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Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

firestalker Dec 1, 2006 02:02 AM

Since my Milroy post got no takers where do I find the best fish and chips in the detroit area.

  1. b
    boagman Dec 1, 2006 03:27 AM

    Without a doubt in my mind...without even a *moment's* hesitation, the answer is Scotty Simpson's Fish and Chips at 22200 Fenkell in Detroit (it's 2 blocks west of Lahser Road). This place makes F&C that will make you instantly regret ever having wasted your money elsewhere. I've eaten at the best: Heather Hill (defunct), Susie-Q (defunct), and several others, and I only a year or two ago discovered Scotty Simpson's (thanks to Molly Abraham of the Detroit News), which is the best I've ever had. Their fried cod is basically perfect, and comes with hand-cut chips and handmade cole slaw *and* handmade tartar sauce. You should be aware that this place is the only one *ever* where I've liked the tartar sauce enough to use it, and use it I do! I know it's bad for me...I can *feel* it clogging my arteries, but doggone it, if I'm going to die, I'm going to die happy!

    Nothing from Scotty Simpson's comes from a box, period. The fish is flown in fresh daily from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, if I recall correctly. All recipes are closely-guarded secrets, but the staff and owner are the nicest possible people you could ask for. Harry's the balding guy who cooks the fish, and he's the owner. To give you an idea of the longevity of the place and its draw, the place has been open for almost 60 years, and Harry is only the *third* owner, and he's been working there since he was 16! Peter Karmanos, the CEO of Compuware, eats there usually once a week. It's that good.

    Yes, they have ginger beer (Stewart's), and it's quite good, too! Very strong! It's not quite the Bull Dog ginger beer of days gone by, but it's very good. Another suggestion: the onion rings are so good they'll make you weep. I am *extremely* picky about my onion rings, as are my folks, and they're so good, that my folks will get fish and *onion rings* instead of chips! They're *that* remarkable. Even the hard rolls fresh daily from DiMaggio's bakery a couple miles away are fantastic (at least, I love them...they may not be anything extra-special to some people, but I always get more than one...nice and crusty on the outside, light and fresh inside).

    I defy anyone to go there and tell me they were disappointed. The only possible way this could happen is if you go on Friday or Saturday night (their busiest time by far) and you happen to get a piece of fish that isn't *quite* as hot and crispy as it should be. Mention this to the waitstaff, and it'll be taken care of. Also on Friday, they have their homemade pies, which go quickly. I wasn't impressed when I tried the chocolate pie, but people love those pies. They're hard to get. Every day of the week, they have a clam chowder, which I found to be downright disappointing. I've never ordered it more than the once.

    But trust me: for fish and chips with cole slaw and tartar sauce (and a roll), with available ginger beer and onion rings, you will find this place to be Nirvana. Truly.

    15 Replies
    1. re: boagman
      firestalker Dec 2, 2006 06:45 PM

      Thanks Boagman I tried Scotty Simpsons and you are correct it was excellent. This is the same style Scottish Fish and Chips I was looking for. It is a long drive for me but by chance I was going to Novi and it was not much of a detour. I agree it is probably the best around but the neighborhood was a concern. If it was closer or in a better location this would be a regular stop. Thanks for the tip.

      1. re: firestalker
        b
        boagman Dec 2, 2006 10:05 PM

        Glad you enjoyed it. Told you! :)

        As for the neighborhood, I agree that it's not the best, but it's also much safer than you might think it is. In fact, on the busiest nights of Friday and Saturday, they have a couple guys who sit outside and watch the parking lot as security for the cars there. While I understand your concern, I wouldn't let it keep you from coming back, as I have never *ever* had anything even close to resembling a problem with the folks in the neighborhood there. They seem to respect that the place is a part of their local community, and want to support what's good around there. I've never felt unsafe, or been approached by a panhandler, or anything of that nature.

        I've gone on just about every day of the week at different times of the day, too. Really: don't let the Brightmoor neighborhood turn you off to the best F&C institution in the Detroit area. You'll be sorry if you do, and you'll miss it dearly. Plus, don't you want to *support* a place like Scotty Simpson's?

      2. re: boagman
        firestalker Dec 17, 2006 02:13 AM

        Boagman could you do me a favor my original post was about Milroys Fish and Chips which used to be on 8 1/2 mile and Gratiot. Their Fish and Chips were very simular to Scotty Simpsons. I mentioned this to my father in law who is Scottish and knew the Milroy owners. He stated that one of their last names was Simpson and he thought one of the sons went out on his own after working their awhile. When I was in Scotty Simpsons the owner looked like he might fall about in the age range. Since you talk to the owner could you ask and see if he remembers or knows Milroys those older Scotts love to talk and he probably could add some insite.

