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Jack Pandl's Whitefish Bay Inn

1319 East Henry Clay St., Milwaukee, WI - (414) 964-3800
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/1/2008 11:24:00 PM
The drive from Milwaukee along the shore of Lake Michigan to Jack Pandl’s is worth the trip just to view the scenery. The lake is beautiful, and the mansions at water’s edge are an extravagant array of sturdy Midwestern design and old-money style.

Pandl’s is not a typical Roadfood restaurant. It is a cozy Bavarian lodge house decorated with beer steins, staffed by waitresses in dirndl skirts. The menu is a little pricey by our usual standards (you won’t likely spend less than $10 for a meal), and your fellow diners will include a large portion of bluehairs who have been coming here for lunch seemingly since the restaurant’s opening in 1915. It isn’t a fancy place – bare tables are set with paper placemats – but it has an old-world gentility that makes meals seem at least semi-formal.

The kitchen’s repertoire is large, including all manner of steak, seafood, and salad; but we come for a few distinct menu items that are heart-and-soul Wisconsin. A frequent daily special is liver-dumpling soup, a homey broth filled vegetables and with one dark, tender dumpling. You can always get a plate of walleyed pike or, better yet, broiled whitefish; the latter is a lovely fillet that is toasty-sweet, cream-tender, and satisfying in a way that only lake fish ever is. The one necessary thing to eat at Pandl’s is the German pancake – a baked ‘cake similar to Yorkshire pudding that rises up in the oven to form a huge, eggy trough into which you sprinkle powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon to form a tart-sweet syrup.

For dessert, Pandl’s offers schaum torte, an appealing bowl of sweetness in shades of white, pink, and red. Pure, crunchy meringue is topped with ivory smooth custard and a spill of strawberries in syrup. The harmony of textures and varying degrees of sweetness make schaum torte a pleasure from first bite to last.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
German Pancake
Wiener Schnitzel
Fried Lake Perch
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A close-up of the broiled whitefish reveals its flaky, tender character.
"A close-up of the broiled whitefish reveals its flaky, tender character."
Cliff Strutz





Unfortunately, the liver dumpling soup isn't always available.  This cup of comforting chicken dumpling soup makes a fine substitute.
"Unfortunately, the liver dumpling soup isn't always available. This cup of comforting chicken dumpling soup makes a fine substitute."
Cliff Strutz


That's a heap of delicious spaetzel dumplings hiding under the schnitzel and, in the background, red cabbage.
"That's a heap of delicious spaetzel dumplings hiding under the schnitzel and, in the background, red cabbage."
Michael Stern


Beautifully fried lake perch, accompanied by a couple of cream-centered, crisp-skinned, onion-laced potato pancakes.
"Beautifully fried lake perch, accompanied by a couple of cream-centered, crisp-skinned, onion-laced potato pancakes."
Michael Stern


Outstanding cole slaw! It is crisp, pickly, and refreshing, dotted with bits of tomato, red and green pepper, and onion
"Outstanding cole slaw! It is crisp, pickly, and refreshing, dotted with bits of tomato, red and green pepper, and onion"
Michael Stern


If you visit Jack Pandl's on a Sunday, your brunch starts off with this plate of pastries.
"If you visit Jack Pandl's on a Sunday, your brunch starts off with this plate of pastries."
Cliff Strutz


A cup of Jack Pandl's liver-dumpling soup
"A cup of Jack Pandl's liver-dumpling soup"
Michael Stern


A beautiful sight for the eyes, this dessert consisting of custard, meringue and strawberries is as delicious as it looks!
"A beautiful sight for the eyes, this dessert consisting of custard, meringue and strawberries is as delicious as it looks!"
Cliff Strutz


Here is half of a German pancake, just dressed with plenty of powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Side dish? Entree? Dessert? Good!
"Here is half of a German pancake, just dressed with plenty of powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Side dish? Entree? Dessert? Good!"
Michael Stern


One small fraction of Pandl's vast collection of beer steins.
"One small fraction of Pandl's vast collection of beer steins."
Michael Stern


One of Milwaukee's longstanding culinary treasures.
"One of Milwaukee's longstanding culinary treasures."
Michael Stern



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