Restaurants | Rankings | Reviews | How We Rank | Links

Fish Type: Cod     Price: $18.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

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

Share |

Comment: Madison caters to most any taste in the human race. Raw fish? Got that. Vegetarian? An afterthought. Vegan? Please… Even the gluten-free folks can find plenty of palate pleasers, whether it be food, drink, or even the classic Friday Night Fish Fry and beer. There are a few gluten-free Frys in town (jac’s immediately jumps to mind), but those mostly feel tacked-on to the regular menu. Never have we seen a solely gluten-free Fish Fry paired with solely gluten-free beer, but that’s exactly what we found when Smokin’ Cantina set up shop in the parking lot at Alt Brewing Co.

This one-off Fish Fry cost a lofty $18.00 for a 3-piece and $15.00 for a 2-piece turned out to be way too expensive (especially when you consider there wasn’t even any gluten). It was clear from the beginning that, even while it was advertised, this was still a bit of an ad hock affair. From payment to ordering, it seemed like they were flying by the seat of their pants from the get-go. The fish was fried in the parking lot and was ready quickly so at least the prep part was running smoothly. It wound up being a lot of food, and while it looked nice when it was placed on the picnic table more than just the gluten seemed to be missing.

The three cod fillets were big and meaty but also a little limp and mushy. The soggy loins were home to a bubbly and crispy batter that got soggy in spots due to some trapped grease. The batter also didn’t have much flavor of its own, which led to it feeling heavy.

While the fish fell flat the hand-cut wedge fries soared to great heights. They were the real deal, with supple centers and snappy skins. They are probably something the Cantina does all the time which explains why they were on point while the cod stumbled out of the gates. Practice makes perfect in this case.

A thick tartar came with the cod and while it helped when it could one paper cup wasn’t quite enough to run with the chunky fillets. There was also no bread with the $18 Fry which I suppose isn’t all that surprising when you’re talking gluten-free.

The slaw was fresh but a little too basic in our opinion. It was just coarsely-cut red and green cabbage with a bit of vinegar sprinkled on. It was really raw, and nearly impossible to get a fork through which, as you might have guessed, made it very difficult to eat.

As you probably gleaned Alt is a 100% gluten-free brewery and the beer we tried was pretty darn good. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the 100% gluten-free Fish Fry. Overall, we don’t recommend this Fish Fry and probably wouldn’t come back around if it happens to.
1808 Wright Street
Madison, WI 53704

(608) 438-9643