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Fish Type: Walleye     Price: $16.00

Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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This Friday I decided that the first Fish Fry would take place at the Tip Top since - 1) it's close to home, and 2) their Fish Fry is damn good. The fish I speak of is 1) cod or 2) walleye and since I was in splurge mode I went with the more expense freshwater fish. Now, there was a day in the Top's infancy when they were doing walleye in a way that no others were. While it was the same fillet you'll find today it had a breading that was 1) incredibly crispy, and 2) loaded with a peppery pop that none other had mastered. It was nothing less than exemplary, but unfortunately things have changed. Lucky the change wasn't a total loss as the new wave walleye at the tip top is still good just not what the old crunchy one was. The new incarnation is very Dexter's-like in both 1) taste, and 2) appearance. Thee current light breading has a simple seasoning but the highlight is the flavor of the fish. It's moist and flaky, so it's tough to complain about but, I definitely yearn for Fry of yesterday.

The Tip Top plays the Farm to Table card to some extent so I, and you, might expect a fancier French fry, but these babies are pretty basic. While they are 1) perfectly acceptable, and 2) adequately fried, they are just a shade better than the standard crinkles. They seemingly are made in-house and don't really take things to the next level.

On the other hand the tartar takes things to 1) the next level, an two the level beyond that. This sauce is large and in charge and as homemade as they come. It's has almost too much pizzaz to handle and really jazzes up the sanzzy walleye. It's zz's to the max.

The TTT has historically had a basic, purple cabbage, vinegar-bomb slaw, but a new blend has taken over. This mix is much more colorful and had what appeared to be apples in it. It was still overpowered by the vinegar, but I for one like it that way. The apples were lost to the acid, but if I could actually taste them it would have been way more off-putting. This mix was 1) new, and 2) more appealing to the masses. Verdict - win.

The Tip Top has 1) never served bread with their fish, and 2) probably never will. We've come to grips with that and just have to let it be what it is. It's a good thing everything else is so good or this omission might really make us sad.

This birthday lunch was a good one 1) because the food was good, and 2) (and even more importantly) because I was joined by my lovely wife and little boy. It was a great time at the Tip Top and one I will never forget. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and think you could do a while lot worse than the Tip Top on a Friday even if they have devolved a bit.
601 North Street
Madison, WI 53704

(608) 241-5515