Fish Type: Lake Perch Price: $13.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Some people's bucket lists involve things like hot air balloon rides, skydiving, or cruising the Caribbean. Mine had eating Fish Fry at the Wayside Inn at the top of it. I guess you can check that baby off!
I've known about the Wayside for about a decade, but you don't just take the 45 minute drive to Jefferson on a whim - you prioritize, you plan, you wait 10 years, then when the timing is juuuuust right, you pounce (at least that the story I'm going with). Truth be told, I just had a free Friday afternoon and felt like taking the drive for what I'd heard was the "best Fish Fry in Jefferson County". I'd say it was worth it.
The 'side has lots of choices on Fridays (cod, lake perch, bluegill, catfish, shrimp, scallops, lobster, and frog legs), but I settled on the "Lg" perch for $13.50 which was 100% as advertised. Large is an understatement as 9 fillets of real yellow perch were piled all over the plate and paired with a tissue paper thin breading that was simply outstanding. Each fillet was soft and plush with just enough flavor to let you know what's what without any overtly fishy flavors. For $13.50 you can't ask for much more.
Usually when there are a ton of fish to choose from the sides follow suit and the Wayside did not disappoint in that regard. There were too many to list (or even remember for that matter), but as soon as I heard "hash browns" muttered I knew what I was going with. These babies were top notch and the portion was massive. They came covered with a boatload of coarsely chopped onion and a couple slices of melted American cheese just like they should. They were excellent in every sense of the word.
The Wayside is essentially a supper club and as such you'd expect a supper club style tartar and, of course, they deliver. This big, bold blend clung to the fish with reckless abandon and provided the pop you expect. The pre-buttered marble rye also did exactly what it was supposed to do by adding flavors that would have otherwise been absent. And of course, before any of this went down a runny, but zippy slaw started things off right.
While I'm not necessarily a bucket list kind of guy I do keep a "Fish Finder" of places that I know I want to get to someday and its nice to check one of them off from time to time. The Wayside definitely lived up to its billing as one of the best and we'll likely take the trip down that way way again some sunny day. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and can die a little happier knowing that we've been there and done that.
Jefferson, WI 53549