Friday, April 9, 2010

Fish Fries

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Hotch-A-Do

1813 E. Kenilworth Place

(414) 727-2122

www.hotch-a-do.com

Hotch-A-Do offers East Side diners what is billed as the city’s only “vegetarian fish fry,” a choice of natural tilapia (purchased locally from St. Paul Fish Co.) or meatless soy patties. Both are breaded in Japanese-style “panko” bread crumbs and pan-fried. Sides include coleslaw, rye bread with butter, and hash browns topped with melted cheddar. Hotch-A-Do’s unofficial “slow-food” approach—everything is prepared from scratch, to order—makes this fish fry a healthier alternative, allowing vegetarians, foodies and the health-conscious to participate in a Milwaukee tradition while eschewing the deep-fried fish and potatoes generally offered at fish fries. (Heather Zydek)

Kegel’s Inn

5901 W. National Ave.

(414) 257-9999

www.kegelsinn.com

Kegel’s Inn is a remnant of Old Milwaukee’s Teutonic heritage with its dark wood interior, stained-glass windows and ornate decorative beer steins. At least in appearance, not much has changed since the West Allis restaurant opened its current location in 1933—and although prices have crept up over the years, they remain (in that favorite local term) “reasonable.” Along with a menu of German and American favorites comes a classic Milwaukee fish fry—nothing fancy, but rooted in the city’s tradition. (David Luhrssen)

Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. Commerce St.

(414) 273-8300

www.lakefrontbrewery.com

The Friday fish fry at Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden, frequently voted by Milwaukeeans as a local favorite, serves up a traditional, family-style fish fry complete with live polka music performed by the Brewhaus Polka Kings starting at 6 p.m. and brewery tours for fish fry guests beginning at 5:30 p.m. The menu features beer-battered cod, baked tilapia, and breaded perch, bluegill and shrimp, with a combo platter available as well. Other options include burgers, veggie burgers, chicken tortellini, salads and soups. There is also a small children’s menu. Except during Lent, reservations are accepted for groups of eight or more. (H.Z.)

The Packing House

900 E. Layton Ave.

(414) 483-5054

When cars start spilling out onto Layton Avenue, you know it’s Friday night at The Packing House. One of Milwaukee’s most famous fish fries (baked or fried, actually) comes with the proper fixings of coleslaw, marble rye bread and your choice of french fries or potato pancakes. Add some lemon and tartar sauce, order up some clam chowder and you’re set for a memorable Friday feast. This weekly tradition may cause cars to line up for The Packing House’s drive-through carryout service, but it’s one time you won’t mind waiting in traffic. (Robbie Hartman)

St. Connie’s Fish Fry

2160 N. Wauwatosa Avenue, Wauwatosa

(414) 778-1555

For decades St. Connie’s, located in the large gymnasium attached to Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, has offered a fish fry with a Greek flavor. Current offerings include traditional adult’s and children’s fish fries for less than $10 as well as fish sandwiches, “plaki” (white fish baked in a rich tomato and herb sauce), shrimp, rotisserie chicken with rice pilaf, and a rotating Greek dessert—anything from kourabiethes (buttery almond cookies coated with powdered sugar) to galaktoboureko (a crispy phyllo pastry filled with custard and soaked in a lemony syrup). (H.Z.)

Photo: Lakefront Brewery’s Fish Fry by Lindsey Abendschein

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