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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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Fratelli's pizza is just part of what the West Allis restaurant is all about.
Fratelli's pizza is just part of what the West Allis restaurant is all about.

In search of the perfect pizza: Fratelli's

West Allis seems to have quite an abundance of pizzerias. Fratelli's, 6202 W. Lincoln Ave., is another I found in the Entertainment Book. They feature New York-style pizzas and Chicago-style Italian beef and hot dogs. Fratelli's is a family-owned business operated by brothers Dave and Tim Sanchez along with their father, Sal.

Fratelli's is a small shop with a large menu. There are five small tables for dining in, but there is also a patio for outdoor dining during the warm months. However, it seems most of Fratelli's business is carry-out and delivery.

As I stood at the counter to place my order, the menus surrounded me. The pizza menu was behind the counter at the top of the wall on the right. It listed the sizes and specialty pizzas offered such as the creamed spinach with bacon, featuring spinach, bacon and a white cream sauce, and the Meaty Matt, featuring sausage, pepperoni and bacon.

The cheese used at Fratelli's is from Wisconsin's own Grande Cheese Company. A plaque on the lobby wall proudly states so.

A white board on the wall next to the entrance listed daily pasta and sandwich specials, while a chalkboard to the left of the counter listed deli sandwiches, such as the "Almighty," featuring five different meats!

Other menu boards list burgers, cheese steaks and chicken sandwiches. Hot wings, pastas and ice cream round out the menu at Fratelli's. They seem to have something for everyone.

I had a chance to speak with Sal for a bit. He told me that he and his family moved to Milwaukee from Chicago and opened Fratelli's four years ago. They take a lot of pride in their homemade Italian beef and claim to be the only restaurant in Wisconsin serving Vienna hot dogs in their natural casing for that special flavor and snap when bitten into.

The pizzas come in three sizes: an 8-inch personal pizza, a 14-inch and an 18-inch pizza. Cheese and one-topping pizzas are $5.50, $13 and $15, respectively. Additional toppings can be added for a charge, of course. All pizzas are hand-tossed and cooked in a "stone hearth oven."

Since Fratelli's pizzas are so large, they also cut their pizza slices into squares. So far this is only the second New York-style pizzeria I've come across that cuts the pies into squares. I'll bet they would accommodate if you asked for the standard triangular slices.

I ordered the Meaty Matt. The crust was crispy and chewy, typical of New York-style pizzas. The homemade sauce was mild, but tasty. Chunks of Italian sausage and pepperoni both were more mild than spicy.

I hardly noticed the bacon at first and thought they forgot to add it, but I eventually found it in the form of finely diced bacon bits. I'm not sure if it was the amount of bacon or the size of the bits, but I could barely taste the bacon.

Fratelli's had the feel of a popular neighborhood stop. While I waited, I noticed the carry-out orders were split between pizzas and non-pizza orders. Pizzas didn't seem to rule here, at least not that night.

I don't live in the neighborhood, but I'll keep Fratelli's in mind the next time I'm craving a hot dog or an Italian beef sandwich. I have to know if they're as good as advertised.

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