Restaurants | Rankings | Reviews | How We Rank | Links

Fish Type: Haddock (AYCE)     Price: $11.00

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

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

Share |

Comment: We’re not really into self-promotion, but understand there are many out there that are (especially restaurant owners it seems). When it comes to getting the word out we tend to take the highroad more often than not and simply let our work speak for itself, however, we realize that there are those who want to promote their Fish Fry, and if we hear enough about it we are inevitably going to give them a shot. Saj’s on Main up in Pardeeville is one of these flagrant fish promoters.

Pardeeville isn’t exactly in the Madison area, but we happened to be heading north this Friday so we took a small detour in order to see if Saj was worth his salt. We easily found parking on the main drag, and were seated at a table in their dining hall a few minutes later. Saj’s is clearly the Friday Fish hotspot in Pardeeville, and although it was busy the service was fast and friendly (despite the fact that it was our waitress’ first day). The fish of choice on Main is the AYCE haddock, and although I was tempted by their Catch of the Day (which happened to be walleye), I stuck with the regulars and ordered the AYCE.

Prior to the fish’s arrival Saj trots out your sides. In addition to the standard slaw, a bowl of what appeared to be homemade baked beans joined the fold. The enticing legumes were smoky and rich, and offset the ultra-creamy, but not ultra-tasty, slaw.

Before we could make our way through the sides the fish showed up and our focus shifted. The first plate had a mixed bag of big and small pieces, but all were exceedingly hot. I started with the smallest of the trio and it (unfortunately) had a distinctive fishy taste. It was clearly a tail piece, and not very good, but luckily it was the odd man out. The other two chunks were fatter and smoother, and boasted a flaky texture and clean flavor. They were enhanced somewhat by Saj’s light beer batter which was not memorable, but not problematic either. It was very solid fish, but certainly not the best we’ve come across.

Pairing with the fish were a bunch of battered fries. They skin-on spuds were delightfully crispy and may well have even been cut in-house although I kind of doubt it. Regardless, they had a great taste and the waitress even pulled a couple strings to get me another small helping with my second plate of fish.

A thick and creamy tartar came in individual Solo cups and put the finishing touches on the fish. It was so good in fact that it even covered up the flaws in the tail pieces while making the good stuff all the better - truly top-notch tartar.

Last, but certainly not least, was a little rye roll which was good, but not great. While we love the traditional slice of rye, or pumpernickel, this little loaf just didn’t have “it”, although it was still an improvement over a plain white dinner roll.

While Pardeeville isn’t necessarily the place to be, if you find yourself in the homey hamlet, Saj’s definitely is. The food was good, and they are clearly doing everything they can to be the Friday night hotspot. Overall, we do highly recommend the Fish Fry at Saj’s, although we probably wouldn’t make the trek from Madison if we weren’t already on the way. It was good, just not that good.
134 N Main Street
Pardeeville, WI 53954

(608) 429-4000