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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fish Fry on the River

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The Milwaukee River Cruise Line, the company that operates the popular Edelweiss dinner cruises, is expanding this year to host a new fleet and a Friday night fish fry and boat ride package. The Friday night cruises will be held on the Lakeside Spirit, a 63-foot boat the company recently purchased from the Fond du Lac Chamber of Commerce.

The cruise line's $30 Friday night packages begin at the Port of Call Bistro, 106 W. Wells St., with a 5:30 p.m. fish fry that includes potato pancakes, coleslaw and corn bread and a choice of fried perch or baked whitefish, followed by a 90-minute sightseeing cruise that boards at 6:45 p.m.

“Friday fish fries in Wisconsin are a staple, and boat tours in Milwaukee are as well, so combining the two for a reasonable price and at a prime time for cruises really makes for a sweet package,” says Milwaukee River Cruise Line owner Dan Jorgenson.

Jorgenson says he researched the possibility of serving the fish fry on the cruise itself, but the logistics were too forbidding.

“I know there are companies up north that do have fish fry boat tours, but the quality of the meal isn't as good,” Jorgenson says. “Fried product doesn't hold up very well if it isn't served immediately, so we didn't want to take a great product and turn it into something average. Legally we can't fry fish on board the boat—and God forbid we would. That's just a bad idea in general, so we think this is a happy medium, since the restaurant is right on the river.”

The Milwaukee River Cruise Line will begin offering one seating of its Friday night fish-fry package beginning this week. Jorgenson says he expects within a month or two to increase the frequency to two or three seatings, depending on the popularity of the package.
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