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Fish Type: Cod (AYCE)     Price: $11.00

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: If you read our last review you know we were out of town last week so a Madison based Fish Fry review was just not possible. Thankfully, Fish Fry abounds across our great state and no matter where you go there are lots to choose from and always local favorites. Since we weren’t too far from La Crosse we decided to venture to Syl’s Place in nearby Barre Mills to give their well known Friday Fish Fry a shot (if you are reading this and actually know where Barre Mills is, one point for you).

The precise location of Syl’s wasn’t known to us, but since Barre Mills isn’t exactly Gotham City we figured we would just happen upon it. Eventually, the barren roadsides of county highway O filled with cars and a jam packed parking lot came into view. At this point we also got our first glimpse of Syl’s, brimming with hungry patrons. Luckily, we were able to find a parking spot right in front and as soon as we flung open the door the smell of Fish Fry entered the car. It coaxed us inside, and we eagerly followed.

On Friday nights Syl’s is apparently the place to be, and they know it. They have a special system set up where you go and give them your order, and they give you a number. The rule of thumb is to then head to the bar and wait until your number is called. We crammed into the bar and managed to find a couple stools after about five minutes of standing around. About 15 minutes, and a few pull tabs, later the bartender bellered our number and we headed into the dining room.

We sat down and started in on the slaw, bread and baked beans that awaited our arrival. The slaw was zesty and delicious, almost like Nick’s on State Street, but not quite as heavy on the vinegar. The beans were fine, but a little mushy and nothing special much like the sliced white bread. The waiter stopped by after we started in and let us know the fish would be ready soon. A couple minutes later a massive plate of fried goods hit the table.

The fish and French fries were served family style and fresh from the fryer. The cod was very good and adorned with a succulent batter. It was rich and had just the right amount of spice. The cod underneath was light and flaky. One of my pieces had a slight “shrimpy” flavor, but even so, was still good. The first plate went down without much of a fight and we requested a couple more pieces. True to form, the waiter brought back a whole plate of fish and fries which was at least as large as the first round. We put away as much of it as we could and I finished somewhere around six pieces total which was still not enough to kill the second plateful.

As we have come to expect at an All You Can Eat Fish Fry the French fries were your run of the mill crinkle cut jobs. They were okay, but both rounds were on the limp side and just slightly undercooked. I still liked them but they certainly didn’t stand out next to the fish.

The tartar sauce did set itself apart and was a perfect compliment to the golden cod. The plentiful sauce was thick and relishy, more than likely homemade. The big squeeze bottle that stood almost full when we sat down and was nearing the bottom by the time we had consumed our fill of fish and fries.

Eleven dollars for this Fish Fry is more than a fair price when you consider all that is included. The cod was superb as was the tartar, while the fries, bread and beans were about average and just fine. Some good slaw and some great service helped to round out this Fish Fry on a positive note. Overall, I highly recommend this Fish Fry especially considering how quickly we got in and out despite the massive crowd. We definitely got our fill at Syl’s.
W4160 County Highway O
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 786-9008