By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Nov 01, 2010 at 4:02 PM

All this month, we revealed to you -- one by one -- the winners of the 2010 readers' poll for the best restaurants in Metro Milwaukee. We know the wait has been excruciating, but now that all is revealed, here's a tally of all the winners (as well as our editors' picks), in one handy list.

Best appetizers/small plate dining: La Merenda editors' choice: Balzac

La Merenda, 125 E. National Ave., isn't exactly easy to find, which makes its status as a repeat winner in this category even more impressive. Located in a renovated woodworking shop, owner Peter Sandroni has built the kind of place where you find Italian osso buco, Indonesian sambal goreng udang, Spanish patatas bravas or Colombian empanadas.

Bar Food: Hooligans editors' choice: McBob's

Hooligan's takes bar fare to the next level, which is one of the reasons why it's so popular with Milwaukeeans. The East Side staple offers hardy burgers of all varieties -- including ostrich and veggie -- but also serves up catfish, shrimp, cod, perch, walleye, about 10 different chicken sandwiches, BLTs, a New Orleans muffuletta and even a few healthier items like wraps and salads.

Best breakfast: The Original Pancake House editors' choice: Blue's Egg

When it comes to the morning meal, Milwaukeeans prefer The Original Pancake House, which has locations in the old "Coffee Trader space" on Downer Avenue and on the busy Bluemound Road strip in Brookfield. The Original Pancake House won first place -- it also took the title last year -- in our readers' poll on the strength of its signature items like the apple pancake, melt-in-your-mouth crepes, fluffy omelets and sugary, air-filled Dutch Baby pastry.

Best brunch: Comet Café editors' choice: Comet Café

Last year, then-repeat winner Trocadero beat second-place Comet for the title by a 2 percent margin. But Comet fans turned up the heat and bumped the competition down a notch by slightly more than that -- a 2.5 percent margin -- to take the top spot for Milwaukee's best brunch.

Best burger: Sobelman's editors' choice: Milwaukee Brat House

The Menomonee Valley burger bar has long been a favorite among Milwaukeeans of all walks of life, be it businessmen and women, Marquette students, politicians or tourists, have packed Dave and Melanie Sobelman's establishment at 1900 W. St. Paul Ave. over the years to dig into the delicious treats -- a major reason why Sobelman's Web site is

Best sit-down chain: P.F. Chang's China Bistro editors' choice: Devon Seafood Grill

PF Chang's -- which has one location in the area (at Mayfair) -- wins the 2010 "Best Sit-Down Chain" restaurant honor, finishing just one vote ahead of the Cheesecake Factory, the defending champion which has a location just across the Mayfair Mall parking lot.

Best cheap eats: Conejito's Place editors' choice: Conejito's Place

Authenticity? Check. Taste? Check. Affordability? Double check. Since 1972 Conejito's has been a Walker's Point mainstay that has developed an almost cult-like following among its fans. There's nothing fancy about it -- you're served on paper plates and the bar area gets pretty smoky, but if you're looking for a quality Mexican meal and a kickin' Margarita for well under $10, this is the place to be.

Best chef: Sanford D'Amato (Sanford) editors' choice: Nick Burki (Coquette Café)

For the second year, Milwaukee's best-known chef, Sanford "Sandy" D'Amato has edged out Adam Siegel as best chef in the Best Dining 2010 readers' poll. A 1974 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he returned to his hometown in 1980 to go to work in the kitchen at John Byron's. By the mid-1980s, D'Amato was named one of the nation's 25 "Hot New Chefs." D'Amato opened his Sanford in what had been a family-owned grocery store nine years later.

Best coffee shop/café: Alterra editors' choice: Alterra

Since 1993, this Milwaukee company has brewed strong coffee in style. From their ever-growing shop on Prospect to their beautiful location on the lake to the industrial Fifth Ward Foundry, Alterra has made a name for itself as a company committed to environmental sustainability.

Best deli: Glorioso Bros. Italian Foods editors' choice: Benji's

For years, Glorioso Bros. sought to import only the finest in traditional Italian cheeses, meats, olive oils and balsamic vinegars to give immigrants and locals a chance to re-create familial dishes from the "mother country." While some stock up on ingredients for home cooking, it's the deli's prepared sandwiches that lure droves of hungry, drooling customers. Combinations like the Human Torch, Veggie Paesano's and Milwaukee Muffalatta combine piles of fresh Italian meats, cheeses and combinations of peppers, olives and artichokes.

