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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $11.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Scattered. Slapdash. Piecemeal. These are the things that come to mind when we think about the Fish Fry at The Fountain.

We even showed up early, but to our dismay it didn’t matter much – The Fountain was already falling behind. Several things on the menu weren’t available, and we lucked into the second to last order of cheese curds. Seriously, the second to last order of curds at 6:00 on a Friday night (you can bet there were some PO’d patrons after us). It took a while for the curds to get to our table (the waitress was frazzled from the get-go) but when they did come they were rich and delicious although accompanied by a bevy of batter crumbles.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, the fish took a while to swim our way. The $11 2-piece took about 20 minutes to fry and was adequately hot when it showed its fins. The fish was super flaky, but the batter was so light that it couldn’t contain it, and it flaked apart in the tartar. It was also greasy and a bunch of errant oil literally oozed from the second piece until I got it flipped over. While the batter had some seasoning it was slight and didn’t give the fish much of a lift at all. Also, there were only two pieces which isn’t much for eleven bucks.

Accompanying the cod was a side of what The Fountain calls “hash browns”. This rendition on the shredded spuds was more of a cheesy casserole than real hash browns and was incredibly goopy. By default it doesn’t come with onion in it, but they somehow worked them in for me. On the plus side, the potatoes were clearly shredded in house, and loaded with real cheddar, but they were just kinda odd, even with the requested onion.

A tremendous amount of tartar came along for the ride, but the quantity was the only thing tremendous about it. While it was zesty, and didn’t hurt the fish, it didn’t make it better either. It was kind of creamy, but had more dill than relish, and didn’t improve the fish one iota.

Some serviceable slaw was clearly fresh, but didn’t have a lot to hang its hat on. It was semi-creamy, but super boring, and left me wishing there was some bread to pair with it, which, of course, there wasn’t. Boo.

Scattered. Slapdash. Piecemeal. While this dinner at The Fountain wasn’t awful, the whole thing just kind of seemed thrown together. Overall, we don’t recommend this Fish Fry since there was no cohesion, and although there is potential here, the execution was lacking.
122 State Street
Madison, WI 53703

(608) 250-1998