Monday, May 26, 2008

A leftie, alright!

Milwaukee Bayview WI
Seated at the SR News assistant's right, the editor gave her plenty of elbow room for accurately partaking of the the luscious variety of Serbian fare. Pictured above, her left hand puts the finishing touches to a roast suckling pig, bony carcass revealed.
On Saturday, May 24th, we'd gone down along the Milwaukee lakeside over the Hoan bridge to the old corner Schlitz tavern, to dine with our newlywed friends Roxane Bartelt and Steve Platterer (see SR News May 9, 2008).
Civil War reenactors by avocation - Steve is a private in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry and Roxane is his non-tenting campfire mate - they're both librarians by trade. They came Saturday in casual mufti. No Jack the horse, no uniforms, no sabers. The 3 Bros. trademark mismatched *silver, set around mismatched* aluminum kitchen dinette tables were the only blades in evidence at our table.
The Three Brothers restaurant is almost the same as it was when I first went there with number one of serial dinner partners, in the 1960's. I venture that the BIG aloe cactus in the window is descended from the same style of roots as the longtime and current operators are, from their own deeply rooted stock.
The signal third brother, Branko, at 85 now and going strong, still supervises the staff, greets guests in his genuine and friendly way, and is still clad in an apron and blue beret, his still full head of hair protruding beneath, now nicely white.
The food turned out in their little "family" kitchen - which you can see if you look to the right when making a stop at the restroom - is still attended by family cooks in head-clothes, and the filo dough and flour dust still carefully and rapidly fly, to satisfy the requests of their jam-packed and happy rollicking guests. The menu includes many entrees, including their famous roast lamb, eggplant mousekka, and wrapped grape leaves.
The feta salad cheese is grated, the tomatoes chopped, their widely-sought dishes emerge on mismatched *plates, the aromatic ovens spreading incredibly good smells throughout the small establishment. Their jukebox - gone to CDs - still plays Balkan music.

If you order a burek, (three kinds) be prepared to wait about 45 minutes for baking, but it's well worth it. It's home cooking style all-around at The 3 Bros. And if you do have a burek, it will come home with you, what's left, tightly-wrapped in aluminum foil, and is almost as good, oven-warmed, smell AND taste, within the next day or so.
The minutely-thin filo layers will not be as crispy but you cannot leave that gold at the restaurant.

You will leave some other gold there, and it's going to be old world cash on the barrel-head. As always, no credit cards. Patriarch Branko, a WW II Nazi concentration camp survivor, has his ways. If you're from the health department, for example, you cannot gain entry just as though you owned the place. You can come back another day, by appointment.

Somebody once let the word get out that there was a cat running loose in the restaurant. The inspectors descended like the gestapo, said Branko, who would not let them in. "No! No! This is the United States of AMERICA!" Later, when they came back, on another day, there was no cat.
* footnote: There is no such thing as MISMATCHED at the Three Brothers. Everything goes together beautifully.

Good to the last morsel!

No comments: