Fish Type: Cod Price: $14.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: I love supper clubs and I love dingy little taverns; these are the establishments that exemplify classic Wisconsin and make our culture what it is. Of course, Madison is a modern city and the modern restaurant design philosophy of exposed brick, reclaimed barn wood, and Edison bulbs has taken center stage. While these places definitely have the look, and don't necessarily lack character, they are becoming more and more cookie-cutter in nature. The Off Broadway Draft House is one of these new wave of restaurants, but contrary to their modern design philosophy they maintain a classic Wisconsin Fish Fry, so they're A-OK with me.
OBDH has a few different fish available on Friday (cod, lake perch, and bluegill) all of which share the same beer batter. The cod is a 2-piece affair and runs $14 whether you come in for lunch or dinner. On previous visits we've sampled the perch and the bluegill, both of which are good, but mostly lost to the bountiful batter. Today was the day for the cod, and since beer batter is generally best applied to saltwater fish the cod at Off Broadway only served to reinforce this axiom. The batter (as expected) was on the thick side and had a little grease in it's midst. It complemented the cod as well as can be expected but was very middle of the road overall. While I can't really complain about the fish as a whole, I can't say a ton of great things about it either. Sure, there is nothing glaringly wrong and it's definitely worth getting, but it's not really inspiring. Just solid cod.
Where the cod left off the house-cut fries picked up and took everything to another level. These puppies were outstanding, and while I would have liked a bigger portion, what was there was adequate (for most people) and fried to perfection.
The house-made tartar also did the job and covered any of the minor imperfections in the cod. It was a thick and creamy blend with plenty of pop. A cube of cornbread with a big old schmere of butter pre-applied to it sat alongside and didn't scream "Fish Fry side!" but I still enjoyed it, as well as the big old ramekin of slaw. This cup of creamy goodness was en point and got crushed straight away. Like the other elements it was likely made in house and a definite people pleaser.
While I'm not one to stand in the way of progress I will always be in favor of traditional establishments. Luckily for us Madisonites, the places popping up might have a modern flair but are keeping the tradition of the Fish Fry alive. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and think the Off Broadway Draft House is a shining example of how modern and traditional can work together.
5404 Raywood Road
Madison, WI 53713