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Fish Type: Lake Perch     Price: $12.00

Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: I’m not sure exactly what to think. I’ve been to Rude’s a couple times before this and the fish was out of this world, so I was a little surprised time around. Yes, everything was still alright, and the portions were still abundant, but for some reason the fish was thickly battered, which is a no-no in my book.

I rolled into Rude’s for lunch and snagged one of the many open stools at the bar. The bartender came right over, grabbed me a Spotted Cow, and went through the fish specials. I passed on the walleye, and skipped the cod, instead picking the perch.

Prior to the fish a plate with baked beans, coleslaw, and a dinner roll showed up. I pounced on them and enjoyed what I found. The slaw looked plain, but was zesty and flavorful; the beans were good, and loaded up with onion (which was a welcome surprise); and the roll was a roll. I polished off these precursors with ease and had a plate of fish in front of me moments later.

The plate was piled high with five perch fillets and a bunch of fat crinkle-cut fries. It looked just right, but of course, looks can be deceiving. The perch were petite, which in and of itself isn’t a problem, but they were drowning in batter. The semi-thick coating was simply too much for the fine fillets, and although it had a nice flavor it totally dominated the fish. While I fully believe the batter would have blended better with a beefier fish, it totally overwhelmed the lake dwellers. I even peeled some of it away at the end to get to the fish, but by then it had already gotten mushy, and was less than appetizing.

The fat crinkles-cut spuds were well-fried, but straight Sysco. So that is what it is.

Since the fish was so hearty it needed a thick tartar to offset it, and that’s just what it got. The rich sauce was nice and creamy, and had the necessary pop – at least the first cup did. There was so much fish that a second cup was needed, but cup #2 was almost straight mayo (albeit chilled), instead of the appropriately relished first round. Was it a different shipment or maybe a different supplier altogether? I have no idea, but regardless, it was kinda odd to get two wildly different sauces with one Fish Fry.

My final tab ended up at $15.70 so I’m assuming the fish was around 11 bucks - which seems about right for the amount of food I got. Despite the overly-battered fish everything was done well and the portions were plentiful. Overall, I still recommend the lake perch at Rude’s Lanes, but would probably get the cod next time since cod pairs better with the thicker beer batters.

210 East Holum Street
DeForest, WI 53532

(608) 846-5959