By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 02, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Andy Tarnoff and I sat ourselves down on the deck overlooking the Milwaukee River today for lunch at Stubby's Pub & Grub, 2060 N. Humboldt Ave.

This was my first visit to Stubby's -- owned by Brian Zarletti, who also owns Rustico and Zarletti --  which opened in July in the space that formerly housed Bayou.

Much like my first visit to Bayou, I was struck by the fact that the place was virtually empty. This can be a worrisome omen.

But, it wasn't in this case. At least not in terms of service or food.

We had two servers helping us and they were friendly and attentive without being pushy or lingering too much.

I ordered the shrimp po boy with sweet potato fries (you get a choice of side, from a list of about a half dozen, with sandwiches) and a beer (a tasty Great Lakes Elliott Ness Vienna-style lager, $5).

The shrimp po boy featured corn meal crusted shrimp with lettuce, mayo and tomatoes on a toasted garlic rubbed hoagie roll. The addition of the capers was great, although I was disappointed that the tomatoes looked fairly anemic. It is, after all, tomato season.

But the dish was satisfying and tasty and I was not disappointed, overall.

Andy had the pulled barbecue chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. He especially enjoyed the mildly tangy sauce.

There were a few more diners in the restaurant when we left than when we arrived, but not many. And that's too bad, because based on this first visit, Stubby's is a pretty good -- though not especially budget-conscious -- lunch option.

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 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.