        Thanks,
        Gary

        1. re: firestalker
          b
          boagman Dec 17, 2006 04:22 AM

          Gary, I suppose I can ask. I do wish you'd let me know earlier, since I was just there for lunch yesterday (and it was as good as it always is...your letting the neighborhood get to you is going to come back to haunt you, I guarantee it), but I'll ask on a subsequent visit.

          It would greatly surprise me if it's true, since Scotty Simpson's has been up and going for around 60 years, but hey, anything's possible. Sean, the second owner of Scotty Simpson's, is usually there on Friday nights helping out, so I'll try to remember to ask him then. Harry might know, too, but Sean would probably know better.

          1. re: firestalker
            b
            boagman Dec 29, 2006 05:05 AM

            Hey Gary, just to let you know, I was there this afternoon (Thursday) and I asked Harry (owner/chef) if he was familiar with Milroy's. He said that he'd heard of it, but that he really wasn't familiar with it at all. I expected as much.

            I hope that answers your question. My early dinner was fantastic! :)

            1. re: boagman
              firestalker Jun 27, 2007 04:48 PM

              I made it back to SS on Saturday the 23rd and ate inside. Firestalker is tipping his hat to Boagman. Thank You the food was GREAT and I even had a piece of homemade pie. I am glad I overcame my fear of the neighborhood and enjoyed this meal for what it was fantastic.

          2. re: boagman
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            Ignatz Mar 2, 2007 07:40 AM

            boagman: Man-o-man were you right about Scotty Simpson's! The only debate is how much we want to publicize this little diamond--I selfishly don't want the whole world to know about it, but also want to make sure they have enough business to thrive. The waitress was talking about how unprepared they were for the Lenten rush they got, a double-whammy because of the recent article in the paper (Freep? News?). I'll be back. You've been a great ambassador for them, but if everybody knew about this place, it would be a mob scene at 11:45, every day. Anyway, THANKS for your 100%-accurate endorsement. I'm trying the smelt next time; I've been looking for a good smelt dive since I left Dayton, OH, and my favorite, the Shuckin' Shack.

            1. re: Ignatz
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              boagman Mar 2, 2007 02:17 PM

              ::breaks his own arm patting himself on the back::

              You know, I'm a big chicken. I can list the number of things I've tried there on one hand: F&C, onion rings, clam chowder, chocolate cream pie...and that's *it*. I'm sure that the smelt, the perch, shrimp, and whatever else they serve is just fine. I just...can't get away from the cod. It's so Y-U-M-M-Y that it's hard to break away from it at all. I'm sure if you like smelt, though, it'll probably be the best smelt available. I like smelt, perch, and shrimp...but I'll probably just keep ordering the cod. Creature of habit, I guess.

              *But*, I am one *happy* creature of habit, that's for sure. :)

              1. re: boagman
                i
                Ignatz Apr 3, 2007 06:05 AM

                As promised, on a recent visit to SS's, I ventured away from the famous cod and tried the fried smelt. While a relative value, the smelt did little other than satisfy a curiosity--it was pretty good, but not worth passing up the tried and true fish & chips. Being the stubborn sort, I'll try the perch next time.

                1. re: Ignatz
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                  berkleygary Apr 26, 2007 08:09 AM

                  Smelt??!! Scotty Simpson's has smelt on the menu? Wow! You don't see much smelt on menus around here anymore. I don't know whether I enjoyed more my dad taking us smelt-dipping late at night or eating the crunchy little buggers

                  1. re: berkleygary
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                    Ignatz Apr 27, 2007 07:10 AM

                    Since my earlier comments caught your eye, I want to make sure you take them completely in context. SS's smelt was good, but just didn't (imho)compare to the shining stars of the SS menu, the fish and chips and the perch, both of which I consider to be worth a drive from just about anywhere in the 313, 248, 734, 586, etc. Don't let that scare you away from a SS's smelt feast--for $6, you still can't go wrong. While we're on the topic, you mentioned "not much" smelt available locally. Do you have any local favorites?

                2. re: boagman
                  i
                  Ignatz Apr 25, 2007 12:18 PM

                  Hey Boagman-- I believe I have found the one piece of fried fish in Detroit that outshines SS's cod: SS's perch! Why was I not surprised? As previously promised, I tried it yesterday, on my fourth trip to SS's since discovering your ringing endorsement about two months ago. The perch is pricier, but from now on, I'll be faced with the complicating temptation to throw down the extra couple bucks and upgrade. BTW, Bev has been my waitress each time and I agree with you--she's wonderful, in keeping with the overall SS theme.

