Sunday, November 30, 2008

Branding Iron - Wisconsin Rapids, WI

The Deal: The Branding Iron Supper Club just south of Wisconsin Rapids offers haddock, walleye and lake perch for between $9.50 and $11.50 for its fish fry. Meals include baked beans, coleslaw and choice of potato (fries, baked potato or garlic mashed potatoes). You can add a salad bar for $3.50. A word of caution - the food is served family style, even if you don't all order the same thing. That's right - you get a plate of a mixed fish and another plate of mixed potatoes. It's weird.

The Food: Well, to put in bluntly, the Branding Iron was branded "shitty" by our party. The "fried" fish looked like frozen fish from the grocery store simply baked in the oven. The baked haddock, on the other hand, looked like something whipped up by the lunch ladies of St. Vincent de Paul grade school on a day they decided that they just didn't like children anymore. It was gross - big, fleshy squares of fish. I had the walleye and it tasted okay, but was certainly nothing special and was certainly not actually made in the Branding Iron's kitchen.

The salad bar was okay. You'd enjoy it more if you're a big fan of prepared salads, which I'm not. We suspected that the french fries came from a bag in the freezer, but the garlic mashed potatoes were pretty tasty and not at all too garlicky.

The Flavor: In theory, the Branding Iron's shitty food would probably taste better if you had a few drinks in you. In reality, this will be a big problem since the waitstaff is incredibly slow and inattentive. Perhaps they know how bad the food is and they're dreading having to deal with irate and disappointed customers.

If you do manage to score a drink, there is a nice-sized beer list, a number of cheap, boozy cocktails and traditional ice cream drinks like Brandy Alexanders and grasshoppers. You may want to double fist and order two at a time. Just sayin'...

Second Opinions


Dana said...

Visited your site. Found it while surfing blogs. I live in Wisconsin. If it's called "Wisconsin Fish Fry Reviews" why don't you review fish fries in Wisconsin, not just Madison, for the most part? There is this whole other place called Milwaukee, and there are other locations that are populated in the state as well. I'm a foodie, and wouldn't mind contributing in my part of the state. Just food for thought. I did enjoy the reviews I read on your site.

Kris said...

Good point, Dana. Unfortunately, I found that it was hard enough for one person to adequately review all of the fish fries in Madison - even harder now that I'm not even in Wisconsin!

I would absolutely love someone to contribute reviews, particularly in Milwaukee. Please feel free to submit a review anytime, I'd be more than happy to add it to the blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Why the rude sarcasm Dana?

And this was a hilarious review.

hitman said...

This place is nasty and the owners are not nice. Cheri the bartender/ owner is a suck up to all rich drunks in the bar and is rude to her staff. The food is sick. I hate being forced to sit at the bar while waiting for a table. the waitresses are rushed

Anonymous said...

Hi, just ran across this site and was surprised at some of the comments on the Branding Iron in Wisconsin Rapids. First off I would like to comment on the family style serving. I have found this method of serving at various place in areas of Wisconsin. (especially the North East) I feel that this is just personal preference.
As to the Fish I prefer the Lake Perch, or Walley which is lightly breaded and not a heavy Beer Batter. The Haddock is a little heavier batter which should each person taste. The Salad Bar is fresh and has a large variety. As to Sheri and her staff, the times that I have been there, they have 2-3 bartenders on duty, and Sheri was not strictly on hosting. As for rushing the waitstaff, all that I can say is the the majority of them are long term.

As waiting for a table, when all the tables are full where do you expect to wait (the bar) Most restaurants have you wait in the bar or waiting area. (applebees, perkiins etc.) What I would recommend is to call for reservations.

Just for peoples information I am a 1 drink person or I go right to a table and I am not a regular. I have always found everyone to be friendly, my only comment is I can not wait for the smoking ban to take effect in the bar.