April 23, 2013

Hilly Haven Golf Course, De Pere - Apr 19, 2013

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

Service: Good
Wait Time: No wait, arrived at 6:45pm, 4 in our party
Food: Good

Price: Perch platter was $11.95, large perch platter was $15.95




Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and other options (including bluegill)
Potato: 1 point, french fries, potato salad, or baked potato
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal and was vinegar based
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, served with meal but no raw onion


Location:
Hilly Haven Golf Course
5911 Cty Rd PP
De Pere, WI 54115

http://www.hillyhaven.com/

It was time to try a fish fry in my hometown, so Hilly Haven was on the list. Hilly Haven is a golf course, but they also have a full service restaurant and grill serving food daily, including a Friday Fish Fry and a delicious Sunday brunch.


There were 4 in our party and our friends got their first. They started on their orders of Brandy Old Fashioned as they waited for us because we were late. We got there around 6:45 and got our own cocktails and had some time to chat. The brandy old fashioned was not muddled and was your standard cocktail. The restaurant was only half full so there was no real wait, just had to tell the host when we were ready.

We were seated at our table and looked over the menu. They offer several fresh water fish options including perch, walleye, and bluegill. I was tempted with the bluegill but opted for the perch instead. My friends all ordered the seafood combo and I ordered the large perch platter for $15.95.

Our meal came in a timely manner. I received 6 pieces of perch on the large platter, the regular platter would have come with 4. I opted for a side of potato salad, and the meal came with a cole slaw and buttered rye bread, but no raw onion.

The fish was good, maybe a little too much breading but it still tasted good. The potato salad was tasty and I loved the vinegar based cole slaw. The rye bread was what you'd expect from rye bread, but I was disappointed it did not come with white raw onion. I was delighted to learn our meal came with a complimentary grasshopper, so that was a nice treat to finish off our dining experience.

The atmosphere was clean, the service was friendly, and the food was good. I'm surprised more people don't come out for this fish fry. I wonder if people think of Hilly Haven as just a golf course, but they are worth a visit for their Friday Fish Fry. I've been here for their Sunday brunch and they put on a concise, yet delicious spread of freshly prepared foods, that is also worth a visit!

April 9, 2013

Highland Howie's, Green Bay - Apr 5, 2013


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

Service: Good
Wait Time: 1 hour, 10 in our party, arrived at 6:45pm
Food: Good

Price: Perch was $12.95 market price



Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point, but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered perch and other options
Potato: 1 point, french fries, potato salad, or baked potato
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, served with meal but no raw onion


Location:
Highland Howie's

3605 Humboldt Rd
Green Bay, WI 54311

http://www.highlandhowies.com/

Highland Howie's is located East of Green Bay out in the country. Coming up on the establishment, it looks like an old Victorian house converted to a restaurant. I've learned there is another Highland Howie's located in Suamico, I'm not sure if they are related in any way, but I've heard the experiences are quite different.

We walked in to a large bar area with pub tables throughout. I figured this was just the bar area, but it was also the main eating area too. We put our name in and told it would be up to a 1 hour and 30 minute wait, but the bar didn't feel that crowded so it was nice to have room to drink and chat with friends. We had 10 in our party so the wait for a busy establishment is not unheard of.

We approached the bar and started ordering our round of drinks. Some of us got a brandy old fashioned, including myself, and others got their drink of choice. The drink wasn't muddled but was tasty and hit the spot. We had a few more rounds before they informed us our table was ready, after barely an hour wait.

We made our way to our pub table and checked out the menu. We made sure to order 2 baskets of cheese curds with fries to get some food in our bellies. The cheese curds were a little greasy but quite delicious.

Many of us ordered the perch platter for a market price of $12.95. The food came out fairly quick after we ordered. The perch platter came with 5 pieces of breaded perch. I got the potato salad with mine but fries and baked potato were other options. A helping of cole slaw and rye bread were served with the meal, but no raw onion. I was delighted to learn they had homemade tartar sauce.

The fish was crispy and good. The potato salad was fine, a little on the harder side but definitely edible. The cole slaw was a creamy variety and also tasted good.

I asked the waitress why they didn't serve raw onion with the rye bread and she said they never did and she hadn't heard of that. This kicked off a debate on whether raw onion is a classic accompaniment to rye bread, and if it was should it be a red or white onion. The waitress brought out some raw white onion to satisfy our craving. I plan to do some research on this topic and will post my findings.

All in all, Highland Howies is a place to go for a classic Wisconsin fish fry, but expect to wait for a table. But waiting for a table means the place is busy and usually has pretty good food.

April 7, 2013

Rocky Top, Greenleaf - Apr 4, 2013


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

Service: Good (self-service)
Wait Time: 15 minutes, 2 in our party and arrived at 5:45pm
Food: Good

Price: Smelt platter was $10.00




Classic Wisconsin Fish Fry Scale
Brandy Old Fashioned: 1/2 point for offering but it wasn't muddled
Fish: 1 point, offered smelt
Potato: 1 point, offered potato salad
Cole Slaw: 1 point, served with meal
Rye Bread with Raw Onion: 1/2 point, offered light rye bread with meal but no raw onion


Location:
Rocky Top

1710 Hill Rd
Greenleaf, WI 54126

End of March and early April is when the smelt run, a small freshwater fish caught with nets on the piers of Lake Michigan and some streams. Look around Wisconsin and you'll find a variety of smelt fries that are a once a year occurrence. Rocky Top in Greenleaf, WI hosts their smelt fry around the beginning of April, and its a nice reminder that spring is here.

Their smelt fry was on a Thursday night so it technically isn't a Friday fish fry, but it is a classic Wisconsin fish fry experience nonetheless. The signs around town indicates it starts at 4:00pm and goes until the smelt runs out, which varies each year so its best to get their early. Last year they were sold out at 6:00pm!

Rocky Top is out in the country at the intersections of Hill Rd and St. Pat's Church Road and all the roads were lined with cars when we arrived. We walked into the bar and got a drink and took our place in a long line. Guys in line talked about some years where the line went out the door and down the road a bit. This year we thankfully found a spot in line and didn't have to wait too long. In fact, they get so busy they setup a drive through lane kitty corner from the bar near the Askeaton town hall and ball diamond for people to pick up and take their smelt home with them to enjoy if they didn't want to find a table in the bar or dining areas.

You pay $10.00 and get your hand marked with a black marker. The line seemed long but moved quickly. The smelt was fried right behind the table it was served on so you could watch the guys do the breading and frying. You served yourself so you could have as much or as little as you want. Further up the line past the smelt there was potato salad and cole slaw, and light rye bread both buttered and unbuttered. They also included a bar, cake, or cookie for dessert. It was all you can eat so you could skip the line to get seconds.

Everything about the experience was good and I need to mark my calendar for next year for this once a year local event. I should have posted something before it was taking place but we'll do that for you next year. This is what classic Wisconsin fish fry's are all about.