Fish Type: Cod Price: $13.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: When it comes to Friday Fish Fry evolution can be a great thing. Our first couple visits to the Ale Asylum were a mixed bag to say the least. The fish was decent, the twin tartars were unique, their potato casserole was promising, but there were no French fries or anything for the kids. It was never really busy which kind of points to the fact that people weren't into it. Sometime around July 2018 a fryer was finally installed and with it came fries, and a revamped Fish Fry...and by god, the changes were all for the better. AA is now slinging one the best FFs in town. Believe that!
In addition to the fries the Asylum now has cod, bluegill, lake perch, and walleye EVERY FRIDAY (they used to just have cod and a rotating freshwater fish). Over the course of two recent visits we've canoodled with the cod, and perused the perch, but shied away from the beer battered bluegill and walleye out of fear the batter would be too substantial. After seeing the beer battered cod I think those fears were misplaced and we'll go again soon to give them a whirl. The cod features a superbly seasoned light breading although they list it as beer batter, so whatever. This stuff has a ton of flavor and coats the grease-free fish perfectly. The cod itself is as flaky as can be and damn near perfect all things considered. The breaded perch wasn't quite as luminescent as the cod, but was still very good. For starters, it's the real deal yellow perch which is not always the case these days. The breading was wispy but somewhat muted compared to the super-seasoned beer batter. It was pretty middle of the road as far as perch goes, but that's a pretty glamorous road all things considered.
After all the time spent hoping for fries, we're happy to say it was worth the wait. Like the beer batter these suckers are seasoned to the nines (which is WAAAAAAAY over-seasoned for a 4 year old, fyi), and I loved every bite. The twin tartars still take hold with the spicy style working better with both types of fish. While the sauces are on the thin side texture-wise you'd expect that to be the case since there is Hefeweizen in them. It still slicks the surface of the fish admirably, and hell, you could just drink the stuff if it came down to it. It's that good.
With so much seasoning and beer infusion here and there the slaw was an afterthought, but it's still a good one. It is house-made for sure, and falls on the creamy side of the aisle. Some nice little flat breads filled the starch component and were a welcome change from a basic dinner roll.
When it comes to Friday Fish Fry there are places like Mint Mark that crush it right out of the chute, and there are places like the Dorf Haus that hone a craft over decades. Most places fall somewhere in between and slowly morph into their final form through trial and error. Some end up with greatness and some just end up with a Fish Fry. Ale Asylum is striving for greatness, hitting their stride, and I'm glad we're here to see and taste it. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry, and Madison has clearly already caught on...they've been slammed every Friday.
2002 Pankratz Street
Madison, WI 53704