Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wigwam Tavern - Eau Claire, WI

The Deal: The Wigwam Tavern in downtown Eau Claire offers a fried cod dinner on Friday nights for $7.25. Dinner includes three pieces of cod, french fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. There's also a shrimp basket with the same sides for $6.95.

The Food: The Wigwam has won some awards for best fish fry in the Eau Claire area, so my expectations were high. Unfortunately, those expectations were dashed almost as soon as our friendly waitress told us that she'd have to thaw our fish out first since it was "late" (8 pm) and she hadn't been sure they'd have more fish fry customers. I appreciated the info, but felt obliged to try the fish anyway.

After about 10 minutes, our fish was sufficiently "unthawed" (heh) and we got heaping baskets of mostly brown food. The fish was actually tastier than I expected. The batter was perfect and had a nice beery flavor. The fish itself wasn't quite as good and had a meaty, rather than flaky, texture. It definitely needed some lemon, which was sadly lacking from our baskets.

The fries were exactly like middle school cafeteria fries, which isn't to say that they weren't good and that I couldn't stop eating them. They were good, they just weren't anything special.

The flavor: When we walked into the Wigwam, people were either engrossed in the Brewers game or playing beer pong. There were plenty of NASCAR posters on the wall and the beer list started with Miller & Bud. Luckily, said list ended with Fat Tire & Spotted Cow.

The Wigwam is definitely a western Wisconsin bar, from the torn green vinyl booth seats to the video poker machines to the cheap beer. Although the food was simply okay, it was a nice change of pace from fish and chips and upscale supper clubs. Welcome home.

Second opinions:
Drinking Through Town
Volume One