                  I have to believe that there are three big reasons, in order, that what ends up on the plate at SS's is so superior : 1) the love and experience of the crew, 2) freshness of the fish and 3) half beef fat in the fryer, not just plain ol' oil! Hard to believe Harry eats much of what he cooks, since he looks like he could play strong safety for the Lions!

                  Suffice it to say that, despite being only 1/8th Scots and 1/8th Irish, I'm hooked.

                  1. re: Ignatz
                    b
                    boagman Apr 25, 2007 02:25 PM

                    Hey Ignatz. Yeah, I'm pretty sold on just about anything that would come out of the fryer at Scotty's. I've had the cod, the onion rings, the chips, heck, I've even had a frog's leg! That was, in fact, the first frog leg I've ever had, and it was good. Not sure I'd go with a full order in lieu of the cod, but it was still good.

                    I must say that the half-beef-tallow of the frying oil is probably the "secret" ingredient, but I can't be absolutely sure: there's just something about that secret batter that Harry makes up daily that is just so good...

                    Perch is something that I haven't tried from there, but I would. You're right about the price being higher, and I *really* love the cod...but perch is a very different taste and consistency, so I'm sure I'll try it from Scotty's one of these days.

                    Oh, and Ignatz? My one-year-old *nephew* could play strong safetly for the Lions. ;)

                    1. re: boagman
                      i
                      Ignatz Apr 27, 2007 07:19 AM

                      Frog legs....I did notice them on the menu and will definitely try them in a month or so when they're in season. I'm sure Harry has a good local source and does them up right.

                      Given his penchant for deep, spot-on analysis of potential talent, I now expect Millen to draft your nephew in the first round tomorrow, assuming he saw your comment!

              2. re: boagman
                g
                GrueLurks Feb 7, 2009 04:26 PM

                Ok, you can count Tracy and I among the converts to Scotty's. Right after I got done talking to you Boagman, we decided to go there for lunch instead of the sub shop downriver. After fighting through insane traffic at 5 Mile, Grand River and Southfield, we finally made it there.

                Walking in the first thing that hits you is the wonderful smell of fried fish, and my mouth instantly started watering. We sat and had our orders placed in under a minute, going for the F & C with side of rings. 10 minutes later we were chomping down some of the crispiest, tastiest fish, chips and rings we've had in a long time. Granted the pieces were a bit on the small side but it was worth it. We will be back for certain very soon!

              3. momskitchen Dec 1, 2006 11:53 PM

                My favorites are the Speedboat Bar in Wyandotte MI:

                http://new.enterit.com/Speed5750/

                Also, during Lent, I love the fish fry at the Dexter Knights of Columbus. Awesome!

                1 Reply
                1. re: momskitchen
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                  Ignatz Apr 25, 2007 12:24 PM

                  momskitchen: I'm a recent (totally sold) convert to Scotty's, but also a recently relocated Dexter resident. Our family hit the Dex KofC fish fry last month and while a great gathering for our humble little community, the fish--while good-- didn't hold a candle to Scotty's. If you haven't ventured down to 5 Mile, run, don't walk. Only your cardiologist could keep you away after trying it once!

                2. l
                  luckygirl Dec 5, 2006 09:00 PM

                  Oh my gosh Boagman! You have me dying to try Scotty Simpson's! I wish I had heard of it before I moved from the Detroit area but we go back at least once a month so next trip I will make a bee-line for the place!!!

                  There is a place for fish and chips on Hayes Rd. in Clinton Twp. called Dubliner. They too use very good fish and make their own batter. It's very good. Their chips are not homemade but I am very fond of them. They are something along the lines of the chips that Arthur Treacher's used to serve- sorry, loved tthose chips soaked with vinegar.

                  1. l
                    luckygirl Dec 5, 2006 09:02 PM

                    Oh, sorry, I just re-read Boagman's post and realized SS's pllace uses fresh fish! Wow! Dubliner's fish is very good but it is frozen.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: luckygirl
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                      boagman Dec 6, 2006 01:12 AM

                      Luckygirl, anybody who could go to Scotty Simpson's and come away unhappy is someone I'd deem "unable to be pleased." I honestly have ever eaten better F&C in my life, and I always look forward to returning. It's not that everything they do there is the best I've ever eaten (as I previously mentioned the clam chowder and pies aren't my favorite), but their F&C and tartar sauce are, bar none. The (what I consider to be) great roll is just icing on the cake, and for them to have ginger beer at *all* is not just apprpriate, but shows their knowledge of their customer base as well. That it's a good, strong ginger beer scores extra points.

