Fish Type: Cod Price: $16.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Back in the aughts I used to frequent the Harmony Bar. Pretty much every Wednesday my co-workers and I would take the short stroll down Atwood to the benevolent bar for their famous Reubens and hot chips. It was a time-honored tradition and something I looked forward to each and every week. On many occasions I asked Keith (the owner) when they were going to start up a Fish Fry since it seemed like a natural fit with their award-winning bar food. "We're already too busy on Fridays" was always his response which, while unsatisfying, was definitely accurate. The Harmony was always packed and a Fish Fry almost certainly would have transformed the welcoming hustle and bustle into something much more chaotic.
Eventually Keith sold the bar, and with a change in ownership came an updated menu. The cult-favorite pizza got phased out, while the Reuben we loved so was transferred from a weekly special to the everyday lineup. Eventually COVID took hold and forced further menu changes including the addition of the Friday Fish Fry we had pined over for so long. Once restrictions began to ease up I headed right in to make my dreams come true.
In typical Harmony fashion the FFF is served in a basket, and I must say, a little tough to get a handle on. Four pieces of "lake perch" are fittingly perched atop a mound of fries with cups of tartar and slaw dangling precariously near the edge. A slab of marble rye is set gingery atop the fish which I removed with the utmost care to avoid toppling the whole works. Once I felt it was stable I dove into the four fat fillets and immediately noticed they were not real yellow perch based on its size and flavor. It was most certainly pike-perch which, while smooth and flaky, lacks the subtle nuance present in the genuine article. Luckily, even lesser fish can be delectable when fried right and these were home to a crumbly potato chip breading that gave them a welcome crunch and nice flavor.
Setting the foundation for the perch was a small handful of waffle fries which are another a new addition to the Harmony menu. The tartar came in a 1/2 cup disposable Solo and was extremely thick and tasty tartar. It was mirrored in size and consistency by the creamy slaw, which itself was offset perfectly by the fat slice of buttered rye.
As the old saying goes - all good things must come to and end - and that is certainly true of our time on Atwood. We had a good run for sure, and enjoyed a lot of tasty sandwiches, but like the original Harmony itself, it couldn't last forever. Thankfully the bar has persevered in its slightly altered form which now includes the Friday special we longed for (even if it's not exactly all we hoped it would be). Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and are glad to see the Harmony still making beautiful music on Atwood after all these years.
2201 Atwood Ave
Madison, WI 53704