Fish Type: Cod Price: $22.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: If you're like me and have tried the typical Fish Fry served at a Mallards' game on a Friday you know it's nothing to write home about. It's basically the traditional stadium fare - pre-battered fish fillets, freezer fries, and a side of commercial tartar sauce that is anything but fancy. So, when I heard that the Mallards were throwing a special Fish Fry to commemorate the opening of their new Duck Blind Box Seats, I wasn't expecting whole lot. When I heard the tickets were $22 I as even less intrigued, but after reading the description of the event my ears perked up a bit...
$22 seems like a lot but when you consider it included two drink tickets it becomes a little more palatable (especially since they weren't just rail drinks either - think Bulleit Bourbon and Wollersheim Gin). The fish was either bluegill or cod - both of which shared the same beer batter. We got one of each and since the bluegill was mine, we'll start there. The first thing I noticed was the size of the fillets - they were huge and there were only three to an order. There is really no way they could be bluegill, but they were definitively some sort of sunfish...maybe crappie, maybe something else? I don't know for sure, but I've never seen a bluegill of this magnitude, and since it also didn't have that inherent bluegill flavor I'm going to stick to my guns on this one. The cod on the other hand was definitively cod, and clearly high quality. It was pure white, flaky as can be, and worked perfectly with the superb beer batter. This was anything but a pre-battered fillet, and the light and flaky coating had a unique flavor that I just loved. The batter worked better with the cod than the bluegill (which beer batter typically does) but didn't diminish the flavor of either.
There were two sides to chose from and since we got two orders of fish we got to try one of each. The French fries were crispy battered and very good, but the potato pancakes were next level. These cakes were the real deal; they were clearly made in-house and had a subtle onion flavor and served with apple sauce on the side. They were very nicely done and yet another pleasant surprise on Northport Drive.
Keeping pace with the fish and the spuds was a surprisingly good tartar. It was plenty thick and perfectly pungent, a real people pleaser to be sure. The slaw also did it's job, and a slice of real rye bread brought things home.
Once in a while life throws you a curve ball and I have to say the made-to-order Fish Fry in the Duck Blind took me by surprise. The Mallards definitely didn't phone this one in and if they make this an option on Friday nights I might just go out of my way to attend an extra game or two in the sweet new suites. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and really hope it wasn't just an off-season thing. If they can keep this going during the summer it will undoubtedly put butts in the seats.
2920 N. Sherman Avenue
Madison, WI 53704