What a joy it's been to run again - I was able to run every day this past week, and despite still feeling quite sluggish and "out of it," managed to log just over 35 miles in five days. I've got my fingers crossed that at some point in the very near future I'll feel more normal while running, but I guess recovery takes time - I'll try to be patient. :-)
With some miles back under my feet, I figured I could treat myself to a proper fish fry. Mark and I had been hearing from some coworkers that the fish from Quivey's Grove was phenomenal, so we set our sites on the famous eatery. We sent invites out to our coworkers and were pleased to have a few of them join us.
Astute geekysteve readers will recall that I've been to Quivey's Grove before - just not for food... no sir, we kicked-off Oktoberfest with the Quivey's Beer Fest a few months ago, and it was a great time.
We arrived to Quivey's at 5:00 sharp and promptly put in our name for a table. Would you believe the wait was set at "45 minutes or more" for a table of five? Crikey! Thankfully, the bar area was comfortable and featured a nice selection of Wisconsin microbrews. Check out the huge timbers that make up the Stable Bar area of Quivey's:
We ordered a round of drinks. The old fashioneds were average - no muddling, no cherry, no olives, no Squirt. While waiting for our table, we decided to try the cheese curds. They were a bit steep at $7, but were fairly tasty, if not a touch greasy.
Our table was ready by 6:15 (a full hour+ wait), and we were led upstairs to the Stable's eating area. Quivey's has a lot of character and charm - I'll give it that. It was quite pleasant to sit in the old building, surrounded by the huge beams of timber and the centuries old stone. Here's our group, which consisted of (clockwise from left: Dianne (from PRC group), Russ (our PMO manager), Karan (a fellow Project Manager), and Mark (a fellow Project Manager).
We browsed the menu and opted for fish, all the way around. I chose the sampler, which included baked cod, beer battered cod, and fried lake perch. Potato options included "parmesan potatoes" (or, as some would call them - "funeral potatoes") or fries. I went with the fries, since everyone else at the table chose the parmesan potatoes.
We got things going with the traditional coleslaw and bread. I'm not a slaw fan, so I can't comment on it, but the bread was nice - it reminded me of a non-sour sourdough - had a dense feel to it, but was soft and chewy with just a slight bit of crustiness.
Our fish arrived after about twenty minutes - here's what the sampler looked like:
We'll work from left to right.
The baked cod was average at best. Slightly watery, slightly rubbery, mild flavor - it seemed as if it had been sitting in a steamer/warmer tray for a little too long. It definitely didn't have that "fresh from the grill (or oven)" taste or feel. Had it been a little more fresh, it probably would've been a solid offering, but as presented, it was disappointing.
The beer battered cod was a major disappointment. The batter was soggy, and no matter how I tried to cut the fish, the fish would "fall out" of the batter. The cod itself was really watery and largely flavorless, and when combined with the super soggy and quite greasy batter, it was all I could do to choke down those two pieces. Definitely subpar.
The fried lake perch was the best of the group - the breading stayed firm and crunchy, the fish had a good flavor, and held its texture. Unfortunately, the tiny little pieces were couldn't revive or save the rest of the miserable plate (each piece was about the size of a pat of butter).
The fries? Ick. Limp, cold, and greasy. Thank goodness they only gave me a small bunch of them. All things considered, the plate was not worth $17.
Here's a shot of the parmesan potatoes with the baked cod - again, check out how tiny the portions are (this plate was $14; use the lemon for size reference):
I'm told the funeral potatoes were largely lifeless, so a fail all the way around. We reflected on the meal while paying the bill and most rated it a "low 5 out of 10." I'm not sure if we hit them on a bad night, but given this experience, it's unlikely I'd go back to try the fish again.
Fish = 2 stars
Service = 2 stars (we saw our waitress three times)
Value = 1.5 stars
MISC = 4 stars (great atmosphere)
Quivey's has history, character, and a nice bar. If you're looking for good fish, look elsewhere.