Fish Type: Cod Price: $13.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: When Brennan's closed all their Madison locations the city was justifiably shocked. It didn't seem to make sense. I don't want to call it a public outcry, but there were certainly a vocal contingent of concerned citizens wondering what happened to their favorite market and urging them to reopen at least one location. It didn't take long for fabled grocer to hear those cries, and they returned in short order with a new spot called Brennan's Cellars. What's more, the new incarnation not only has the same amazing groceries, but also a primo beer selection, AND a café complete with a real deal Friday Fish Fry.
The paint on the café hardly had a chance to dry before we stopped by for fish the first time, and it felt new and a little rough around the edges. We knew we'd return, but wanted to give them a chance to grow, a chance to breathe. We finally made that return voyage some five months later and this visit was different. Things were cleaner, things were less greasy, and things were much more refined. Brennan's really is back!
There was a $14 3-piece fried whitefish special this Friday, but the every week Fish Fry consists of 2 or 3 pieces of fried cod for $10 or $13.50 respectively, or 2 fillets of baked cod for $15. We sampled both the 3-piece fried cod and the 3-piece whitefish and agreed the cod was the better of the pair.
This cod was simply great and definitely a step up from out last visit. This round was expertly-battered and fried to a satisfying crunch. It had a very creamy flavor profile which offered a nice contrast to the flaky fish underneath.
The fish comes with roasted red potatoes, and there is no other option (believe me I asked). Back in March it was definitely a mixed bag - some were over-fried, some under, but all those wrinkles have seemingly bee ironed out as well. This lot was plush, perfectly soft and squishy with plenty of garlic to perk them up.
A thin yet tasty tartar plays sideler to the fish and leeches off its allure to some extent. Usually tartar sauce perks up plain fish, but in this case I think the opposite holds true. The sauce itself is competent, but the fish actually seemed to improve it and not t'other way round.
The house slaw was also good, but somewhat lost in the wake of the showstopping cod. There was no bread in this performance yest again, which really left the audience wanting more.
I saw potential in the Brennan's Fish Fry lo those many months ago and I happy to see that after a few trials and tribulations they have hit their stride. This fish was excellent and all the sides showed their full support. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think with the simple addition of slice of rye it would easily be in the running for the best of the west (side)!
8210 Watts Road
Madison, WI 53719