Fish Type: Haddock Price: $14.00
Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Fair
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: When Lone Girl opened up I was like: "Sweet, Waunakee sorely needs a place like this." On the first couple visits I was impressed with the beers I drank and some of the food I ate and thought they had a good thing going (their rooftop patio is especially alluring). While they weren't doing a "proper" Fish Fry, something inside told me they would eventually come around and expand fully on their daily fish and chips. Well, it took a couple months (and likely a local outcry), but the brewery finally got cooking so I figured it was time for the rubber match.
As I envisioned the now fully featured special goes beyond haddock, pairing it with walleye every Friday as well as a rotating cast of characters from week to week. Since I figured I should get the lay of the land, I went for the 3-piece haddock with a side of fries (which is presumably the most popular option) over the $12 2-piece or the $17 walleye (the special this week was some sort of salmon thingy). All the fish come with a romp through their brew-room-adjacent salad bar, so let's begin there.
We were early, so not many had perused the freshly-stocked bar and everything was nice and tidy. Some crisp mixed greens led things off and were quickly followed by a big bowl of verdant spinach. The roughage made a luxurious landing spot for the bevy of toppings that came next. From eggs to a variety of cheeses there was a lot to choose from and my result was a picturesque plate that would make most supper clubs green with envy. A serving tray full of warm garlicy bread sticks brought up the rear but took a backseat to none, and what's more, they still served a pleasant (although not unique) coleslaw with the fish.
After smiling through a salad of this caliber one can only hope the hits keep on coming, but while the Lone Girl didn't strike out, a soft single or two was about all they could muster. The pieces of haddock were big and sported a fried chicken style breading, but it lacked any sort of seasoning. The haddock itself was limp and damn near impossible to pick up and dip for someone who likes to eat fish with their hands like me. While the fork aficionados would certainly find it easy going, when fish falls apart just by being touched I get touchy. A little grease also leeched from the flakes resulting in a slight saturation on its undercarriage.
Some shoestring style fries took the place of the sweet potato/normal potato mix of yesterday, and while an improvement, still weren't all that great. They appeared to be cut in-house, but were strachy as all get out. It was odd since I typically LOVE house-cut fries, but these just didn't do it for me.
So the fish was alright and the fries, while not great, still got eaten; but this is where the big whiffs came about - the tartar and the orange wedge. I don't think I'm off-base (no pun intended) when I say that traditionally Fish Fry (and fish in general) comes with lemon on the side. It seems that over millennia mankind has figured out that the acidity of the lemon brings about unique flavors in fish and whether you like that combination or not, it works. Never have I heard of oranges filling in for their citric brethren and while the concept seems feasibly the reality is not so palatable. The wedge on the side I could take or leave (I don't typically use the lemon anyway), but the zest and what appeared to be actual juice in the tartar were just too much. It really hurt the fish and 90% of what came in the cup wound up in the garbage. It's just a failed experiment in my eyes and something I assume they'll figure out before a(nother) public outcry ensues.
There is a hell of a lot to like about the Lone Girl. From the patio to the beer, and that excellent salad bar, they have done a lot of things right thus far. Unfortunately for the Fish Fry, the misses add up a little more than the hits and just overwhelm the good that is done. Overall, we don't quite recommend this Fish Fry, although we'd say it's just a wedge away...
114 E Main Street #101
Waunakee, WI 53597