Cranky Al's Wins 'Best Fish Fry' in Reader Poll

Devotion to doughnuts led logically to pizza pride and of course a fab fish fry had to follow.

Wauwatosa Patch asked reader's , and among nominees were a church, a fine dining restaurant, a couple of Tosa's longest-established pubs and a couple of cafes.

Who knew the doughnut shop would win?

, 6901 W. North Ave., for both the most nominations and most votes. In fact, Cranky's garnered more votes than all other contenders put together, a whopping 62 percent.

Owned by "Cranky" Al and Susie Brkich, the corner spot opened in East Tosa in 2006 as a place to showcase Al's hand-cranked doughnuts. The instant popularity of the place as a morning stop prompted the couple to open for some evening hours offering pizza.

This led Al, always the iconoclast, to post some of the more unusual hours of operation around: Bakery and coffee can be had from 6 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Sunday, while pizza is available from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Lunch is still, steadfastly, not an option.

With the most beloved cruller in town, and raves for the pizza, too, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that Cranky's fish fry also caught on.

"We're just so happy (to have won) because we have a great product, and we're so glad our loyal fans supported us," said manager Joey Carioti, Al and Susie's nephew. "We're extremely happy."

So what makes a great fish fry?

"We use great fish and great ingredients for the whole platter and it's all homemade, the fish is hand-battered," Carioti said.

But a lot of places will say they use the best ingredients and do everything by hand. There has to be something that makes anything stand out as best of the best.

"It's a little Tosa magic," Carioti said. "We, all of our employees, live in Tosa.

"It's a little extra pinch of love in the cookin'."

Scott Van Derven March 03, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Way to reel in the awards Al and Susie


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