Fish Type: Cod Price: $14.75
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: I'll just say it right here - I met Ryan Kirby, the new head chef at the Nitty Gritty, at a foodie meet-up one time. While I'm not a "foodie," dude is a real chef and I told him I'd come by the downtown Gritty sometime to see what he was going to do with their Fish Fry (which historically was not good). Turns our Ryno is a beast in the kitchen and has turned a once awful Fish Fry on its head. Here's what I think about it...
While his fish is not a cheapy ($14.75) I'd say it's worth what you get. Four fat chunks of cod come in the wax paper lined basket and are head and shoulder above the beer battered nightmare of yesterday. These prime chunks are home to a heavily-seasoned dark brown breading that is brined in beer beforehand to the point that a dark ring was evident - much like a smoke ring you'd find on a good brisket. The fish itself was flaky and pure and formed a very nice dichotomy with the crunchy coating.
Sides abound at the Nitty and the spicy waffle fries wound up being a smart choice. These babies are straight out of the Dexter's mold and as satisfying as the come. The tartar on the other hand didn't really do it for me as it was kinda thin and didn't pack the punch to take the fish to the next level.
It's tough to tell if the Kirb slaw was made in-house, but didn't look like Sysco to me. Either way, it was good and more than satisfying. There was also no bread, which for a Fish Fry made by a dude from the north woods left me scratching my head. Oh well, it was lunch so maybe there's a slab of rye come dinner time?
It should be noted that Mr. Kirby did recognize me sitting at the bar, but it wasn't until after I'd ordered and had the food in front of me. I am the everyman, and the last thing I want is any sort of special treatment (extra pieces, bonus fries, etc). Had I announced that I was there I almost certainly would have received something so I'm glad it worked out that way it did which gave his fish center stage. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry and will definitely come back again. Who knows maybe next time I'll order it "Buffalo Style" as he recommends...I just need some other people to order it that way before I do so he won't know it's me doing it...*hint hint*
223 N. Frances Street
Madison, WI 53703