Fish Type: Walleye Price: $18.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: I had my mind made up this Friday; I was going to get walleye. Well, that, and I was going to make sure it was great walleye. Well, that, and I was going to make sure it was at a place I wouldn't have to go too far out of my way for. A few places came to mind that fit that bill - the Villa Tap (their walleye is always so good, but if I went there I might be tempted by the lake perch and not get the walleye at all), or the Tip Top (their walleye is great too, but I just had it not all that long ago), or Dexter's (theirs is also excellent, it seemed like eons since I'd enjoyed it, AND they have fancy beers). That settled it, great walleye and a fancy beer at Dexter's was the answer.
Walleye is a premium fish, and the lord of the lake has steadily risen in price over the years; Dexter's fillet currently sits at a hearty $18. Still, 18 beans isn't out of line with what you find most anywhere else, and since Dexter's sustainably sources their walleye, paying a little more is little price to pay. As per usual we came for lunch (the dinner rush is a bit much with a 4 year old) and as per usual the plate looked impeccable. The walleye fillet was actually on the small side, but not a baby by any means (it was likely in the 8-10 oz range instead of the 12-14 that you often see). The meat was as flaky as can be and cradled ever so gently by a light breading that clung perfectly but lacked some of the seasoning we've come to know and love. Uncharacteristically, it also leaked a little grease which left a kiddie pool on the plate. The errant oil wasn't enough to make the breading slough off the surface, but was enough to make my fingers sticky (and not necessarily the intriguing Fruit Roll-up stickiness of old).
The side of record on North Street are the waffle fries and these grids never fail to impress. While the portion was scaled back to some extent they were all large cuts which meant there were no nubbins floating around. These spuds are well-seasoned, expertly fried, and pack a satisfying crunch. Dexter's homemade tartar also keeps 'em happy with a thick consistency and pungent flavor. It's a good one and has been for almost as long as I can remember.
A heap of slaw took was formed to the cup it came in not unlike the tin can cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. It was a a dry mix and lacked the onion blast we've become accustomed to (and somewhat enjoy). It was kind of uninspiring but bolstered to some extent by the half slice crusty rye that needed to be ripped apart like a wild dog on a hunk of meat.
Going into any Friday with a predetermined mindset can be dangerous, but luckily for me I knew Dexter's had my back. Sure, there is other walleye in the area but theirs in consistently good and they hit the mark yet again. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and will swim back the next time we want to land a big one and crunch some of those oh-so-delicious waffle fries.
301 North Street
Madison, WI 53704