Fish Type: Cod (AYCE) Price: $11.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Fair
Comment: I have wanted to try the Prairie Inn ever since the folks over at www.FishFryMadison.com said it was one of their favorites back in 2008. We took the trip to north earlier this year only to find the establishment closed for remodeling. It was a bit of a bummer, but I wasn’t about to let it deter me. We had fish in Arlington that night, but I knew I would make it back to the Prairie Inn at some point for their “famous Ton on a Tin Fish Fry”.
It was an unseasonably warm 6th of November, so we decided to circle the wagons and give the Prairie Inn their second chance. We moseyed into North Leeds pert near 7pm and saddled up a couple stools at the bar. The place seemed a little busy but the hostess acted like it was pandemonium. She told us we would have to wait, but we had no idea what was in store for us. We had a round of drinks… and then another… and then just as we were about to get one more (1 hour and 30 minutes later) she came to get us. We left the bar and walked about 5 feet to the “Stagecoach” where we would be served.
We were slightly perturbed by the wait, but I have come to expect it and try not to get too worked up about it. A good experience with a good waitress would have been enough to make up for it, unfortunately for us the waitress we got was not on her game (actually I’m not sure she was even playing the right sport). It took her about five minutes to show up at our table after we were seated and was no better thereafter.
Gabe and I both went for the AYCE “Ton on a Tin” for $11 (even though we knew ffm.com recommended the “catch of the day” instead). From the time we placed our orders about 20-25 minutes elapsed before our fish would come, which in terms of Fish Fry service is a long time. To our waitress’ credit the fish was nice and hot which means she served it quickly after it was ready.
The fish was actually pretty good, although not served on a “tin” (essentially an upside-down garbage can lid) as advertised. The cod was not really flavorful but was flaky and did have a fairly light batter. It was good enough but after our long wait we found it a little hard to swallow. I put my fist three pieces away in no time but had to hail the waitress and ask her for more fish, not the other way around (at an AYCE I expect the restaurant to practically force the fish down my throat). She did bring three more when I asked for two, but when Gabe asked for more she said he didn’t get the AYCE even though that option is non-existent.
The French fry situation was not much better. The steak cut fries were good but nothing really special. However, I really like my potatoes and when I asked for more to go with the AYCE fish I was told they had run out. Good lord, I thought.
The tartar sauce was actually really good and helped to kick the fish and the fries up a notch which probably saved their asses as far as we’re concerned. The homemade slaw was also pretty decent although our waitress forgot to bring it out with the fish and was only willing to get me the side upon request. There was also a complete lack of bread present which really sucked and I’m sure is supposed to come with the Fish Fry.
I had high hopes for this Fish Fry based on the positive reviews. The food was actually pretty good but the service was just awful. Besides our waitress, the rest of the staff also seemed like they would have much rather been somewhere else. All in all we spent around two and a half hours are the Prairie Inn of which maybe 30 minutes was actually spent dining. The food was fine but certainly not worth the hassle we had to put up with. Overall, I can barely recommend this Fish Fry even if it does come with their “famous crab dip” which like the Fish Fry itself is nothing to write home about.
Hwy 22 & 60
North Leeds, WI 53911