Monday, July 19, 2010

R.P. Adlers - Madison, WI

The Deal: One of the frustrating things about the Friday Night Fish Fry is the wait time. After facing 1-2 hour waits at our first choices, we headed out to Madison's west side to check out R.P. Adlers. R.P. Adlers offers a fish special on Friday nights with two or three pieces of fish, fries and coleslaw for about $10. Because were we dying of hunger by the time we got there, no one could verify what kind of fish it was. My guess is perch, but again, I can't be sure.

The Food: Maybe it was the hunger talking, but the fish was surprisingly delicious. It had a nicely crisp batter with a Lawry's Seasoned Salt flavor and firm, flaky fish inside. Note: I'm crazy about Lawry's Seasoned Salt. The fries were similarly seasoned. They were tasty, but nothing special. The one coleslaw eater at the table enjoyed her little cup of the nasty stuff.

The Flavor: R.P. Adlers is just your basic "normal" restaurant. Since it's on the West Side, the local cougars start to roll into the bar around 9:30. Perhaps the best thing about it (other than the fish) was the fact that you could order pitchers of good beer. If there's something that goes better with a summer fish fry than Spotted Cow, I haven't found it.

Second Opinions:
Geeky Steve
Madison Fish Fry

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gruenke's - Bayfield, WI

The Deal: Gruenke's in beautiful Bayfield, WI is best known for its summer fish boil, which gets you whitefish, potatoes & onions, breads and dessert for $15.50. The restaurant also offers a traditional fish fry of whitefish & fries for $15.50. Yep, that's right, they charge the exact same price for the fish fry but don't include any of the sides. Nice. Actually, what would be nice is if they printed the fish fry price anywhere (the sign outside of the restaurant lists the fish fry lunch price which was $7.95 and included the exact same items). So basically, the fish fry is a rip off compared to the fish boil, but since the fish boil is only served at 6 pm, you may be stuck with the fish fry.

The Food: I wouldn't quibble so much about the price if anything Gruenke's served was at all inspiring. But it's not. You get bland, tasteless and somewhat soggy fish that falls off of the skin accompanied by some Sysco fries. Basically, it's cruddy bar food at supper club prices.

The Flavor: While Gruenke's fish boil is held outside in a charming, christmas-light filled garden, the inside of the restaurant is filled with kitschy movie & music memorabilia. It's a bit cramped and beware that you'll hear all of the other diners' conversations. So hey, be interesting!

Second Opinions:

I Go U Go

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Beach Club - La Pointe, WI

The Deal: The Beach Club in La Pointe on Lake Superior's beautiful Madeline Island offers a variety of fishy delights including a whitefish fish fry, fish tacos & sandwiches, whitefish livers and, apparently, even a sushi bar during summer weekends. Prices are in the $8-$12 range and sandwiches are served with fries.

The Food: As our group was there for lunch, we opted for fish tacos and a fish sandwich.

The tacos were quite light and delightful, but the real star was the fish sandwich.

It was the perfect combination of crispy batter & flaky fish. The lemons it was served with were almost completely unnecessary as the fish had so much flavor on its own. The accompanying fries were just of the humble shoestring variety, but were nonetheless tasty.

The Flavor: The Beach Club is located right on the water and you can choose to eat in the large indoor dining room & bar, on the front porch facing the main drag in quaint La Pointe or on the smaller outdoor patio right on the lake. You place your order with a friendly counter person and then find a seat. Or, if you're like us, find the bar.

Speaking of the bar, it looked to have the usual tap beers (Leinie's, etc.) and some specials, like the "Island Breeze" we enjoyed, which was basically vanilla rum with a small dash of fruit juices.

Second Opinions:


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Harvest Restaurant & Bakery - Wittenberg, WI

Thanks to my friend Jamie for this review of the Harvest Restaurant & Bakery.

Harvest is located just off Hwy 29 and shares a building with a gas station. The d├ęcor is all Northwoods and large windows allow lots of natural light into the dining room. I dined here with my parents and grandmother on a Saturday afternoon.

Grandma and I opted for the fish fry. Our choices were Cod, Blue Gill or Walleye. I chose the Walleye, served with a potato and choice of two sides. I like how the potato is a category of its own before you even pick the sides. I chose fries, of course. I usually eat pretty healthy but when I’m out for a fish fry I put the emphasis on fry! I did, however, choose a salad as one of my sides. The iceberg lettuce was wilted but I still ate it all. The breading on my walleye was light and crisp and the fish was the perfect texture. For my other side I chose rice which turned out to be a serviceable wild rice pilaf. I couldn't finish that so my Dad helped me out by eating the rest.

My grandmother enjoyed her order of Cod. She received five pieces with a golden, crispy batter. It was more than she could eat so she took a doggy bag. Her sides were Chicken Dumpling Soup and Coleslaw. Her soup featured a dumpling that took up most of the cup it was served in and she claimed it was why she couldn’t finish her fish. The coleslaw was of the traditional mayo-drenched variety.

We had no room for dessert but we had some time so we bought some lottery tickets at the gas station next door. We didn't win a thing - not even a dollar. Should have spent my money on a candy necklace instead, or as I like to call it "dessert at my leisure." Ring pops also suffice!