Best comfort food: Maxie's Southern Comfort editors' choice: Comet Café

A little more than three years since opening in what was once a butcher/grocery store at 6732 W. Fairview Ave., Maxie's has emerged as a hot spot on the West Side With a menu heavy on southern favorites, barbecue and seafood, Maxie's delivers time and time again.

Best desserts: Lake Park Bistro editors' choice: Bacchus

There are just two words to keep in mind while dining at Lake Park Bistro: Save room. If not completely stuffed after the veau roti a la Bordelaise (veal tenderloin in a Bordelaise sauce) or canard "deux façon" a la sauce marchands de vin (duck two ways with red wine sauce), diners can choose from decadent dessert options such as banana bread pudding with a caramel sauce and chocolate mousse sweetened with crushed praline and accented by a saffron vanilla sauce and homemade mint ice cream.

Best family-friendly restaurant: Bucca di Beppo editors' choice: Organ Piper Pizza

Just as they did last year (and the year before, for that matter), readers picked Buca as Milwaukee's most family-friendly restaurant. The chain Italian eatery features colorful decor, a lively atmosphere and "family style" meals that include kid favorites like pizza and spaghetti.

Best fish fry: Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden editors' choice: Weissgerber's Gasthaus

We weren't too surprised that Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden took the top spot in our poll again this year. We were a little surprised with how large the margin was (24.5 percent of the vote). With the Brewhouse Polka Kings setting the mood, the Palm Garden's Fish Fry has become a can't-miss on Friday nights and regularly fills up fast.

Best fries: Café Hollander editors' choice: Café Hollander

Hollander's "frites" beat second-place Saz's fries by nearly 100 votes. Part of what makes ordering the huge cone of frites at Hollander such an enjoyable dining experience is the sharing aspect; one order is always way too much for just one eater.

Best frozen custard: Kopp's editors' choice: Gilles

Kopp's is more than a custard institution in Milwaukee, it's a way of life. Year after year, it dominates this category, receiving almost three times the number of votes than the runner up, Leon's.

Best hot dogs/sausages: The Dogg Haus editors' choice: Old German Beer Hall

You might think it's just an American favorite but at The Dogg Haus, you can take a culinary trip around the world all on the hot dog bun. Grilling Vienna Beef links on poppy seed buns, you can choose from the Tex-Mex (salsa, cheddar cheese, sour cream and jalapenos), Berlin's Best (sauerkraut, onions and mustard), The Hollywood (nacho cheese and jalapenos) or the Atlantic City (sauerkraut, onions, mustard and relish). Open until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, you can grab a Dogg Haus dog as a snack, dinner or late-night eats.

Best hidden gem: Barnacle Bud's editors' choice: Ilija's Place

It was the easy winner in this competition, although Barnacle Bud's isn't easy to get to. In fact, if you don't know where you're going, you'll think you're not even on a public street as you work your way to 1955 S. Hilbert St. That's why Barnacle Bud's Web site allows visitors to click on a "Where the Hell Are You?" button. Once you get there, you'll find a relaxed hideway that looks more Key West than Brew City, an oyster bar with a trademark Bloody Mary. Of course, there's a full menu of sandwiches and entrees.

Best late-night drunk eats: Oakland Gyros editors' choice: Oakland Gyros

Ordering a gyro can be tricky enough for the sober -- pronunciations often vary -- but even after a couple of cold ones, no matter how you pronounce it, a gyro from Oakland Gyros resonates every time.

Best lunch buffet: Casablanca editors' choice: Casablanca

The all-you-can eat buffet at Casablanca seems an endless array of completely vegetarian and vegan options, from the usual offerings of hummus, couscous, baba ghannoj (baked eggplant pureed with tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic) and perfectly fried falafel (ground chick peas and vegetables, formed into balls and deep fried with Middle Eastern spices), to more unusual -- yet delectably smelling -- entrees such as tahini pasta (dairy-free), eggplant potatoes, mixed vegetable stew, spinach pie and sweet carrots baked with garlic vegetable sauce.

