Fish Type: Lake Perch Price: $12.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Fair
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: When youíre in Door County on Friday you eat fish. When you pick your fish you choose perch since it is freshly caught, and fresh fish gets harder to come by the further south you go. All that remains to be seen is exactly how well the establishment can fry their pristine catch. In the case of the Cornerstone Pub, they can do it pretty damn well.
On Friday nights the CSP pulls out all the stops and has a pan-fried perch special, but since we were there before 4:00 we were limited to the deep-fried variety (which is our preference anyway). The standard order runs $12.00 for three butterflies, with the option to tack on as many as you like for three bucks a pop. I put in an order for a Spotted Cow and four butterflies and had the steaming hot fish in front of me in almost no time.
As far as deep fried perch goes, this stuff was excellent. It tasted very fresh and had a velvety texture that melted in your mouth. I slurped down the first two butterflies in effortless gulps between sips of the ice cold Cow. Itís true, the breading could have used a bit more spice to balance the sweet fish, but by and large it was superb. The coating was light and fried to the idyllic golden-brown color that DC Perch is known for. After trying the deep fried, we simply must get back up and try the pan fried, and who knows, the walleye, haddock, and whitefish are fair game.
Where the fish selection at the Cornerstone goes above and beyond, the potato selection falls flat (at least during lunch). The only option was crinkle-cut French fries, which were on the level, but about as mediocre as you can get. The tartar also fell within one standard deviation of the mean, with a slightly above average texture, but a slightly below average amount of relish. While we at MFF like a thick, mayo-based sauce, we do appreciate a little dill as it helps to finish off the sweetness of the fresh perch with a little zip.
Door County is still apparently on-board with the whole rye bread thing - something you are seeing less and less in the city. Not one, but two full pieces of dark rye came with the lunch perch at the Cornerstone and were a great addition helping to cleanse the palate in between bites of fish.
Last, and probably least, was the pubís slaw which was creamy and inoffensive, but lacked a punch. While Iím sure there are a lot of folks out there that really like the inoffensive blend, we prefer some thump whether it be a vinegar twang or a zesty mayo blast.
Iím not sure there is a better way to kick off a DC weekend that with a Fish Fry at the Cornerstone. The food was great, the establishment is clean and well cared for, and the staff seemed to be top-notch. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and have a feeling it is going to become a mainstay in our Door County vacations for years to come.
8123 ST HWY 57
Bailey's Harbor, WI 54202