Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bayview Family Restaurant

2321 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Open 24 Hours Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30am until 1pm on Sunday, and open 5:30am on Monday, or something like that. They're pretty much open all the time, but not Sunday afternoon.

Breakfast specials until 10:30am. A really inexpensive one is: two eggs, homefries, toast, and bacon or sausage for $3.45. (They call the homefries "American Fries," as does every place in the area, but I refuse to.) Or: two eggs, 2 pancakes, bacon or sausage for $4.25. There are more specials, including farm steak and omelettes that have actually come DOWN in price.

The rest of the menu is the usual family restaurant fare, including corned beef, which I have never been courageous enough to try, and lunch and dinner specials, all quite cheap.

This is a good sized, open, square lunch room with booths on two sides, tables in the middle, and an eight stool counter. The kitchen is in the back. A big picture window faces busy Kinnickinnic Avenue-- this is as close to the heart of Bay View as anything. The place has been open awhile and has stayed unchanged for the six years I've been going there. The same waitresses have been working there for as long as I can remember, and they are charming. One woman goes by the name of "Grandma," and she is not someone you want to get on the bad side of.

I only have a few complaints. There is no coatrack. This is annoying if you're sitting on a stool at the counter, because where are you going to put your coat? Also, the coffee cups are the "nuclear power plant cooling tower" design, heavy and brown, but at least they are the ceramic version. (David Lynch loves these for some reason.) The coffee is bad, but I've had worse, and they will refill your cup. Cream is real, but in the annoying plastic tubs.

The best thing about this place is the homefries-- the best I've had in town. They are greasy and irregular, made from real potatoes, and the real trick here is to ask for them with grilled onions. It is no extra charge, and the onions turn mere decent homefries into a gourmet meal.

$ (breakfast special)

** (two stars)

--Ray Speen

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