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Captain Bill's

In a word: Better than Betty Lou and a decent bet if you like lightly battered fish fry.

The specs: #0063
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; B^2's review; Yelp reviews; Table Talk, Ruppert Food Blog, Madison Fish Fry; Captain Bill's web site; Captain Bill's on Urbanspoon

Latest Captain Bill's news and reviews

JM ate the fish fry with french fries and a lemonade.
Kayla are the fish fry with a baked potato and Pepsi.
Nichole ate the broiled cod with rice and a cup of clam chowder.
The bill was $39, or $13/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Captain Bill's a B+; Kayla gave Captain Bill's a B- for the potato and an A for the fish (see our grading rubric).

Captain Bill's is a fairly welcoming place. It's one of the von Rutenberg ventures, along with Betty Lou Cruises, the Nau-ti-gal, and Mariner's Inn.

Captain Bill's shingle and lantern

The clam chowder, presumably from the same captain's secret recipe as the Betty Lou's, was a marked improvement over that served on the ship. The heavy sausage gravy overtones were gone, leaving a more subtle flavor.

We dined under watchful piscine eyes.

Taxidermy fish

All three of us agreed that the fish at Captain Bill's was good, but the sides left something to be desired. The fish fry featured some of the most delicately breaded cod we've seen, and the broiled cod came in generous portions. All in all, all right.

Light fixture with shell motif


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Captain Bill's is fine as long as you stick to the basics on the menu. I've gone there on various occasions with friends and learned the hard way to stay away from such options as tuna or swordfish. The more pedestrian choices on the menu are usually pretty good and fine if you don't feel like spending a ton of money at one of the downtown fancy seafood places (Blue Marlin, Ocean Grill, etc).

Being from the mid-Atlantic coast, I crave crab cakes on a regular basis. Went to Captain Bill's for my birthday because of the crab cakes that they touted online.
The crab cakes were terrible, reminded me of undone pancakes - where the batter is not cooked in the middle - These were tasteless wet battery cakes - not the meaty and somewhat spicy ones from back east. My husband and my daughter enjoyed their food - I sent mine back - This happened a year ago and I have lost my taste for crab, it was that bad.

Ate there this week and the food was definitely sub-par. My Mahi-Mahi was bland and overcooked, while my husband's crab was neither fresh nor properly cooked. The waitstaff was very accommodating, but the manager was quite rude.

I'd probably recommend Long John Silver's before I recommend Capt. Bill's!

My husband and I took some friends to Captain Bills on a Saturday night. They had never been there before. We ordered the specials..pan fryed Blue Gill, and soft shell Blue Crab. The Blue Gill were dredged in flour that was obviously not seasoned, it came to us pale, soggy, and luke warm. So flavorless, that it was not enjoyable.The 10 french fries that came with it were no where near filling. The Blue Crab was a pile of cartiledge and slime without any seasoning.We sent it back and were told that "it's all edible and a big seller.We should know that for future reference, this is the way Blue crab is served." We left feeling hungry, ripped off, and embarassed that we brought our friends here.

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