Fish Type: Walleye Price: $13.00
Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good
Potato Score: Excellent
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Good
Comment: I've been out with the duo from Madison A to Z on a couple different occasions, and after spending time with them (and reading just about every one of their reviews) I've gotten a pretty good feel for what they like. My main takeaway is the Nicole loves a good small town diner, and JM likes good old fashioned American food...and I can't say I blame either of them. So, when they recently reviewed Sugar and Spice in Stoughton (and loved it) it made perfect sense to me. When I went and checked out S&S's website and saw all their Friday Fish options I knew what needed to be done. I found a Friday, and made the family take the 30 minute trek to Stoughton, WI, America.
Being Norwegian myself, I should have known (or at least considered the possibility) that this Friday was the start of Syttende Mai, but for some reason it totally slipped my mind. As soon as we approached the busting downtown I could tell something was up and quickly realized we were in the thick of it. It took a bit to navigate the traffic but we eventually came out clean on the other side and had open road the rest of the way to the diner. Since Sugar and Spice is off the beaten path it was accessible despite the festivities and we got one of the many open booths without issue.
There are a ton of options to choose from (walleye, cod, ocean perch, catfish, amongst other seafood-y things) and I went for the $13 walleye (which is very cheap for). The fillet was on the small side (as you'd expect at that price) and I can't say for sure it was real walleye. The meat had the right look, but it didn't have the signature walleye musk. I think it could have been pike-perch which can easily be substituted for the lake dweller. This fillet was also surprisingly greasy despite having a light breading. I also sampled to cod which had none of the errant oil so I can't say for sure what went wrong with the walleye. As you might expect at a diner, the salt shaker went unused leaving a rather bland breading to pair with the suspicious fish.
Whenever I hit a diner the side I pick is hash browns with cheese and onion ($1.25 extra for C&O here) because diners invariably crush them, and S&S was no exception. These shreds were perfectly crisped on the flat top grill with plenty of melty goodness all around. They were well worth the extra buck and quarter and easily the highlight of the meal.
Since the fish was a little lackluster it needed a big thick tartar to cover up it's imperfections and that's just what the diner delivered. This stuff was a clinger and didn't slip on the slick surface of the fish. It could well have been from Springer's up the road as it had all the allure of a big time supper club sauce.
A nice soft dinner roll did its part and some super soupy slaw finished things off. The slaw was potentially the runniest I've ever seen, and while it had a great sweet flavor, there was so much slaw water it needed to be strained off with a fork.
If you're into diners I can see that you would love everything Sugar and Spice does, including the attached deli where you can carry out all the deli meats and cold salads your heart desires. As far as the Fish Fry goes there is a lot to like, but it does fall short on the seasoning side (as so many diners tend to do). Overall, we still recommend this Fish Fry as the food was good and the service stellar, but we can't say it's the first place we'd go to get fish in Stoughton.
317 Nora Street
Stoughton, WI 53589