Fish Type: Cod Price: $11.00
Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Fair|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Fair
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Now, don’t do anything rash like cutting off an ear, but you need to hear this. Picasso’s has recently opened a second restaurant in McFarland, and of course, they are serving a Friday night Fish Fry. Picasso’s refers to their food as “Urban Gourmet Cuisine” which is a bit of a stretch in my book, but whatever; all I am really concerned with is their self-proclaimed “unique” take on the Fish Fry. When it comes to the Fry, unique and delicious rarely go hand in hand, but when you are trying to find the best, you gotta try ‘em all.
On Friday nights Picasso’s branches out from pizza and pasta and offers three tantalizing Fish Fry options: a “house favorite” walleye, lake perch and beer battered cod. Based on my previous experiences at Picasso’s – Madison, there was no way in hell I was ever going to try the cod again. Every time I’ve had it at the Madison location it was bland and greasy with a thick batter that I really didn’t enjoy. However, when presented with the menu, the Spotted Cow Beer Battered Cod grabbed my attention and I was unable to will myself away from it. Oh! Cruel Picasso, why must you temp me with the Cow? Like a fool, I put in my order and was presented with the two massive fillets 10 minutes, or so, later.
The fish came direct from the fryer and was nice and hot, I will give them that. The fillets were cloaked in the thick, golden Cow batter which glistened under the icicle Christmas lights that Picasso’s passes off as decoration. The actual fish was okay, but not as flaky as I would have liked thanks to some grease which was trapped by its bovine-battered shell. The cod actually had a decent flavor, but was dominated by the taste of the thick beer batter. Overall it was a little too heavy and didn’t have a good fish:batter ratio.
The French fries that accompanied the cod were also nice and hot when served. They looked very Sysco-ish, but were well fried and peppered with a hefty dose of salt. The tartar was not quite as appetizing and a little unusual frankly. It was very smooth and had a zesty, ranch like quality. While it actually tasted alright by itself, it did little to help the cod. Since it was very untraditional, and not helpful, they lost some points on its behalf.
The coleslaw mirrored the fries in that it looked like it came straight from a big Sysco jug, but still tasted great. It was a creamy blend, heavy on the carrots, and with just enough pop. The garlic bun that partnered with the slaw was also pretty good and a unique departure from the norm that actually worked. Like the cod, it glistened under the icicles thanks to a generous coating of garlic butter.
Overall, this Fish Fry is just not quite recommendable, no matter how much I would like it to be. While there was nothing glaringly wrong with the meal there was nothing glaring right either. Since I won’t be back for it any time soon I can’t really recommend it to anyone else. There are simply way better options out there. The fish was fine, but a little too battered, while the fries and slaw were good, but a little too commercial. Weird tartar, paired with an untraditional roll didn’t help matters, and the hit-and-miss service was also strange. Our waitress was friendly enough, but she was absent from the dining room for long periods of time. When I was ready to order another Spotted Cow she was nowhere to be found, which was a total bummer ‘cause I was thirsty. In the end if you are willing to travel this far into McFarland for fish, you should probably just jump across the street and hit up the Maple Tree instead. I know that is what I wish we would have done. Or better yet, just stop at Toby’s on the way.
4706 Farwell Street
McFarland, WI 53558