April 4, 2014

River Street Pier, Green Bay - March 28, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4.5 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Friendly and casual
Wait Time: Arrived at 7:00, 4 in our party, 20 minute wait for a table
Food: Great food

Price: Perch Plate (3 full perch), market price, $14.50

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, served brandy old fashioneds but not muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, bluegill, walleye, cod, and shrimp, and a combo platter
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of potato options
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1 point, offered rye bread with choice of white raw onion


Location:
River Street Pier
1984 Velp Ave
Green Bay, WI 54303

We are about half-way through lent and Wisconsin fish fry's on Friday nights are a busy place. We weren't looking for a long night so wanted something local with a good fish fry and cocktails without the hour wait. Our friend recomended a few options and we settled on River Street Pier, a small place on Velp Ave along the river.

We arrived around 7:00pm to be at the tail end of the busy time and were pleased to find only a 20 minute wait. We were driving to River Street Pier and almost missed it because it looks like a house with a parking lot, but with the address we found it just fine. The decor is interesting, its sort of what you'd expect from a restaurant being on the river with a fish theme. Fishing nets were hanging all over, fishing gear hung around the room and hung on walls, I expect places like this are more tourist traps, but this was in Green Bay and definitely not a tourist trap, it was anything but.



We found some room at the bar to sneak in and order some cocktails. The brandy old fashioneds were not muddled but were good, about what you'd expect out of my typical cocktail. We found a place near the bar to perch and sip our cocktails, the concept was one large room with the bar on one side and pub style seating neatly laid out in the rest of the room. The host and bartenders were chatty and casual, which I love about small local places. After about 20 minutes our table was ready.

We sat down and were immediately greeted by our friendly waitress. She made sure we had drinks and answered some questions from the menu. We asked her recommendations and she said the bluegill and walleye were excellent, and recommended the homemade potato salad.


In short enough time, our food was served up on paper plates. The fish was lightly breaded and just about perfectly cooked. The potato salad was excellent as out waitress had recommended. The coleslaw side was alright, don't think it was homemade or anything special but it was good enough. The meal was topped off with light rye bread and of course the white raw onion.



If you're looking for a small, local Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry, River Street Pier is a sure bet. You'll enjoy everything from the waitstaff to the food, all served up on unpretentious paper plates. What is not to love?

March 14, 2014

Club Tavern, Menasha - March 7, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Good
Wait Time: Arrived at 7:30, 5 in our party, seating available right away
Food: Delicious

Price: Single order perch (2 full perch), $12.95, double order $23.50

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, served brandy old fashioneds but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, pike, salmon, and other options
Potato: 1 point, offered choice of delicious potato options
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, offered rye bread but no white raw onion


Location:
Club Tavern
56 Racine St
Menasha, WI 54952

http://www.clubtavern.net/

We had a few birthdays to celebrate, and one of the celebrants recommended a hole in the wall in Menasha, Club Tavern.




When we arrived, our friends were already there enjoying their brandy old fashioneds at one of the two pub tables. There isn't much seating available in Club Tavern, and I was surprised it wasn't busier for the first Friday of Lent. But we did get there at 7:30pm, so it was starting to slow down.

The bar itself was full of people so I had to squeeze in to get a round of drinks. The bar had a really old feel to it, but I saw the bartenders making all sorts of cocktails and noticed they knew what they were doing; they knew how to properly make the perfect martini. Once we had a drink, the waitress came back to take our food order. We asked if she could get us a round of drinks at our table and she said all drink orders must be taken at the bar.

We enjoyed a few more round of drinks until our food arrived. The presentation was, shall we say interesting. The serving plates were glass, my perch plate was served on a clamshell style, and our friends who got the seafood platter were served on a large fish shaped plate. Not something I've ever seen before, but it was unique.

The food looked and smelled delicious. The perch was golden brown, fried to perfection, the perfect amount of breading and tasted awesome. Next up were the potatoes, of which I got the American Fries. I could tell they were 100% homemade, a fried up serving of crispy delicious American Fries, I haven't had any better anywhere else, absolutely delicious! The cole slaw was a vinegar base and you could tell it was also homemade, it had a great flavor, perfect mix of chunky grated cabbage, brocolli, and other vegetables, again delicious. On the side of my plate was the rye bread, a well buttered slice of light rye, but no white raw onion.


For those who enjoy a mixed cocktail by bartenders who know how to mix a cocktail, or if you're a craft beer aficionado, Club Tavern has what you're looking for. There was an extensive beer list on the wall of many of your favorite beers, and plenty on tap too. I'm sure anyone can find something they like here.


