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In a word: New? Not really. Improved? A little.

The specs: #0676  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Madison Fish Fry, Yelp; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Facebook.

Latest Buckingham's news and reviews

JM ate the Cajun fish sandwich special with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the cod fish fry with 2 Old Fashioneds.
The bill was $27, or $13.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Buckingham's a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Buckingham's used to be Buck's Madison Square Garden. We liked it a lot better this time around. The servers are still great, the place is still clean, and the menu still lists many "Cajun" items, but this time, the surprisingly good fish fry and the $3 Old Fashioneds (muddled and mixed, not from a mix) helped, as did the sardonic dart machine on the wall. Some of its pithy quips:

  • Thank God I'm still an atheist.
  • What a cute bundle of joy! Did you ever find out who the father was?
  • Once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger.
  • Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If he wasn't there for you the first time chances are you won't be needing him again.
  • This would be hilarious if it weren't happening to me.
  • Cheapskates are a pain but they make great ancestors.
  • I don't care how much a man says as long as he says it in few words.
  • My garbage disposal eats better than 30% of the world.
  • The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

It was Good Friday but we didn't have to fight any crowds for a cod fish fry. With half an eye on Madison Fish Fry's rubric, we appraised the plate: we're guessing that MFF would have liked the presence of bread, though may not have been impressed with this particularly dry and crumbly sesame roll nor the dessicated lemon slice. The cole slaw was fresh, with celery seed and diced carrot, and the wedge fries were perfect. The fish itself was A+, six flaky, thin filets of cod in an herbed (dill, maybe?) batter that had fused to the fish in a very pleasing way.

Roll, slaw, butter, lemonCod and wedge fries

There was no tartar sauce in the basket as presented, which MFF would probably decry, but tartar is available on request. We were happy to use the Cajun sauce for all our dipping needs. It was like liquid buffalo wings: vinegar, ranch and grease all in one delicious dip.

The Cajun fish sandwich was on special because it was served with Cajun-seasoned fries. The bun was pressed over two filets of fish, two nice slices of tomato, and a green leaf of lettuce.

Cajun fish sandwich

By expanding their name, Buckingham's seems to have grown up and made some improvements. Or maybe we should have picked a table next to that dart machine the first time around.


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