Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ATX's Best Fish Sandwich!

Happened across a deelightful fish sandwich the other day, at, ...dramatic drum roll......of all places, Culver's. Culver's is a chain from Wisconsin, that was started in 1984. They are the harbinger of the ButterBurger, and frozen custard, both dairy-related items. And why not? Wisconsin has a bazillion dairy cows, and a long history of cheese and milk-oriented culinary items, so it all fits.

This particular sandwich is made with WALLEYE, a fish that I had often heard of, but had never eaten until I got one here. It's a freshwater fish that grows north of here, in cooler waters, and is probably the number one preferred game fish of northern anglers.The taste is sweet and delicate, with a white flesh and a fine, flaky texture. Their web site says that it is Canadian walleye, and after a little web snooping, I discovered that walleye are farmed in Canada. Pity....I had visions of hundreds of shivering Wisco cheesehead ice fisherman slogged on brandy, hovering over holes in lake ice, pulling them up one-by-one. Not to be. Culver's only offers it seasonally, so don't wait too long to try it. They also have an Icelandic cod sandwich that looks equally spectacular....haven't tried that one yet, but if the walleye is any indication, the cod is probably just as good.

You get a steamed hoagie roll slathered in tartar sauce, crisp chopped lettuce, and a filet of walleye that's about 8-inches long, fried in a very light tempura-like batter. There's a good 3 to 4-inches of filet hanging out each side. I order it with tomato and red onion added, but get it like you want it. All of this for the princely sum of $5.59, a bargain for the quality and quantity. It's up there on a vaulted plain with the famed Nemo's Nemesis codfish sandwich that used to be sold by Austin's Mad Dog and Beans, back in the 70's.

Sitting in the packet are fried cheese curds ($3.39), the Wisco version of the fried mozzarella stick. They are a pleasing little fried snack, crispy on the outside, melty along the exterior, warm and squeaky in the center; golden brown nondescript whitish cheese that's seduces you to eat one more, again and again.

ATX Culver's: Wm Cannon just east of Brodie, north side of Cannon, and  NE corner of W. Braker and Kramer.

PS: for a great fish taco, check out Taco Joint at 30th and San Jac.

Mick Vann ©

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