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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $16.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: In all honesty, I knew this wasn’t going to be a great Fish Fry. But it was the wife’s birthday and she likes Eldorado a lot so when I saw that they had a Fish Fry for Craft Beer Week I knew what needed to be done.

Eldorado is a Mexican-fusion kind of place, and doesn’t even have a Fish Fry normally so I figured they’d be shooting from the hip. They used to have a spicy breaded perch offering that we sampled once, but I noticed that even that has disappeared from the normal menu. The CBW special was an Ale Asylum Bedlam 3-piece cod with sweet potato fries, chipotle horseradish tartar, and a salad for an eye-popping $17.00. While you totally expect to pay a little more at Eldorado, $17 is exceedingly steep especially considering what you actually get.

The cod was decent, but the portion was pretty tiny. The three small chunks were home to a medium-thick batter that definitely had some Bedlam in it, but not much flavor beyond that. It was on the creamy side and as a place just dabbling in fried fish they didn’t have the process down which led to copious amounts of grease oozing from the fragile loins. It required numerous rotations on my part to keep it from turning into a soggy mess.

On the side sat a petite portion of shoestring style sweet potato fries. While they were liberally salted they were slightly under-fried and limp. Sweet potato fries are a tough beast to tame and not something to rush into for a couple weeks.

Instead of a traditional tartar sauce the Eldorado had a Mexican-y rendition. Theirs was a chipotle-infused mix that looked superb and had a delicious smoky flavor with a nice horseradish pop. It definitely gave the lackluster fish a boost, but was atypical to say the least.

Since Eldorado is a fancier-than-average place you know they are going to jazz things up a bit and that’s exactly what they did with their sides. They eighty-sixed the bread altogether and had a fancy salad stand-in for the customary coleslaw. The salad was exemplary and featured a tangy dressing that reeked of beer (in a good way). It was a nice surrogate for the slaw, but it still didn’t make up for the absent starch. While I appreciate the effort to be cool and unique I’ll take some boring old slaw and a regular roll any day of the week.

While I expected this wasn’t going to be a great Fish Fry I still had hope that they would put out something decent for Craft Beer Week. I guess It simply wasn’t meant to be. In the end the highlight of the meal wound up being the $3 pint of Bedlam that came at a discount with the fish. Overall, we don’t recommend this Fish Fry, but hey, since it was a once-a-year kind of thing it’s not really something to worry about.
744 Williamson Street # 2
Madison, WI 53703

(608) 280-9378