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Three Brothers

2414 S St Clair St, Milwaukee, WI - (414) 481-7530
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/30/2014 7:08:00 AM
The story of Three Brothers is a dramatic one. “My father bought this tavern in 1950,” recalls proprietor Branko Radiecevich. “He chose the name Three Brothers in anticipation of his three sons coming to the United States. Alexander, Milutin, and I escaped Yugoslavia in 1956. It was a real reunion; I had not seen my father for fourteen years, when we were separated in a Nazi concentration camp.”

Branko's family restaurant has become a quiet landmark that attracts eaters from all walks of life and all ethnic groups. Accommodations are polite but humble – dine at a bare-top, steel-banded table – and the ethnic food is grand. We started with lemon-and-wine marinated rice-stuffed grape leaves, which were served with black olives and firm sticks of nut-sweet kashkaval (a goat’s milk cheese) and a “Serbian salad” of tomatoes, green peppers, and onions veiled with a web of finely-grated Bryndza, a soft goat’s-milk cheese.

When we first came for supper in the fall, Branko reminded us that it was leek season and brought out a savory pastry pie layered with caramelized peppered leeks. He was even more enthusiastic about roast lamb, a Three Brothers signature dish that is basted four hours in its own juices with tomato, pepper, onion, and garlic, and served just barely on the bone. Poke it with fork tines, and bite-size hunks of meat separate from the haunch and fall into the juice on the plate. The menu describes it as A must for the lamb lover; but we suspect that even non-lamb lovers might find its refined taste irresistible.

The building in which Three Brothers serves these fine meals is a corner tavern that was built in 1897 and for decades was owned and operated by the Schlitz Brewing Company. The Schlitz insignia – a globe – still crowns the peak of the roof. There are no longer seats at the old bar, which runs the length of the front room and is now a service area, but the wood-floored saloon retains the warmth of a community gathering place.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
burek
Serbian salad
roast lamb
Chicken Dumpling Soup
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The incredibly tender roast lamb was a big hit with my girlfriend.  The sweet and tart sauerkraut was a big hit with me!
"The incredibly tender roast lamb was a big hit with my girlfriend. The sweet and tart sauerkraut was a big hit with me!"
Cliff Strutz





The hearty chicken dumpling soup comes with one very large dumpling.
"The hearty chicken dumpling soup comes with one very large dumpling."
Cliff Strutz


A simple salad containing cheese, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes, this is a refreshing way to start your meal.
"A simple salad containing cheese, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes, this is a refreshing way to start your meal."
Cliff Strutz


No fancy tablecloths at Three Brothers ... just fine food
"No fancy tablecloths at Three Brothers ... just fine food"
Michael Stern


For many customers, Three Brothers is a place to celebrate special occasions; other people come to dine quietly on old-world comfort food.
"For many customers, Three Brothers is a place to celebrate special occasions; other people come to dine quietly on old-world comfort food."
Michael Stern


The building that houses Three Brothers is what used to be a typical corner tavern.  Today is is an extraordinary dining destination.  Note the Schlitz globe atop the roof.
"The building that houses Three Brothers is what used to be a typical corner tavern. Today is is an extraordinary dining destination. Note the Schlitz globe atop the roof."
Michael Stern


Two beautiful bureks are delivered fresh from the oven.
"Two beautiful bureks are delivered fresh from the oven."
Al & Janet Bowen


Available with cheese, beef, or spinach and cheese fillings.  Several of our party selected the spinach and cheese burek and raved about it.  They all took some of this wonderful pastry/entree home that evening.
"Available with cheese, beef, or spinach and cheese fillings. Several of our party selected the spinach and cheese burek and raved about it. They all took some of this wonderful pastry/entree home that evening."
Al & Janet Bowen


One large order of each appetizer served our party of seven very well.
"One large order of each appetizer served our party of seven very well."
Al & Janet Bowen


Grape leaves stuffed with beef and rice, served with white wine sauce and potato dumplings, remind us of Greek cuisine.
"Grape leaves stuffed with beef and rice, served with white wine sauce and potato dumplings, remind us of Greek cuisine."
Al & Janet Bowen


Musaka is a lasagna-like dish made mainly of eggplant.
"Musaka is a lasagna-like dish made mainly of eggplant."
Al & Janet Bowen


Branko Radiecevich, the 80 year old Patriarch of the family, oversees the work of his family members in all parts of the restaurant, and he greets guests each night.  His family history is a very interesting and dramatic story.
"Branko Radiecevich, the 80 year old Patriarch of the family, oversees the work of his family members in all parts of the restaurant, and he greets guests each night. His family history is a very interesting and dramatic story."
Al & Janet Bowen


The restaurant takes on a new appearance in the evening.  The brewery ads fade out and the family ambience seems to grow as you enter.
"The restaurant takes on a new appearance in the evening. The brewery ads fade out and the family ambience seems to grow as you enter."
Al & Janet Bowen



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