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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $9.00

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: The great thing about the Friday Fish Fry is that as long as you’re on the good side of The River you can find them almost anywhere. As soon as you step foot into Minnesota the chances of finding fish are much slimmer, and even if you happen upon one it probably isn’t going to be anything special. Therefore, any time I’m heading to Minny on a Friday I try to fill up before hitting the bridge, and more often than not the filling is done at The Hungry Peddler in La Crosse.

The Peddler is a pretty great little place with a pretty great little Fish Fry to match. They feature their $12 AYCE beer battered cod all day on Friday, although I wasn’t feeling up to that task at 2pm when we rolled in. I instead opted for the $9 2-piece off the Light Eaters menu, which turned out to be more than enough for lunch since it still comes with all of the standard supper club trimmings.

Before the fish a basket full of garlic toasts and another one full of cellophane-wrapped breadsticks and crackers showed up. It was an abundant assortment, but unfortunately they were not accompanied by any cheese dip, which, when it comes right down to it, is really the whole point. It was a bit of a bummer, but not a deal-breaker. Along with the crispy starches came my clam chowder which turned out to be a little runny and not very clammy. The clam-less chowder left me wishing I’d chosen the coleslaw or the side salad instead.

The fish took longer than expected to show up, but was hotter than all get out when it did. The pieces of cod were hefty which made for an adequate portion for lunch time (the AYCE would have been WAAAAY too much). I enjoyed every bite of the flaky, high quality fish, although it got slightly greasy thanks to the golden beer batter that sheathed it. As I tend to do, I rotated the pieces periodically so the grease didn’t settle too much, but it was somewhat cumbersome to have to do. By and large, the cod was tasty and the slight amount of grease that came with it that can be overlooked.

While the cod was hearty, the 2-piece looked pretty wimpy next to the hash browns with cheese and onion that ruled the plate. The gigantic portion of shredded spuds was large and in charge, complete with a ton of onion, a couple slices of American cheese. They were simply delicious, and on par with the best of the best out there.

A creamy tartar took the cod to the next level, and while the relish ratio was a little off, the homemade sauce still did what it needed to do.

If you find yourself in La Crosse on a Friday don’t hesitate to stop by The Hungry Peddler for fish. The place is quaint, the food is tasty, and the people are friendly – just be aware that The Peddler is tiny, and can get very busy on Friday nights. Overall, I highly recommend this Fish Fry, and really look forward to it every time I find myself Minnesota-bound on a Friday.
3429 Mormon Coulee Road
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 788-8206