Fish Type: Cod Price: $12.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Mickey's is a pretty polarizing place. There are those that simply love its all-inclusive atmosphere, and others that decry it as a liberal hellhole. These feelings are pretty much par for the course for anything in the Willy St. neighborhood, and while I tend to enjoy the tavern it's not somewhere I'd put high on the list of places to take my parents for example. Mickey's also doesn't have a classic Fish Fry every Friday (so call ahead to ensure they do this week), but when they do it's definitely a treat.
Mickey's fish of choice is cod and has been prepared a couple different ways when we've been there. On our previous encounters it was dusted with a light, superbly-seasoned breading, but this meeting we found a benevolent beer batter instead. Like the breading of yesterday, it had a superb flavor, but was much more decadent and pillowy. The twin cuts of cod were hefty, although not too hefty to handle, and made for a substantial amount of meat. The stark white flakes of fish paired remarkably well with the spongy shell and made for a tasty and satisfying meal.
To my knowledge Mickey's was the first in Madison to do the whole "Sexy Fries" thing and while the homespun favorite isn't available with the Fish Fry the regular fries sufficed. They were skin-on freezer jobs, fried crispy, and basically just like the Sexies without all the sexy stuff on top. A zippy, yet thin, tartar had enough oomph to make things noticeable although the rich fish did overwhelm it a bit.
Gluten-free is the name of the game with the enlightened crowd and those that think they are in-the-know must not realize that any traditional Fish Fry comes with some sort of starch (either that or they just don't care). While the lack of bread wasn't totally unexpected at Mickey's it as no less disheartening. Oh well. A sizable ramekin of their signature red pepper slaw did come along for the ride however, and was as unique (and as peppery as they come). Literally, the only thing you can taste is the red pepper, but hey, if you like the taste of bell pepper this baby is for you. I'm guess just okay with it.
If you're going to Mickey's you just need to know what you're getting into, and on most Fridays what you're going to find is a damn good Fish Fry at a damn good price. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and Mickey's Tavern in general. The fish won't have you seeing red and the price certainly won't give you the blues either.
1524 Williamson Street
Madison, WI 53703