Fish Type: Cod Price: $10.00
Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Poor
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Two visits to TNT’s Coffee and Café, let’s compare on contrast.
June 3rd – The first visit, everything was stellar. We thought we hit the jackpot.
June 17th – Our return visit only two weeks later, everything was less than stellar. We had a fine lunch, but the house definitely won.
June 3rd – Had the $7 “2-piece” which actually worked out to 4 small pieces.
June 17th – Cod was so good last time, went for the “3-piece” which, as you might expect, worked out to 6 small pieces.
June 3rd – The cod was incredibly light and airy. It was smooth and delicious, and paired with a fantastic breading. The idyllic crust was perfectly spiced, with plenty of pepper evident in the mix.
June 17th – Cod was almost identical. It had the same breading, although it seemed like the spice was dialed back a notch. Like a fortnight prior the fish was thin, flaky and very well fried. The breading was still the star even if it did fall off the fish from time to time.
June 3rd – No fries were served, it is a café after all, so I let ‘em slide with the baked potato. Since it is still a potato product it wasn’t the end of the world, but the standard baked potato with a blob of sour cream left a little something to be desired.
June 17th – Leaving even more to be desired was the bland rice and carrots mix that we received this time around. It was basically plain white rice and had absolutely no taste. It was a major let down and actually had me wishing for that baked potato. Sad.
June 3rd – The great fish was paired with a fantastic tartar which made it all the more delectable. The Medium-thick sauce had a dense mayo base cut with a good amount of relish (and possibly some other stuff).
June 17th – The tartar continued its domination with its zesty mayo and just the right amount of relish. My ramekin was totally empty by meals end.
June 3rd – The coleslaw came in a big old coffee cup and was clearly homemade. It was a “clean, dry blend” but while it wasn’t swimming in goo it wasn’t arid either. It tasted good like a good slaw should.
June 17th – The slaw strayed and left us all wondering what happened. This batch didn’t have much flavor, and while it had a very light zest, and still looked homemade, it was nowhere near as good as the last time.
June 3rd – TNT’s has a bunch of pastries for sale so it’s no surprise that the roll was great. It appeared to be some sort of wheat, but it actually tasted more like a donut. It was very good and served with a lavish amount of room temperature whipped butter.
June 17th – More of the same as far as gluten is concerned. Delicious, delicious gluten.
June 3rd – This turned out to be a great meal for just trying it on a whim. The fish was superb and coupled with and equally transcendent tartar which made for a near-perfect lunch. This Fish Fry was easily highly recommendable, and convinced us to come back not but two weeks later.
June 17th – This certainly wasn’t the same Fish Fry we had last time, what with the rice and all, but at the end of the day, the fish, tartar and roll got the job done. Overall, we would barely recommend TNT’s Fish Fry based on this visit, and the lower score does pull their overall average down into plain, old recommendable territory.
What have we learned about TNT’s? First, and probably foremost, we have learned that rice has no place in a Fish Fry. Secondly, we have fortified our resolve that the unsung hero of the Fish Fry is the ubiquitous, but largely unheralded, French fried potato. Third, we have realized that a coffee place CAN actually make a good Fish Fry, how consistently they can make it is a different issue, but they definitely CAN make it. And lastly, we have learned that it’s a bad idea to whole heartedly endorse a restaurant based on one glowing experience. When it comes to the total Fish Fry experience consistency counts, and a second visit to a place might paint a different picture... maybe even one with rice in it.
729 North High Point Road
Madison, WI 53717