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Fish Type: Lake Perch     Price: $9.70

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: You win some and you lose some. Thankfully, we seem to be doing a lot more winning than losing these days (at least when it comes to Fish Frys). We’ve hit on a string of great ones lately, and decided to push our luck this Friday. We gambled, threw caution to the wind, and risked it all on a rumor – hell, not even a rumor, more of a hunch. We doubled down, and hit… again!

I’ve driven past Dolphin’s Bar & Grill in Lodi on any number of occasions, but for some reason never thought of them as a Fish Fry place. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but I just didn’t - I guess I should have. The Main Street stop boasts a nice Friday menu, featuring haddock, lake perch, and a surprisingly large salad bar. While we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, we were probably one of the few groups of the night that endured that fate since the turnover was fast and people seemed to come and go like clockwork.

When we did get our spot at the window table everything went very quickly. The waitress took our order immediately, and the food came soon after. A $14 8-piece lake perch plate is available but isn’t exactly cheap, so I opted for the 5-piece which was a more manageable $11. The perch fillets were very large, and home to a translucent breading that allowed the pattern on the fish on it to show through. The fish was flaky and literally fell apart at times. It was definitely the genuine article, complete with a bone or two and a slightly fishy flavor. One of the quintet had a distinct shrimpy flavor (which was unpleasant), but the other four were exceptional. The flaky fish was complemented by a light breading that had an adequate amount of seasoning.

As is becoming the norm, I chose hash browns with cheese and onion as my side and was very pleased with the results. The shredded spuds were in short supply, but really tasty and generously smothered with real cheddar and red onion. While the portion wasn’t huge what was there was outstanding.

Conversely, the tartar was ample and easily outlasted the perch portion. It was clearly homemade and had a nice mayo finish to go along with some black pepper and a spot-on amount of relish. It really perked up the perch, and masked the shrimpy undertone of the one ugly duckling.

An average slaw came along for the ride and was acceptable, but kind of blah. It was creamy, but not creamy enough, and the small bits of cabbage were too crunchy for my tastes. The roll that accompanied was also very average, but you won’t hear me complain about that (I’m just glad it was there).

Gambling is fun, especially when you win, and win we did. Our shot in the dark hit the bullseye in a big way, and we now have another unheralded Fish Fry in our arsenal. Overall, we highly recommend the lake perch at Dolphin’s Bar & Grill and will be making the trip to lovely Lodi to sample it again soon.
111 South Main Street
Lodi, WI 53555

(608) 592-1515