Fish Type: Walleye Price: $17.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: The Tip Top Tavern has really found their niche in Madison's Eken Park neighborhood. It's a local gathering spot to be sure, but also has enough cachet to draw people in from around the city to try their creative cocktails and fantastic food. One of their main draws is their fabulous Friday Fish Fry which has been outstanding each and every time we've had it.
They still have cod and walleye on Fridays and both still sit at the same price they were when T3 opened a few years ago - $13 for the cod and $17 for the walleye. Despite the establishment's small size there was plenty of seating at 5:15 this Friday and people were continually coming and going so even when things got crowded something was on the verge of opening up.
The beer battered cod is always a winner, but for my money the walleye is where it's at. This fillet is monstrous and mine hung over both ends of the plate - damn near a foot long! For a while they strayed from their roots with a wispy tissue paper-like breading, but I'm happy to report the original dark crumbly breading has reemerged and is as delicious as ever. It's crunchy with a little seasoning evident, and complements the alluring walleye flavor just perfectly.
The menu claims the fries to be cut in-house, and while they don't look house-cut to me, if they say they are I'll trust em. Regardless, they are very tasty and offer a nice contrast to the slippery fish. The tartar is also a welcome addition to the walleye, but comes in such a tiny allotment that the ramekin is sure to run out about 3/4 of the way in. Thankfully, this fillet is so tasty it can be eaten without any sort of sauce.
A straight-forward vinegar slaw is laden with red pepper, and there is no bread served, so take that for what it's worth. The Tip Top is also cash only (ATM available) and the menu is not very kid-friendly so be prepared in that regard as well. Your vegetarian friends will likely love it though.
The Tip Tip has clearly found their groove and they did it without compromise. What they are doing fits in with their surroundings as the place always seems to be busy. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think the tiny tavern is tops.
601 North Street
Madison, WI 53704