Fish Fry Review: Feiler's


Greetings, fish fiends! While I had vowed to lay-off from the fish frys for a while (and to help recover/reset my diet a bit), I couldn't help but seek out a fish fry just for the sake of spite - I wanted to take some more pictures and share my experience with you, my friends. :-)

I considered my options - folks have been sending tons of great restaurant suggestions (thanks very much, by the way!) and all have sounded interesting for one reason or another. My original plan was to drive to Lodi to check out a place on the lake, but the weather was looking rather unstable, so I decided to stay local.

And so I "threw a dart" at the list and it landed on Feiler's. Feiler's is a classic supper club that's located on Verona Road, near the Home Depot. It looks like it's been there for years, and the menu backed-up my hunch: they've been around since the sixties.

When I arrived at 7:00, the parking lot looked quite full; but when I stepped inside the wood-paneled, low-ceilinged, and very dark supper club, I was surprised to find only one table with diners. The rest of the people were drinking at the horseshoe-shaped bar.

I asked the hostess for a table and that's when things went downhill. "How many in your party?" she inquired.

"Just one - I'm flying solo," I said.

"What? You're going home?" she asked, looking really confused.

"No, sorry, I'm alone - just me - 'flying solo' - just trying to add a funny comment," I clarified.

"Oh," she said.

And that was it - I was left to follow her to a table in the corner, near the back of the restaurant portion of the supper club. She told me that my waitress would be back to take my order.

I'm not sure why, but it took about 20 minutes for my waitress to make her first appearance. Two other waitresses stopped by in the meantime to assure me that I would be taken care of "in no time," but apparently "no time" translates to twenty minutes at Feiler's.

I eventually met my waitress who took my drink order and then asked if I needed more time to decide on my dinner. I told her that the 20 minutes of waiting had afforded me plenty of time to come to a decision: battered cod with the homemade hash browns. I inquired about the cheese curds and she assured me they were homemade, just like the hash browns. I decided to try an order.

She left with my order and returned about 5 minutes later with my diet pepsi. My water glass remained empty. The cheese curds came out after another 5 minutes or so:


Sigh. Do those curds look familiar? They should - they're clearly what I refer to as "catalog curds," meaning they're no doubt sourced from a Sysco catalog, delivered frozen, and dropped into the fryer upon order. ARGH. To add insult to injury, they were $6. I ate six of the uninspired curds and pushed the plate away. Hopefully the fish would be better.

My waitress came back after another 15 minutes or so to tell me that the fish was "almost ready." Crikey - this place had the slowest service ever, especially since there were only three occupied tables: mine, the original table that I saw with diners, and a new table that had arrived about 10 minutes prior to my last update. They too were still waiting for their waitress to arrive...

The cod came out and here's what it looked like:


Three pieces of battered cod with hash browns and a big 'ole slab of Velveeta. A small bowl of really dry "toasted garlic bread" also accompanied the meal - try to imagine a big slice of an old crouton, and that's about what the bread was like.

I quickly sampled the fish - the first piece was nicely prepared - crispy and perfectly battered. The fish, however, was watery and mushy, and featured lots of the dreaded "dark meat" that cod sometimes has. All things considered, that first piece wasn't too bad... but the second and third pieces weren't quite as lucky - the batter was soggy, the fish watery, and again - lots of dark meat. Ugh.

The hash browns were uninspiring as well - largely flavorless, even with the huge chunk of Velveeta. I'm told they had onions and peppers in them, but I couldn't find (or taste) any. The potatoes didn't feature any char; it's as if they were diced, microwaved, and thrown on the plate.

The bill came - $21. Wow. I paid and left.

Feiler's = FAIL

Service = 1.5 stars (dreadfully slow and inattentive)
Food = 1.5 stars (could've been great; poorly executed, mediocre fish)
Value = 1 star (way too expensive)
MISC = 3 stars (great supper club atmosphere)

Summary: I think I may have had too many fish frys that are "world class" - I may have peaked too early. A few years ago, I probably would've enjoyed this fish fry... but, I've had so many outstanding fish frys that I simply didn't enjoy this one all that much. Factor in the inexplicably slow service, and it was a recipe for failure.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on June 20, 2010 6:28 PM.

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