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Fish Type: Whitefish     Price: $16.00

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: What a difference a day makes, or so they say. One day it’s sunny, and the next it is gray. One day you’re sailing free, the next you’re stuck in the bay. One day you’re swooning over what you think is a great Fish Fry, the next you come to realize it was all in your mind. What a difference a day makes dining at 1847, you find yourself in hell when you expected to be in heaven.

Hell is too strong of a word obviously, but for the sake of the rhyme it’s what I’m going with. Our second visit to 1847 at the Stamm House was far from hellish, but the angelic voices we heard on our first trip were nowhere to be found. The Friday special at the revamped Middleton spot is still $16 and still “locally” sourced (Lake Superior is as local as you can get, I suppose). It’s also still whitefish, which isn’t traditionally a frying fish, and this visit it became apparent why.

To be blunt, the fish simply wasn’t as good this time around. As someone who appreciates the fishier flavors of our native freshwater species (like yellow perch and bluegill), this whitefish was over the top. It was much more pungent than that of our previous encounter and had a silvery sheen of skin left on it. What’s more, the lone fillet also wasn’t fried long enough so the batter was more pliable than crispy. The resulting flavor missed the mark and left me wondering what had happened as last time we were in the thick of it, and this time we were literally the first fish order of the night when the oil should have been fresh and screaming hot.

While the fish fell flat the frites were as excellent as ever. The house-cut tubers were fried just right – par fried then flash fried - and made for an excellent accompaniment for fish. The side we got for our son came with the same “tartar” as the fish, so I guess it’s aioli all around at 1847! You won’t hear me complaining as this sauce is thick as glue with a creaminess that masked most of the flaws in the fish. It was a very diverse mix, but when it get served with multiple things I guess it had better be.

1847 is a classy place and as such a nice little basket of crusty rolls precedes the fish. The buns appear to be made in house, and come warm with a crock of whipped butter. They are delightful.

The last piece of the puzzle was their homemade slaw which was weird (if I do say so myself) and had a fruity essence that did nothing for the cabbage nor the carrots. I’m out on that.

What a difference a Friday makes. I have no idea what happened this time around, but this trip was a total regression from our stellar first visit. Overall, I have a hard time recommending this Fish Fry and kind of wonder if I’ll even make it back for the rubber match.
6625 Century Avenue
Middleton, WI 53562

(608) 203-9430