Fish Type: Haddock Price: $14.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Once in a while you stumble into something great somewhere unexpected. Due to the extreme flooding in Madison we decided to head north this Friday and try somewhere off the beaten path. I knew Wood BBQ was doing a Fish fry (because their owner reached out on social media and told me they were) and figured this was as good a time as any to put them to the test. We saddled up the kid and took the half hour drive to Sauk City to see what Wood had in store.
We crested the bridge over the big river about 5:30 and were a little surprised to see the number of people coming and going from the tiny BBQ joint. Luckily for us, it seems about 80% of the orders were of the take-out variety and there were plenty of red and white checkered table-clothed tables for us to choose from. We ordered some ribs, a 3-piece haddock, and an extra piece with a side of fries for the kid.
Apparently Wood BBQ is in an old Dairy Queen building and people from the area don't want you to forget it. For me ambiance isn't everything and when the food is this good it doesn't really matter to me. Our fish fried in the blink of an eye and looked like you'd expect a Fish Fry at a BBQ joint to look - a paper plate, paper serving trays for the fries and slaw, and a Solo cup of sauce. It's a lot of throw-away paper to be sure, but when you're talking BBQ you have to know what you're getting yourself into...and I did. All garbage aside, the food was fantastic. The haddock was pristine - juicy without being greasy, and home to a superbly seasoned breading. Wood knows spice and it goes oh-so-far when you're talking fish this pure. The seasoning offsets the smooth fish so well that you can easily parse them out or effortlessly enjoy the combination.
A staple of any great BBQ is a plethora of side options that come with the meat and Wood does them all, and seemingly does them all right. We sampled the seasoned fries, the curly fries, and the cheesy mashed potatoes, but were tempted by so many others - the smoked mac-n-cheese foremost among them. Each of our sides paired admirably with our fried fish, specifically the seasoned fries which went tit-for-tat with the seasoning on the fish.
Keeping in line with the BBQ flair was Wood's signature smoky tartar sauce which was as unique as we've ever seen and simply fantastic - I could literally have eaten it with a spoon. The slaw was exactly what you’d expect from a BBQ joint which is a thick and creamy mix with plenty of zip.
With so many personal touches you know Wood isn't just going to trot out a basic dinner roll and some corn fritters were the starch of choice. These babies were nice and moist and far better than a basic bun (I also realize a lot of people hate the word "moist" but I really don't care...they were every bit of it).
Once in a while you have to trust your gut and try something unique at a place you wouldn't expect to be good at it. Tacos at a brew pub, a burger at a fancy farm-to-table restaurant, a Fish Fry at a BBQ Joint. Chances are these places are doing it for a reason and you might just be surprised by the results. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think Wood BBQ killed it from start to finish. Every element was stellar and from what I can see the actually BBQ ain’t half bad either. We’ll be back to chop some more wood some day soon.
739 Phillips Blvd
Sauk City, WI 53583