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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $7.50

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Let’s just say the RSR is starting to lose its luster. We’ve championed the campus-adjacent underdog for quite some time, but recently they just haven’t been cutting the mustard. On our previous visit everything seemed to have regressed, but we tried to write it off as a one-time deal. This time, not only did the regression continue, but we had salt poured into the wound with a $1.00 price hike.

The once super quick and friendly wait staff no longer exists, literally, they’re gone, as in there wasn’t a single person tending the bar except for the cook. It was kind of strange to see him get drinks for everyone then rush to the kitchen to fry five orders of fish. He did an admirable job and we had the fish within five minutes, but still, no waitress?! Sucky.

The food suffered a little bit from the lack of focus as the each of the three big pieces of cod were a little over-fried around the edges. Don’t get me wrong, it was still decent, and had the same crumbly breading we have come to know, but it was lacking the spice we have come to expect. That spicy breading was one of the things that kept us coming back, and when it’s gone, so are we.

Putting the cooks lack of waitressing prowess on center stage was the fact that he gave us steak knives with our Fish Frys. Perhaps he just meant it to allude to the steak fries that come with the RSR Fish Fry, but for whatever reason we were allowed them. The knives sat idle throughout the eating of the perfectly cooked fries, and while the fries did their part, the knives certainly did not (mostly since there was nothing for them to do).

The best part about this Fish Fry was likely the gigantic Solo cup of zesty RSR tartar. The thick sauce was composed of a mass of mayo and a good amount of relish. It made anything and everything it touched more edible, and like the horseradish laden slaw, was rich and creamy, and a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the once lauded Texas toast has totally faded, and while it’s better than nothing it certainly isn’t great.

Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, right? Unfortunately in this case, we aren’t really missing the RSR when we get lunch somewhere else. Sure, it is still good enough, but while the atmosphere has improved with their recent remodel, the food has not. Overall, we will still give them the benefit of the doubt and barely recommend their Fish Fry, but nowhere near as highly as we once did.

1206 Regent Street
Madison, WI 53715

(608) 256-7750