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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $8.00

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

Fish Score: Good
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Fair

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Comment: Inoffensive and fast. While those two adjectives don’t necessarily connote great food, they adequately describe what you expect to get from most interstate-adjacent eateries. These highway hotspots need to have food that pleases the masses while at the same time getting them back on the road in a jiffy. This is usually accomplished through heavily-processed, frozen grub that gets thrown in a fryer and slapped together with little care for the consumer and no concern for quality (McDonald’s anyone?). It’s a bit of a sad commentary on what is acceptable in this day and age, and really displays some of the poor choices made by our drive thru society. Thank goodness there are places like the Rodeside Grill.

The Rodeside is up in Windsor, and if you’ve ever taken a trip up I-90/94 you’ve probably driven past it without even realizing it was there. Due to its prime location it’s an oasis for travelers, but unlike fast food places, it also seems to do a good job of bringing in the locals. It’s actually a pretty nice place, with a great log-cabin feel, a playroom for the kids, and a big old bar for the adults. What’s more, the Rodeside isn’t just some chain restaurant with pre-packaged food, and a generic atmosphere; it’s a real place for real people complete with a real Wisconsin Fish Fry.

The bulk of the Rodeside Fish Fry is served after 4pm, but they do have a bluegill basket available all day every day, and this Friday featured a 2-piece cod plate. As you might expect, my fish arrived in no time and was steaming hot (the Rodeside has the FAST part down). The cod wasn’t amazing, but definitely looked the part. It had a golden beer batter which wasn’t thick, but wasn’t super thin either. While the batter could have used some more seasoning it was still decent, and added just enough to the flaky fish. While the cod wasn’t superb, it was still good, and definitely inoffensive.

Since the cod played it safe it needed a good swift kick and that’s just what the tartar delivered. The sassy sauce was thick and creamy, and had the zip the fish lacked. It really worked the cod over, and made it more desirable.

Fries are the norm at most interstate stops, but the Rodeside has better options since they have a real kitchen. The hash browns were clearly done in-house and featured a boatload of gooey cheddar and heaps of fried onion. They were simply superb, but lost a few points on our scale since the portion was on the small side.

Unfortunately, there is no coleslaw or bread served with the $8 lunch special, which casts an unpleasant light on what was otherwise a fine little Fish Fry.

Inoffensive and fast. While the food at the Rodeside fits that mold to some extent it’s a far cry from your average interstate drive thru crap. Everything is made to order, served with a smile, and doesn’t come wrapped or boxed. Overall, we recommend the barebones Fish Fry at the Rodeside Grill, and would welcome more places like it along America’s highways.
6317 Rostad Drive
Windsor, WI 53598

(608) 846-1874