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Fish Type: Lake Perch     Price: $12.00

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

Fish Score: Good
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Good

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Comment: The last time I tried Fish Fry at Babe’s I was not really impressed at all. Gabe and I had lunch and something just seemed off so I knew we needed to get back and try a real dinner at some point. Since I had a group of six to try to plan for I knew we needed some diversity and that Babe’s could meet that demand.

We arrived at the Schroeder Road mainstay about 8pm and the parking lot was jam packed, although the sign clearly read IMMEDIATE SEATING. I think more than a few of those folks were just enjoying some drinks and getting ready to watch a local band play some music. We barely even had a chance to find everyone before we were ushered into the dining room and our table directly below the massive projector screen. On Fridays Babe’s puts out the big three Fish Fry options: cod (with AYCE option), lake perch and walleye. Of the five Fish Fry eaters Bethany and I went for the perch while Gabe, Justin and Katie went of the cod. Justin even manned up and paid the extra $3 for the AYCE.

Instead of coleslaw Babe’s offers up a soup/salad option and it was at the table within a few minutes of ordering. I went for the clam chowder which was homemade and actually really good although it wasn’t very creamy. The people who got salads got bread but we soup eaters did not which kind of sucked. As I finished the cup of chowder I was wishing I had some but tried to put it out of my mind as I waited for the fish which arrived about 10 minutes later.

The perch were served as four small sized butterflies which amounted to eight filets. The fish tasted very good and had a light, yet firm batter which was decent but not super flavorful. It could definitely have used a little more salt but was still very good and a fine value at 12 bucks.

I managed to sneak a piece of the cod as well and it was much better than the last time but still was not great. It had a light batter but the fish was not really flaky and almost felt mushy. It was not bad but looked like it should have been better. Much like the perch it didn’t have a real distinct flavor which was kind of a bummer. I will also caveat this by saying that I didn’t get a scalding hot piece which may have been better.

The accompanying items were all good and rounded out the meal well. The straight cut style fries were very good as were the curly fries which several folks around the table got. The tartar also helped the fish even though there was clearly a hint of dill, it was practically unnoticeable. One thing that was noticeable was how great our waitress was when we were ordering and how absent she was once the food was served. She totally kicked ass from soup through the first round of fish but when it came time for the AYCE portion she was nowhere to be found.

Overall the food was good and certainly much better than our previous visit. The meal was slightly above average, but I would certainly have liked some bread. The service was also good overall, and the ambiance is fairly nice. Babe’s has done a good job revamping their establishment and putting out an inoffensive Fish Fry for a fair price.
5614 Schroeder Road
Madison, WI 53711

(608) 274-7300