Fish Type: Cod (AYCE) 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: Excellent
Comment: It's not every day that you get to have a Fish Fry in Coon Valley, Wisconsin, but when you do you'd best be damned sure you hit up the Stockyard. That's a legit Fish Fry right there.
The Stockyard Grill and Saloon is a small town bar with a big time Fish Fry. The $13 3-piece comes complete with salad bar and while there is also AYCE available, I stayed conservative after having the most massive walleye fillet on modern record at the Villa Tap earlier in the day. When a salad bar is involved all things originate with roughage so lets start there. This was a great little bar and while there wasn't anything overwhelming about it the fact that it exists is awesome. There are far too few remaining salad bars in Madison and those that are around are pretty pricey. This quaint setup had most of the things you want (I'll spare you the details), but soup wasn't clam chowdah (what?). Still all the greens were fresh and, of course, you could make it as large as your heart desired (which some of my realties would gladly take advantage of). I kept it pretty conservative. The dinner rolls were also on the bar, and they were just that - dinner rolls. Onto the next...
The focus of any Fish Fry should be the fish and the cod at the Stockyard was great. It was basically your standard cod with a light beer batter that really improved the flaky fish. The batter had a mild flavor that complemented the cod without trying to do too much. While my 3-piece sufficed I could easily have eaten half a dozen, and probably a lot more if not for ingesting the Moby Dick of walleye earlier in the day.
Small towns restaurants often have lots of sides to choose from and the Stockyard is no exception. While I was temped by the fries I branched out and went for the hash browns with cheese and onion (and was glad I did). These spuds were slick and supreme with a great flavor meld. The supple interior was dominated by the fried onion, while the crispy edges were permeated with gooey American cheese.
Any good cod is made exponentially better by a bold tartar and this sauce nearly stole the show. It had it all going on and took the fish to next level, which in our book is excellence.
Living in Madison, Coon Valley isn't necessarily a destination you'd seek out, but when you're from the Driftless Area (like I am) you might find yourself in those parts on a Friday; and when you do, you'd be wise to find your way to the Stockyard. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and might be looking for more excuses to take along weekend back in our hometown.
202 Central Avenue
Coon Valley, WI 54623