Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fish And Chips And Fish And Chips And...

Mmmmm... Bangers and Mash... The grilled sausage, onions, potatoes all smothered in gravy. Nothing fancy like ones I've seen on Meemalee's blog but I find it so irresistible! Even the mushy sweet green peas are making my mouth water cause I know how great it tastes with. ;)

Ok, maybe I'm a little tired of Fish & Chips now. I found this while I was looking for a F&C photo in my album from Shakespeare Pub. When I found one it was visually chips heavy. So I kept looking..

And found another dated June 2007. Not very pretty but at least you see the fish better. I may have heard someone say since Cod is relatively flavorless, it's really about the batter. For Shakespeare's I may have to agree because it certainly isn't the vinegar or the HP Sauce, haha. Personally not a big fan of either. But I can consume up to a third bottle of (Heinz) ketchup when having this plate.

Their online menu doesn't mention beer but I'm pretty sure it is used in their 'tempura' batter - the brown, crispy/fluffy and flavorful it is. Chips are limp as usual though. I either don't mind them or I just gotten used to them at this point by now.. ;)

My strange resparking of a F&C craving was post Cioppino the beginning of the year starting with Bay Park Fish Company. Unfortunately my exploration for them as a whole was more disappoint than not but wanted to share what I had so far.

Starting with a good experience. I knew El Pescador Fish Market didn't have a fryer so tried Point Loma Seafoods..

I remember visiting here in the past but not eating anything. I'm not sure how that could've happened but it was a long time ago and I was back to try their Pesca & Papas Fritas.

At ~$12 after tax for the Fish Plate you're not going to find little Frankie McCourt in line here in his shorts and suspenders with allowance in hand, but..

The fish was extremely fresh, very moist and flaky that broke apart by its own weight as I tried to lift it. The batter was the light slightly mealy kind but nice.

The other very notable mention were their great condiments.

(The fake owl guarding the bar from the seagulls..)

The tartar sauce was very light and with flavors of fresh squeezed lemon. The cocktail sauce was also bright and very fresh tasting, spicy with a nice nose kick of horseradish. Both so good!
On one fish piece I couldn't decide which to have so had both, haha.

Freshness of the fish aside, the batter may be important but having great condiments could be key too.(!?) The coleslaw was also very crispy fresh, a little sweet and very light overall. Fries were skinny but not too bad either. Reminded me of maybe Jack's with the light textured surface.

Except for battling for parking had a nice lunch experience. Despite the higher price wouldn't mind coming back here again to try a few more things.

And it seems the folks at Chick-fil-A even needs a break from their chicken sandwiches time to time, haha. :)

Point Loma Seafoods, 2805 Emerson Street San Diego, CA 92106

A little hard to explain how I found myself near Sportsmen's Seafood in Mission Bay one lunch hour but I decided to drop in after helping a friend run an errand during lunch.

I didn't know much about them at the time but after googling later that night I found out they were kind of famous for their tuna jerky? According to the sign outside the Fish & Chips were supposedly "Best in town" but things may have changed some since the weathered wood carved sign was made.(?)

I was excited to see Cioppino on the menu as well and had a small cup ($4).

The plate looked really..... sparse. Is that all I get for $8.95??

Fries seemed to be from a frozen bag and they weren't even generous with the amount. The three smaller pieces of fish weren't memorable at all either. The Cioppino was a huge disappointment. You know, I should just say it was bad. It was bad. There I said it.

A flavorless ragu (as if from a jar) like soup with tough dry not very fresh fish. If you're a regular reader of my blog you'd know I tend to be positive and diplomatic about my meals but this was not good eats.

The location was pretty enough though.

Sportsman's Seafood may have better dishes to represent but the Fish & Chips (or the Cioppino) wouldn't be it, at least this day I visited.

Sportsman's Seafood, 1617 Quivira Rd, San Diego, CA 92109

I wasn't sure what to expect of Mr. Fish & Chips but at least their prices seemed very reasonable..

I had what was called their Seafood Dinner priced at $9.29. With fish, five scallops, jumbo shrimp, choice of fries or onion rings, and a side of coleslaw.

I don't know what I was thinking.. Maybe to be able to sample a variety and save leftovers for dinner. But I did have their complete condiment selection at my disposal at the time, haha.

The batter was tempura like without much flavor but also quite heavy. Actually made me crave soy sauce which I asked about but they didn't have (which I wasn't so surprised but worth a try to ask). Had the shrimp first which wasn't bad at all. I wasn't expecting fresh scallops so you can say they were ok. I couldn't remember much of the fish. Most of my memory was trying to get through all that batter.

The coleslaw was decent but I was really craving for some light miso soup.... and a bowl of hot rice.... some tsukemono pickles would've been great with too. The tartar and cocktail sauce had a bit heavy handed off the shelf flavor. Tentsuyu and grated daikon would be too much to ask but I feel carrying soy sauce here wouldn't be such a bad idea. Also I realized this meal technically wasn't a F&C since I opted for the onion rings. Bad decision because I think I realized the starchy potatoes may in fact be a key component in this classic deep fry pairing.

