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Fish Type: Haddock     Price: $16.00

Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Fish Fry is a relatively cheap meal for the most part. They usually range from $8 to $12 with anything cheaper being a real deal and anything more expensive being questionable. Recently the price of fish (especially freshwater varieties) has shot up and places are charging more and more for their Friday specials. It’s not uncommon to pay upwards of $15 for a plate of lake perch or $13 for cod, but usually these high price tags have more to offer than just the fish...the new(ish) Brocach on Monroe Street definitely does.

Brocach is pushing the limits with their Friday offering at $16, but they certainly do what they can to justify the cost. Before the fish comes, and big rectangular starter dish with some pickles, coleslaw, pumpernickel-rye bread, and tartar shows up (although there is nothing to actually dip in the tartar unless you’re into dipping pickles which would be weird). The rye is flat-out phenomenal and absurdly plentiful. The Badger Den trots out three huge half slices that are soft and fresh with the perfect amount of rye stank. They pair divinely with the smooth and creamy homemade buttermilk coleslaw and really start this Fry off right.

Before you can get all that eaten the fish will almost assuredly show up. Like the starters, the fish is abundant and lovingly prepared. Four grand pieces of haddock weigh in around 10 ounces and feature a thick beer batter that only adds to their might. Despite the thick batter they are well-fried and only minimally greasy thanks to the high quality fish. While the batter is too thick for our tastes it is tolerable when paired with the flaky fish although it could use some flavor of its own. In the end the smooth taste of the haddock comes through which is good enough for us.

Some shoestring-style fries come with the cod, but this round was under-fried and limp. The potion was fair, but their mushiness made me wish I’d chosen the sweet potato fries or one of the other many side options. More of the homemade tartar came with the fish and got devoured despite its thin consistency. While we’d like to see a thicker sauce that could stand up to the brawny haddock, the Brocach blend has a zesty taste that still picks it up to some degree. This ain’t yo’ mama’s tartar and we wouldn’t even want to begin to try and decipher all that goes into the homemade mixture. Since there was so much fish we actually wound up using the cup that came on the starter plate as well, so that whole thing turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Still, it’s strange it was there initially.

The Brocach location on the Square has been an institution in Madison for a long time so it’s no surprise that their new location on Monroe is thriving as well. As far as Irish Restaurant & Bars go it is way up there and no doubt one of the best you’ll find in the state. Overall, we recommend this Fish Fry even at the lofty price tag. The food is high quality, the atmosphere is clean and inviting, and Brocach’s reputation speaks for itself.
1843 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711

(608) 819-8653