Fish Type: Cod Price: $10.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Fair
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: We all love our mothers (at least we all should). It is mothers that give us life, nurture us when we are young, and shape our personalities. They prepare us for what is to come, all the while acting selflessly with only our best interests in mind. The VFW of Wisconsin has a mother too. This matriarch can be found just to the south of Madison in the lovely community of Stoughton. Like all moms, this “Mother Post” looks out for her own and provides fried fish for them so they’ll grow up to be big and strong.
Gabe, Beth, Charlie and I made our way south, arriving in the Norwegian-bred hamlet around 7:15. As we wheeled around the building we came upon two doors, one of which led to Fish Fry, the other of which led to the bar. At this point we had no idea which was which, so we just chose one and, of course, found ourselves in the in the crowded bar. It took a second to get our bearings, but we soon spotted an opening on the far side of the room which seemed to light the way. We were in the dining room in no time. We grabbed one of the open tables and within minutes our waitress came on by. She opened up right away and admitted that it was her first night on the job, which made me uneasy at first, but it would turn out that she had no problem asking questions and our fears would be quickly put to rest.
Mama VF feeds her flock right and puts out a variety of fish including: walleye, cod, and ocean perch. The walleye will run you $9.50 while the cod and perch go for $10 which seems a bit bassackwards, but I’m sure not one to complain about cheap walleye.
Included with the Fish Fry is a trip to the salad bar on skates (wheels, actually). This veggie haven was propped up in the middle of a large dance floor just off the dining area, and while that alone was pretty cool, what lay beyond it was even more amazing. Playing for our, and everyone’s, amusement at the VFW this night, was a full band of what I would presume were local older fellas. Numerous elderly couples flanked their perimeter waiting for the leaf-holding impediment to clear out and open the floor for some serious two-steppin’. Luckily, we got in before the bar was relocated and enjoyed the crisp Iceberg lettuce, crunchy croutons, ranch-y ranch, and run of the mill onions that it provided. While it wasn’t exactly a bountiful spread (no cottage cheese, bacon bits, etc.) the macaroni salad, creamy, zesty coleslaw and salad mix more than sufficed. Some pre-sliced rolls were also available on the bar, but while the slider-looking buns were soft, they were very average.
Our fish came no more than 5 minutes after we’d exhausted our salads and was hot, but not scalding. As I suspected my cheap walleye fillet was a bit small, but not skimpy by any means. There was still a fair amount of flaky, moist meat which easily justified the $9.50 price tag. In addition, the fish was home to a light and flaky breading which was simply delicious. It had some serious spice, but even so, it didn’t detract from the flavor of the fish at all.
I also ganked some of the cod which was slightly greasier than the walleye, but still very good. It had the same breading as its freshwater counterpart and the hint of spice worked equally well with the ocean dweller. By and large it was flaky and moist and had Gabe wondering why every place can’t make cod just like it. It didn’t seem like it should be much of a challenge in his eyes. “If this VFW can do it, why can’t everywhere?” Fair enough.
Unfortunately for us, by quarter after seven the hash browns were long gone relegating us to French fry duty. The plain crinkle cuts were not very well fried and just kind of blah. Gabe branched out with the au gratins which looked good, but were “fresh from the box” according to him. Beth sprung for the baby reds with bacon, which looked okay, but were reportedly nothing special.
Adding the finishing touch to the fish was a seemingly Sysco, but still outstanding, tartar sauce. The idyllic blend was incredibly thick, composed mostly of mayo with just a twinge of relish to keep things interesting. It had the classic zesty finish, and not only improved the fish, but made the soggy fries palatable.
As we finished of our food Gabe and Beth took to the dance floor and joined the hootenanny that broke out while we were enjoying our fish. As I paid the tab, they cut a rug and full immersed themselves in the VF-y goodness. It really put the cap on what was a great Fish Fry experience. We’ve all heard the adage that mother knows best, and who are we to argue? This mother knows her fish. Overall, we highly recommend the Fish Fry at VFW Mother Post 328, and Mama, I’m glad we finally made it home.
200 Veterans Road
Stoughton, WI 53589