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Fish Type: Bluegill     Price: $16.00

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

Fish Score: Excellent
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent

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Comment: I've had the Fish Fry at Dexter's more times than I care to admit...we're talking well over 50 times here. Of course, the reason I've been to the North Street staple so many times is because their fish specials are some of the best in the city and I just can't seem to get enough of them. Their bluegill, lake perch, and walleye are all wonderful, with the cod coming in just a tail behind. The bluegill and lake perch specials alternate on "specials" the menu with the perch winding its way to Wednesday and the bluegill falling on Fridays. This week we showed up on a Friday so, of course, it was a bluegill affair.

Now, I say I've eaten Fish Fry at Dexter's well over 50 times, but of those 50 something times at least 30 of them have been the superior sunfish. I simply love the stuff, and while it's always great, I think today's batch of bluegill might have been the single greatest batch ever (and I'm not even joking). This panfish was nothing short of incredible. Each and every one of the 10 tiny divers was tender and moist with the absolute lightest breading imaginable. It was so perfectly fried and so delicious that I swear I saw heaven in those tiny canoe shaped fillets even if just for a moment.

The waffle fries on the side (or under the pile of fish as it were) were also spot on and went blow-for-blow with the benevolent bluegills. The portion was princely and each crunchy morsel supplied a welcome textural change to the plush fish. Of course, these spuds are never short on seasoning which is something I personally can't get enough of. For those wanting to dial it back there are always brew fries available, and for those feeling even friskier the garlic-chili are also a people pleaser - think minced garlic and chili oil, and thank me later.

Dexter's house tartar has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and currently sits as some of the best you will find in our fair city. It's a surprisingly diverse blend, but has all the hallmarks of a thick and rich classic supper club sauce.

Like the tartar, Dexter's slaw has evolved over time, and while it's still not perfect it's far better than it used to be. This is a vinegar-based slaw that has a disproportionate amount of onion in it, to the point where that's about all you'll notice. While that could be a problem for some, the strong flavor relates to the real rye bread that come along making for a modern combo that hearkens back to the flavors of the traditional Milwaukee Fish Fry.

Dexter's has received numerous accolades for their Friday Fish Fry, including the coveted Best of Madison among others, and I for one am not going to complain. I think the is one of the best Fish Frys in town, and this visit only served to cement that opinion even further. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think it somehow keeps getting better with age if that is even possible.
301 North Street
Madison, WI 53704

(608) 244-3535