Fish Type: Cod Price: $9.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: Hey, I know this place that has a great Fish Fry... It is down there near Edgerton or Fort Atkinson or one of those… I think it might be on a lake or something… I’m pretty sure it’s like a dude’s name… um, I can’t quite remember what it is exactly, but dude you gotta try it, it is sooooo good…
I have heard stories like these for years. People would talk about a great Fish Fry somewhere southeast of Madison, but no one ever came forward with firsthand proof of its existence. It got to the point where it was like an urban (or in this case rural) legend. Recently we became aware Norm’s Hideaway on Lake Koshkonong was the likely source of many of these rumors. Armed with this knowledge we found the first available Friday took the roughly 30 minute trip towards rural Fort Atkinson.
We arrived at Norm’s right around 7pm and grabbed a spot on the side of the road since the parking lot was plum full. Norm’s was lookin’ plenty busy this Friday so we figured we’d be in for a hell of a wait. Upon entering the bar any fears were quickly put to rest. Norm’s is first come first serve, and we were lucky enough to find a perfectly sized table immediately. We ordered some drinks at the bar along with a couple plates of cod with potato pancakes, and took our seats. As we waited we enjoyed our cold Cows, a giant toy speedboat, and the handiwork of some skilled taxidermists. Our nine dollar plates of cod arrived 20 minutes or so after we ordered, hot and fresh from the fryer.
The cod was very good. The fish itself was light and flaky with an equally light and flaky batter to match. While the batter didn’t have a ton of flavor the three perfectly even sized pieces fish were of the utmost quality and consistently good. The tartar sauce was also very good and really complimented the fish well. I used at least one large squeeze from the bottle per piece regardless of the fact that it was warm. It was thick and tangy with a good proportion of relish. I devoured my 3 pieces of fish in no time flat and probably could have eaten more but didn’t realize that you could add more for two dollars per piece until we paid.
Usually at a Fish Fry the fish is the star, but at Norm’s the potato pancakes may have just stolen the show. These babies were the real deal; two, light and flaky pancakes served with sides of apple sauce AND maple syrup. They were simply delicious and possibly the perfect side item for a Fish Fry.
The slaw and the bread came on the plate with the fish and both did their job although the bread was better bread, than the slaw was slaw. The little roll was fresh and soft and was just as it should be. The slaw on the other hand, while it looked homemade was a little uninspired. It was very standard and most slaw fans would probably like it, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
In the end we were both very impressed with the turnaround time considering Norm’s “first come, first serve” policy. We were in and out in just over and hour, and when combined with our trip from Madison we were away from home for just over two. Not bad at all. The food was simply great, and the bartenders did a fantastic job of serving drinks and taking food orders at the same time.
Overall, this is a great Fish Fry and our thanks goes out to those fans that helped to clear the confusion over Norm’s Fish Fry. We really enjoyed the cabin atmosphere and appreciated that others had the freedom to smoke if they chose to. I loved Norm’s Hideaway, and have to say this is a near perfect tavern fish fry. I can’t wait to come back for round two, maybe next time I will try the bluegill or the walleye… then again, the cod was so good, maybe not.
W8639 Kuehn Road
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538