For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."
There's nothing resembling child's play about picking the right restaurant to take the whole family. It needs to balance a fun, playful and friendly atmosphere, while also offering up delectable dishes for palates young and old. Last year, The Chancery fit the bill for OnMilwaukee readers. This year, however, the voters went in a new – but not all that surprising – direction, heading south into the suburbs for the classic institution Organ Piper Pizza, located at 4353 S. 108th St.
It's far from an upset. In fact, the Greenfield staple came away with the title of best family-friendly restaurant several times in past Best of Dining polls, thanks to its killer combination of tasty pizza – because what monster, young or old, doesn't like pizza? – and fun recognizable tunes for all ages churned out from the venue's delightfully massive Wurlitzer.
While Organ Piper finished a solid 100 votes ahead of its kid-friendly competition, the rest of the race was awfully tight. The Original Pancake House nabbed the silver medal by literally one tally – every vote matters! – over La Fuente, while Bel Air Cantina and Cafe Hollander finished close behind. Meanwhile, The Chancery, last year's champ, failed to crack the top five this year. Kids ... so fickle.
Lori Fredrich's pick: AJ Bombers
I don’t have kids, so this pick doesn’t resonate for me on a daily basis. However, when I have other peoples’ kids in tow, I have a tendency to gravitate toward spots like AJ Bombers, where the rocketship peanut launchers always delight. In fact, this summer, I took my nieces there, and they had a fabulous time eating peanuts, burgers and custard and trying to read the graffiti on the walls.
This year we also asked a variety of prominent Milwaukeeans to weigh in on their pick for specific categories. For this category, we consulted Katrina Cravy, former Contact 6 reporter.
Cravy's Pick: The Copper Dock
The Copper Dock on Friess Lake in Hubertus is beautiful year-round and perfect for kids to fish on the dock while you wait for an outstanding meal. The owners, Tim and Heather Leffler, are all about family. Heather is an elementary teacher by day and hostess by night. Honestly, I don't know how she does it. We love to take my parents there for a special "thanks for coming to Wisconsin" meal.