Fish Type: Cod Price: $9.30
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: They say absence makes the heart grow fonder… When it comes to Friday Fish Fry that is a total crock. In the event that I have a Fish Fry I really like, I simply can’t wait to go back and try it again, and usually seize the first opportunity to do so. This is exactly what happened at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner.
I’d just had the Friday Night Fish Fry at Monty’s a couple weeks prior to this trip, and was pretty much blown away. Everything was simply superb and when Jer insisted that we go back for lunch I was inclined to oblige. We showed up this go-round and had a slightly different experience than my pervious visit. I’m not gonna lie, it was different, a little worse, but still good in the grand scheme of things.
Near as I can tell, Monty’s features the same fish for lunch and dinner since it costs $9.30 regardless of which number the little hand is on. It is a 2-piece affair and (in theory) comes with all the standard accoutrements. Our waitress was a little slow (by Monty’s standards), but delivered our fish in acceptable shape.
I could tell immediately that this cod was different than the fish I’d so loved a month prior. Not only was it colder than the other fish, it seemed to have a different batter altogether. The current coating was not as thick, but somehow heavier than the airy outer layer of yester-fish. It was a totally different style and lacked the spicy character I was expecting. The fish itself also seemed to be cut differently (very small), although it was still clean and flaky. All in all it was okay, but the prtion is pretty small and I think they’d be wise to bump the whole she-bang up to $10 and slap another piece of fish on there – they’re competing with the likes of Alchemy after all…
In lieu of the standard Julienne-cut fries I went waffle this time around, and it was a smart move. The potato-y grids were a huge improvement over the regular fries, coming in crispy and flavorful. This abundance of spudliness tagged along with a unique flavor of Monty’s homemade tartar that was also a departure from what I expected. I say a “flavor” because this tartar was a totally different incarnation that what I’d enjoyed last time. This brew still creamy, but had huge chunks of red onion and dill pickle in it. It was a bit over-the-top, and while interesting, was not smooth, and did not aide the cod.
Keeping with the departure theme we landed on what was most surely the most glaring difference on this visit - the total absence of bread. While we loved the loaf Monty’s provided last time, this time it was apparently not meant to be. The fresh slaw made up for it somewhat, but was a little dry, and fairly forgettable.
Maybe our first visit was a mirage or maybe I just set my expectations too high, but once I’d had a great Fish Fry at Monty’s I expected it to be consistently amazing. After this visit I’d have to that it’s not meant to be. Everything took a step back, and while it was still very good, it was nowhere near Top 25 good. Overall, I still recommend this Fish Fry, but not as highly as I did only a month ago. When it comes to Fish Fry consistency counts, and this time it didn’t add up to greatness.
20089 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704