Classic dinners at Dobie's warm hearts, stomachs
October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, special features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food. Bon appetit!
If you head to Dobie's Restaurant and Lounge, 4136 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in St. Francis, looking for the type of steak you'd find at a Downtown steakhouse, you're likely going to be disappointed.
But if you visit this multi-generational family-owned, classic supper club looking for a classic meal with good food, service and cocktails, you'll walk away feeling warmth in both your heart and your stomach.
Dobie's, which opened its doors in 1954, began as a custard stand and later morphed into what can only be described as a classic Wisconsin supper club, complete with perfectly muddled hand-crafted cocktails and a lazy susan relish tray including wonders such as homemade cheese spread or liver pate, pickled beets, corn and sweet pickle relish and Swedish meatballs.
Dobie's takes pride not only butchering its own meats, but cooking on live charcoal in the same manner as when the place opened 54 years ago. The menu features down-home favorites like fried chicken, fried shrimp, pork chops and of course steaks, which are definitely good quality, but better when doctored up with a little steak sauce, which is present at all the tables.
Dinners at Dobie's come with soup or salad in addition to a basket of bread and the aforementioned relish tray. Shrimp and steak dinner ($26.95) pairs Dobie's enormous fresh and hand-battered shrimp with a small filet. Expect the shrimp, dipped in a cornmeal and flour batter that makes them easily four inches long and tender and crunchy, to take center stage. At first, I thought the batter a bit heavy, but after a few bites I was sold on the freshness and the obvious love that went into hand-dredging it.
Breaded perch ($11.95) was again slightly heavy for my taste, but definitely lake fresh. Paired with cole slaw from the relish tray and a baked potato, which steamed from within but had a lovely terseness to the skin, the perch, served Thursday through Sunday, made for a good fish fry. This is just one of the things that makes Dobie's charming-they serve classic favorites just about every day they are open, never leaving one wanting for fried fish on a non-Friday or Swedish meatballs just about any day of the week.
The standout dish at several Dobie's meals was the tenderloin tips ($17.95), which featured a char-grilled steak cut up over delicious gravy permeated with fresh onions and peppers. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the mixture of homemade gravy and noodles was a delight, with crisp vegetables, tender steak and flawlessly al dente noodles.
Perhaps the most heartwarming aspect of a meal at Dobie's is the service. On two separate visits, we encountered servers who obviously enjoyed their jobs and were very proud of the place where they worked. The owners' enthusiasm showed in their attention to decorating the restaurant seasonally.
With fall upon us, expect to see Halloween decorations and a window display featuring scarecrows and pumpkins, just like everything else at Dobie's-done in-house, by hand, and with love.
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A long drive from western Brookfield, but we did it last night. It was well worth it. We're both big eaters but by the time we shared shredded onion rings and put a fair dent in the six items in the lazy susan, neither of us could finish our meals. My wife had the tenderloin tips which were wonderful. I had the chicken livers which were very good. As the article mentions, the breading seemed a little heavy.
I have frequented Dobie's since 1993, as mentioned in the review the food is amazing, this all due to the hard working owners Dale and Julie Doberstein and dedicated staff that make this a place where everyone really does "know your name". The owners and staff make sure that this is not just a meal and nice night out, but an experience. They all go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best service and food you could imagine. Ideal for couples and familes alike with a fun relaxed atmosphere, Dobie's also offers a large beautifully decorated downstairs dining room for those who wish to have large parties and privacy. I highly recommend restaurant to anyone. For the budget conscious, try the tenderloin steak sandwich for $11.95, I have tried similar sandwiches elseware and NOTHING compares. I was even there one time when a gentleman playing a saxaphone came out from the back kitchen to wish a happy couple a Happy Anniversary. Like I said, Above and Beyond. :-)
Will Dobie Maxwell be there? That would be great. Then while you eat, he could tell you in person what he did for the day instead of writing the tired blog he does.
Their signature dish is gigantic African shrimp the size of Lobster Tails. Four to an entre. More than enough at a good price too.
This was my favorite steak joint. Good food, easy atmosphere, reasonable prices. Now that Onmilwaukee.com has reviewed it, things will probably change. The place will be crawling with Bespectacled Ugly Bettys from Bay View, looking for the next "cool" place to go.
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