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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $6.25

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: You gotta love the Memorial Union. It is the heart of the UW community and a great place to catch a free concert. Although I spent many hours attending events and drinking at the Union during college I never really ate at Der Rathskeller. I was attending a conference in the Great Hall and decided that rather than trying to leave and get back I might as well just try the Fish Fry at Der Rathskeller and get them on the list.

Der Rathskeller bills their Fish Fry as “two pieces of batter-dipped served with French fries, Cole slaw, dinner roll and a 16 ounce fountain soda” for $6.25, which seems like a pretty square deal. I went through the line and had my fish about 2 minutes after I “ordered” it from the college girl behind the counter. I took my tray of fried goods and proceeded into the dining room not sure what to expect.

Although not specified the fish turned out to be cod, and while it was “batter-dipped” it was certainly not done so by the staff at Der Rathskeller. The fish was clearly pre-made, frozen fillets which were simply reheated in the fryer. It was much like the Glass Nickel fish which tastes okay but is not hand battered and barely qualifies as “Fish Fry” in my book. The batter forms a thick shell which is alright but not flaky in any way. The fish also is not flaky and is far greasier than average due to the thick batter.

The fries that come with the Fish Fry are the same ones that Der Rathskeller serves with everything else. They are thick and plentiful but not really tasty. They clearly sat for a while and got soggy which is pretty much expected at a cafeteria like place. The tartar was actually better than either the fish or the fries and was kinda sassy and a very different type of sauce. It actually made the fish edible, but barely.

The diner roll in this case was simply a couple pieces of whole grain looking bread which were just not good. They were a little stale and rather small. The slaw looked homemade but was pretty nasty and had very little flavor to speak of.

Overall, this Fish Fry is not recommendable. The fish and fries were not good and while the tartar was, it was very un-tartar-like. The bread was underwhelming and the slaw was actually pretty gross. The best part about this Fish Fry is probably the fact that you get the whole shebang with a soda for only $6.25, however even that is not enough to make it recommendable. This is yet another case of a restaurant offering a “Fish Fry” just to say they have one with no real regard for what really makes a Fish Fry a Fish Fry. Oh well, at least now I know.
800 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706

(608) 265-3000