By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 14, 2011 at 8:45 AM

I'm a big fish fry fan, especially when there are potato pancakes involved. Add a polka band and I give extra points. A great beer selection? Even better.

The problem is I'm the only person in my household that loves fish fries. So, we don't go out for them often, unless we go to a place with a wider menu that also offers a fish fry.

The other problem is that, like many diners, I fall into a rut. I've found places I like and I go to them again and again.

Among my favorites have been Kegel's, of course, the Bavarian Inn, Turner Hall back before it tanked (which meant I was only mildly saddened when it closed; I'd already been sad about it for a while at that point) and, more recently, a great carry out version -- sans latkes -- at Cosmos Cafe on North Avenue in Wauwatosa.

Tonight I just might try to convince everyone to go out and I want some advice on where to take the family for a great fish fry. Here are some criteria:

  1. Must be kid-friendly or we're doomed.
  2. Preferably on the West or Northwest side, but doesn't have to be.
  3. Potato pancakes available if possible, but it's not a deal-breaker.
  4. No super-long wait; If the place takes reservations, even better (see No. 1).

Help me find a new fish fry favorite tonight, Milwaukee!


Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.