By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Mar 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM

You know that old saying about finding good things right in your own backyard? Well, maybe there's not a saying like that, but there should be.

My wife and I have spent a lifetime driving all over hell and gone
looking for great fish fries. Neither one of us regularly eats much
fish, but the fish fry is something special. North and south, east and
west, we have traveled, finding some good, a little great and a lot of

Then, in our own backyard, almost, we stumbled into the Oakcrest Tavern on Oakland and Capitol Drive. And it was a great and pleasant surprise.

Rick Schmidt of the famous Schmidt Brothers restaurant empire took over this space about five years ago, and it easily reflects why he's a consultant in demand for other people opening restaurants and bars.

I didn't have the fish fry, opting instead for the French onion soup
and an avocado and shrimp salad. The soup was outstanding and the cheese and croutons were actually broiled under a broiler, instead of just nuked like so many other places do.

The fish fry was truly something, since they obviously believe the
word fish is more important than the word fry. The batter was light
and didn't overwhelm the flavor of the fish, a rarity in the fish fry
world. Way too many places are proud of their batter while Oakcrest is proud of the fish.

The place is very comfortable and although it's crowded on a Friday night, the wait wasn't bad at all and the bar was a comfortable setting to enjoy that wait.

I just live a few blocks from Oakcrest and that's what I mean about
finding good things right in your own backyard.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.