Best local fast food: Culver's editors' choice: Gilles

With about 400 franchises across the country, Culver's has quickly emerged from a quaint, Prairie du Sac-based eatery into a national powerhouse. And sure, growth like that means a restaurant has a solid business model, but none of that would be possible without a great meal. Whether it's a butter burger and fries, a couple scoops of custard or a tasty shake, Culver's delivers.

Best market: Milwaukee Public Market editors' choice: El Rey

As passionate as they are about dining out, readers love to prepare food at home and they have a number of great markets at which to shop. The contest for "Best Market" has been close in the past with the Third Ward's Milwaukee Public Market prevailing in a tight race over Sendik's.

Best patio: Horny Hideaway editors' choice: Barnacle Buds

Located along the Kinnickinnic River's south bank, the Horny Goat's patio is believed to be the largest in the city, featuring a full, enclosed bar, volleyball courts, corn hole pit, boat slips and fire pits. Plush couches, bar seating, boardwalk tables and picnic tables offer lots of seating, but it's still not enough on most warm nights when the patio is absolutely packed with partiers. The view of the river from just about anywhere on the patio is spectacular and worth a visit.

Best new restaurant: Horny Hideaway editors' choice: Blue's Egg

The Horny Goat Brewing Co. features a simple menu, but has enough signature offerings to make it, according to readers, a cut above the rest. Also, many of the sauces include Horny Goat beer as an ingredient, such as the he Vixen Red BBQ pizza that has a thick layer of homemade BBQ sauce prepared with Vixen Red Lager. Plus, the spacious, upbeat environment adds to the Horny Goat dining experience and inspires visitors to come back again and again.

Best pizza: Zaffiro's editors' choice: Calderone Club

Zaffiro's Pizza is known for its thin-crust pizzas, pasta dishes and garlic bread in a neighborhood bar / casual restaurant setting. The upbeat environment is comfortable for diners of any age, including children. The mom-and-pop pizza place has been in the same East Side location since 1954. Today, the restaurant is owned by Mike Zaffiro, the son of the original owner.

Best restaurant wine list: Balzac editors' choice: Dream Dance Steak

Balzac, 1716 N. Arlington Pl., is a fine dining experience. The knowledgeable staff seems unfailingly happy to see you, and is helpful in offering suggestions for wine or menu items. And readers say Balzac has the city's best wine list. That's certainly due to its vast, five-page wine list offering selections from the new world and the old. Wine is served in stemless Riedel crystal, an indication that someone in the joint knows how to treat wine, and the menu offers low-priced "tastes" in case you can't make up your mind. The bar also offers a wide range of bottled beers, draughts and martinis.

Best ribs: Speed Queen editors' choice: Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill

Speed Queen is a more than half-century-old Milwaukee landmark, focusing on carry-out barbecue with affordable prices and a drive-through window that makes it easy to pick up its signature ribs, rib tips and other specialties. Earlier this year, the restaurant at 1130 W. Walnut St. lost its matriarch and co-founder, Betty Gillespie, who died from colon cancer at the age of 73. But the barbecue landmark has survived her passing, and continues to serve what readers have picked as the best ribs in town.

Best romantic dining: Lake Park Bistro editors' choice: Bacchus

Located in Milwaukee County's Lake Park -- in the pavilion -- the restaurant conjures up visions of Parisian dining and romantic French film. It is, quite possibly, the perfect place for a date, proposal or anniversary. A full wall of glass windows provides a view of the lake from nearly every seat in the house. With low-level lighting and quiet, secluded ambience, Lake Park Bistro graciously welcomes romantic couples for a memorable meal.

Best salads: Cafe Lulu editors' choice: Louise's Trattoria

We've loved Café Lulu and its delicious salads for many years, and now, apparently you do too, handing them their first win in this category. Lulu's menu features six salads, including the calypso tuna salad.

Best sandwiches: Cafe Lulu editors' choice: Nessun Dorma

Café Lulu ended the Chocolate Factory's grip on the title for Milwaukee's Best Sandwich last year and went for the repeat in 2010, picking up nearly 13 percent of the vote. Whether it's falafel, pita, baguettes or even the homemade potato chips, this Bay View sandwich shop hits the mark for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Add some of that amazing Asian slaw and you've got a real winner.

