Fish Type: Cod Price: $11.00
Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Poor
Comment: A few weeks ago we went to Nora's Tavern with some friends, a couple of whom happened to be from Sun Prairie. The Fish Fry that night turned out to be less than spectacular and while enjoying some drinks downtown later they mentioned that we should have tried Herremans in Sun Prairie instead. I was confused because we had actually been to Herremans a couple years back, but heard on the local news that they closed due to tax problems. Apparently, they have recently reopened under new ownership so I figured this week would be as good a time as any to take Kellys suggestion and give them another whirl.
We were meeting a few folks for dinner so I phoned ahead to get us a reservation because with a group of seven (like we had) they will usually let you reserve a space. It turned out that this was a great idea since when we showed up there was a long line of people waiting, many of whom were not too pleased with how long it was taking to get a table. According to the scuttlebutt around the room a few waitresses had called in sick which left them understaffed and over patronized. It was a recipe for disaster.
Even with our reservation we got in about 15 minutes later than we were supposed to, and the waiting did not end there. We took our big table and waited for the waitress to come over. About 15 minutes later she finally swung by with some water and bread and joked that she was surprised we hadnt left yet. She forgot the butter so we grabbed a dish from our neighbors table. The bread was warm and actually really good (once we got it), much like we would find with the rest of the meal. As the orders went in they were mostly for the fried cod, while one of us went for perch.
Unlike most places Herremans gives you a trip to the salad bar with the Fish Fry. The salad bar was good and featured a lot of homemade dressings and the like. However, it was missing some serious salad bar staples like coleslaw, bacon bits, croutons, cheese spread and (my brothers favorite) custard. Apparently the new ownership is not quite up to speed on what make a great supper club salad bar, oh well. At least what was there was fresh and tasty. We all polished off our salads and expected the fish to be ready shortly after. Again, this was not the case and 15 more minutes or so passed before she came back to let us know the fish was almost ready.
By the time the fish came 10 minutes after that it I was pretty damn hungry and more than ready for it. The cod turned out to be pretty good although it clearly sat for a little bit and was not scalding hot. The batter was light and flaky, but since it sat it did collect some grease. The 12 dollar price tag was a fair price for the three generous cod loins. The perch eater in our party was much less pleased. He ordered his perch with a baked potato which was somehow transcribed as Perch Baked. He received 6 tiny fillets with drawn butter and no breading, and a baked potato on the side. It was tragic, and Jeff was flabbergasted that they would try to serve baked perch. This was more the waitress fault than Jeffs as she should have clarified that he indeed wanted baked perch since perch is almost always fried. This was our first perch fail.
Herremans is one of the few places around that offer potato pancakes so I knew I needed to give them a try. Like the baked perch these pancakes were a little odd. They seemed very pre-formed, almost like a chicken patty or turkey burger. They tasted alright, but like many other things our waitress forgot the apple sauce which was a total bummer and probably would have made them much better. The only element of this Fish Fry that was right on was the tartar which was great and really helped to make the lukewarm fish much more edible.
Overall, this is a tough Fish Fry to recommend due to Herremans total disorganization. When you have a 6:30 reservation and they cant get you out the door before 9:00 something is definitely wrong. The food was actually good, but the poor service was almost enough to trump it. The waitress was very nice and apologized several times for the chaos, but the poor coordination rubbed off on all aspects of the meal. I believe the food could have been great if served scalding hot in a timely fashion. As it stands the new ownership has some serious kinks to work out before we will be back.
109 W. Main Street
Sun Prairie, WI 53590