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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $10.00

Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.

Fish Score: Good
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good

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Comment: As Wisconsinites Fish Fry is in our blood. We are born into the tradition and are baptized in its oil as children of the deep fried faith. We believe that salvation from six days of toil is possible every Friday if we have the conviction to believe in the institution that is the Fish Fry. Its righteousness redeems us, and gives us hope during the long weeks as we follow its guiding light.

The holy beacon led us to Rex’s Innkeeper this particular Friday, as some female followers of the Fry were interested in meeting there. My donkey driven cart arrived in Waunahem around 8 o’clock and the disciples rolled in shortly thereafter. By the time everyone was ready to eat it was 8:30 and the dining room was practically deserted. We sat at our round table and got ready for one of the last suppers The Innkeeper would serve this Friday.

Our waitress must not have got the memo that our divine gathering was ready as it took some time for her to reveal herself to the only party remaining in her section. During her absence we broke bread, literally, and shared the soft white rolls that greeted us at the table. When she finally did come, she seemed perturbed and rushed through the orders as if to say “I punched out 30 minutes ago.” I feared cold fish would be the punishment for our late dinner, but held out hope that her allegiance to the sacrament of Fish Fry would prevail.

Most orders around the table were for one the Friday specials, some for the $10 for cod, and some for the $11 for haddock. I opted for the cod and tacked on the salad bar for an additional $2.50 since Rex’s spread is known as one of the best in the area. We succumb to the smorgasbord, enjoying heaping plates of fresh greens, and bowls of creamy clam chowder. No sooner had we polished them off than the fish appeared before us. It was ready surprisingly quickly, and was nice and hot when delivered. The good lord had spared us cold fish and shown our waitress the light.

The three average sized chunks of cod were cloaked in a thin breading which was good, but nothing special. Compared to the haddock, the cod was much firmer, and didn’t have the same delicate taste. While it was fairly flaky it was not super moist. The two large haddock fillets on the other hand were greasier than the cod, but somehow still managed to remain light and flaky from beneath their own distinctively light breading. Both styles of fish were good, but I would choose the haddock over the cod on my next visit.

The thick cut French fries appeared to be made in-house, and while the pious potatoes were slightly undercooked they did the lords work admirably. The tartar was well balanced spiritually and emotionally (if spirit equates to relish, and emotion to mayo, that is). The centered sauce came in a small cup which was adequate and without a hint of superfluity.

While this wasn’t exactly the divine experience we hoped it was going to be, Rex’s Fish Fry still observed nearly all 10 of the Fish Fry Commandments:

1. Thou shalt not over-fry thy fish
2. Thou shalt not over-dill thy tartar
3. Thou shalt not deprive thy followers of their daily bread
4. Thou shalt not serve coleslaw without zest
5. Thou shalt not skimp on thy French fries
6. Thou shalt not serve fish cold, ever
7. Thou shalt not have thin or runny tartar
8. Thou shalt not ignore thy customers
9. Thou shalt not have a batter so heavy thy fish disappears
10. Thou shalt not take the name of Fish Fry in vain

Sure, maybe The Innkeeper didn’t hit all ten, but then again, how many of us do? I still admire their commitment to the faith and can easily recommend their Fish Fry, even if a couple tiny sins were committed. We’re only human after all.
301 N. Century Avenue
Waunakee, WI 53597

(608) 849-5011