Wegner's St. Martins Inn
    http://www.stmartinsinn.com
    11318 W. St. Martins Road, Franklin, WI 53132
    (414) 425-9971

    The Saloon
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Saloo ... 0055146779
    120 E Rawson Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154
    (414) 764-4646
  • Post #6 - July 21st, 2012, 1:05 am
    Post #6 - July 21st, 2012, 1:05 am Post #6 - July 21st, 2012, 1:05 am
    Second the vote for Wegner's. Been there a couple times for the Fish Fry, and even more times during the week for their German menu. Great stuff all.

    Buddy
  • Post #7 - July 21st, 2012, 2:57 pm
    Post #7 - July 21st, 2012, 2:57 pm Post #7 - July 21st, 2012, 2:57 pm
    exvaxman wrote:Not a fish fry per definition, but in mequon try Taylor & Dunns for great fried fish on friday.

    What do you order here?

    We were there last night, and I have to say I was underwhelmed by the beer-battered perch and potato pancakes, both of which were rather heavy and greasy. The slaw was only so-so, too. It was served with a couple of slices of cocktail rye, which was an improvement on the usual squishy Miller's marble rye.

    Should I have ordered the hand-breaded or pan-fried perch, another fish or a different side? I was tempted by the cornmeal-breaded walleye, but in the end we both got the beer-battered perch, so I had nothing to compare with it.

    Taylor & Dunn's Public House
    http://tayloranddunns.com
    10365 N. Cedarburg Road, Mequon, WI 53092
    (262) 242-8030
  • Post #8 - July 22nd, 2012, 1:48 pm
    Post #8 - July 22nd, 2012, 1:48 pm Post #8 - July 22nd, 2012, 1:48 pm
    We ended up going to Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden. Everything about it was great except the food. It's a great location; the live polka band was fantastic as were my fellow patrons who were all friendly and very interactive. The dance floor was full at all times, mainly with young mothers dancing with their young children, but there was also the occasional father and even a fully growed couple dancing together every once in a while.

    Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden
    Image

    Image

    Image

    I don’t know if it was because we went a little on the early side (6:30 PM) or if they were slower than they thought they would be due to Festa Italaiana being in full swing, but my combo platter, consisting of cod, yellow lake perch, bluegill, shrimp, potato pancakes and slaw for a mere $13.99 was served at room temperature; obviously not freshly made. Same with the Chow Poodle's cod dinner. As a result, the otherwise good quality fish was no longer crisp and not very enjoyable. The shrimp, in particular, were something I would skip even if I saw them being pulled directly from the fryer and put on the plate. Those shrimp had no business being served with the other fish which, even in its compromised lukewarm and soggy state, was obviously of higher quality.

    Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden Combination Fish Fry PlatterImage

    I’m not sure I’d recommend this place to anyone, based on this one visit, though the brewery tour part looked very cool.

    Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden
    1872 North Commerce Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53212
    (414) 372-8800
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - August 18th, 2012, 9:25 pm
    Post #9 - August 18th, 2012, 9:25 pm Post #9 - August 18th, 2012, 9:25 pm
    As reported here, we last visited The Packing House in 2005. I gather from an article posted on the wall that they've done a little renovating and updating of the menu since then, but it seemed pretty much the same to me, although priced a bit higher. I didn't scrutinize the list of steaks and chops heavily, though, since we were there for the fish fry. The steakhouse's Friday fish fry is so popular that they offer it through a drive-thru, as well as in the dining room.

    We started with house martinis, made with Rehorst gin from Milwaukee's Great Lakes Distillery, and they were first-rate, properly mixed, icy cold. The default is with blue-cheese olives, but I ordered mine with a twist and the bartender very properly rubbed the rim of the glass and sprayed the surface with the lemon oil.

    I couldn't resist ordering the fried eggplant I so enjoyed seven years ago, and it didn't disappoint. Still light and crispy in its beer batter and a large portion, though perhaps a trifle smaller in size than I remembered. Fried eggplant seems to be a Milwaukee tradition -- you see it on many menus -- and I heartily approve.

