Sunday, September 12, 2010

Green Lantern - McFarland, WI

The Deal: McFarland's Green Lantern Restaurant, perched on the shores of lovely Lake Waubesa, evokes old time Wisconsin while being just minutes away from downtown Madison. On Fridays, they have a variety of fish specials, including cod starting at $9.95, perch for $11.95 and walleye (battered or steamed) for $14.95. Dinners include soup or salad (thank God), rolls and a full choice of potato options: french fries, ranch fries, hash browns, baked potato or rice or broccoli. I really do appreciate restaurants who understand the fish fry experience and strive to make it more than just a variation of fish & chips.

The Food: Unfortunately, most of the food at the Green Lantern was disappointing. The salads were fresh and fine, but nothing special. The rolls were served cold with cold butter. That's a big pet peeve of mine - if you're not going to heat the rolls at least have soft butter, you know?

Worst of all, was the fish. My table opted for walleye and cod, but in both cases, the fish could have been just a little bit more done. The texture was okay, but neither the walleye nor the cod had any flavor. Combined with the completely tasteless batter, it meant that the eating the fish was just slightly better than eating cardboard.

The only highlight of the meal were the hash browns, which were simply amazing. They achieved the minor miracle of being both crispy & creamy. Their excellence makes me think that while I'd skip the Green Lantern for a fish fry, I'd be smart to come back for breakfast sometime.

The Flavor: The Green Lantern has a split level dining room. The upper level has full windows looking out on Lake Waubesa. The lower level, without the view, feels more like a typical Wisconsin dive bar. That in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but you do kind of feel like you're in steerage or something when compared to the room with a view.

Second Opinions
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Madison Fish Fry

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