We don't often get to Menasha, and I certainly would have never went to Club Tavern on my own were it not for our friend recommending it to us. Check this place out, it is worth your visit! We'll definitely be back to Club Tavern again, and might even explore the other fish fry's in the area. Maybe there is hope for Menasha after all, at least for a good Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry!







March 7, 2014

Aldo's Pizza, Green Bay - February 28, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 3.5 points out of 5, almost a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Good
Wait Time: Arrived at 6:30, 2 in our party, no wait
Food: Really good

Price: Regular order perch (4 full perch), $13.30 double order $19.60

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 0 points, no alcohol served
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, walleye, frog legs, and shrimp
Potato: 1 point, served with fries and potato salad
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, offered rye bread but no white raw onion


Location:
Aldo's Pizza
1247 Velp Ave
Green Bay, WI 54303

It was just the two of us for fish, and the roads were slick from the weather, so we opted for something low key. I would have never thought Aldo's Pizza of all places would have Friday night fish, and never would have thought it was as good as it was.


We drove through the snow on slick roads to find Aldo's Pizza not busy at all, from what I hear though it's usually quite busy for a Friday night. The place looks like an old pizza place that hasn't been updated in years with booth seating and a few tables.

Because this is a pizza place, there is no bar and no brandy old fashioneds were available. I didn't check if there was beer, but I don't think there was. The waitress came to our booth to take our drink order, so we each got a fountain soda. We put in an order of mushrooms as we looked over the menu.

Once we were ready to order, our waitress was there to take our order. We both got the single order of perch, all the sides were include by default with no choices. Eventually our mushrooms came, they were fried perfectly and tasted awesome with some ranch dipping sauce.

Next up, the waitress brought our perch baskets. Because we both got the same order, she put all the perch filets in a single basket that was heaping with golden fried perch filets. Individually we each got a basket of fries, with some potato salad, cole slaw, and a piece of buttered rye bread.


The perch was lightly breaded and tasted great, fried perfectly. I found it different that we got both french fries and potato salad, and they both tasted really good; the fries were cooked nicely and the potato salad had a good creaminess to it. The cole slaw was pretty good, and the rye bread topped off the meal, but no raw onion. I loved the fact the meal was served in the small baskets baskets, a no frills presentation of great tasting food-let the food speak for itself.

I noticed in the menu there was a post it note stuck to the inside cover letting patrons know they were serving fish on Ash Wednesday. There was also a marker board with the same message, and yet another message on the door as we walked out.


Looking for a low key fish fry without all the frills, but great tasting food? Stop in at Aldo's Pizza, where they serve up more than just great pizza!

March 4, 2014

Ash Wednesday - Fish Fry Options

Wisconsin has a rich tradition of the Friday Night Fish Fry, partly due to the German Catholics that settled in this area of the midwest. With the German Catholics (and Lutherans and other Christians) comes the Lent holiday tradition of not eating meat on Ash Wednesday, nor any Friday throughout Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends right before Easter.

It is not uncommon that your favorite Friday Fish Fry establishment also have some fish fry options on Ash Wednesday. I reached out to my Top 5 favorite fish fry's, and a handful more, to see what fish fry specials they are offering for Ash Wednesday.

The following list is not inclusive of every establishment I've reviewed that will be serving fish on Ash Wednesday, but it is a few of my favorite places. This should make it easier for you to decide where to go for fish on this special Wednesday.

If you do go, tell them Tom at brandyoldfashioned.com sent you; they may not know who I am, but I am sure they will appreciate the referral. Be sure to tell them to check out our website if they haven't already done so.


Aldo's Pizza
1247 Velp Ave
Green Bay, WI 54303




Club Chalet Supper Club
4642 Nicolet Dr
Green Bay, WI 54311

http://clubchalet.net/





Wallys Spot Supper Club
1979 South Main Street
Green Bay, WI 54302

http://www.wallysspot.com





Farr's Grove
2443 Shawano Ave
Green Bay, WI 54303





Irish Greens Golf Club
2946 Logtown Rd
Oconto, WI 54153





Maricque's Bar
1517 University Ave
Green Bay, WI 54302




Just Stop In
5316 Hwy 57
De Pere, WI 54115





Mark's East Side

1405 E. Wisconsin Ave
Appleton, WI 54911

http://www.markseastside.com

February 25, 2014

Pine Tree Supper Club, New London - February 21, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Ok
Wait Time: Arrived at 6:45, 5 in our party, 30 minute wait for our order, another 60 minutes to be seated with our salads, another 15 minutes until our food was served
Food: Ok (fish fry was ok, but other options were good according to our friends)

