Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub - Waukesha

About a year ago was when I noticed the first Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub on about 116th and Bluemound. Then I heard that one went into the former Pabst Brewery that is now a hotel. And when I heard that they leased the space that was formerly J. Lotti's on South Street, I was really excited.

I liked the fact that a local franchise with a business model in place was taking over a restaurant location that has potential. It was sad to see J. Lotti's go, but I'm glad that something else opened up so quickly.

After "Liking" Jackson's on Facebook and following on Twitter, I was made aware of their fish fry options and after a few fun tweets with the business, I convinced my parents to check the place out with me.

We arrived around 6:30 for dinner on Friday night and the place was almost completely full. The first thing I noticed was that they painted the place in Red White and Blue and really made it look like a different place than J.Lotti's.

A pool table right in the front of the restaurant was covered with red, white and blue boards and made a bar table/waiting area for those that came in. We were able to read the menu while we waiting for a server to come over.

The sign said "Seat Yourself" and this is where things got a little messy. We ended up watching the tables but as people came in the door, they didn't know who was waiting and who was just enjoying a beer and we struck out on getting two tables because we couldn't get to them fast enough. When we brought this issue to our servers attention, she admitted that a system wasn't in place as they have only been open for a month but she would inform a manager.

We then watched all the tables that were seated and made sure we jumped at the opportunity for the next one. Once seated, we did notice that when the manager had time, he would head to the front and write names on a waiting list for those that just came in. Also, I saw the manager clearing tables, running food and pouring drinks. I love proactive managers and Tim (as I found out on Facebook) is a great one.

We were helped by a super cheery server that made sure we were never thirsty and our table wasn't too cluttered with empty or dirty dishes. Dad went for the PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) and said it brought back memories and really isn't that bad. I like PBR. There is something slightly sweet about it.

My parents each opted for the cod beer battered fish fry, mom getting the 2 piece and dad getting the 3. I went for the perch as it said it was lightly dusted. While we waited, I looked around the place and noticed a ton of PBR in the cooler in various sizes. And I also got a good laugh at this monster bottle of Tabasco.

The food came out pretty quickly and my mom ended up getting 4 pieces on her plate - whoops! She didn't mind and it was a clean plate for both my parents. They thought the breading was nice and flaky and not overly "doughy" so you could really taste the fish.

To say that I liked my perch is an understatement. It really reminded me of the perch fry from Annie's when I worked there and I loved worked fish fry Fridays for that reason!!!! The breading was light so it didn't take away from the flavor of the fish and the plate was packed with fish. The tartar was nice and flavorful and the dill in the coleslaw was a home run. I opted for potato pancakes (upcharge of a $1.00 but worth it!) and they were nice and crispy on the outside and soft, mushy potato in the middle.

I actually had the opportunity to introduce myself to Tim when he had a few seconds of down time.I told him I was impressed and wished him luck with his opening.

According to Facebook, the Grand Opening is Nov. 23 at 7 pm. Free food, drink specials and live music are listed. I'm not sure I can make it that night, but I hope to be back soon. I was impressed with the fish and hope I can be as impressed by the rest of the menu. They have appetizers, pizza, salads and sandwiches. Mmmmm pizza!!!!  Wednesday is $.50 wing night so I think I might drag my friends there to check out how their wings compare to Fox Run and Club 400. And Mon - Fri Happy Hour is from 3 - 6 pm.

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