Neighborhood Pubs

(page 3 of 3)

Photo by Nicole PeasleeDexter's Pub

301 North St.
244-3535, dexterspubmadison.com

The fish fry at Dexter’s has been a neighborhood staple since the pub opened under its new name five years ago, and a few minutes inside the door are all you need to understand why, with owner Nick Zabel and food manager Joe Burbach treading the boards behind the bar, chatting up the locals and welcoming the newcomers.

A few months ago, Zabel and Burbach got a visit from a British gentleman with a company called Bering Bounty, and now an already awesome local fry sports a socially responsible angle. Dexter’s Friday fish fry now centers on Bering Sea cod, a fish caught in the regulated waters of the Bering Sea, where anglers have agreed to abide by limits that keep key fish populations sustainable.

Not all of Dexter’s customers are aware they’re eating socially responsible cod, but they definitely track with the taste of the fish and the scrumptious batter, made with Ale Asylum’s Ambergeddon ale. The fish is pillowy and smooth, but the batter holds it all together, whether you’re opting for the cod or going with walleye, bluegill or lake perch. Staff hand-cut the cod portions each day, and the slaw and tartar sauce are also made on-site. If you really want to bring it all together, splurge for a cup of Dexter’s clam chowder.

For Zabel, it all comes down to a question of quality. “Either we do fish fry right, or we don’t do it,” he says. No worries here. 

Next: The Takeout Fry >>

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