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Fish Type: Walleye     Price: $14.00

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: There are a few simple things that make for a great Fish Fry. The first is high quality fish. Fresh is the best, but that can be hard to find in these parts, so as long as you can get a good, meaty hunk that was frozen ASAP you’re usually going to be alright. The second is potatoes made with care. While crinkle-cut fries from the freezer usually suffice, a fresh-cut potato or homemade potato pancake really gives a Fish Fry a leg-up. Third is homemade tartar sauce. This is pretty self-explanatory -- Kraft just doesn’t cut the mustard. Fourth is rye bread. While most places trot out a simple dinner roll (or nothing at all) those that step up to the rye set themselves apart even further. And last is fresh, homemade coleslaw. Seems simple enough, right? You’d be amazed…

The Tap Room at Hawks Landing is one of the few places to figure the formula out and actually apply it each and every Friday. We showed up really early, and within 5 minutes of ordering had steaming hot plates of food in front of us. Since I had the perch on our last visit I decided to try the walleye to see if it was anywhere near as good. As I expected, it was.

The single fillet was on the large side, although far from the largest I’ve seen. It was well-fried, and incredibly flaky, so much so that I was forced to use a fork at times. Shame on me. The fish wore a thin breading that was fall-apart flaky, but held my attention with plenty of seasoning. The fish melded perfectly with its coating, and although it was fairly substantial it was gone in an instant.

While I’m not sure if the shoestring fries were cut in-house or not, I do know that they were crispy and delicious. They come with skin intact, are liberally salted, and plentiful. While the fries were fantastic, the tartar sauce fell flat, and while I’m sure it was homemade, it really didn’t keep my interest. The sauce was on the thin side and little too dilly for my tastes. It also had an odd shrimp-y flavor, and while I like a good scampi I don’t want it anywhere near my Fish Fry.

Rye bread is the lynchpin to any traditional Fish Fry and the FULL SLICE the Tap Room provides is a breath of fresh air. It’s simply a great addition, and the main element that most places miss. Some coleslaw provides the final input to the equation, and while I like that it’s homemade, the bleu cheese that is lavishly applied to it makes it somewhat undesirable. It is unique, but damn, it is strange, and the only thing you end up tasting is the cheese and not the fresh slaw underneath it.

Of course there was also a big old lemon wedge provided, and of course I wanted nothing to do with it.

There are a few simple things that make for a great Fish Fry and if places can stick with them they are usually in the clear. It’s the places that try to get too crafty, or deviate from this script that often fail on Fridays, and believe me there are plenty of them out there… Luckily, the TR@HL isn’t one of them. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and will definitely be back.
88 Hawk's Landing Circle
Verona, WI 53593

(608) 848-5751