Though I can’t honestly say I’ve ever dieted, I admit that I am now counting calories in an effort to lose a modest amount of weight and get closer to what is considered an ideal weight for someone of my height. (I’ve lost seven pounds in as many days, while still enjoying dessert.)
The good news, for me, is that I’m not really depriving myself of anything, I’m just making sure I don’t overdo. But counting has made me realize how many calories are in different foods. That’s something I haven’t paid much attention to in the past.
This calorie counting, then, is at odds with my love for a good old Wisconsin fish fry. Baked, grilled and broiled fish is great, but it’s no fish fry.
So, when I heard that Jimmy’s Island Grill and Iguana Bar, 2303 N. Mayfair Rd., in the Radisson Hotel at Mayfair and North across from the mall, allows diners to mix fried and grilled, I decided to give it a try.
I’ve passed Jimmy’s – which has a handful of sister eateries across the country – countless times but never gave it much thought. A Parrothead-ish hotel restaurant? Eh.
But on our visit, the kids had a great time with the island theme, complete with free plastic lizard perched atop their drink cups and I had a pretty good fish fry.
The all you can eat fish fry is $10.95 and includes two potato pancakes and small cups of apple sauce, tartar sauce and coleslaw.
Turns out you can get grilled or fried fish and you can alternate, but not in the same round. So, I tried the fried cod first (natch) and it was nicely breaded and not greasy in the slightest, which was great.
For the second round, I got the grilled, which was even better. I just wish I could get one order mixing the two, to cut my calorie and fat intake.
The potato pancakes were good. Again, not greasy, but they could have been crisper on the outside.
Aside from the fish fry, which is served all day on Fridays, we ordered two kids meals that were serviceable – a grilled cheese and mac ‘n’ jack that I’d bet was Kraft – for $4.95 each.
We also ordered bacon-wrapped scallops ($20.95) at our table, which were so-so. The scallops were done nicely but the bacon had burned a bit, and the burnt flavor dominated the dish. Fresh carrots and fries accompanied the entree.
Though I don’t see myself hitting Jimmy’s often most nights of the week, it is a good spot on the West Side for a fish fry and once the patio is ready to rock again, it’ll be even better.
We dined somewhat early, having little ones at the table, but the place was really filling up when we left, so the secret is out on Jimmy's fish fry.
Now, to convince them to dish up half and half orders of fried and grilled fish.
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.