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Fish Type: Lake Perch     Price: $20.00

Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Is there a better combination than fried fish and tartar sauce? Maybe Cheech and Chong? Or perhaps Rock and Roll? Then of course there’s brats and beer…those are all amazing combos, and while they are legendary in their own right they all fall a bit short in my opinion. The only thing that comes close to the magisterial mix in is the meal that contains them and enjoying said meal with good people. I speak of course of enjoying a Fish Fry with friends, and our troop got our fill of just that at the Watertower Chop House in Sun Prairie.

It was Big Norb’s Big 3-0 and Adam, his wife Jess, Nick, and myself all rendezvoused at the peak of the frying hour. We had a decent wait in the spacious bar before being summoned to the starboard side of the supper club, a theme that would percolate throughout the evening. Menus awaited our arrival and I was slightly taken aback, although not shocked to see the price hike since last we visited The ½ lb of lake perch now sits at an even 20 bones with an AYCE available for $28. There were also a whole bunch of other options including walleye and the omnipresent fried cod. All come with a bevy of sides to choose from and I went for the soup and salad bar and the French fries (for some reason – I should have stuck with the homemade potato pancakes).

Watertower’s salad bar is a big as they come in 2016, and features pretty much everything under the sun (except for pickled herring – the old man would be pissed). If you don’t enjoy this salad bar that’s 100% on you as it’s tough to screw up with this much variety. I don’t even want to try and list everything they have, but if you can think of it it’s probably there. Our romp through was towards the end of the evening and while he chowder was pretty low and the scrapings at the bottom didn’t have much in the way of clam it was still aces.

The rolls were also available on the salad bar and these guys were plush and sweet. They tasted very fresh and were a solid step up from a basic yeast roll.

I made it through my full salad before the fish arrived and was slightly surprised when they did. The “lake perch” were large, and seemingly too large to be true yellow perch as claimed. I guess maybe they could have been farm-raised monsters or something, but usually yellow perch are 3-4 inches and served in butterfly form. These goliaths were at least 6-7 inches long and had a really mild flavor. Like I say, maybe they were just farm raised or some world record breakers, but more than likely they were European perch or pike-perch. Regardless of their species, the crunchy panko breading offset the smooth texture in the right way although the fact they were so meaty made any seasoning fade into obscurity.

It’s not that the fries were bad, they weren’t, but they were still a mistake on my part. They are your basic supper club style fat julienne cuts, which are fine, but certainly can’t hold a candle to homemade potato pancakes. Ugh. My bad.

A thick and creamy tartar came along for the ride and made the fish something more. In reality, the portion was small for the large amount of fish, and while I probably should have gotten a second cup I managed to scrape by with one.

I can’t say if it was just April Fools or what, but the joke was definitely on me. The perch certainly through us for a loop and while I can’t say for certain that it wasn’t the genuine article my Spidey Senses were tingling. Regardless, everything was tasty although a couple standard deviations above the mean price-wise. Overall, we still recommend this Fish Fry, but can’t help but wonder.
109 W Main Street
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

(608) 318-1857