Fish Type: Cod (AYCE) Price: $11.00
Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Fair|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: As soon as we pulled into the parking lot I thought we’d hit the jackpot. It was packed. Surely, I thought, THIS was Sun Prairie’s original Fish Fry hot spot. Finally, after all the trials and tribulations we had found it. We scurried inside with our hopes high since busy Fish Frys usually equate to good Fish Frys. Well, our assumption wasn’t 100% wrong, but it turned out many (if not most) of those present were actually here to bowl rather than to eat fish. Drat.
To be fair, there were still a lot of Fish Fryers, but their numbers were clearly dwarfed by the amount of bowlers. Even with the 10-15 minute wait sign outside the door, we had no problem getting a table, although from that point on things slowed down… waaaaaay down. It took about 10 minutes for our waitress to finally come by and when she did a whole lot of the $11 AYCE cod was ordered.
The All You Can Eat comes with a trip to the salad bar, and we wasted no time getting to it. The spread was surprisingly good – full of fresh veggies and three soups. The veggies were average, as was the clam chowder. An ultra-gooey coleslaw came along for the ride as did some delicious cottage cheese. We wolfed down the soups and salads, but couldn’t help but feel put off by the lack of drinks, which came only after the greens were gone. Not cool.
The first round of fish came about 20 minutes after we ordered and wasn’t totally hot. Uh oh… What’s more, it was slightly over-fried to the point where the batter was bubbling off and tough in sections. While the thicker parts of the fish avoided this over-fried fate they weren’t helped by the rugged batter which didn’t have much flavor and was too firm. While the first round was so-so we figured it was AYCE and better results could be expected on round two. However, it was not meant to be as the sequel was even crispier, even drier (which was hard to believe), and basically inedible. We didn’t dare try a third round at this point, deciding to cut our losses with the funky fish.
Certain places claim to offer potato pancakes because they think it makes their Fish Fry more authentic. For those not in the know, PPs are not the easiest thing to make and basically require a dedicated hand in the kitchen. Knowing the level of labor involved you could say I was suspicious when I saw PLs claiming to offer the traditional treat with their AYCE. I asked. She (our waitress) claimed they were real, and quite good. I was still suspicious, but pulled the trigger anyway. In PLs case the PPs were the little hash brown patties (as I suspected), but as she claimed, were actually decent tasting. So, while they weren’t the real deal per se, they at least tasted fine.
The tartar was good, by all accounts, and the big squeeze bottle was nearing its end by the time we finished up. The blend was standard and at least took over where the fish left off. A nice small dinner bun, with a crusty outside and soft inside rounded out the meal. It was likely on the salad bar, although at this point I honestly don’t remember if it was there or came with the fish… our notes said it was good which is really all that matters.
A packed parking lot does not a Fish Fry make, and you could say that we got fooled by this one. I have to admit it was a strange since we went in with low expectations, had them raised by how busy the place was, and then had them crushed by so-so fish. Overall, we can’t recommend this Fish Fry based on this experience and probably won’t be going back any time soon.
430 Clarmar Drive
Sun Prairie, WI 53590