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Hearty German Meals at Kegel’s Inn

Historic West Allis restaurant continues to serve authentic Old World food, beer, hospitality

Aug. 30, 2016
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From the Bavarian-style trimmings of its stone façade building to the rich décor of the dark wood-paneled dining room surrounded by lush wall murals and Old World-wrought iron fixtures, Kegel’s Inn in West Allis places a diner in the mindset for a hearty meal before the menu is even opened. Founded back in 1924 as a speakeasy that also offered German sausages, Kegel’s Inn moved to its present roomy accommodations after the end of Prohibition. Still family owned, the restaurant has long been one of the Milwaukee area’s best-known stops for German food, beer and hospitality. 

With at least a half-dozen authentic German beers on draught, as well as domestic macro-brew staples, the drink list is well rounded by specialty cocktails—including a potent brandy old fashioned, the local supper club essential, served with either cherries or olives. The appetizer selection is small and their portions modest, but with each entrée served with a cup of soup, salad, potato and bread—which comes with a delicious herb butter—they do an excellent job to complement a full, but not overwhelming meal. Choices include Kegel’s famous homemade onion rings ($4.95), pork shank rolls ($4.95) and breaded chicken tenders ($4.95). The crab and artichoke dip ($3.95) was smothered in melted cheese and paired well with crackers or hot rolls as a rich and smoky prelude to the main course. 

Entrées include a good variety of steaks and chops, the filet mignon ($25.95), porterhouse ($28.95) and veal liver ($20.95) headlining the list. The heart of the menu is in the German house specialties, which include a half boneless roasted duck ($23.95), marinated rabbit over noodles, known in the old country as hasenpfeffer ($22.95), and beef rouladen, a butterfly steak stuffed with bacon, onion and pickles ($20.95). The beef goulash ($20.95) was a standout on this menu, with expertly seasoned beef tender enough to cut with a fork.

Kegel’s also offers a wide selection of seafood, a good option during the peak of the summer and far away from the chill of the lake. Fried shrimp ($19.95), baked salmon ($25.95) and lobster tails ($34.95) are all offered here. The sautéed shrimp ($23.95) provides eight or more jumbo shrimp, pan-fried in a tangy, but not dominating, herb and butter sauté. The shrimp was served over garlic-buttered noodles, which were rather bland, but did not take anything away from the overall experience. With well-balanced portions and attentive servers, dinner at Kegel’s is truly a meal—a good hour without an empty glass or bare plate.

Kegel’s Inn

5901 W. National Ave.

414-257-9999

kegelsinn.com

$$-$$$

Handicapped access: No

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