My never-ending quest for the perfect fish fry â€“ which, by my definition, includes potato pancakes â€“ took me to an admittedly obvious spot last week.
The Packing House, 900 E. Layton Ave., is not only not a secret, it's the opposite of a secret. But, I admit, I'd never made it over to the restaurant across from the airport, to give it a try.
Part of what kept me away is the restaurant's reputation for popularity, which I've always assumed means long wait times. The snaking row of cars waiting for service at the Friday night drive-thru did nothing to assuage that trepidation.
But then I learned a few things. First, you can get the dinner fish fry at lunch. Second, reservations are accepted. Third, Friday nights don't really get busy until about 6:30. So, if, like me, you have little kids and fear a wait. Any of these options could prove useful.
I went over for lunch on Friday and had the perch fry, which is $14.95 and worth every penny, though, I admit, like many, I rarely want to spend $14.95 on lunch.
However, my lunch consisted of a big cup of great New England clam chowder and a bread of marble rye, two of the best potato pancakes I've had and three butterflied pieces of perch. Of course, there were the attendant sauces: apple and tartar, and lemon wedges.
The perch comes breaded and while three pieces doesn't sound like much, look at the photo above and you'll see that each piece is really two. The breading is crisp and blessedly free of grease, the fish tasty and flaky.
The potato pancakes are about hockey puck-sized but share no other traits with that hard rubber piece of sports equipment. They're dense without being tough and dry; they're lightly peppered and thoroughly satisfying.
Your humble scribe packs a pretty powerful appetite and this meal would fill me up on any day of the week. Alas, I can only enjoy it on a Friday. But, fortunately, I now know that there are a few ways I can dig in without sitting in the lobby for an hour.
Packing House | Jan. 22, 2013 at 1:35 p.m. (report)
Thanks for the great review. I'd like to add that our regular cod fish fry is also available. It is only $10.95 at lunch and until 6. The drive thru is available from 3-9 and features our hand breaded cod for only $10.95 also. Join us!
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published March 27, 2015
Milwaukee's Chalice in the Palace breathes some life into the city's wanting reggae music scene with regular record spins featuring a wide variety of Jamaican sounds at area clubs.
Published March 26, 2015
I was a little disappointed the first time I stepped into Henry Koch's 1870 Calvary Presbyterian Church - that soaring red building on 10th and Wisconsin. The sanctuary has been completed remodeled and modernized. The pews are gone, replaced by stacks of movable chairs. The wooden chancel isn't ornately adorned as one might expect in a 150-year-old church, and the new hardwood floors gleam rather than creak with accumulated history. But, then, Pastor Mark McDonough converted me.
Published March 25, 2015
In all of the discussions of the siting of a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the discussion has been about connecting to Wisconsin Avenue and points south of the current Bradley Center. But, let's not ignore the other side.
Published March 25, 2015
In recent years, Milwaukee Public Library has been building for the future, replacing aged branches with mixed-use developments that ensure the libraries will be community fixtures for years to come. For its next project, MPL is moving the Forest Home branch into the future by reviving an old South Side neighborhood gem.
Published March 20, 2015
Scattered around the Milwaukee area are roughly two dozen eye-catching stone cottages that look like they could've been moved from Normandy. But, you might be surprised to learn they were designed by a New York architect who also designed the Big Apple's Singer Building, a 47-story skyscraper that was, for three years, the tallest building in the world.
Published March 18, 2015
Old newspaper ads for Milwaukee clubs open a world of unwritten history.
Published March 18, 2015
Dosing its rootsy rock and roll with a shot of country and etheral, melodic pop Milwaukee's Great Lake Drifters have created a sound that is difficult to pin down. With a brand new CD, " Radio Picture Show," the band takes part in this weekend's Equinox Music Festival at Linneman's in Riverwest. We chatted with a couple of the band's members about GLD, about "Radio Picture Show" and about Equinox.
Published March 17, 2015
Nine unforgettable places to rent some shoes in Brew City.
Published March 16, 2015
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver is one of nearly a dozen leaders of urban school districts headed to the White House this morning to meet with President Barack Obama as part of the Council of the Great City Schools' three-day annual legislative/policy conference in Washington.
Published March 13, 2015
Writing these past two weeks about disappeared Milwaukee rock clubs and Downtown in the 1980s has me a little bleary eyed with nostalgia. And my Milwaukee reminiscences almost always lead straight back to one building in Walker's Point.