Best seafood: Crawdaddy's editors' choice: Harbor House

The seafood menu at Crawdaddy's goes on and on. From freshwater perch and trout to saltwater halibut, grouper and tilapia, you can not only find the best of New Orleans fishing but the best of Louisiana-style Creole and Cajun cooking right here in Milwaukee.Operating for the last 15 years in West Allis, co-owner and chef Jonathan Klug has perfected the delicate flavoring of jambalaya, seafood etouffee and shrimp Creole. Putting seafood at the forefront of dozens of dishes, Klug's fish speaks for itself in freshness and flavor.

Best service: Eddie Martini's editors' choice: Bacchus

Yet again, readers found Eddie Martini's, 8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., to have a hearty helping of both fine fare and spectacular service. The waitstaff is professional and poised, attentive without being overbearing; that adds to an already comforting eating environment.

Best street food: Streetza Pizza editors' choice: Tigerbite

Since summer 2009 the Streetza truck has tempted our taste buds with slices like "Wisconsin Stair Fair chili," or "the brew crew sausage race," which piles all the Klement's racing sausages (yes, even hot dog) onto a blend on five cheeses. And at only $3.75 a slice, it's a Milwaukeean's dream come true. While we certainly love Streetza, we in the editorial office here at wanted to give a little attention to the new guy on the block. Tigerbite has been the buzz around town lately and we love a good Korean taco, so we picked it as our editors' choice.

Best use of local ingredients: Roots editors' choice: Meritage

Roots Restaurant and Cellar, 1818 N. Hubbard Ave., was one of Milwaukee's first dining destinations to actively pursue the use of local ingredients. Now it is just one of many. But it still is the best, according to you, readers. Using only naturally raised meats and fresh seafood from the start, Roots now mainly uses produce grown in Wisconsin, too. Active members of Slow Food USA and The Chefs Collaborative, Roots' culinary creations are based on seasonally changing ingredients.

Best suburban dining: Mr. B's Steakhouse editors' choice: Weissgerber's Golden Mast

After 10 years in the Stonewood Village, Mr. B's relocated just a little further west down Capitol Drive (in the former Agave location) but still sets itself apart with high-quality steaks, delicious appetizers and a comfortable and classy atmosphere. The location may have changed, but little else about Mr. B's Steakhouse is different -- which is just the way Milwaukee likes it.

Best steak: Five O'Clock Steak House editors' choice: Milwaukee Chop House

For four straight years, Milwaukee's beef lovers have chosen the Five O'Clock Steak House as their favorite place for a steak. It's easy to see why. The venerable steakhouse at 2416 W. State St., has been serving up delicious cuts for years -- back when it was Coerper's Five O'Clock Club -- in a classy, throwback style reminiscent of a '50s supper club.
With a basic menu featuring ribs, chops and five cuts of steak -- all $40 or less -- there's variety and value.

Best vegetarian: Beans and Barley editors' choice: Cafe Manna

From its signature burritos -- which include a dairy-free option -- to sandwiches and soups, there are plenty of vegetarian choices. The menu includes full breakfasts, served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. If you've been around for a while, you know the original structure was destroyed by fire in 1993. But the current Beans & Barley building has been around for more than a decade and a half -- long enough to make it an East Side landmark.

Best venue for food: Milwaukee Public Market editors' choice: Wisconsin State Fair

The neon sign atop the Milwaukee Public Market has become an iconic part of the city's skyline, and its collection of food vendors has become a great spot for grazing -- readers say it's the best spot for grazing. You can pick up full meals of various types -- from seafood at the St. Paul Fish Co. to something more Middle Eastern at Aladdin. You can have a little something to drink at the Thief Wine Shop or the Buffalo Water Beer Bar. Pick up a cookie at C. Adam's bakery, or a loaf of bread at Breadsmith. The market also offers a wide range of cooking classes.

Best view: Harbor House editors' choice: Barnacle Bud's

Formerly Pieces of Eight and Harbor 550, Harbor House was completely remodeled into a "Cape Cod"-style restaurant, and diners, whether seated indoors or out, enjoy a full view of Lake Michigan. This year, because of the mid-season opening, guests were served drinks on the deck, but not meals. Next year, however, guests will be invited to eat on the patio, as well.

Best wings: Buffalo Wild Wings editors' choice: Club Garibaldi

When it comes to wings, readers like variety. With 14 different sauces and eight local locations (Water Street, Mayfair, West Allis, Oak Creek, New Berlin, Waukesha, Pewaukee and West Bend), Buffalo Wild Wings topped Points East Pub by 43 votes.