    The cod, the only fish fry choice, also was light and crisp. The potato pancakes were good, in the squashed-tater tot style, and the creamy cole slaw was quite nice, too. I appreciated the hot bread more than the typical squishy Miller's rye. The fish fry is $11.95 at dinner time. The fish fry is supposed to come with clam chowder. We never got any, and didn't notice till afterwards. Probably our waiter, who said he was new, forgot. I wound up taking about half my fish home anyway, so it was just as well.

    Although I prefer perch, this is one of the better Milwaukee fish fries I've tried so far, and I'm eager to go back for a steak again, too. Friday and Saturdays feature live music after 8 p.m.. The singer was OK, doing mostly oldie pop music; it wasn't intrusive in the dining room. The Packing House is open till 10 p.m. on weekends, 9 p.m. during the week.

    Image
    Fried eggplant

    Image
    Fish fry

    The Packing House
    http://packinghousemke.com
    414/483-5054
    900 E. Layton Ave.
    Milwaukee, WI 53207
  • Post #10 - February 9th, 2013, 5:07 pm
    Post #10 - February 9th, 2013, 5:07 pm Post #10 - February 9th, 2013, 5:07 pm
    Da Beef wrote:Another stop on my radar that I guess I'll share here before I get to go (Insert Winky face here) is the Swingin' Door Exchange. This place came rec'd not only because the guy said they do an excellent fish fry but also because they offer lake perch and blue gill (cod too) and its setting is an old school basement tavern. Sounds/seems like some classic Milwaukee eating to me. Anyone ever been?

    We were there last night, and thanks so much for mentioning it! Swingin' Door is is terrific! One of the best fish fries I've had so far in Milwaukee.

    The fish, which runs from $7.75 to $13.95, depending on what you get offers a choice of Icelandic cod, lake perch, bluegills or jumbo shrimp and comes with homemade coleslaw, lemon, tartar sauce, a buttered slice of that ubiquitous squishy Miller marble rye bread and your choice of sides: fries, house-made Saratoga chips, spicy vermouth carrots, a cup of soup, or, for 50 cents more, a small house salad.

    We had the combo with some of each fish and the perch. The fish is breaded, rather than battered and nicely cooked, and we enjoyed it all, though especially the perch -- but we always like perch best. The perch fry, with four big pieces, was $10.95. The accompanying slaw, lightly creamy, had a welcome bite of horseradish.

    We couldn't decide among the sides and sought guidance from our waitress, who recommended the carrots and the chips. But I decided I also wanted some soup -- there was a choice of three kinds, and I got the New England clam chowder -- so we ordered the chips as an appetizer with chunky, house-made blue-cheese dressing. They were a bit greasy, but in a good way.

    The soup was OK, nothing special. It was the beige kind. I have never quite figured out what people do to clam chowder to make it beige, but I rarely like it as well as white chowder.

    I loved the carrots. I'd go back just for those. They're cut into thin slices and sauteed, with just a bit of spicy heat.

    They aren't in the basement but on the first floor of the Mackie Building, below the Grain Exchange. The place is cozy, with two rooms, a very busy bar side with a few high-top tables, and a dining room with maybe a dozen tables adjoining. I assume they are very busy from 5 to 7, peak Milwaukee dining hours, but we walked right in at a little after 8. And Swingin' Door is that rarity in Milwaukee, a kitchen open till 10 p.m.! Service was great, too.

    The bar crowd looked like they were having a good time. I liked that we were neither the oldest nor the youngest people in the place. Many of the latenight (for Milwaukee) restaurants are on the East Side and draw a collegiate crowd, while a bunch of the supper club-type places seem to be Alte Kocker Land.

    Swingin' Door has something on special every night.

