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Monday, Dec. 23, 2013

New Direction for North Avenue Grill

Delicious comfort food at affordable prices

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It’s been nearly a year since John’s Sandwich Shop alum, Mike Topolovich, purchased the North Avenue Grill in Wauwatosa. The increasing popularity of the new North Avenue Grill speaks to Topolovich’s ability to make delicious, high-quality comfort food at wallet-friendly prices. The place is clean and cozy, with booths along one wall, a few tables with chairs up front and counter seating for the classic diner experience. In the warmer months, outdoor sidewalk seating is perfect to catch a breeze or enjoy the vibe of bustling North Avenue. Service is always attentive, and typically you’ll see the smiling Topolovich himself cooking up the tasty dishes.

All-day breakfasts are a wonderful hallmark of diners, and at North Avenue Grill it’s no different. The house-made corned beef hash ($8.95) absolutely doesn’t come from a can, with a generous portion of real corned beef, two eggs and toast. The fluffy pancakes are perfectly golden brown, and while the classic short stack ($4.50) is excellent with simple butter and syrup, the jazzed-up versions, like the apple and cinnamon ($5.75) or the banana walnut ($5.95) are topnotch. A nice selection of other breakfast classics, like omelets ($7.95-$9.25), breakfast quesadillas ($8.25-$9.95) and waffles ($4.25-$5.75) round out the breakfast menu.

Not content to simply be a great place for breakfast food, the North Avenue Grill has outstanding burgers as well. All are served on a grilled brioche bun with a mound of crispy fries. Cooked to your preferred doneness, the burgers are available in a build-your-own style ($6.95, plus $1 per topping—yes that includes fried eggs!), or try the amazingly good peppercorn horsey burger ($8.50) topped with thick-cut bacon, cheddar jack cheese, crispy onion strings and wonderful house-made peppercorn horseradish sauce. You’ll want to finish it so badly, but if you sensibly choose to take away some for later, it makes a great midnight snack.

If burgers seem too heavy, North Avenue Grill offers several other options, like grilled sandwiches and soups. The avocado bacon chicken sandwich ($7.95)—moist chicken breast topped with melted Swiss, crisp bacon, fresh avocado slices and served on grilled ciabatta bread—is a solid choice. Or, on a cold day, warm up with a bowl of house-made chili ($3.95) or cures-what-ails-you baked French onion soup ($3.95), appropriately served smothered with cheese and a crouton.

The menu also includes creative wraps, quesadillas, salads and a Friday fish fry served with crispy potato pancakes.

Unusual for a diner, North Avenue Grill has a liquor license and offers a nice selection of local microbrews, perfect for washing down a great burger or fish fry.

Chef/Owner Topolovich has successfully turned this restaurant around and continues to gain an ever-increasing, loyal customer base. Hopefully there will be opportunities to enjoy his food for many years to come.

 

North Avenue Grill

7225 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

414-453-7225

$-$$

northavenuegrill.com

Handicap accessible: yes