Fish Type: Haddock Price: $11.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: The first time we drove past Pape's I knew. I knew what kind of place it was, and I knew I needed to have a Fish Fry there. I could just tell it was the spot and I made a concerted effort to get there...And I'm glad I did...I was right.
Pape's is out on Highway 60 just west of Sauk City. We've been traveling that way to get back to our hometown since 19 has been closed and the second we rounded that corner I could see it glowing like a beacon in distance saying: "Come here, eat fish, we love you...and so forth" Like most crossroads style taverns, Pape's is misleadingly tiny on the inside with only about a dozen barstools and half as many high top tables. Thankfully the weather was perfect this Friday and their patio is gigantic so we just ordered at the bar and grabbed a spot out there.
Pape's has a 2-piece haddock for $9, a 3-piece for $11, and a $13 "perch" all of which are available baked or fried. Being the sucker I am I went for the perch full knowing that one of my companions wouldn't come close to eating his full 2-piece. Predictably, the fried haddock was the best of the bunch, although the perch was not without its charms. A light breading was shared by all the fried fish with portions of it flaking off here and there. The haddock loins were meaty, probably around 3 oz. each with a nice white flake - the breading worked particularly well here. The perch was different all around. From feel to flavor it had me guessing from start to finish. First off, there were only four fillets and they were very long and thin, like suspiciously long... They weren't Zander-like (not long or thick enough), so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but I'm still kind of skeptical.
A big, bold tartar with an eye-popping flavor paired well with the both styles of flaky fish and held its own against the fries (which were the highlight of the meal). A strong slaw with plenty of zip played a tertiary part, while the basic dinner roll brought up the rear.
Now that we've expounded on the virtues of the fish and other sides let's talk about the star of the show, the king of the castle, the cock of the rock - the house-cut French fries. Pape's has several options including baked potatoes, and waffle fries, but if you like real fries these are what you're after. These fat cuts are fried to perfection and sprinkled with plenty of coarse salt making for the full flavor profile. These rival the best we've had and are worth going out of the way for all on their own.
Country bars just have some sort of hold on me and when they are as welcoming as Pape's and have a good food they're even more intriguing. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and will probably think of some excuses to get out that way again...this one is worth it.
Sauk City, WI 53583