Fish Type: Bluegill Price: $15.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: When someone or something gets popular there is bound to be dissension. There are just people out there who love to root for the underdog no matter the case, and there are times I'd include myself among them...except when it come to the Fish Fry at Dexter's. I don't get any of the animosity they seem to draw these days.
Of course, no restaurant is immune to an off-day or even an off-plate for that matter, but for me Fish Fry is all about consistency and Dexter's hits the mark much more often that they miss it. Sure, I've had one or two there that haven't been amazing, but even those have been better than many places best efforts. This Friday I had the bluegill (again), and not only was it better than most (again), but it was one of the best (and prettiest) plates I've seen...and I've seen my share.
The bluegill goes for $15 and the 8 Lake Erie sourced fillets were succulent. They gracefully rolled across a landscape of waffle fries with their light, and I do mean LIGHT, breading. The practically translucent crust allowed the fragile fish to shine bright and it took center stage with its alluring essence and flaky, yet firm meat. It was a total winner and one I can't imagine anyone would disapprove of (although I'm sure there's some objector out there who would find some sort of issue). Stellar stuff.
Waffle fries are a dime a dozen, but Dexter's versions are worth at least twice that. These are easily the best waffles I've had anywhere and apparently my 3 year old concurs (he ate about half of my stack). The lattices are coated in a zesty seasoning that makes them ultra-crispy which plays politely with the plush potato parts.
Dexter's homemade tartar isn't the thickest on the block, but really packs a wallop. It's a very diverse mix, but so well blended you can't really pick it apart. The slaw is normally much easier to dissect, but it was missing its usual onion overtone this week. Thankfully, it still kept its allure and paired well with the scaled-back half slice of rye.
If I had to wager a guess, I'd say the people who decry Dexter's Fish Fry do so because they came in when they were swamped, had a lengthy wait, then got fish that was fried in overused oil resulting in a greasy rendition without much flavor. I can empathize with that, and it's part of the reason why I normally skip the dinner rush and come for lunch instead. This week we were pretty much the first duo of the day at 11am and everything was fresh and fast as lighting. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think it's about as consistent as they come. Your mileage may vary...
301 North Street
Madison, WI 53704