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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $20.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: It was an unseasonably warm March 13th and the garage door at Bay 5 Diner was wide open to let the fresh air in. The noise of the nearby highway 14 crept in along with the spring breezes for you see Bay 5 really is the 5th Bay of an industrial building right near the road. While that might seem strange (and it kind of is) it makes for an interesting but not unpleasant dining experience. Furthermore all those vehicles and the hullabaloo were Shangri-La for our 15 month old. Trucks, Trucks, Trucks!

For being in a garage Bay 5 has a surprisingly upscale menu. It’s locally focused with some interesting twists on Wisconsin classics. We started with a ½ order of the curds and the pillowy puffs were nothing less than superb. The ½ order was larger than the full order you find at most places and served with a smooth ranch that itself was sprinkled with grated cheese.

The curds weren’t cheap but were worth every penny; the fish on the other hand totally broke the bank. The “sushi quality Icelandic cod” is listed at $15 for one piece, $20 for 2 pieces, or $25 for 3 pieces. That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I have to agree. While the pieces are pretty large they still don’t really justify that price. Since I’m not a millionaire I went for the 2-piece and felt a little guilty even doing that.

The cod was definitely as high quality as advertised. It was white as a sheet and as flaky as we’ve seen. Despite its smooth flake it hung together remarkably well. Usually flaky fish just falls apart but this stuff wanted to be whole…it needed to be whole. The unblemished fish featured a light batter that had some seasoning evident. The blend appeared to be have some dill included and while too much dill can easily overwhelm a fish this pure this dill faded elegantly into the background. It was great fish, but I’m not sure it’s $20 great.

Fries or baked potato are both available and for twenty clams I figured I’d get some sort of house-cut greatness. Unfortunately all that came with the fish were a handful of thick-cut freezer fries which were fine, but every bit of basic. I guess maybe I expected too much based on their food philosophy, but I don’t think I’m alone in that assumption.

It’s rare to see tartar sauce served without a container (be it cup or a big squeeze bottle) but Bay 5 just puts a big old dollop on the plate and calls it a day. While the unbridled sauce was hard to scoop it was thick and creamy with a pleasant pop that complemented the cod well.

A nice little football shaped roll passed the test, but again, was nothing unique to justify the price tag. Some homemade slaw with a crisp, clean flavor also came with the fish and also contained a subtle amount of dill that added more than it detracted.

All in all this is a pretty nice Fish Fry and I’d gladly pay $13 for it. $14 would be pushing it and $15 would be a stretch, but $20 is just too much all things considered. When you take into account Mazomanie is a good 30 minutes out of town there is just no way we could justify coming back for it…garage door or not. Overall, we don’t recommend this Fish Fry, but that is mostly due to the steep price tag and not the quality of the food. I guess I’m just not a sushi kinda guy. Sorry, Bay 5.
129 W Commercial Street
Mazomanie, WI 53560

(608) 401-1155