Fish Type: Bluegill Price: $14.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Gastropubs are all the rage. You know the kind of place - lots of wood and brick, farm-to-table style menu, and a laundry list of beers (most of which are from places you've never heard of). While it all seems like a bit of a fad to me, many of these places also appear to have staying power since the food is usually above average and the atmosphere inviting. That's exactly the case at the Off Broadway Draft House.
We landed on Off Broadway a few months ago when they just had cod and lake perch and we thought there was a lot of promise. Since then they've added walleye and bluegill to the Friday menu and are serving them all day long. The cod, lake perch, and bluegill all run $14, while the walleye sits at $17, beer batter being the tie that binds.
Now, beer batter and bluegill rarely mix since beefy batters tend to overwhelm the delicate fillets, but I figured I'd roll the dice since I'd heard good things about it. As expected, while the fish offerings have changed, the coating hasn't and the subtle flavor of the fish was mostly masked by the overbearing batter. A bit of the bluegill essence did come through here and there, but by and large the batter took center stage. It was still good but the overall taste was about as heavy as 'gill gets.
Riding shotgun was a conservative portion of house-cut fries, which I guess makes sense since it was inauguration day and Trump was taking control. They were extremely well-fried and provided a welcome respite from the doughy batter, but I can only wish another spud or two would have slipped into the fryer.
Some thick, house tartar was also very good and put the batter in its place as much as any sauce could hope to. Its brawn and zest went blow for blow with each of the bloated swimmers adding a little allure to every bite.
A pre-buttered hamburger-looking bun was on the plate, but thats about all there is to say about it, while an understated slaw was pleasing. The cabbage derivative was flat-out easy to eat with nothing offensive whatsoever. More slaws should be like this one.
OBDH is a nice place and there is a lot to like about it. It's a far cry from its predecessor, the South Bay, which is a good thing since they were seemingly doing just enough to get by. The fish at Off Broadway is good, but just not as good as some of the other stuff out there. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry, but probably won't seek it out on a week to week basis.
5404 Raywood Road
Madison, WI 53713