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Where My Friday Fish Fry Meets German Food Wisconsin Swag

Far Away Friday  Foodie is about anything, not South Carolina food. This past week on Sunday I wrote about migrating back north to my childhood state of Wisconsin during the holiday season.

 A place where Friday Fish Fry and German Food are a thing.  Generally one does not go with the other but yes, there is a place. Oddly, it was not one of my go-to places while living in this area.  But when I send visitors to my hometown, I send them to ‘the place.”

  Mark’s East Side of Appleton, Wisconsin has a varied menu and unlike when I lived in this area, the Friday Night Fish Fry is now available all days of the week.

Just like I remembered at Christmas time, I felt at home.


Mark’s East Side all dressed up for Christmas


Mark’s East Side all dressed up for Christmas

I had forgotten about the extra steps these family-owned restaurants take to make something better than average.  Even the salads have extra fresh vegetables and the homemade dressing is hot bacon.

The appetizers are not so usual and immediately, I love being back in my hometown.  I mean not any old run of the mill place has the Bavarian Scotch Egg served with German mustard.  A hard-boiled egg wrapped in German pork sausage dipped in a German beer batter and deep-fried to a golden brown. And, the deep-fried sauerkraut balls. And, the beer-battered pickles, I am confident that any of my visitors would find something interesting.

But, one can only eat so much at a sitting and I would hands-down tell anyone who eats at this establishment to taste the french onion soup. it is the standard by which I judge all french onion soup, anywhere on this green earth.  Game over, it is that good.


Mark’s East Side French Onion Soup Appleton Wisconsin.

Thick as pea soup is a thing and Mark’s East Side nails it. So full of flavor. I love it but it is hard to make for one person so I love to visit when it is on the menu.

However, I come for the fish fry. Other places in this country have fried seafood platters. BUT, lake perch, not ocean perch, lake perch is a unicorn. Pictured to the left of the tartar sauce is that perch.  Generally on Fish Fry Friday in this part of the world, the choices are perch or haddock. Once in awhile bluegill, walleye, and frog legs are choices. But I am compelled to eat perch or haddock. Sometimes, I go on years-long benders of one or the other fish. On this day, I couldn’t decide so I got the seafood platter and was able to eat maybe 1/3 of this plate because I am old and I ate my soup and salad.

But, I had to try because I knew that soon this unicorn dish would not be on my plate. Not pictured is my drawn butter which is a must for that haddock.


Shrimp, haddock, and lake perch at Mark’s East Side.

My other friends love their German food at Mark’s, to each their own.  But to be fair, they can eat “fish fry” any dang day of the week. And this Tenderloin Goulash with the red cabbage from the Old World Menu is just.out.there.delicious! Wisconsin traditionally has had the largest German population of any other state and this area still reaps the benefits of the food choices.


Mark’s East Side Old World Menu Tenderloin Goulash and Red Cabbage

Or the friends can get a bite of the not-so-average home cooking menu items such as; pork chops, mixed vegetables, and sweet potato mash.

MEGathoughts-At Mark’s East Side, I know I can get my Wisconsin food fix. It is a fun place to visit and is a frame of reference for my judgment of great food no matter how far away I live, or I travel.

 Although it is not my number one spot for Friday Fish Fry, it is very very good, and hands down a place where I send people visiting from out of town.

This establishment has been family owned for many years and a few generations. As of January, 2019, the family has sold a part of the business.

MEGastars– 5 *****


  1.  Mark’s East Side, Appleton, Wisconsin.
  2. Every dang thing on the menu is good so just go hungry and visit multiple times when possible.
  3. German Food Old World Menu is not available on Fish Fry Fridays.
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