This post is about fish and chips, and if you don’t like fish and chips then you have to know that your comments are totally irrelevant to this post.
So somewhere along the way, white Americans have, as a culture, stopped eating fresh seafood regularly. Yes, we’re still finding ways to exhaust our fisheries, and yes, plenty of us still manage to eat seafood all the time, but culturally speaking, the number of Americans of every ethnicity who can do things like clean a fish, shuck an oyster, peel a shrimp, or crack a crab… shall I continue? It’s gotten to the point where a fish-fraud is widespread; people can’t tell tilapia from snapper.
Happily for me, there’s still plenty of good fish and chips in Seattle. It’s not healthy to eat it every day, but if you’re in Seattle I urge you to try some, because it’s good here, and who knows, in a few years we may have forgotten how to eat seafood completely.
- Pacific Inn Pub. It’s a common theme in Seattle where someone obsesses about one dish, and thinks and analyzes and theorizes for years, until they have it perfect. This place was the place for the fish and chips that are better than you thought they could be. The fish is fresh Alaskan true cod (which tastes more oceany than fishy), and the batter is chock full of herby herbs; so herby that my French colleague pronounced it “too tasty.” There are reports that this fish and chips have declined, and people are unhappy. The yelp page has all kinds of reviews from people who tolerated bad service because the fish was so good, but now no more. I hope it’s not true.
- Red Mill Totem House this place is the chefy equivalent of the Pacific Inn, in that someone tried to come up with the perfect recipe, and that person was a chef. I was a little disappointed, not because the fish wasn’t good, but I was anticipating that they would be a spectacular revelation like Pacific Inn. They weren’t but they certainly aren’t bad.
- Sunfish; a couple of Greek gentlemen who just know how to fry fish properly. I ordered a cod combo this morning (pictured above) and I watched the dude eyeball when each separate piece was done.
- Ivar’s The old standby. There may be reasons to criticize Ivar’s but their cod is not one of them. I always get their chowder as well, since I like the taste of heavy cream.
- Emerald City Fish & Chips. There’s a long tradition of fish and chips in the Rainier Valley, and thankfully this place has opened around the block from my house to take up the cause. The folks that run the place are awesome, and I love to support local minority-owned business, and the fish is delicious… They asked me to get a punch card, but I looked them in the eye and said, look, I eat here as much as I WANT to eat here, I will have a heart attack and die.
I am too distracted by the thought of fish and chips at this point to write a proper conclusion to this post. Goodbye.