Best Chinese: Emperor of China editors' choice: Yen Ching

This Brady Street staple isn't especially fancy, nor is its fare. But with excellent lunch specials, including a great egg drop soup, and emphasis on quality and fresh vegetables, the Emperor is a solid pick for the best Chinese in town. Recognizing the specialization in Szechwan, Hunan, Shanghai, Peking or Cantonese cooking techniques, Emperor of China's menu celebrates the diversity in regional Chinese cooking. On the menu, classics like chow mein, egg foo yung, sweet and sour pork and Mongolian beef collide with house specialties like lava chicken, kung pao shrimp and the Emperor's seafood.

Best French: Coquette Cafe editors' choice: Lake Park Bistro

Coquette Cafe has long been a Third Ward favorite for lunch and for the theater crowd and that hasn't changed now that it's run by Nick Burki and Chris Hatleli, who you might remember The Social and Milwaukee Art Museum's Cafe Calatrava. Coquette's warm atmosphere and beloved dishes keep folks coming back again and again.

Best Greek: Oakland Gyros editors' choice: The Gyros Stand

The city has plenty of choices when it comes to Grecian cuisine, but in the end, Milwaukeeans know what they like and they love Oakland Gyros, which took 35 percent of the vote and finished well ahead of Apollo, the next leading vote-getter.

Best Indian: Maharja editors' choice: Mayura

For the third year in a row, readers declared the East Side's Maharaja to be the very best.The daily lunch buffet offers a large selection of Indian soups, vegetarian favorites like palak paneer (spinach cooked with homemade cheese), chicken and beef curries and gulab jamun -- those little fried dough balls dipped in sweet syrup.Dinners at Maharaja feature an extensive East Indian menu crowded with curries, meats and breads baked in a traditional tandoori oven.

Best Italian: Ristorante Bartolotta editors' choice: Ristorante Bartolotta

For more than a decade, Joe Bartolotta has run one of the most consistently great Italian restaurants in town. And thanks to head Chef Juan Urbieta, the menu has never gone stale.Urbieta and his crew create great special menus, including ones that focus on the bounty of regional Italian cuisine, spotlighting the diversity of Italian cooking, as well as winemaker dinners that pair great wines with special menus. So, if you're looking for red-checkered tablecloths and 10 versions of spaghetti and meatballs, you'll have to go elsewhere.

Best Mexican: Botanas editors' choice: Riviera Maya

The growth of Milwaukee's Mexican population has had a very positive effect on the city's dining scene over the year, with more and more restaurants popping up to offer customers south of the border specialties. But when it came to picking a favorite, Milwaukeeans didn't hesitate to name Botanas, 816 S. 5th St., as being a cut above the rest. In addition to traditional cuisine, Botanas also has an impressive seafood menu and family-friendly options.

Best Middle Eastern: Tulip editors' choice: Tulip

The three-year old Tulip snapped Casablanca's run as your favorite thanks to a wide variety of lamb, chicken and beef entrees as well as seafood and pasta dishes. Appetizers include favorites such as grape leaves, hummus, feta cheese rolls and eggplant puree. The editorial staff likes Tulip, too, and it got our vote.

Best Japanese: Nankusa editors' choice: Izumi's

Nanakusa, 408 E. Chicago St., is one of Milwaukee's veteran sushi restaurants and, for the first time, beat out Izumi's for the title of Milwaukee's best Japanese.The sleek and contemporary restaurant offers a large selection of sushi and sashimi, along with appetizers and entrees like Ten-Don, a tempura shrimp dish with rice and special sauce.

Best "other Asian:" Umani Moto editors' choice: Hue

A recent review found your choice for best "other Asian" (meaning not strictly Chinese, Japanese or Thai) to be "simple, precise and delicious" and added that the service is "prompt, attentive and uses a team approach without being intrusive."Add in the sleek, elegant decor, diverse clientele and the hip location on Milwaukee Street and you have a winning combination.

Best Thai: King & I editors' choice: Thai-namite

For two decades, The King & I has ruled Milwaukee's Thai food scene and, once again, readers picked it as their favorite. Now it its second Downtown location, The King & I provides an intimate dining experience, but it can also accommodate large groups.