Fish Type: Bluegill Price: $17.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: Choosing a place for Friday Night Fish Fry is never an easy task...especially when you've been as many places as we have...and especially-especially when you have a five year old to please. We've had the best, and we've tried the rest, and deciding whether to go to new place, a new favorite, or an old stand-by can be difficult. Mint Mark falls into the new favorite category, and when the the five year old decided he wanted to just stay home with mom this Friday it meant dear old dad had his pick of the litter. Dad picked the Mark since A) they have great fish, B) they boast a pretty nice beer selection, and C) in all honesty, it can be tricky to take kid there so this was a opportunity.
Mint Mark has a Hamm's battered bluegill special every Friday and it's $17.00, no ifs ands or buts. There's no choosing what kind of fish, baked or fried, 3-piece or AYCE; it's bluegill, like it or leave it. Luckily for you (and me), this bluegill is all it's cracked up to be and then some. Five bubbly beer battered fillets fill out the plate and are doused with salt. If you're sodium conscious you might want to let the waitress know (I've heard they'll make a less salty rendition), but as a salt fiend I'm a big fan. The fish essentially evaporates under the salty sheath, which most people probably actually enjoy, since bluegill can have overtly fishy flavors that tends to turn people off.
Following in the sodium saturation are the Mint's house-cut fries which, for me, are damn near perfect. Of course, there will always be dissenters who would prefer smaller holes on that salt shaker, but I guess the chef and I think the same. Teeny weeny tartar and ketchup cups are still the norm, and while the tartar is light and fresh, it doesn't quite take the edge off the boastful batter. It also comes in such a small cup that making it last throughout the five fillets requires either perfect portioning (which I can't seem to do) or acts of wizardry (which I clearly don't possess).
The real rye on the side makes this Fish Fry as classic as possible (and steals my heart) while the house slaw puts in its work without trying to upstage the stars of the show.
Mint Mark opened to much acclaim, and it seems that not much has changed over the first couple of years. Sure, they're a little more accessible on Friday night (at least there were barstools open here and there which was never the case before), but the crowds seem to keep coming for that oh-so-tasty fish. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and come back intermittently as the opportunity presents itself.
1929 Winnebago Street
Madison, WI 53704