Fish Type: Lake Perch Price: $13.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: Iím no Old Fashioned apologist. Weíve had out differences in the past, but we have reconciledÖ at least to some extent. There was a time when we thought this fish downright stank. Then again, there was a day when we thought this was a de facto Top 10 Madison area Fish Fry. While both of those days have long since vanished in the rearview we still think itís pretty decent all things considered.
The OF takes their Friday special seriously as cod, walleye, and lake perch all are offered individually or as a tantalizing trio. Iíve sampled them all in days gone by and have found the lake perch to be the best of the bunch, so that is what I opted for this time around. The $13.00 plate came with a half priced Spotted Cow since it was Craft Beer Week which made it a really square deal, especially for a Square-side establishment.
The fish arrived punctually and definitely had the look. 3 butterflies were stacked high on a pile of the Old Fashís ubiquitous matchstick fries. The light dusting of flour and egg that smothered the perch didnít have much flavor but had a great texture and let the fish be itself. This pale riders are far from the best youíll find, but also nowhere near the worst. Itís just good, inoffensive perch, and most importantly the actual real deal yellow perch.
The Old Fashionedís fries are always a crowd pleaser and home to a satisfying crunch, and supple centers. The portion is always plentiful which ensures theyíre around long after the fish is gone which is alright by me.
If there is a failing with the Fry at the Fash itís the tartar (if thereís a failing). While their homemade sauce isnít the best, like everything else, it makes the grade. Itís creamy (which is obviously a good thing), but also has a few too many capers (which is obviously not a good thing). Luckily, they make up for the unwanted pickled buds with real rye bread which is an extreme rarity in 2016. The stanky starch pulls this Fish Fry up a few notches (at least for me).
The last item on the list is some homemade slaw which is as inoffensive as they come. Itís fresh and pleasant and in the top quarter of slaws out there.
If itís Friday you know the Old Fash is going to be busy but our 75 minute quoted wait quickly eroded into a brief 25 minutes, so you know theyíre hedging their bets at this point. All that aside, this is still a decent Fish Fry and one weíre happy to take part in from time to time as necessary. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry, and think it just does what it needs to do. When you gotta be downtown on a Friday the OF is always OKÖ
23 N. Pinckney Street
Madison, WI 53703