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Fish Type: Cod     Price: $11.50

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: I didn’t go to Hopcat for the Fish Fry. Hopcat doesn’t even have a Fish Fry. I went for the beer. Hopcat has that. Boy, do they have that.

Besides a bunch of beer Hopcat has Fish and Chips, but it’s not a Fish and Chips I’d ever want to try again. This Fish and Chips floats along on the everyday menu and is really nothing special at all. The small basket runs a hefty $11.50 and is comprised of five small pieces of beer battered cod and a bunch of their signature Crack Fries. The portion is small (which is why I consider $11.50 hefty) – probably only five 5 ounces total. The best way to describe the fish is blah. The crumbly beer batter fall apart and doesn’t cling to the poorly chosen cuts of fish at all. The meat is stringy rather than flaky which really leaves something to be desired.

Where the fish fails the Crack Fries excel. Not only is the portion gigantic, but they are ultra-seasoned and truly unique. These spuds hang their hat on the seasoning blend, and it’s a good blend at that. While it seems to be mostly salt and pepper there is also something sweet in there – sweet chili or something like - that really makes them hit a different spot on the tongue. While I expected them to be thicker that wasn’t necessarily a problem; the fact that they weren’t as crispy as they should have been was though. Still, they were very good and close to as good as advertised, but not quite.

The tartar was forgettable, but necessary as it covered up the flawed fish with some necessary zip. There was no bread or slaw with the Fish and Chips which doesn’t really leave much else to say.

While it might not be fair to review this as a “Fish Fry” I have reviewed plenty of “Fish and Chips” that have made the grade so I think it’s justified. Overall, we don’t recommend this fried fish, and while I actually liked the place much more than I thought I would, I won’t be coming back for the fish any time soon. I would however gladly come back and take another romp through their extensive beer list as all three I tried were enjoyable and left me thinking there was plenty more to see…I’d also take another crack at those fries.
222 W. Gorham Street
Madison, WI 53703

(608) 807-1361