Fish Type: Catfish Price: $12.50
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: When I heard OSS had closed I was a little saddened but not totally surprised. They had a niche, but since most Wisconsonites fancy themselves as sausage savvy, going out for a brat, especially a gourmet (expensive) brat seemed gimmicky. Sweet Home Wisconsin opened not long after OSS shuttered and initial reviews were eerily similar - essentially overpriced comfort food...you could hear the grim reaper calling.
Luckily for the Fish Fry faithful, SHW has kept those prices in-line - $12.50 cod -or- crispy cajun catfish (say that three times fast)...not bad at all. The cod is only a 2-piece but the pieces are relatively substantial and coated with a swanky Lady Luck beer batter . The best part about this batter is that it remains light and has plenty of creamy flavor. You can also tack extra piece on for a couple bucks a pop but I felt fine with the pair this Friday night. Like the cod, the catfish portion is conservatinve (only one ~6 oz fillet), but as they say - good things come in small packages. The juicy fillet is coated in a delightfully crunchy breading with some real cajun flair. It was succulent and spicy, and liek the cod, can be beefed up bu adding another fillet for a price ($4 in this case).
The Sweet Home fries come spiced one of three ways and I opted for the Cajun flavor on visit one and mesquite on visit two (Parmesan garlic is the thrid). Both renditions were super seasoned and fried to the perfect level of crispiness. There are some other alluring options as well and next time I'm going for the hashablls...I saw someone else order them and they looked freakin' amazing...think deep fried cheesey hashbrown nuggets. Nuf said.
Some house tartar and slaw sit on the side and both are quite enjoyable. The sauce isn't the thickest by any stretch but has an enticing flavor that really complements both styles of fish well. The slaw is of the creamy variety and diverse enough to set it apart from the crowd. At first blush you might think this is a fish-fries-tartar-slaw affair, but hiding beneath the fish is a covert piece of rye. Sticking the starch under the fish could be a death sentence if the fish had even the slightest hint of grease - think an oil sponge - but the beer batter on the cod and breading on the catfish was completely clean, leaving the rye dry and inviting.
OSS had some great sausages, and exceptional curds, but apparently they weren't enough to pay the bills. Sweet Home Wisconsin has a more diverse menu including the requisite Fish Fry and based on what we've experienced so far I can totally see them surviving the crowded Madison food scene. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and give SWH the MFF seal of approval.
910 Regent Street
Madison, WI 53715