Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bridges on the Green - Madison, WI

The deal: The Bridges restaurant (attached to the golf course of the same name) offers a variety of fish fry choices including beer-battered cod and lake perch, jumbo shrimp, pan fried walleye and more. Prices ranged between $9 and $12 for most entrees, which come with choice of side (baked potato, chips, fries, hash browns or veggies), coleslaw and hot, crusty bread. You can add a trip to the salad bar or a soup for an additional $2.25.

The food: I ordered the lake perch with hash browns and added a salad to my meal. The base of the salad bar was a bunch what looked like store bought greens. While that wasn't very exciting, it tasted fresh. Toppings were plentiful and included peppers, cucumbers, cheeses, eggs, broccoli, tomatoes and the like. A simple pasta salad was quite delicious and the random addition of canned peaches made it feel like I was back in a typical central Wisconsin supper club.

The Bridges' bread was actually one of the highlights of the meal, and I don't mean that as an insult. Our quarter loaf was perfect, with or without the dollop of sweet butter it was served with. Mmmm...

Both me and my dining companion ordered the lake perch, which meant that we were quickly confronted with five huge pieces of fish. The batter was a little greasy and flavorless, but the fish itself was tasty without being too, uh, fishy.

Due to my tragic addiction to carbs, I was a little disappointed in the ratio of fish to sides. I would have preferred one less piece of fish and a little more hash browns. My dining companion ordered a baked potato, which was also kind of small and not quite soft enough. The folks at the table next to us ordered chips, which looked like huge, homemade pieces of bliss. You gotta love homemade chips.

The flavor: Like many fish fry places, if you're in your 30s and want to feel young, go to the Bridges. You'll have at least 20 years on most of the patrons. That said, it's not a musty, old supper club. Situated right on the golf course, it's actually quite light and lively. The waitstaff was young and efficient. I tried to eat there earlier this summer and it was a bit too crowded and disorganized, but going later in the evening made for a much mellower and enjoyable experience.

Second opinions:
Eating in Madison A to Z
Madison Fish Fry