Villa Tap

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This'll be primarily a fish fry update - was busy with work all week, despite the fact that I missed several days due to getting sick. Of all the times to get sick, I catch a nasty sore throat bug with a bad cough and body aches during the week where "phase one" of one of my projects is due to go live. I was completely out of commission on Wednesday, but managed to work from home on Thursday and Friday, and things are on-track for Monday's launch. At least all was not lost!

It not only stunk that I had to miss work, but that I couldn't run, ride, or swim at all during those days... I managed to ride the trainer for about 1 hour and 45 minutes today, and followed it up with a 1 hour run.

I also managed to hit a fish fry on Friday night; I felt pretty decent all day on Friday, but my manager said to stay home so that I wouldn't possibly get anyone else sick. So, with work wrapped-up for the week, it was time to take the crew over to The Villa Tap for some fish fry.

We'd heard good things about The Villa's fish, and it's not often that we make it to that side of town, so it seemed like a good opportunity to venture out and sample some fish.


Got there sort of late (as you can tell from the darkness), and the place was plenty busy. It's a small - nay, tiny - bar with a handful of "tables" along the perimeter of the bar and approximately 25 seats at the actual bar itself. We managed to score one of the tables, and promptly placed our order with the bartender.

Started with the customary Old Fashioned:


It lost points for not being muddled and for not using Squirt, but it wasn't too bad. Not one of the better Old Fashioneds we've ever sampled, but far from the worst.

Our appetizers arrived promptly:


The onion rings were wonderful - cooked to perfection, sweet and flavorful, and the batter was excellent. The curds were standard "out of the box" curds, but they were cooked perfectly as well, so they were pretty darned tasty - no hint of grease, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The ranch didn't win any fans... but, that's not a show stopper.

With the appetizers so good, we had high hopes (and expectations) for the fish. It arrived within 15 minutes of us placing our order:


We'll start with the good stuff. It was cooked perfectly. The batter was light and didn't take any of the attention away from the fish. There wasn't any sign of grease anywhere, the fish was nice and hot, and the texture of the fish was excellent - moist, firm yet flaky, and decently "meaty."

Unfortunately, it was a bit fishy tasting... far too fishy tasting for cod - it tasted more like Ocean Perch; some bites tasted like Smelt (really fishy). It's a shame because the way it was prepared, The Villa Tap was in a position to become a top 3 fish fry experience.

Maybe they had an "off night" for the fish; we'll probably try it again, but for now, we can't strongly recommend The Villa's fish.

Some folks have asked for "rankings" - a Top 10 list, if you will - so, here it is:

1. Avenue Bar
2. Toby's
3. Christy's Landing
4. Norm's Hideaway
5. Esquire Club
6. Jordan's Big 10 Pub
7. Mid-Town Pub
8. Nite Cap Inn (Palmyra)
9. Flannery's Inn (New Glarus)
10. Villa Tap
11. Old Fashioned
12. Milford Hills Hunt Club
13. Stamm House

Until next week....

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