By Maureen Post Special to Published Jan 12, 2009 at 11:59 AM Photography: Maureen Post

Less than two years old, Maxie's Southern Comfort, 6732 W. Fairview Ave., gets it right.

From incredibly knowledgeable staff to authentic Southern dishes, there's an obvious reason Maxie's is lively with diners even on a Sunday night. They love what they do and it comes through in the love of their food.

In addition to the supplied heaps of moist corn bread, we tried appetizers like fried green tomatoes, peel 'n' eat shrimp and crab cakes.

At the table, we ordered a little bit of everything. From Southern standards like andouille sausage, shrimp and chicken jambalaya and catfish creole to specials like hanger steak and North Atlantic salmon to seasonal dishes like a roasted beet and goat cheese salad. Everything was delicious.

I had the soup of the day; a zesty codfish chowder combining the broth of Manhattan chowder with Southwestern spice and large chunks of firm codfish. I've been in a constant search for soup similar to homemade seafood stew I had in the Norwegian fjords and although Maxie's took a Southern spin, my chowder last night was a good rival.

Desserts are beautifully presented and delectably rich. Key lime pie has a graham cracker crust and is covered in made-from-scratch whip cream. The winter specialty bourbon bread pudding is served hot with cold ice cream and moistened with rich bourbon caramel, topped large, lump walnuts. Lastly, the chocolate ganache cake is densely compact served over a fresh raspberry glaze.

As you can tell, we didn't opt to eat lightly.

The restaurant interior is gorgeous. An overall sense of slow, Louisiana comfort plus jazzy trend cover the walls, bar and seating with a combination of black, red and white. Classy small chandeliers hang over the short bar and illuminate the area with a luxurious glow.

I'm certainly not the only one, but I really love this place and I think it's a great, authentic independent on Milwaukee's West Side.

Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.