                      Believe it or not, there's one especially loyal customer who eats there every day they're open! And no, it's not me. ;)

                    2. s
                      Summerfield Dec 7, 2006 05:27 PM

                      Based on the rec from Boagman, my friend and I went to Scotty Simpson's for lunch today. Delicious is all I'll say. Lightly battered flaky fish, and good chips. I don't like coleslaw, but Scotty's is worth eating. It was a good, non-mayo based slaw. I now wish we would have gotten the onion rings. We'll save that for the next time, and there...will...be...a next time. Anyway, just go back up to the top and read Boagman's raves. He says it all.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Summerfield
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                        boagman Dec 8, 2006 01:14 AM

                        Ha-HA! Another convert. Going for the onion rings instead of the chips is well established there. As I said, my folks will simply order fish and onion rings, which they substitute at no extra charge. They are, indeed, wonderful. I tend to stay with the chips for two reasons:

                        1. I like the chips, and it's the "traditional" accompaniment to fried fish, in my book. I may not like them *more than* the onion rings, but I do like them.

                        2. Chips fill me up more than the onion rings would. As good as they are, there's more food when you get the chips than the rings.

                        Interesting that you should mention the cole slaw, and that while you "don't like" cole slaw, it's "worth eating." It's just another example of the quality of the food in this place. I do like cole slaw if it's *good* cole slaw, but so many places serve a horrible, *horrible* ultra-sweet, mayonnaisey slop of cabbage, and it's just a chore to even try. This coming from a guy with a big old sweet tooth, too!

                        Not so, here. I'm also not a big fan of the taste of bitter, and this cole slaw isn't bitter (say, from too much vinegar), either. Instead, the "glaze" (if you will) of Scotty Simpson's cole slaw really complements and enhances the existing flavors of the cabbage, green pepper, carrot, and what not. It's really a finely put-together lump of stuff. ;)

                        Of *course* you'll be back. Who wouldn't? As an aside, I found out today that our previous F&C spot, Mercury F&C on 10 Mile in Southfield, is closed. It's not a big loss, as the quality had fallen substantially in recent years, and Scotty Simpson's blows them out of the water, but still. It's being replaced by yet *another* Thai place in the Detroit area.

                        There was a time in the not-too-distant past that I mourned the lack of Thai places (especially good ones!) in the Detroit area. Now they're all too common and even ubiquitous, and it seems like you just can't get away from them, as practically every strip mall has one currently, or one going in. A message to these people: it's a crowded market, so *distinguish yourselves with quality*, or your storefront will soon be as empty as it was before you started.

                        Thankfully, Scotty Simpson's ain't going that direction any time soon. :)

                        1. re: boagman
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                          Ignatz Dec 29, 2006 12:21 PM

                          Boagman--since you brought it up, what are some "good" thai spots? I moved away from the area in 1991, and with only a few choices at that time, my fave was Bangkok Cuisine @ 16 Mi. & John R. Upon moving back in 2000, I bee-lined up there to find that sadly, they were no more, but was also amazed at how common Motown-area Thai had become. You're right--it's waaay worse six years later. Any suggestions would be appreciated. There's a decent one on Monroe downtown, in the retail strip under the Compuware parking garage (don't know if Karmanos eats there, though...). If this at all interests you, and/or if you're downtown for lunch ever, Sizzlin' Spice is a surprisingly passable choice for Indian, despite the ridiculous name. I keep telling the owner he needs to change it. He passes my acid test, though--about 60% of the lunch patrons are of Indian descent on any given day.

                          1. re: Ignatz
                            b
                            boagman Dec 30, 2006 01:41 AM

                            Ignatz, the best Thai place I can direct you to isn't far from your original nirvana: Pi's Thai Cuisine at 16 Mile & Dequindre, and they have a second (original) location on John R at I-696 (10 Mile). Both serve the same menu, and their quality and ability is fantastic. The main difference between the two locations is that the 16 & Dequindre location has far more room in which to sit down and enjoy your meal there. You *can* eat at the 10 & John R location, yes, but there's really only about 10 seats total (3 of which are at the counter), and it's just a small location with *very* little room.

