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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $10.50

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Fish Fry at a Mexican joint? You have to be joking, right? Actually no. El Poblano has a Fish Fry, and not just on Fridays. What’s even more surprising is how traditional it actually is. A lot of times when ethnic restaurants try to play the Fish Fry card things go haywire. Bizarre tartar or odd fish choices turn a simple meal on its head and make for a less than pleasurable experience. El Poblano keeps it simple: fried cod (or tilapia), fries, tartar, coleslaw, and a roll. It’s so simple that it almost works…almost.

A $10.50 3-piece or $8.50 2-piece are on the menu all day every day, although if I were coming any day other than Friday I would certainly stick to the traditional taqueria-style Mexican fare. Despite the fact you might be getting fish, the standard chips and salsa come beforehand and are really good. The chips are thicker than most taquerias and the salsa has a good bite without being overwhelming. As per usual at Mexican restaurants the main dishes are prepped in a jiffy and come well before the chips run dry.

The three pieces of cod were about 3 oz. each and very flaky with a yellowish batter. While the fish appeared to be of decent quality the batter didn’t have much flavor, which came as a bit of a shock. It resulted in a bland rendition that was grease-free but not much more.

The fries were thick crinkle-cuts and just the basic freezer to fryer type. Nothing special here either. A surprisingly good tartar joined the fold and was nice and thick with a traditional pop. Like the fish it hit the fat part of the bell curve, but little else.

Also surprisingly traditional, was the thick and creamy coleslaw. It could well have just been Sysco (and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was), but it did what it needed to do. There was no bread served with the fish, but the chips more than made up for it.

By and large this was a decent Fish Fry, but about as basic as you can get. While it is surprising how traditional they tried to make it I think they played it a little too close to the vest. Adding a little ethic flair can be a good thing it it’s done right, and I’d rather see them take that risk instead of going so conservative. Overall, we can’t recommend this Fish Fry and would rather go back for the real Mexican grub or the bakery items that looked so pretty in the case.
3737 Milwaukee Street
Madison, WI 53714

(608) 204-2642