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Fish Type: Cod (AYCE)     Price: $10.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 - Brewers vs. Diamondback, Game 5

Bottom of the 9th. Enter John Axford…

…After Axford blew the save I was disgusted, to say the least, and couldn’t bear to even watch the rest of the game. We got in the car and headed east, hoping a Fish Fry would wash the taste out of our mouths. We tuned in The Uek as we careened down East Wash, and he talked us down from our ledge as Axford came back and sailed through the 10th.

We arrived at My Buddies just after CarGo hit his one out double, and before we could even get waited on Nyjer Morgan stepped to the plate, slapped one back up the middle, and sent the massive sports bar into a frenzy. It was an amazing way for The Crew to end it and a glorious way for us to see it all go down (My Buddies has their share of TVs, you see).

No sooner had Gomez crossed home than our “skater waiter” came over and crouched down next to our table (he was a croucher, you see). He ran off to grab us some drinks, and once the pandemonium settled down, returned with them and took our food orders. My Buddies offers four different fish on Friday (Cod, (Ocean) Perch, Tilapia, and Haddock), with an AYCE mix-n-match option. I wasn’t feeling up for AYCE (although in retrospect for $2 more it should have been a no-brainer) so I just went for the fried cod with the potato recommended by our server.

We were riding an emotional high after the big win so I don’t really recall exactly how long it took for the food to arrive but it seemed like 10 minutes or so. I could tell immediately this was going to be an interesting Fish Fry. For starters, the portion was pretty conservative, especially for a sports bar. The fish was basically four small chunks with a dark brown breading. At first bite it was obvious; the fish was over-fried, which resulted in it being dry. While it wasn’t burned, it was fried to a firm crispiness that was basically devoid of moisture. That said, it was still flaky (somehow) and somewhat like Wilsons, but with a much less flavorful breading.

Our waiter recommended the seasoned steak fries over the regular fries and it turned out he was right on. Relative to the fish, there were more of wondrous wedges, and they tasted far better. They had a very distinctive flavor that almost reminded me of my grandma’s Swedish Meatballs. Her hallowed recipe holds a special place in our family’s heart as the meaty mastery was served at every family Christmas. Like the fries, they too had a distinctive flavor. The flavor you ask? Lipton onion soup mix…

Over-fried fish alone can be impossible to deal with. In these difficult situations a tough tartar is essential, and My Buddies brought the heat. The Buddy Sauce was thick and zesty, but came in a tiny cup that was scraped totally clean with only three of the four small pieces of fish. The cod begged for more, but the well was dry. I presume with the AYCE you could get another cup (or ten).

Following suit came a reasonable portion of what appeared to be homemade coleslaw. This slaw was a real charmer with a great zest and very creamy consistency. It was simply delicious. A nice little roll rounded out the meal and according to the wife was “cute”. I just found it to be tasty, and slightly better than your average dinner roll.

If you’re a fan of sports bars My Buddies is the place for you. If you’re just a fan of Fish Frys it might not be the place for you, but you could do worse. If nothing else they have laid a solid foundation with first-rate fries, tantalizing tartar, creamy coleslaw, and resplendent rolls. They really do need to figure out how to not over-fry the fish, but once they have that mastered, the sky is the limit. Overall, in its current state this Fish Fry is not recommendable, but we have hope for My Buddies and will come back some time to see if they’ve figured out the frying game.
4325 Lien Road
Madison, WI 53704

(608) 819-8850