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“A familiar standby” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Balistreri's Italian-American Ristorante

Balistreri's Italian-American Ristorante
812 N 68th St, Milwaukee, WI 53213-3909
(414) 475-1414
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Ranked #43 of 1,408 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: American, Italian, Pizza
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“A familiar standby”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

I was raised in Milwaukee and like my crust thin thin thin. Good sauce, sausage, olives. Hate the canned mushrooms, would prefer fresh. But this is a familiar standby old reliable restaurant. Nothing fancy, just pizza and Italian food.

The place is so old, they still have an Pabst Andeker sign outside . . . and Pabst stopped making Andeker in the 1970's.

Don't expect fancy, just eat.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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60 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
    20
    2
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“very good pizza overall”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We ate here on 9-28-12. The waitress was excellent. The pizza is very good for this type of restaurant. We had the Balistreri special pizza and mots sticks. I like this location better than the one on Bluemond. Not sure if the location in Port Washington is owned by the same people. The Port Washington location is just OK. Staff tends to congregate around the host or hostess and then stand around like they've got nothing to do. Kind of looks bad. My only other complaint is that they put the tip on the bottom of the receipt. I can figure out my own tip and I think 15% is still acceptable. Overall, it's very good but not best.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Mahwah, New Jersey
Top Contributor
205 reviews 205 reviews
143 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“Fried eggplant strips and thin pizza in a baking pan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012 via mobile

This unassuming restaurant on 68th Street has all delicious food with a neighborhood feel. They've been around for decades (I used to go there in college) for good reason. While you really can't go wrong, there are two things to get here that I think many would consider their signature items - the fried eggplant strips and any version of their pizza.

Start with the fried eggplant strips - seriously, start your meal with an order. Note that in order to preserve the integrity of the frying oil, they don't offer these until late at night on Fridays so that they are not frying fish for their Friday fish fry along with the eggplant. That would be just wrong. On any other night order yourself a nice New Glarus Brewery Spotted Cow beer and marvel at the bowl of fried eggplant, lightly salted and served with lemon wedges and marinara sauce. While I'm sure many would disagree, I personally would recommend skipping the marinara sauce and just squirting the lemon juice over the pile of strips and taste what makes Balistrieri's famous. I believe that because the eggplant is cut into thin strips as opposed into rounds the ratio of soft eggplant to crunchy coating is just right.

Next get the pizza. I'm not always a fan of thin crust pizza because it sometimes can inch into tasting like a cracker with toppings, but not here. It doesn't matter what toppings you order, you can't go wrong - it always comes out balanced and flavorful and a true pizza. Their style is to serve it on big flat baking pans, cut into what my husband calls "little puzzle pieces" instead of wedge slices. The little trapezoid shaped pieces are just big enough to pick up and devour in two or three bites, and you just keep picking them off of that baking pan - the pizza looked so big when it arrived, how could it be gone?

If you are visiting Milwaukee, you may not think to go looking for great Italian-American cuisine, but look here. If you live in Milwaukee, isn't it time to go back?

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1 review
“Best pizza around.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Best pizza around. Thin crust, great sauce. Always get the speci, size large so we can take some home. Eggplant is great also. We always take friends and family there if they haven't tried it already. Everybody ask to again and again.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“On bluemound”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

WE prefer to dine at the Balistreris on Bluemound rather than 68th. Fine food and wonderful attentive staff.

Visited June 2012
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