Hi everyone, welcome back. As you hopefully saw, we picked up another win last Sunday against Buffalo in our home opener at Lambeau Field. It was a great game on a lot of fronts and we are excited about getting out of the gate at 2-0. Our next game is Monday night at Chicago and that will be a great test for us to see how we stack up against our longtime rival and current co-division leader.
I mentioned at the end of my post last week I wanted to talk about fish fries this time around and this is a great subject for me because I am of the opinion that nothing beats a good piece of fish on a Friday evening. These meals aren’t necessarily exclusive to Wisconsin, but they are certainly more popular here than anywhere I’ve seen and I think we all have our own beliefs as to which ones are the best.
There are so many places in Wisconsin that serve good fish on Fridays it'd be impossible to mention them all, but I'll share a few of my favorites.
When it comes to fish fries, there are some important factors that I think contribute to the overall experience. And in no particular order, they are: the atmosphere of the setting, the amount of breading on the fish (some places can go overboard and too much breading is definitely a bad thing), the quality and diversity of the side dishes, and then of course the option to eat as much as you want.
For me, the first one that comes to mind is the St. Mary’s fish fry in my hometown of Auburndale, which I referenced in greater detail in my first post. My brother, father, and I would work the fish fry at my old grade school a couple of times a year during my middle-school days. Even now, it is always fun to go back and see the familiar faces and also interact with the teachers that helped guide me through my formative years.
In the offseason I reside in Madison, a place where, as many of you know, I also spent five years at the University of Wisconsin. There is a restaurant in Madison called Quivey’s Grove, a unique building that has stood on its current grounds since the 1850s. A multipurpose structure that has changed hands a number of times, Quivey’s Grove has served as everything from a hotel to a dog kennel since its construction in 1855. The restaurant officially opened in 1980 and is recognizable by the unmistakable black walnut, maple and elm trees that surround it. It is located on the southwest side of Madison and all of the baking and cooking is done from scratch with extreme attention to detail. The great part about Quivey’s is that the service matches the excellent cuisine and the experience is always enjoyable all the way around. Their most popular dish is their beer-battered cod dinner plate, which also includes french fries, coleslaw, and sourdough bread. And for people who like to eat – like me – you can even decide to go the all-you-can eat route as well.
Another on my list would probably have to be The Avenue Bar located on East Washington Avenue in Madison. In addition to great food, this bar has the perfect atmosphere when it comes to Wisconsin tradition; the walls are lined with Madison history! The bar was built in the 1950s and started serving dinner in 1971, highlighted by the Original Wisconsin Fish Boil, which has turned into a staple and can still be found on the menu today. Another award-winning selection that is sure to make the list of favorites is the Icelandic beer-battered cod fried to a golden brown.
If you are in Madison and looking for a great place to take friends from out of town, you only need to continue down East Washington from the Avenue Bar toward the Capital to find The Old Fashioned Tavern and Restaurant. The restaurant was founded in 2005 and highlights meats, cheeses, produce and local specialties from small Wisconsin producers. What better way to celebrate a Wisconsin tradition than in a restaurant focused on the unique culinary finds that make Wisconsin great? On a Friday night you can delight your taste buds with beer-battered cod, walleye or flour-dusted perch with poppy seed coleslaw, matchstick fries, house-made lemon caper tartar sauce and rye bread. The meal would only be complete if you added an order of cheese curds.
Looking forward to next week, I want to discuss some of my favorite fall vacation destinations. With the leaves beginning to turn colors, there are a number of places to go and enjoy some of the natural beauty that Wisconsin has to offer.
If you'd like to share some of your favorite fish fries, just visit the Travel Wisconsin Facebook page.