Price: Full Order Perch (7 pieces) for $16.99, 1/2 Order Perch (4 pieces) for $11.99

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, offered brandy old fashioned but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, grouper, bullhead, salmon, and other supper club seafood options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of a variety of potatoes
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal at table
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, offered rye bread in a bread basket, but no white raw onion


Location:
Pine Tree Supper Club
E8095 Hwy 54
New London, WI 54961

http://pinetreesupperclub.weebly.com/

Our friends recommend the Pine Tree Supper Club for this week's fish fry excursion. It's a bit of a drive from our house to New London, but we arrived at 6:45pm. We put our name in for a table of 5 and were told it would be an hour wait. The bar was packed with people, and many were dressed up. We later learned there was a party of 35 people for a wedding rehearsal dinner, which contributed to our long wait, so it was somewhat understandable. The specials were pictured on a dry erase board on the wall, and we had time to consider our options.


We ordered drinks at the bar, and since it would be a bit of a wait, chose to get some appetizers of cheese curds and mushrooms. As we chatted at the bar, much time had passed and the large party of 35 were seated and the bar cleared out. We inquired from the hostess where our appetizers were, and she assured us they had not forgotten and they were on the way. Another full 10 minutes passed until I inquired again. The hostess said she just sent someone to check, as I was walking back to the bar, I heard her ask a waitress to check on the order, I was disappointed at her dishonesty. But they eventually arrived, and they tasted ok.

Finally, we were assigned table 18 after arriving 90 minutes earlier! We were presented with the classic supper club experience of a cracker basket with liver pate, cheese spread, relish tray, salad bowl with dressing options, and a bread basket (which included rye bread). I personally enjoy this experience over salad bars because it is like having your own salad bar right at your table.


Another 15 minutes passed and our food was served. For the perch, I got 7 pieces of perch which was a decent amount, but at $16.99, I find it a bit pricey. The perch was a fairly light breading and you could see the scales through the breading so that was good. But when I bit into it, the breading would flake off in large chunks, it clearly wasn't breaded properly before frying. The perch itself was a little overcooked and not as juicy and flaky as I usually like.

For my potato, I got the smashed baby reds, and I absolutely loved them! Definitely better than the potato puff my friends got as their potato, it's always great when a restaurant serves real potatoes, and especially when they are covered in melted butter. The rye bread came as part of the bread basket, but did not include raw onion, this is a supper club after all.


I guess I shouldn't be so harsh on my review of Pine Tree Supper Club, but I found the initial service a bit deceiving, and the wait time extremely long. But given a party of 35 being seated at once, I can make some concessions. The fish fry itself wasn't the greatest, but my friends who got the steak options really enjoyed their food. If you're in the New London area, they just might be worth a visit.

February 20, 2014

Kropps Supper Club, Green Bay - February 7, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 4 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Excellent
Wait Time: Arrived at 6:15, 6 in our party, 30 minute wait for our order, another 30 minutes to be seated when our food was ready
Food: Really Good

Price: Perch (3 butterflies) was $17.50, Small Perch (2 butterflies) was $13.90

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, offered brandy old fashioned and it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and other seafood options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of a variety of potatoes
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal (choice of salad or cole slaw)
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, offered rye bread, but no white raw onion


Location:
Kropps Supper Club
4570 Shawano Ave
Green Bay, WI 54313

http://www.kroppssupperclub.com/

We headed to the country for this week's fish fry, Kropps Supper Club in Mill Center, WI. Kropps has been "...a Mill Center tradition since 1904" when it started as a hotel and tavern for local loggers, up until it was purchased by the Kropp family in 1947 and became what it is today.



The bar featured the Wisconsin Supper Clubs, An Old Fashioned Experience book because Kropps Supper Club is listed in the book and talks about some of the history and the dining experience. Check out the book, written by a Wisconsin based author, which has also been made into a documentary.



We arrived at 6:15 to a crowded bar area and we put our name in for the six to dine. We ordered brandy old fashioneds, and while they weren't muddled, the bartenders took care to prepare each drink and use a swizzle stick cocktail stirrer to mix the drinks thouroughly. As we waited for our friends to arrive, we ordered appetizers and the bartender said we had to try their famous onion rings, we also got an order of mushrooms. The onion rings were amazing and melted in your mouth.


