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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $6.00

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Simple can be beautiful. Simple can also be boring. The Cottage Café can be a bit of both. They make good looking grub that is no doubt timeless, but can also be a little dull. Regardless, their food is a great value, especially the $6 Friday Fish Fry.

For six bucks every order of fish comes with two pieces of cod, your choice of potatoes, a cup of tartar sauce, a side of mixed veggies, a dinner roll, and a cup of soup. The soup of the day was beef vegetable and it showed up in advance of the fish. It was a nice addition that normally doesn’t come with a Fish Fry, but since I’m no soup critic I’ll just say it was good and leave it at that.

The fish plate came about five minutes after the soup and looked pleasant with a side of peas and corn standing in for the standard coleslaw. I popped the lid on the cup of tartar and went to work on the fish right away. The pieces of cod were thin but not flaky, and home to a light breading that was fine, but not flavorful. In addition, the two small chunks were slightly over-fried which resulted in the mid-quality fish being a little chewy.

The below average cod could have used a pick-me-up, but there wasn’t a whole lot of support for it anywhere on the plate. Normally, said support would come in the form of a zesty tartar sauce, but the Café’s version was merely mayonnaise. There wasn’t a hint of relish anywhere to be found, and while I’m a man who loves his mayo, this was a bit too basic, even for me.

Potatoes, cheese, and onion are three of the most basic ingredients out there. How is it that these rudimentary foodstuffs can come together to make something so striking, so alluring, so delicious? The hash browns with cheese and onion produced at the Cottage were simply striking, and anything but dull.

Normally I’d welcome a side of corn and peas, but when it comes at the expense of the coleslaw I’m not so sure it’s a worthwhile trade. The steamed veggies were exactly what you’d think they’d be, but I can’t help but think some slaw would have taken this Fish Fry somewhere steamed veggies can’t.

The roll was tardy, but eventually showed up with some room temp butter. Even though it was late it was soft and fresh, and still got devoured.

Simple can be beautiful, but when things get too basic simplicity tends to get boring (especially when Fish Fry is involved). While everything looked fine, a few thing didn’t deliver on their promises with the hash browns being the only truly remarkable item. Overall, I still recommend this Fish Fry, and while it's not top shelf, it is a good value. Plain and simple.
915 Atlas Avenue
Madison, WI 53714

(608) 221-4815