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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $13.00

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: The Fish Fry at Alchemy always looks pretty. The cod is golden brown and beautiful, the fries are house-cut and cute, the tartar looks untraditional but is tasty, and the sides are all attractive too. It’s a well presented plate, but unfortunately looks can be deceiving.

The four fat chunks of cod come stacked like a boxed-out campfire and feature a dense batter that has a goodly amount of flavor but is way too thick. Historically the batter features a serious amount of cumin (which helped overcome its girth) but it seems to have mellowed over time (which is a bad thing). The cod itself is totally suppressed by the beefy batter and on the mushy side. There was nary a bit of flakiness left this time around although I know it was there at some point. Eating all four pieces is also quite an endeavor and not one you walk away from feeling light on your feet.

The house-cut Alchemy fries are definitely the real deal and the amorphous slices are fried to a dark crispiness. It easily amounts to a whole small potato (or half of a large one) and they definitely get the job done, but little more.

Alchemy’s unique tartar has a ton of taste and while it’s not the supper club standard it doesn’t need to be. It’s different but delicious, and the huge cup provided is 100% necessary considering how much fish is stacked on the plate.

If Pac-Man ate butter instead of ghosts Alchemy’s roll would be every bit of 8-bit. It was softer and less dense than that in our memory but the house-made slaw was every bit as unappetizing as we recalled. It was a crudely-chopped concoction with little zip and little flavor. Blah.

We’ve had a lot of good experiences at Alchemy, but wouldn’t call this one of them. They seem to have stagnated somewhat and unfortunately they landed on a thick, bland batter and unflaky fish. Overall, we barely recommend this Fish Fry and think it looks a heck of a lot better than it tastes.
1980 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704