Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Friday Fish Fry in SE Wisconsin

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties
- Where to Friday Fish Fry in Wisconsin

It's been a minute since we traveled Wisconsin. With the weather turning it's getting close to that time where Chicagoan's hit the road in search of sausage and relaxation. Lenten season might be over but the Friday Fish Fry's in Wisconsin never end. The fish fry is celebrated every Friday of the calendar year in Wisconsin. As far as food traditions go the Friday Fish Fry in Wisconsin is right up there with the best of the best. It's amazing that no matter where you are in the state you wont be far from a fish fry if it's a Friday. This is partly bc you're never far from a bar and pretty much every bar in the state offers a Friday Fish Fry. Today we head to SE Wisconsin to visit five different fish fry's where they're using lake fish. For me the key to finding a good fry is finding spots that offer a combo of lake perch, walleye, or blue gill. That's not to say that a fish fry featuring cod cant be good. But fried cod and fries is essentially just fish and chips and you can score that anywhere. I want the local stuff.

You're never far from a Friday Fish Fry in Wisconsin

Wegner's St. Martin's Inn (Franklin, WI)

First stop is one of the most popular fish fry's in the state. I tried to go here twice before I finally made it and arrived to insanely long wait times. On a recent trip we got there at 3:55p (they start at 4p) and were the last of the first group to be seated. Bc of it's location near a race track the walls are decked with personally signed photos of famous racers who've stopped by for food and drink. They call Wegner's a casual fine dining spot. The fish fry has been featured in a slew of publications including Saveur. It's a pretty traditional version with lake perch served with potato pancakes, cole slaw, and buttered rye bread. As far as the fish itself goes this might've been the best lake perch I've ever had. It was plump and juicy and fried just right. The crispy coating was a bit thicker than most other spots but I cant recall a more perfectly cooked piece of lake perch in my lifetime. One of the best in-state.

Friday Lake Perch at Wegner's St. Martin's Inn

Siebert's Pub (Salem, WI)

Down in Kenosha County you'll find Siebert's Pub located inland not far off the IL/WI state line. There's not much info out there but like every place featured in today's post it's a classic Wisconsin bar. We stopped in for a Friday Fish Fry ft. lake perch last year. I remember we got there around the opening and by the time we left the place was packed. You'd be hard pressed to find an empty bar in Wisconsin on a Friday evening. That said many of the people at Siebert's were here to eat first and foremost. The online reviews are very favorable towards the food. After having their Friday Fish Fry I don't see why the other stuff on their menu wouldn't also be good. Places using lake fish are already showing signs they don't want to just do what's cheapest and easiest. Cod is by far the most popular fish used for fry's in Wisconsin but there's a large contingent of people who make Wisconsin the number one consumer of lake perch in the States. I imagine a few of them are regulars at Siebert's.

Friday Fish Fry at Siebert's Pub

Tina's Somers Inn (Somers, WI)

According to a decade old article I read from the Kenosha News the secret has long been out about this place. I remember a really nice crowd at Tina's Somers Inn which sits on Highway E in the village of Somers. It's commonly mentioned as one of the best fish fry's in Kenosha County thus reservations are recommended. They offer a really nice lake perch plate that comes served with fresh cut fries and buttered rye bread as well as cole slaw and tartar sauce. The perch is beer battered making for a crispy outer layer of flavor. One of the best in my book. I also read that Taco Wednesday is popular.

Fried Lake Perch at Tina's Somers Inn

B& D's Village Inn (New Munster, WI)

Next stop is a spot I had passed a few times over the years on the way to and from Lake Geneva. It's a classic tavern that has pictures of fried fish in their sign. The fact there's so little online had me even more intrigued. This is a small town bar to the core. There wasn't much going on when I visited one early afternoon last year but that was fine with me. This place definitely attracts a hyper local crowd. Well they also have a burger on the menu and as many know I'm a Wisconsin Burger aficionado so I decided to try one of them too. Decent enough in that it was fresh made but nothing better than what you'll get from your neighbor at the local block party. Thus I recommend visiting B&D's on a Friday.

Cheeseburger at B&D's Village Inn

Aside from lake perch the other freshwater fish you'll find on WI fish fry menus are walleye and blue gills. Both of them are far less common than even lake perch so when I see a spot offering either of them I will usually give it a go. Especially so with blue gills. Simple is best with just about all fresh fish and they seemed to realize that here. A light coating of cornmeal made this one of the better fish fry's I've come by. Bite sized filet's with sweet white meat. They make for the perfect fish nuggets.

Fried Blue Gill at B& D's Village Inn

Wilmot Riverside (Wilmot, WI)

I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record but all bars in Wisconsin have a very Wisconsin feel to them. Wilmot Riverside in the ski town of Wilmot is no different. It's a quintessential Wisconsin bar. By which I mean it's housed in an old building (I was told it's housed a bar since the late 1800’s) with a bartender a few years past her prime, a kitchen behind the bar, cheap drinks, and a yocal yapping about how he prefers watching high school bball over the NBA. I don't know. He sounded a bit flaky to me. Just like my fried walleye. Wilmot Riverside hand breads two beautiful pieces of fresh walleye for their Friday Fish Fry. The potato pancakes are the same ones many other spots use and seem to be more like a hash brown than a potato pancake. I'm still searching for a place that does a great potato pancake. In the meantime the breading from here needed a tad more seasoning but the walleye itself was wonderful. Every time I try walleye I'm reminded just how underrated it is for making fried fish.

Fried Walleye at the Wilmot Riverside

See ya next time @chibbqking


Jovita Lie said...

Play Now And Get Win!
Agen Domino99

Azam said...

I did not know that you could get blue gill fish fry, will have to try that!


Related Posts with Thumbnails