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Fish Type: Lake Perch     Price: $14.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

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Comment: Not every Fish Fry is a slam dunk. Hell, even those that look the part don’t always make the grade, which is exactly the case with the fish at the Boathouse.

Just as every Fish Fry isn’t a slam dunk, every website isn’t up to date, and the Boathouse’s is one of those*. Going in we expected to see cod and perch on the menu, but in 2016 only the perch remain, which is lucky for us since that is what we were after. The 5-piece perch runs $14.00 and is beer battered, which is a bit of a departure from tradition, but I’m always one for trying something new if it works…this did…and it didn’t.

For starters they kept the beer batter light, which is a good thing (hefty batter can bury delicate fish like perch). Unfortunately, despite the alcohol infusion it was totally lacking in flavor. I love that it was the real deal yellow perch, but burying it under the batter didn’t work resulting in a ho-hum rendition.

Trolling the perch was a small (and I emphasize small) helping of shoestring fries. While the spuds were well-fried and tasty, the portion was so conservative that I couldn’t help but laugh. There were easily less than 20 total sticks which paled in comparrison to the amount that came with the kid’s chicken fingers meal. The kid gets 3x as many as I do? Something is just bassackwards about that whole setup.

Where the fries fell short on size a cup of “Wienke’s tartar sauce” did not (it fell short in other areas). This strange brew came in a massive cup with an orangey color and a whole lot of who knows what else. It had a semi-sour flavor which wasn’t really pleasant and didn’t do much to compliment the perch.

One of Grandma’s dinner roll was dropped in the paper-lined basket and for some reason was sort of surprising to see. Maybe our expectations have gotten so low that we didn’t even expect anything at all, or maybe we thought the Boathouse would go bigger, but for whatever it was unexpected.

The “Boathouse Slaw” was of the creamy persuasion and likely the best thing this Fry has to offer. Unfortunately, like the fries, the portion was small and depleted in an instant.

For all the years we’ve lived in Madison we really haven’t taken advantage of all the Edgewater has to offer. We’ve hung out on the pier a couple times, and we had drinks in the lounge back in the day, but never stayed in the hotel or eaten in any of the restaurants. Well, we figured that had to change and it did, but not necessarily for the better. Overall, we don’t recommend this Fish Fry and don’t see ourselves coming back for it, which is too bad since it has some good things going for it, like the amazing view of Lake Mendota.

*The online menu has since been updated.
1001 Wisconsin Place
Madison, WI 53703

(800) 922-5512