Fish Type: Bluegill Price: $12.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
French Fry Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: If you’ve ever been to Fitz’s on the Lake on a Friday night you know just how busy it gets. It’s literally standing room only and wait times regularly exceed an hour. The reason for the rush is the All You Can Eat Haddock Fish Fry, which is undoubtedly one of the best the area has to offer. If you’re not in the mood to deal with the crowds on Friday Fitz’s also offers other fish specials throughout the week. Monday is senior night, it’s decidedly slower (no pun intended), and the fish de résistance is a bluegill Shore Lunch.
I didn’t stop by until 6:30 or so, but luckily for me the $12 “Lunch” was still available. Since I had some time to kill I had a couple bottles of Spotted Cow first, and wound up putting my order in around 7:15 or so. The food arrived before the bottom of the hour, and I instantly went into fish-mode. The whole plate was steaming hot, but my focus fell squarely on the six small bluegill fillets.
Fitz’s is known for their beer batter and it works exceptionally well on the pristine haddock they serve on Fridays. The same batter is also used on the bluegill, and while it’s not bad, it’s not ideal. The flavorful coating has a beautiful golden color and it very light, but masks the fine taste of the bluegill a bit too much. Some of the subtle flavors did sneak through, but by and large the batter ruled the roost and the delicious fishes were subjugated.
Likewise, the battered French fries also ruled, although in a slightly different way. Truth be told, I would rather have had Fitz’s signature hash browns with cheese and onion which are not available with the Shore Lunch apparently. The fries were plentiful, and perfectly fried, sporting a crispy batter coated shell and smooth starchy insides.
A Solo full of Fitz’s tartar sat on the side, but came to the fish’s aid as needed. The thick, creamy mixture was right on the money with a tangy zip that added a pop the bluegill.
When you call it a Shore Lunch I guess that means you can do whatever you want with it and Fitz’s changes things up a bit from their Friday Fish Fry. There is no bread served with the special, and baked beans are substituted for coleslaw. Not having bread is certainly a letdown, but swapping baked beans for coleslaw is basically a push, if not a slight upgrade. The beans tasted like Bush’s but are apparently made in-house (which is a huge compliment in our book – Bush’s makes some tasty-ass beans). I ate every single bite of them but really would have liked some bread to scoop them onto and sop them up with.
While the Monday Shore Lunch special at Fitz’s is no Friday Fish Fry, it is very good, and a welcome chance to try some of their fish without having to fight the crowds. The bluegill was tasty, as were the fries, and the tartar sauce. The homemade beans filled in for the coleslaw admirably, and while I’d like a piece of bread with any kind of fried fish, it’s not a deal-breaker in this instance. Overall, I still recommend this “Fish Fry” even if it doesn’t quite fit into the classical definition of one. Fish Fry? Shore Lunch? When you’re at Fitz’s it doesn’t really matter.
W11602 County Road V
Lodi, WI 53555