Mister Fish & Chips, 5647 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, CA 92111

Snapper's is a relatively new comer. Not the most ideally located for me and at nights in a bit sketch-ish area but the promise of affordable and tasty batter fried fish lured me right in, yay. Twice.

The bargain haddock wasn't offered after maybe the month since opening I visited. Their online menu now reflects all the changes with the also few price adjustments.

The snapper basket that comes with fries was $6.50 at the time I tried but I notice now is $7.99.

The spiced fries were interesting in that they varied in size from fat to thinner to shoestrings. I'm the type that love those little odd chips you find in classic style potato chips.. (Wow what an early super nerd post! I'm almost embarrased to provide the link.)

Anyway, I thought the snapper was good. Flaky moist. For $6.50 at the time I thought it was a pretty good deal. Not sure what makes these "creole" except for the spicy batter which was slightly on the heavy side.

Was good enough for me to come back a few weeks later. This time trying the dinner plate (catfish) that gives you a choice of two sides and hush puppies. Was listed as $9 at the time but I was charged $11 for it. The fact didn't hit me until later but oh well. Turns out it is now listed as $10.99 so I guess the menu above the cashier wasn't up to date maybe... :[

Must've been a slow day for my head because it wasn't until even later I realized I didn't get any hush puppies that I was really looking forward to trying. I did inquire about that and the response back was "Oh we ran out so I just gave you a couple extra catfish to make up...."
It was near closing time and all but I wasn't very happy.

Especially when most of the catfish were dry and very gummy. Couldn't finish most of them. The mac and cheese was pretty decent. Something close to what you may get at the hot deli from a nicer grocery market. Coleslaw was fresh, lighter and pretty good.

I don't know. The service was friendly enough (despite the mishap) but the last experience and their current higher prices kind of nulls things out for me personally. It could also just be me OD'd on F&Cs at the moment.. ;)

Snapper's, 6585 Osler St, San Diego, CA 92111

I have a few more spots I'd like to try but I think it'll be a while until I get back into having/craving Fish & Chips again. Hope you all had a great weekend!


K and S said...

yipes hit and miss on the fish and chips...loving the photo of the gravy on mash!

Mike said...

I had pretty much the same experience at Sportman's - it just wasn't good. Too bad, since it in such a nice spot.

We've purchased some nice fish from the little fish market next door, though.

KirkK said...

My goodness Dennis.... that's a whole lotta fish and chips! More than I think I've had in over three - four years! BTW, have you tried the Princess Pub, Dublin Square, and The Field?

Dennis K. said...

Hi K&S! The bangers and mash is quite the guilty goodness.. :)

Hi Mike! Yeah, it's too bad cause it's actually a really nice location. At least this day they didn't seem short of any customers so business seemed good. Wished they kicked things up a few notches.

Hi Kirk! They were all within a two months span (minus Shakespeare's). I've had a horrible experience with a grossly overpriced bad curry at the Princess Pub and haven't been back. But it might be neat to focus on pub F&Cs for part two.. Will be a while though, haha. Btw, where those places your recs?

KirkK said...

Hi Dennis - The Princess Pub is in Little Italy, the other two in the (unfortunately) Gaslamp. I do enjoy the "Boxty" at the Field. I'm thinking you might enjoy it too?

Anonymous said...

That cioppino looks more like a thick tomato soup.

It's been a while since I've been down to the Field (2 yrs maybe?) and the Fish & Chips were okay. A bit greasy if I recall. The Mister had Shephard Pie, which he thought was decent.

caninecologne said...

hi dennis, wow, talk about thorough! at point loma seafoods, we ended up having to park a few blocks away. that parking lot is crazy. have you tried fish and chips at any of the british pubs?

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, I haven't been back to the Pricess Pub since the curry incident but maybe I should give their F&C a try..
I just watched a video from The Culinary Historians of Southern California on Irish cuisine and how/why it affected American cuisine very little. It was interesting. Anyway, the Boxty sounds great!

Hi CAB! Tomato Soup would've had more flavor. This was like unflavored ragu out of a bottle. If I ever check out The Field, I'll be taking a taxi.. ;)

Hi CC! Typical me, I really crave something and then have it until I OD haha. But a few were less than great so that might've affected it more than usual.
I'm trying to remember but Shakespeare's is the only British Pub I can remember here in San Diego. There was a cool place in SF that I forgot the name of a friend took me to..

Mary said...

My boyfriend was craving fish & chips recently, I think I need to make him read this post so he can address his craving - seems like you covered a lot! I've been to a few of the places and there are a couple on your list that I want to try, too.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Mary! That's pretty funny.. It's a cobbled up post as usual and so a pretty random representation of what's out there maybe but at the end of the day I still liked Shakespeare's a lot (I forgot the price but it's probably on the higher side). I've been to other pubs in SD but haven't ordered the fish & chips. I bet they're at least equally as good.. I'm craving bangers and mash now but that usually subsides after one plate for the better.. :)

Sawyer said...

i have yet to find another food blogger as meticulous as you. i'm not too big on fish and chips (although i did eat a lot of frozen sticks in college, maybe that's why). keep up the good work!

Dennis K. said...

Ha, thanks Sawyer! You can never beat the kirk. I have to say I really enjoy the nerdy documenting part of all this.. Anyway thanks again! :)