    DAILY RESTAURANT SPECIALS

    MONDAYS
    Dogs; Chicago style ($2), chili-cheese or western ($2.50)
    TUESDAYS
    Tacos; your choice of ground beef, chicken, or vegetarian meat ($2.50)
    WEDNESDAYS
    Mussels; all-you-care-to-eat in French or Thai style, 5-9:30pm ($9.95)
    THURSDAYS
    Alaskan Snow Crab dinner ($15.95)
    FRIDAYS
    Fish Fry; Icelandic cod, lake perch, bluegills & shrimp
    SATURDAYS
    Brunch 10am-2pm
    SUNDAYS
    Brunch 10am-2pm, Pasta plate 4-9pm ($5.95)

    There were also signs up promoting a Saturday steak dinner, $9.95. I'm tempted to go back tonight.

    Swingin' Door Exchange Saloon & Eatery
    219 E. Michigan St.
    Milwaukee, WI 53202
    (414) 276-8150
    http://www.swingindoorexchange.com
  • Post #11 - February 9th, 2013, 6:14 pm
    Post #11 - February 9th, 2013, 6:14 pm Post #11 - February 9th, 2013, 6:14 pm
    LAZ wrote:WEDNESDAYS
    Mussels; all-you-care-to-eat in French or Thai style, 5-9:30pm ($9.95)

    That is attractive, too. I never get enough of those.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - March 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm
    Post #12 - March 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm Post #12 - March 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm
    Just noticed an Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article on Milwaukee Fish Fry locations

    listed are:
    Lakefront Brewing (new kitchen operations, so that means new fish fry)
    Old Town Inn
    Brewtown Eatery
    The Stilt House

    Also article on Fish Fries at Milwaukee area Churches & nonprofit goups

    Listed are:
    Milwaukee County
    American Legion Post 434
    Boy Scout Troop 612
    Holy Family Catholic Church
    Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
    Polish Center of Wisconsin
    St. Augustine Catholic Church
    St. Augustine of Hippo Catholic Church
    St. Florian Catholic Church
    St. Mary Catholic Church
    St. Matthew Catholic Church
    St. Sebastian Catholic Church
    St. Stephen Catholic Church
    SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church

    Waukesha County
    Holy Apostles Catholic Church
    Queen of Apostles Catholic Church
    St. Agnes Catholic Church
    St. Charles Catholic Church
    St. Paul Catholic Church
    Waukesha Elks Lodge

    Washington County
    Faith United Church of Christ

    Racine County
    St. Louis Catholic Church
    St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #13 - February 9th, 2019, 8:28 am
    Post #13 - February 9th, 2019, 8:28 am Post #13 - February 9th, 2019, 8:28 am
    Eater does a marathon Milwaukee Fish Fry, discovers the American Legion Hall.

    Geo

    https://www.eater.com/2017/3/9/14869274/friday-fish-fry-wisconsin-milwaukee-review
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #14 - June 24th, 2022, 2:51 pm
    Post #14 - June 24th, 2022, 2:51 pm Post #14 - June 24th, 2022, 2:51 pm
    Any recent intel on a great milwaukee fish fry? We are up here for Summerfest and jonesing for a good fish fry tonight. I saw Kegel’s mentioned several times as a great old fashioned tavern but all the actual reviews (including some here) seem lukewarm.

    The American Legion 331 mentioned here as well appears to be no more, along with several other COVID casualties.

    Any clear winners I’m missing? Leaning towards J&B Tavern in the western suburbs, maybe rolling thr dice at Kegel’s, or maybe Swinging Door in downtown (though I think they are a bit bit and miss).

    Thanks!
  • Post #15 - June 27th, 2022, 9:55 am
    Post #15 - June 27th, 2022, 9:55 am Post #15 - June 27th, 2022, 9:55 am
    Last Friday Fish Fry, granted over 2 years ago, in Milwaukee was at Steny's, which is a pretty generic sports bar kinda place, but served what I thought was a very above average fish fry. https://stenystavern.com/

    No atmosphere, but the fish fry at St. Paul's in the Public Market is also very good.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #16 - June 27th, 2022, 7:27 pm
    Post #16 - June 27th, 2022, 7:27 pm Post #16 - June 27th, 2022, 7:27 pm
    Timely information because I will be in Milwaukee on Friday.

    Thanks!

    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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