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Fish Type: Cod (AYCE)     Price: $13.00

Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Mulligan’s is one of those places. It really isn’t all that unique, the food isn’t all that special, yet the locals love it and seemingly go out of their way to oversell it. We’ve heard time and again that their Fish Fry is one of the best around, and time and again we’ve failed to verify those claims. Every time we have found the same thing - it is a fine Fish Fry, but it is far from the best out there, even if it really draws a crowd.

About half of the populace of Oregon seemed to be at Mulligan’s this Friday, and even though our friends Stan and Megan showed up at 7:00 and put us on the list, we still had a decent wait. Our party of seven didn’t get a table until 7:40 or so, but that’s a big group so the wait was understandable. What wasn’t as understandable was the inattentive service at the bar. Even though the bar was adequately staffed, it took forever for us to get someone’s attention and grab a drink. This is apparently not that uncommon at the Mulligan’s, and although we ultimately did get our drinks, we certainly would have had another round at the bar had we gotten the first one faster.

Eventually we were seated at our table in the stage-left (bar-right) dining room, and given menus. Our long table was clad with a vinyl shamrock-print tablecloth, some dinnerware, and the standard condiment caddies. The waitress presiding over the room came by a few minutes later, took our orders, and scurried off to get us the second round that we never got at the bar.

She returned with our booze, at which point she informed me that walleye I’d ordered was sold out. My only other option was the AYCE beer battered cod which is what pretty much everyone else ordered. Before the fish arrived, Mulligan’s trotted out our side dishes and some French bread. For my side I chose the coleslaw over the clam chowder and it was creamy and rich. It had a little zip and a smooth consistency that paired well with the small slice of fresh bread.

The fish, fries, and tartar came about 15 minutes later, and looked most unimpressive on the small plate. It was all just kind of there, and while it didn’t look awful, it didn’t scream “Come and get me!” Each of the AYCE portions started with two small pieces of fish which necessitated us requesting six more pieces immediately. This first round was not steaming hot which made it less than ideal (the second batch would prove to be much hotter and much more satisfying). The beer batter was incredibly light and was almost more like a breading than a batter. It had a nice seasoning that paired well with the flaky, but firm cod. It also housed very little, if any, grease and was somewhat reminiscent of our beloved Wilson’s, although not quite that good.

The AYCE cod was paired with a tantalizing tartar that was nothing less than outstanding. It was incredibly thick and creamy, with a bunch of mayo, and a just enough relish to keep things interesting. The fries kept less of our attention as the freezer-to-fryer, skin-on spuds were just Sysco so-so.

Mulligan’s is clearly the go-to Fish Fry in Oregon, but that’s mostly because there isn’t a lot of competition for that crown. While it is good, it only stands out because it has to, not because it is the best. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry, but think there are a lot of better ones to be had. It is good, and in some instances just being good is good enough.
830 Oregon Center Drive
Oregon, WI 53575

(608) 835-6422