Milwaukee is a city of great fish fries, but Serb Hall’s is the greatest by far. Sizewise, that is. Experts contend that there are other places with more delicious fish and better side dishes, but no one can deny that the scale of this place dwarfs all others. It is the largest fish fry on earth: a vast chandelier-crowned eating stadium with a capacity of a thousand diners at hundreds of tables.
Meals are served only on Friday (although a take-out window is open on Wednesday), and by 6pm, you will wait in a line that is city-blocks long to get in. When we inquired about Serb Hall serving hours, our very busy waitress took time to carefully explain that the in-door closes precisely at 8pm, but customers already seated are allowed to finish eating and drinking.
The standard fish to fry here is haddock – thin-crusted blocks of soft white meat served in a plastic basket with French fries, tart cole slaw and rye bread on the side. A good alternative is lake perch; and there is an all-you-can-eat meal of fried Pollock. Beer-battered cod is frequently available, its hopsy coat shoring in an abundance of cream-rich fish juices. For those who don’t like flat fish, fried shrimp are also available; and if your regime disallows fried food, there is a plate of meat loaf. Fish is accompanied by cole slaw, mashed or French fried potatoes, bread and butter, and a nice sweet/tart cole slaw served family style.