Although the name has stayed the same, things are definitely "new and improved" at the recently turned-over North Avenue Grill. Officially reopened on Feb. 4, new owner Mike Topolovich felt that keeping the name would give a sense of stability to a space that has had several owners and identities during the past few years.
Topolovich dismisses the notion that he's a "chef," primarily because he's self-taught. But he cut his teeth at another North Avenue institution in Tosa - John's Sandwich Shop - and 16 years there plus six years at a Franklin Pub have more than qualified him for the job as chef and owner.
When describing North Avenue Grill, Topolovich is straightforward: "It's a classic American diner. We serve breakfast all day. It's all down-home food - simple, made with fresh, quality ingredients."
Some of the early menu favorites are Huevos Rancheros - American fries and scrambled eggs with chorizo and pepper jack cheese ($8.50), the Peppercorn Horsey Burger with bacon, cheddar jack cheese, crispy onion strings and peppercorn horsey sauce ($8.50) and the Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich - panko-breaded chicken tossed in buffalo sauce and topped with ranch or blue cheese on a brioche bun ($8.50). Also worth a mention are the hand-cut fries, which are served with any of the burgers or sandwiches.
"I make as much as possible from scratch," Topolovich said. "There's no microwave in the kitchen here."
The big change that customers might appreciate is that North Avenue Grill is one of the only restaurants on east North Avenue that is open on Mondays. "We're open every day and we stick to our hours," Topolovich said. "Give us a chance and check us out."
NAME: North Avenue Grill
ADDRESS: 7225 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
FARE:classic American diner
HOURS: 7a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday
PRICE RANGE: $2.95 to $10.50
HANDICAPPED ACCESS: yes
GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS: no
LOOKING TO 'GRAB A BITE'?
"Grab a Bite" is an informal look at the food scene in the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Elm Grove area by freelance writer Karen Waldkirch. Whether you're looking for a place for a date night or a casual spot for lunch, Waldkirch will be out and about scouting eateries for you. If you have a suggestion for a column, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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