Fish Type: Cod Price: $10.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: If you grew up in a small town and enjoy small town bars like I do, you'll probably like Byrne's McFarland Tavern. It's a prototypical bar - long bar along one wall flanked by a few high top tables, mostly the standard domestic beers, plenty of booze, pull tabs, a few bar games, shake of the day, and whatnot. You know the drill. Sometimes these little bars have good food, but more often than not it's just the typical pull-a-Sysco-bag-from-the-freezer-and-drop-it-in-the-fryer stuff. It seems the MT falls somewhere in the middle - on Friday at least.
The Tavern offers their $10 3-piece cod all day long and when we stopped in for lunch we were pleased to see big mixing bowls right next to the fryer. This is a hand-breaded affair and while the coating was super crumbly (the kind that almost sloughs off the fish) it maintained it's integrity for the most part. It was kinda gritty and could have used a bit more seasoning but it was still commendable. The cod itself was cut in stout chunks and of average quality.
A small portion of julienne-cut fries sat on the side and were mostly fried right, but there were a few errant over-fried nubbers in there. Some powerfully pungent slaw kept pace with its contemporaries and offset the out-of-the-ordinary doughy roll perfectly.
Apparently the gang at Byrne's likes tartar with their fish as much as I do, and scoff at the standard 2 oz Solo cups. Like the slaw, this MASSIVE helping came in one of the big 4 oz boys, and I actually used every single drop of the stuff. I think it might even be homemade although it's tough to tell. Regardless, it was great.
Sometime people reach out and say "Place X is great, you need to try it," or "We went to Place Y and loved it, your review sucks." Both sentiments can be fair in context. The McFarland Tavern was one of those where someone said we just had to try it, it's their favorite place, and whatnot. While we didn't find it to be transcendent, it was a good solid Fish Fry at a fair price. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and think we'll likely come for it again some day.
5915 Exchange Street
McFarland, WI 53558