A fish fry traditionalist; that's pretty much what I think I am.
Fish fry is the only time I eat marble rye.
I always choose the potato pancakes. More than that I think it shouldn't even be a choice. The potato pancakes are as important as the fish.
I admit I am usually a little disappointed when I get white bread or fries with a fish fry. And when you go someplace that wants to give you something like spaghetti with tomato sauce on the side? Mamma mia.
But this past Friday, I broke with tradition entirely when I took my kid out to dinner at Cafe Hollander in Tosa.
He loves to go there for the French toast sticks ($4.50), which (psst, don't tell) they will usually make for kids at any time, not only at brunch. I've had the fish fry there before and it's good. No latkes, but the fries are hot and crispy and the beer selection is such that I'll make the trade sometimes.
But on this occasion, I didn't even really get the fish fry (gasp!).
I opted for the fish tacos ($11.95).
Yes, it's true. I'm claiming that I had a fish fry when I really had fish tacos. But, hear me out.
The two big tacos each come with a nice-sized piece of battered and deep fried tilapia (the regular fish fry comes with three pieces of cod). It's a fish fry on tortillas, with guacamole, a spicy mayo and under the fish, a dollop of cole slaw.
They are delicious.
Toss in a High Speed Wit and you've got the making for a delicious – if non-traditional – fish fry.
Incidentally, for the first time ever, too, we ordered dessert at Hollander and were not disappointed. I got a chocolate tartlet ($5.95) that was cool and tasty with a nice peak of whipped cream on top.
My kid devoured the build your own Cobblestone (price depends on toppings; ours was ($4.20), which starts with a boat-shaped waffle and allows you to add your own toppings, including ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, etc.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.