Fish Type: Cod Price: $8.50
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Don't let the name fool you. Just because Peg & Doc's bills itself as a "Sports Bar & Grill" doesn't mean they are trying to be Buffalo Wild Wings. You won't find wall to wall TVs blaring sports coverage 24/7, nor will you find a bunch of noisy frat boys slamming pitchers of light beer. Sure, if it's Sunday the Pack will be on the tube, but this Friday they were showing America's Funniest Home Videos during the lunch hour and muffled conversations about work and someone's asshole boss we're all you could make out around the crowded bar. The dining room, also had a few people in it enjoying there fish, but I never once heard a "First Down!" or a "Yeah, Bro!" permeate the threshold. Peg & Doc's is more of a classic small town bar to me, but let's not let semantics get in the way; the reason we drive to Dane is their Fish Fry.
The lunch special at P&D's is as good of a deal as you will ever find. For a mere seven beans you get a full-fledged Fish Fry, with all the trimmings (except for bread). It's your choice whether you want it fried or baked (regular or southwest style), and while I've been tempted to point my compass south a few times I've always stuck to the fried version - I mean this is Madison Fish FRY after all... Madison Fish Bake would just sound weird. And of course, I always make mine a 3-piece for a buck or so up-charge. It's so worth it.
This cod is simply irresistible (eat your heart out Robert Palmer) and eat I did. For $7 you might think they'd skimp on size, but these are nice big loins of cod, and what's more, they apparently don't compromise on quality either as the meat is pure white and flaky as all get-out. They coat each in a light breading that has a fantastic flavor and a light crumbly texture. It's simply superb stuff and executed to perfection each and every time we're there.
There are a few sides to choose from, but when I belly up to the bar I like to watch the hash browns get fried on the flat-top right before my eyes. I load mine with onion and American cheese, the slice of which is applied after the flip and exposes the warm crispy skin allowing the cheese to ooze into the voids. It's poetry in motion to watch and ambrosia on taste bud when eaten.
A big bottle of bold and tangy tartar accompanies the plate and had me coming back for more time and again. It's a thick mix and while each squirt was prolly a couple tablespoons each, I likely averaged a squirt per piece. It's just too good not to use.
A tart and slightly soupy slaw kept things interesting, but as I say, there wasn't any bread to be found. While it's not the end of the world in this case (I think there are some rolls on the salad bar at dinner time), the lack of bread can be the straw that breaks the camels back. Luckily, this dromedary is dutiful despite the absent starch and kept humping right along.
If Peg & Doc's turned into a BW3's style sports bar I wouldn't mind as long a they kept the Fish Fry just as it is, but I know that wouldn't be the case. If they went for the glitz and glamor they would certainly have to compromise on quality to cover on overhead and the fish would undoubtedly suffer. I like Peg & Doc's just the way it is; a small town bar with a big time Fish Fry. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think they can ball with just about anyone.
106 Dane Street
Dane, WI 53529