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Fish Fry and other eats in Milwaukee area

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A friend and I are going to be in Milwaukee at the end of July for the EAA AirVenture. My friend really wants to go to a good local spot for the Friday night fish fry (we don't really have them in TX). We aren't wanting somewhere too fancy...just a casual spot (even a dive maybe) where the fish fry is awesome and not too expensive.

I've never really been to this part of the country, so any other good recommendations on where we should eat would be appreciated. We'll have a rental car and don't mind driving if it's worth it. The AirVenture show will actually be in Oshkosh, so if you have any recommendations for that area as well as Milwaukee, we'd appreciate it!

A little about us: casual, laid-back and want something on the affordable side. Preferably different food than what we have in Texas and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is a favorite show.

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  1. Can you clarify your travel for us? Oshkosh is a good 1 1/2 hours from Milwaukee, and the EAA event is major huge there. Are you planning to leave the event to drive three hours plus round-trip for dinner in Milwaukee? Are you spending a day or evening in Milwaukee? Or, are you spending all of your trip in the Oshkosh area? Don't want to give you Milwaukee area recommendations if you aren't actually going to be in the Milwaukee area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shaja

      Well, we are probably going to stay in Milwaukee, either downtown, near the airport, or on the NW side of town. We'll just be in Oshkosh on Saturday. But, since we have a rental car, we'll probably do some exploring (I think we may be going to Racine to look around), so we don't mind driving if it's a place we want to check out. Thanks for the response!

      1. re: megbowlstrike

        Not to diss on Racine, but why would you want to hang out down there?

    2. Since you like Triple D, I'll concentrate on that. They have filmed at a few places in the Milwaukee area. http://www.flavortownusa.com/location... I haven't been to any of them, so I can't give a personal recommendation. But, I have heard and read good things about Frank's Diner in Kenosha, which is south of Racine; it's on our to-be-visited list. Another spot in that area that locals like isThe Brat Stop, which is just off of I-94 on Hwy. 50 in the vicinity of Kenosha/Pleasant Prairie.

      1. Fish fry recommendations: here's a thread that should help: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805374

        I am not familiar with the Oshkosh/Appleton/Fond du Lac restaurant scene. But, if you make acquaintances with a local, I'd suggest that you ask about any supper clubs in the vicinity. Supper clubs are another Wisconsin experience on par with fish fries that sound like they'd be up your alley.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828386 - this thread was started by someone looking in another part of the state, but I'm suggesting you read the first part for some good general descriptions of what the experience is like.

        1. I would suggest stopping at Hinterland for a house brewed beer and an appetizer, one of the best chefs in the city and the small plates are really good. Cempazuchi (on DDD) is a good mexican restaurant and is more thought out than some crap that is at most mexican restaurants. As a line cook in the city I can tell you most fish fries are the same. I highly suggest going to the lakefront brewery (early for guaranteed tickets) eating the fishfry and taking the brewery tour, its a really good time and great beer. Don't go to milwaukee restaurants looking for authentic german fare, youll run into garbage like Maders or Karl Ratzsch's.stop at the public market or maybe brady street fora real taste of milwaukee

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcnam003

            Second the Hinterlad suggestion. We had a great dinner & excellent beers there. Not expensive, either.

          2. If you end up staying in the downtown area, Comet Cafe is another great Milwaukee institution that was featured on DDD. Hadn't been in a long time but went there for dinner last weekend and it was as tasty as I remembered. They focus on slow-food midwestern comfort classics. Best known for their affinity for bacon, crazy huge open-faced meatloaf sandwiches and the Compact Turkey Dinner (turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes dipped in beer batter and fried in ball form).

            1 Reply
            1. re: mse924

              The EAA is a huge event yet the OP is uncertain where he will be staying....if you don't have a room booked now, you may not find one that is convenient. It's not unheard of for EAA attendees to drive 2 hours 1 way to attend. Find a room, then look for food is my recommendation.

            2. Thanks everyone! We have a hotel room on hold near the airport because it was cheap but I'm still trying to Priceline something downtown. From what I've read online, Lakefront Brewery seemed to be good for fish fry and atmosphere. Are there any other spots around town that you take out of towners to if they're visiting?

              1. You realise that this is like asking who has the best brisket in Texas?

                Everybody has a favorite.

                Strongly recommend McBob's Pub and Grill at 4919 on West North Ave. Close to US 41 in Milwaukee. Local joint with great fish and other pub grub. Strangers are welcome. Even when I wear my Steelers shirt. Awesome bloody marys.

                1. Try to keep your stomachs down, but I was asked to keep an eyes open for lutefisk at a church festival. If anyone has ideas/dates, please let me know.

                  1. There have been a lot of discussions of fish fries in Milwaukee and elsewhere around the state:

                    www.chow.com/topics/860224
                    www.chow.com/topics/805374
                    www.chow.com/topics/793654
                    www.chow.com/topics/734682
                    www.chow.com/topics/518433
                    www.chow.com/topics/602941
                    www.chow.com/topics/629089
                    www.chow.com/topics/509268

                    Carol Deptolla does articles on fish fries on a regular basis for the Journal-Sentinel. In her latest, she decided to print a list of 133 fish fries in Milwaukee and beyond that were recommended by her readers: www.jsonline.com/entertainment/dining...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      A new place (only open six weeks) seemed to be decent on the NW side by Woodman's. the former Rich's now Falls bar and grill.

                      Also where we usually ended up with Dad -Taylor & Dunns on cedar burg rd in Mequon.

                      1. re: exvaxman

                        Are you looking to mostly hang out in & around MKE and downtown with just a day trip up to Oshkosh or is Oshkosh the main event? That would determine where I'd start trying to find a hotel. The airport area is not convenient to either. You may want to look into the Hilton Garden Inn Park Place on the NW side of MKE off of Good Hope or the Country Inn & Suites in Germantown, both much more convenient to Oshkosh (~70 miles) or downtown (~18 miles).