Fish Fry Review: Dorf Haus (third visit)


Once again, I was drawn to the Dorf Haus. The sweet siren's song of silky smooth cod, bountiful fries, and an excellent selection of German brews was simply too much to resist.

Our small group of four diners made the 15-minute trek north to Roxbury, put-in our names for a table, and bode our time at the Dorf Haus' excellent bar. Spaten Optimator, Oktoberfest, and Pilsners were ordered and consumed. Dishes of the cheesy bar mix (pretzels, Cheetos, Doritos, and rye chips) were demolished. Fun conversations filled the air.

After waiting for nearly two-hours, our names were called and we were led by the hostess to the infamous "banquet hall" area, where a fireside table awaited us. A friendly waitress stopped by to inform us of the special - snapping turtle - and to inquire as to whether or not we required refills.

Intrigued by the turtle, we placed an order for a plate, along with two rounds of AYCE (All You Can Eat) cod, a chicken sandwich, and an order of broasted chicken (we had two non-fish aficionados with us). Our waitress trotted off with our order, and returned with the Dorf Haus's notorious "easter egg" (a term used by video game fans that discover hidden gems within a game) - the pre-dinner fritters.

Those golden-fried puffs of airy dough are simply delicious, especially when dressed in a shot of local honey.

After a brief wait, our food arrived, and things looked as stellar as usual. The AYCE code plate featured several large pieces of delicious fish:


I immediately tore into the plate and in doing so nearly melted the skin from my fingertips. That fish was fresh from the fryer! The Dorf Haus uses one of the best batters in the biz - it's light, clingy, crispy, and flavorful. There's just a hint of salt, and it's backed-up by wafts of corn and beer. It's so good.

The batter surrounds some of the area's best cod; the fish is creamy white, firm, flaky, moist, and robust. There's never a soggy piece; there's never a chewy piece - it's perfect every time. Exactly what you'd hope to find in a quality fish fry.

The accompanying fries were excellent as well; they have that "steakhouse" flavor, and are fried to a perfect golden brown. I don't imagine they're homemade, but it doesn't matter. They're excellent, nonetheless.

Our surprise guest (the snapping turtle) looked extremely interesting... it didn't resemble turtle so much as it did a beef pot-roast:


And the flavor matched the looks; it honestly tasted almost identical to a beef pot roast. The only discernible difference came by way of a bunch of unexpected bones. The dice-sized bones were a complete surprise... but they didn't affect the overall experience - I'd order turtle again.

Our waitress stopped-by several times throughout the meal to refresh water glasses and plates of fish - and each additional plate of cod was better than the last. How they can maintain such high quality while serving what has to be thousands of plates of fish is beyond me.

Dorf Haus = WIN

Food = 4.5 stars
Service = 5 stars
Value = 4 stars
MISC = 4.5 stars (atmosphere, brews, fritters)

The Dorf Haus continues to maintain it's strong showing in the ranks here at Geekysteve's Wisconsin Fish Fry Reviews. :-)

The only downside? The long wait, but that's not really so bad, especially when it's so enjoyable to spend time at this place.

Go. Order the fish, and don't be afraid to try the turtle if it's on the menu. Seriously.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on April 23, 2012 3:06 PM.

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