The Takeout Fry
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712 S. Whitney Way
Edging your way through the crowd toward the glass-case counter at Seafood Center’s modest main west-side location, you may think you’re near the waterfront in Boston. Maybe it’s the rows of fresh swordfish, mackerel and salmon. Maybe it’s the thick fishing ropes that snake around the walls. Either way, for more than thirty years they’ve been rocking a takeout fry that focuses on Alaskan cod, a choice that’s both sustainable and deeply delicious.
Manager/fresh fish buyer Susan Shebilske has been behind the counter for twenty-six of those years, and she’s succinct as she explains why the recipe’s stayed the same for all three decades: “If it isn’t broken, you don’t fix it.”
The batter’s both delicious and cornmeal-based, starting with a breading that helps the batter stick to the fish. (For around $6, you can buy both to fry at home if you’re so inclined.) The fried cod outsells the catfish and perch, to the tune of one hundred pounds on Fridays during Lent.
Word is that Seafood Center is mulling the possibility of opening a new takeout fry location on Madison’s east side. Keep your tartar sauce–stained fingers crossed it comes to pass.