Meeting at Ma Fischer’s (finally!)

Yesterday I met a group of old friends for lunch, something we’ve been doing about once a month for 25 years now!

Actually we started out as a writing group, meeting in the basement of the old Shorewood Library. When we reserved the room, the librarian listed us in the book as the “independent writers group,” and we decided we liked that moniker well enough to adopt it as our unofficial name.

We’ve been through a lot together: births, deaths, cancer, family traumas, you name it. Although we’ve continued writing, our interests have diverged considerably from our initial interest in the romance genre. At this point our main reason for getting together is probably more for the social ties that bind us than our need for feedback on our work—although we do get back to writing fundamentals on a regular basis.

Anyway, yesterday we met for lunch at Ma Fischer’s Restaurant, a Milwaukee landmark. I had NEVER been there before, not in the entire time I’ve lived in Milwaukee.

And that’s saying something.

Back in the 1980s when telephone poles along Farwell and Prospect Avenues around North were plastered with flyers for shows by local bands like the Violent Femmes, Da BoDeans (later just the BoDeans), and Oh! Those Spanic Boys (later just the Spanic Boys)—all of which played on Saturday Night Live, Letterman, and similar national stages—Ma Fischer’s was the place to go for breakfast after the bars closed.

It still is. Ma Fischer’s is open 24 hours a day and serves “Breakfast” and “Not Breakfast” anytime. How could I have missed out on it all these years? (But then I’ve never closed Wolski’s, either. Clearly I have some living to catch up on 🙂 )

Some pics . . .

“Welcome to Ma Fischer’s”

The tile floor at Ma Fischer’s, which is your basic, standard bathroom floor in every house in Milwaukee built before, say, World War II.

The iconic “sign”

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
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4 Responses to Meeting at Ma Fischer’s (finally!)

  1. Sally Cissna says:

    I’ve never been there either. How was the food?


    • The food was really good! For example, I got a salad with grilled chicken, and it was real chicken, not those lunch meat strips that tackier restaurants often give you. Everything my friends got was made to order from scratch. The American fries that Karen got with her omelette looked like potatoes that had just then been shaved into irregular slices and turned right into the sauté pan. And, of course, this being Milwaukee, the portions were huge. Yet the prices were extremely reasonable. If I lived on the East Side again, I’d eat there all the time. I can’t believe I never went in before now!


  2. What a legendary place!! Hope we go there many times in the future!! The French Toast is fabulous!! 🙂


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