Eventually our friends arrived and the waitress came to take our order. It was another 30 minutes until our table was ready with our food. I thought the dining room was fairly small, but someone told me their was another dining room through a door off the bar area, if you go, you'll see what I'm talking about, it is rather hidden.

Our meals came with the option of a salad or cole slaw, and I was surprised when our cole slaw came right away as our salad. It tasted great, but I had never seen cole slaw being served as a salad, but it does make sense when you think about it.



Our main entree came next. I first have to comment on the dinnerware, it was old fashioned china that made it feel like a close to home experience, sort of like eating a nice holiday meal with your family and using the fancy, yet somewhat gaudy, fine china.

I thought the Regular Perch plate was pricey at $17.50, so I was anticipating how it would be. The perch plate came with 3 full perch butterflies for a total of 6 pieces. The perch was fried golden brown, I thought the breading was just a touch heavy, but not overly so, and it tasted really good. I chose the hash browns as my potato, by recommendation of the waitress, and it was excellent from the texture to the flavor, I'm not sure exactly what was in it, but it was perfect. The meal was topped off with slice of marble rye bread with butter, but no raw onion.



Are you looking for a local Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry at a place with a strong family tradition, and is featured in a book about Classic Wisconsin Supper Clubs? Look no further than Kropps Supper Club, a truly great experience that is a must visit.

February 6, 2014

Irish Greens Golf Club, Oconto - January 31, 2014

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale: 5 points out of 5, a Classic Wisconsin fish fry.

Service: Excellent
Wait Time: Full party arrived at 7:30, put our name in and wait time was 20 minutes, 8 in our party
Food: Excellent

Price: Regular Perch Platter was $12.00 (includes 4 pieces of fish)

Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1 point, offered brandy old fashioned and it was muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch, bluegill, smelt, and other seafood options
Potato: 1 point, served with choice of a variety of potatoes
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1 point, offered rye bread with white raw onion, and included a slice of cheese


Location:
Irish Greens Golf Club
2946 Logtown Rd
Oconto, WI 54153

We planned to meet some friends a bit north of us in Oconto, they live up there and heard of a good fish fry establishment we had to check out. It seemed like a regular local hangout, and was frequented by snowmobilers coming and going on the trail conveniently located right by this place.

Irish Greens Golf Club is just that, a golf club with a good size bar, and a fairly large dining area. The bar was busy, but the dining was moderately busy from the looks of it. We took a seat at the bar and ordered brandy old fashioneds. I was delighted when the bartender put in some raw sugar, cherries, orange slice, and angostura bitters and began to muddle the cocktail. It was topped off with olives, pickled mushrooms, brusselsprouts, and even a cinnamon stick for garnish.




The brandy old fashioned sweet tasted delicious and as we waited, I proceeded to enjoy two more. Also while we waited we got ourselves a basket of cheese curds and onion rings. Our friends were taking a while so we needed something to snack on.



When our full party of 8 arrived, we put our name in for a table, and a short wait later the waitress was at our pub table in the bar taking our order. There were several fish fry choices as pictured on the menu. I always go for the perch, and sometimes bluegill if they offer it. Irish Greens offers a combo platter which has a few pieces of each fish. I opted for the Regular (4pc) Perch with cheesy hash browns.


When our table was ready, our waitress said tables 13 and 14 were ready with our food. The decor was simple, yet tasteful, and this isn't the first time we've been seated at a table 13 when out for fish fry.


Our dinners were hot and waiting for us when we sat down. The waitress was attentive and made sure we had everything we needed. Our meal was excellent. The perch was lightly breaded and fried deliciously crispy, and the perch was cooked perfectly. The cheesy hash browns were delicious with the hot melted cheese and cooked nicely. The cole slaw was served on the side, it tasted great. Something I haven't seen before was our fish fry being served with beans, they were good, a little bonus and something different from the normal fish fry. And to top it all off, it was served with rye bread, and white raw onion, and for a bonus, a slice of cheddar cheese. The cheese added a new element to the rye bread with onion.


Everything about Irish Greens Golf Club fish fry experience was fantastic. The local feel, the awesome brandy old fashioneds, the great food, and the bonus items you wouldn't typically expect. My plate was licked clean! This is the Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry, you must stop in a and pay them a visit, you will not be disappointed. In fact, Irish Greens deserves a spot on our top five list at #4 top fish fry places in North East Wisconsin.