Saturday, December 15, 2007

Great Dane Pub - Madison, WI

The deal: Fish fry at the downtown Great Dane is the Friday "special" and costs a hefty $13.50, which gets you some beer-battered perch, fries and coleslaw. That's right - no salad, no side choices.

Expect a long wait, especially if you try to eat later in the evening. Luckily, there's a huge bar area to keep you comfortable and occupied.

The food: I normally love the Dane's food and I can't recommend the chicken pot pie, prime rib wrap, Capitol falafel or Big 10 burrito enough. Unfortunately, the fish fry was not up to par. My beer-battered perch was utterly tasteless. The batter wasn't cooked through enough and didn't have a hint of beer to it. I expected for more flavor in a place that brews its own beer. The fries were fine, but you don't order fish fry for the french fries.

Given that this entree was nearly double the cost of most items on the menu, I expected more, both in terms of taste and in sides.

The Dane's beer is always great. I had two Scone of Stone Scotch Ales, which were dark and sweet and full of the kind of flavor that was sadly missing from my fish. I did miss some of the great beers the Dane offered this summer, like the Belgian Ale and the absolutely wonderful Pepper Pilsner.

The flavor: The downtown Dane is hot spot with the "not-in-college anymore" crowd. The restaurant area is noisy and packed. This isn't the place for an intimate dinner (of course, let's be honest here - intimate dinners and "fish fry" just don't go together). This is a place to gather up some friends, play pool, shuffleboard or Big Buck Hunter and order anything but the fish.

Second opinions
Beer Advocate
Trip Advisor
Real Beer
Badger Herald
Madison Fish Fry


Jamie said...

I tried the pepper pilsner last summer as well and miss it's delicious bite. It's the most unique beer flavor I've ever tasted.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the fish. It was recommended to my by a friend, and I was very dissapointed with the perch. They also offered haddock, but I prefer cod. Their regular food is indeed better than the fish fry.