Landmark Family Restaurant
October 1, 2010
By Mary Sussman
Landmark Family Restaurant serves up classic diner food with value added. At the corner of Vollmer Avenue and KK, Landmark has been in business for 16 years at the site of the old Blue Café.
Cool and comfortable on a hot summer Sunday morning, the restaurant was busy. Large picture windows, overhead fans, and strategically placed mirrors and light fixtures make the space bright, open, and inviting. But after a few busy Sunday breakfast hours, there was some stray food on the floor and a few crumpled napkins under tables. There is a counter with a half-dozen stools. Chairs and booths have practical and comfortable vinyl cushions. Service is courteous and quick.
Barbecued pork, grilled chicken breast, and gyros are among the sandwich selections. Sandwiches include a cup of soup. The deluxe sandwiches include French fries or onion rings and soup and cost a bit more. Soup just by its lonesome is $1.95 a bowl, and chili is $2.95. The soups are homemade and rotate daily.
Tuesdays feature Italian specialties including spaghetti, mostaccioli, lasagna, chicken and veal parmesan, and chicken and shrimp alfredo. Magerowski said the lasagna is very popular. I sampled the Italian combination dinner, which consisted of a massive blob of spaghetti, mostaccioli, and ravioli coated with a watered-down tomato sauce. The dish could easily have come straight out of a Franco-American can. That said, it fed my husband and me for two nights. The chicken noodle soup that came with it was flavorful.
Wednesdays feature Mexican fare including nachos, tacos, burritos, tostadas, fajitas, and chimichangas. These specials range $5.75-$8.25 and include a cup of soup or tossed salad, and are available for lunch as well as dinner. On an evening visit, the popular lasagna was sold out at 6:15pm when I arrived. Other dinner specials include spare ribs with sauerkraut, breaded pork tenderloin, or a shrimp basket. Dinners are served with rolls, soup or tossed salad, and choice of potato. Greek salad, gyros, and shish-ka-bob are also available.
Landmark is not a vegetarian heaven, but one could manage to survive on a fruit crepe, pancakes, fruit or garden salads, or the vegetarian stir fry. Carb and calorie counters may appreciate the summer cold plate menu, which includes a fruit bowl, California fruit plate, turkey and ham plates, chef salad, and seafood salad. The cold plates range $3.75-7.25.
Owner Merced “Mike” Santa Cruz made his way to Milwaukee from Zacatecas in central Mexico 30 years ago. After working at Around the Lakes restaurant in Oconomowoc for a number of years, Santa Cruz opened Landmark.
The Landmark seems to be a popular destination to eat and gather. It is a small-town diner in a big city where people chow down, visit, and relax in unpretentious comfort. Landmark Family Restaurant is user-, kid- and wallet-friendly, serving up big portions of traditional diner fare at fair prices.
Landmark Family Restaurant
3451 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 481-1300
Merced “Mike” Santa Cruz, owner
6am-8pm daily; breakfast specials served until 11am; breakfast served all day.
Main menu includes more that 100 items, half-dozen vegetarian dishes, one or two vegan items, 10 kids choices.
Not organic or locally grown food; food is purchased mostly from Sysco.
Prices: Extra value. Hearty portions. Breakfast specials: $2.75-6.75. Sandwiches: $3-5.50 (with soup). Dinners: $5.75-9.25 (includes soup or tossed salad and choice of potato). Children’s menu: 10 items; $2.25-$4.50.
Booster chairs and high chairs. No diaper changing station in restrooms.
Take Out: Yes; Delivery: No.
Owner is applying for liquor license.
No outdoor dining.
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