Fish Type: Lake Perch Price: $16.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Excellent|
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: If there's one Fish Fry in the entire state of Wisconsin that exemplifies what a Fish Fry is and what it can be it might be the lake perch at Wendt's on the Lake. Everything about this one is well-executed, from the lightly breaded fillets to the perfectly portioned sides; it shows how remarkable a Fish Fry can be when all the elements comes together in just the right way. Anytime we're in the area (which is rarely, unfortunately) we take 15 minute detour north on 45 to the western shore of the Lake Winnebago. It's so worth it.
There are other fish to choose from at Wendt's (like the HUGE Haddock), but their calling card is definitely the perch. The perch plates come in a few different sizes and we stuck with the regular portion, which is made up of three butterflies (or six fillets). These beauties take center stage and are a picture of perfection with their dense and flaky meat. Wendt's has been frying these perch for decades so they know the exact duration to dunk them for so they come out golden brown and without a hint of grease. Each is smooth and slightly sweet with a light breading that really lets the fish shine through. While I personally would like to see a hint more seasoning in crumbly coating, that's an incredibly minor quibble. This is truly the good stuff.
As a supper club style establishment Wendt's brings several side options to the table, but we went for the cross-cuts (waffle) fries this time around and it turned out the be a sage decision. These babies are well-seasoned, perfectly crispy, and came in a plentiful portion. The tartar is thinner than you might expect so it's not exactly a supper club style zinger, but the sauce (served in a big squeeze bottle) has a superb flavor. Like the perch it's smooth and mild and takes things to another level.
Some absolutely amazing vinegar-based coleslaw is incredibly zippy without being sour. It has a clean and fresh taste, and is likely be some of the tastiest slaw out there (and easily some of the best we can ever remember eating). Two big old slabs of white bread are pre-buttered and slapped face-2-face, but the only part of this Fry that aren't above average...but hey, at least they're there.
It's hard to say what the perfect Fish Fry is because that means a little something different to everyone, but the lake perch at Wendt's might be as close as you will ever come to a consensus. This is really excellent fish that we'll seek out any time we are over on the east side of the state on a Friday. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry, and think it's probably one of the best you'll ever find.
N9699 Lake Shore Road
Van Dyne, WI 54979