Fish Type: Walleye Price: $12.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: If you pay attention to the Wisconsin food scene you know about the Driftless Cafe. If not, allow me clue you in. The Drifless is a small farm-to-table restaurant in Viroqua (my hometown) and the heart of the local organic movement in the region. It's owners, Luke and Ruthie, are good friends of mine dating back to high school and our time at UW. Luke is a James Beard Award nominee and actually cooked the Fish Fry for my wife and I's wedding rehearsal dinner back in 2010 (well before he was the famous Wisconsin Foodie). They live and breathe local, so it should come as no surprise the Cafe never had a Fish Fry (regardless of my constant badgering). There really aren't any "local" commercial fisheries in SW Wisconsin, but apparently they recently found one, or (more likely) were willing to expand their definition of local to include somewhere walleye is plentiful (there is a commercial walleye fishery in Minnesota which is still pretty local IMO).
The Driftless started their Fish Fry in late 2019 and hit the ground running. It's only served for lunch, and supposedly runs out quickly, so if you want one of the $12 plates for yourself you'd better get their early. One small fillet is an appropriate size for lunch, but what it lacks in mass it makes up for in flavor. The petite fillet is embraced by a light and bubbly Pseudo Sue-infused batter, that has a remarkable flavor. Usually beer batter is a no-no on freshwater fish, but this one complements the walleye signature musk without overpowering it. It's very well-balanced and perfectly fried.
A side of battered waffle fries were expertly crisped, although (obviously) not made in-house. They played the perfect ying to the fish's yang, adding a crunch that offset the smooth texture of the fish. Tartar sauce is often the overlooked element of the Fish Fry, but this one might fix your gaze. This house-made sauce is seriously next-level. It was rich and creamy, and could quite literally be eaten (or drank) all by itself.
A toasted slice of home baked bread goes above and beyond with it's crazy crunch and creamy whipped butter. Sitting to its right this Friday was a scoop of fresh slaw was as unique as they come. Apparently it features whichever fresh greens are in stock, and this Friday Brussels sprouts were added to he typical carrot and cabbage blend.
After reading the first paragraph I'm sure you thought this review was going to be completely biased, but I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. This really is a great Fish Fry and at only $12 is a door buster of a deal. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry, and are very proud to see our friends doing so well for themselves. They are great people and this is a great Fish Fry.
118 W Court Street
Viroqua, WI 54665