Fish Fry Review: Crawfish Junction

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Try as I might, I couldn't resist the temptation to join my friends Dan & Tara for a fish fry this past Friday. So, I fired-up the car and made the short drive to Milford, WI to check out what has been reported by others as an excellent fish fry, compliments of Crawfish Junction.

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A couple of important things to note right up front:


  1. Technically speaking, Crawfish Junction is located in Milford, WI - not sure why they show Johnson Creek as the address... it's in Milford, which is a small town that's located about 3 miles north of Lake Mills on Highway A.

  2. They only accept cash or checks - no credit or debit cards are accepted. They do have an ATM onsite.

  3. They stop serving food at 9:00pm on Friday nights, so be sure to get there early.

With those important notices out of the way, let's talk a bit about the actual visit. It started with me arriving to Dan and Tara's home at around 7:45pm. They were just wrapping-up things at the garage, and I was starting to feel pretty hungry. Dan had to run a few errands first; a quick stop at the local Walgreens and a subsequent visit at the local grocery store, and we were almost ready to head out for some fish.

Quite often when dealing with a small town establishment, it's not uncommon for the kitchen to close early, so I suggested we check with the Crawfish Junction to confirm that they would be serving food beyond 9:00pm. A quick call confirmed my fears: "Kitchen closes at 9:00pm," was the reply, and my watch showed 8:30pm. We put in our name and assured them we'd be there before 9:00pm.

We rolled-in to the Crawfish Junction at about 8:50pm and were pleased to find a largely empty establishment. The Crawfish Junction is a fairly large place; there are two distinct bar areas with plenty of seating (at the bar or at high-top tables with barstools), along with a separate dining area with traditional tables and chairs. When we strolled-in, there were perhaps 12-15 other folks in the place; country music played in the background while a handful of very large flatscreen televisions played ESPN programming.

The greeter showed us to a table in one of the bar areas and we were presented with menus. A quick perusing of the menu definitely piqued my interest - it looked like Crawfish Junction had some pretty interesting food options; a burger actually sounded really fine, but the waitress who introduced herself while I was skimming the menu kindly told us that on Friday nights the menu is limited to "the back page" options only, most of which involved fish.

And there were plenty of fish options: broasted cod, baked cod, fried lake perch, fried bluegills, fried walleye, shrimp, scallops, alligator (yes, you read that right!), and (gross) frogs legs. There were also a slew of appetizers and a few other fried items (chicken tenders) available, but we were there for the fish.

Dan and Tara both opted for the broasted cod with sweet potato fries; I opted for the combo option and chose the baked cod and the lake perch. We also ordered a few beverages (Fat Tire for Dan, Tyranena for me, and a bloody mary for Tara). Our waitress left, order in hand, and we chatted about the events of the past week.

After about 5 minutes, our waitress returned with our drinks and to assure us that the food was "on the way." No problem - we weren't in any hurry, and only five minutes (at most) had elapsed since we placed our orders. Speed is apparently a proud point for the Crawfish Junction crew.

With only a few sips of the frosty beverages under our belt, our food arrived. The broasted cod looked absolutely fantastic:

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For those not familiar with the act of broasting, it's fairly similar to deep frying, but it involves frying the food under pressure (think pressure cooker + fryer) to create an incredibly crispy (yet light) batter and an insanely moist main star (the fish (or chicken, as is the more traditional broasting subject)). The fish fry also included your standard cole slaw, rye bread, and potato option.

I was lucky enough to sample the broasted cod and I was absolutely impressed by it. The batter was crispy, light, and slightly "bubbly" and featured a delicious salt and pepper taste that really complimented the super moist cod. It was expertly applied and clung perfectly to every cut of the fish - even when cut with a fork. The actual fish was extremely flavorful, and there was nary a sign of grease to be found anywhere. Top notch cod, and an excellent application of broasting. The sweet potato fries were decent as well, but appeared to be "from the bag."

Up next was my combo plate, which included this massive piece of baked cod:

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That monster had to be a full 12-ounces, and let me assure you that it offered more than just quantity - like its broasted brother, the baked cod was fantastic. It was flaky and flavorful, moist and meaty, and simply delicious. It had a little hint of butter hanging around on it, but it wasn't terrible - the fish tasted clean and fresh... my guess is they bake it in some type of butter/wine combination. Dan and Tara confirmed that the baked cod was "totally excellent."

The second half of my combo plate included the fried lake perch:

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As you can see, the Crawfish Junction doesn't skimp on portions; that's a pile of lake perch (I counted 6 full-sized pieces in total) next to my baked potato, and true to the rest of the fish that we sampled, the lake perch was nothing to scoff at - it was fantastic. Slightly more fishy tasting than the cod and boasting a wonderfully meaty texture, I really enjoyed the perch. Dan's reaction was a simple, "Oh wow," after he tried it. The breading was light and crumbly and had a similar salt/pepper seasoning to the cod's batter.

The baked potato was, well, a baked potato. It's hard to get excited about a baked potato, but I like 'em, especially with a little ketchup (try it!).

Factor in the value price of just $14.95 for that monster platter and you've got one heckuva bargain. Dan and Tara's 3-piece cod dinners were $9.95; a 5-piece option exists for an additional $2.

With two rounds of drinks and three excellent fish entrees, our total bill was just a few cents over $50. That's A-OK by my balance sheet. We stayed a bit longer and chatted with our waitress (she was a bit "absent" throughout the meal, but we were never left for wanting for too long), paid the bill and headed back home.

Crawfish Junction = WIN

Food = 4.5 stars
Service = 2.75 stars
Value = 4.5 stars
MISC = 4 stars (big, airy, comfy, decent parking options, average brew selection with a few surprises)

Summary: This is a top-10 fish fry that warrants a drive to the small metropolis of Milford. If broasting cod is a genius maneuver, let's call the Crawfish Junction "Einstein." Service is average at best, but the fish and the excellent value easily catapult this place over the top. I can't wait to go back and sample the bluegills, walleye, and some of their burgers (which Dan confesses are "incredible" as well).

2 Comments

Thanks for checking out The Crawfish..I really love working there. From what I read, sounds like you enjoyed your visit. One question for you that is very important..."But have you tried to Cheese Curds?" They are what I've been thinking about alot lately! I would love to be bartending the next time you stop in and I would love to have you try the cheese curds; they great along with the rest of the menu.

Hi Sonya,

Thanks for checking in and for providing the tip about the curds - as you know, we're huge fans of cheese curds, so we'll definitely be back to give them a try. We really liked the Junction so I'm sure we'll see you the next time we're in the area. Thanks again for the info and feedback!

-Steve

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on December 13, 2010 11:10 PM.

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