                            The ingredients they use are fantastic, and if I may, a word of caution: the Spicy Factor at Pi's, in contrast to most places, errs on the side of *hot*. You'd be smart to order a bit less spicy (say, a full step, so if you normally order medium, go with mild) than you normally would, and work your way up the ladder, so to speak. Their "very hot" will kill most people, and in my opinion, even the hot drowns out the tastes the great ingredients have to offer. I've tried many things on their menu, and have rarely been disappointed, if ever. I'd especially recommend their tom yum soup, which they tell me has been sweetened, but oh *man*, is it ever yummy!

                            About Indian, I like Indian food, but rarely end up buying it. For some reason, I find that Indian food tends to have a bad cost-to-portion ratio when I end up buying my traditional lamb curry, and thus have just sort of fallen away from seeking it out altogether, which I would readily admit is my loss.

                      2. dearborn barkis Dec 11, 2006 06:57 PM

                        I ventured to Scotty Simpson's too. The fried cod with golden batter and homemade tartar sauce were wonderful and well worth the drive. I wish I had sampled the clam chowder. Now I'll have to plan another lunch trip.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dearborn barkis
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                          boagman Dec 12, 2006 08:06 PM

                          Well, just to caution you, I'll reiterate: I did not care for the clam chowder, and haven't eaten it since. It really wasn't worth anything to me. Perhaps your tastes are different from mine, though, and you'll love it. Different strokes and all that.

                          Even if the chowder doesn't do it for you, the fallback position of the F&C (or onion rings) is always there to help you leave with a smile on your face. Good stuff, Maynard.

                        2. dearborn barkis Dec 14, 2006 12:33 PM

                          Thanks boagman. I tried the clam chowder. Like the chips and slaw, it was very good. But the perfect golden flaky batter on the fresh cod is what will keep the customers returning.

                          At only $2 a bowl, the chowder was definitely a good value. I paid nearly 3 times that for a bowl of soup and bread at Zoup yesterday, and left still hungry.

                          Thanks again for the rec. It's definitely on my list.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dearborn barkis
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                            boagman Dec 17, 2006 04:36 AM

                            Zoup! is stinking EX-PEN-SIVE! I'm right there with you on that one. If I'm going to be spending over $7 for some soup and (admittedly) a good piece of bread, I want to leave *satisfied*, not thinking about dropping another $5 so that I can leave feeling fed.

                            Don't get me wrong, Zoup! has some nice offerings, but when it comes to value for my money, it's very, *very* low on the Aron-O-Meter. I haven't been there to actually spend money in several years. I've been able to enter, but every time I go in there, I end up just walking out again, because I can't for the life of me justify the cost-to-quality/portion ratio.

                            And, once again, I find myself chafing against the "Us chain restaurants are not here to destroy local quality dining, we *promise*!" idea. I'd much, much, *much* rather support a locally owned and operated (literally) mom and pop place like Chef Ed's Weekday Cafe in Eastpointe. Everything they make there is from scratch, including the soup stocks, four different varieties of which are offered every day. Not to be missed! It was Eastpointe's business of the year in 2005, and its fans are not only loyal, but numerous. They only have 16 seats in the entire place, so be ready to wait for a table. Trust me, it'll be worth it.

                            Oh, and Ed does wonderful work with his fish specials. I've not had their fish and chips (spoiled by Scotty Simpson's), but he does marvelous things with the fish special every week. A generous *correctly prepared* portion of fish, along with a starch and the veggie of the day for under $10. Always. My personal favorites so far have been a Salmon with champagne sauce and a Red Snapper served vera cruz-style. Wonderful.

                            DANG IT! Now I'm getting hungry again...

                          2. l
                            luckygirl Dec 17, 2006 06:14 PM

                            Boagman,

                            Scotty Simpson's is AWESOME!!! You ROCK for suggesting it!

                            My hubby and I were in town for a quick visit and we had an early dinner at Scotty Simpson's last night.

                            We were TICKKLED with the place.

                            We shared a fish, shrimp and chip plate and had ginger bears with it. Without a doubt the best fish and chips I've had. And the people there are WONDERFUL! I think the beef tallow used in their fry oil mixture makes it exceptional, in addition to the fresh cod of course.

                            Our waitress was a total peach. She's been there for almost as long as the current owner who actually took ownership only four years ago though he's been there since 1966 (if I remember correctly).

                            This place is a real gem.

                            Now we'll have to try to make it to that "other" burger place some time. I don't know when that will be though as Sccotty Simpson's will preempt anything else for a while.

                            BTW, did you see my Post in response to your question about chocolate ginger?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: luckygirl
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                              boagman Dec 17, 2006 09:41 PM

                              Oh, I'm *so* glad that you liked it, Luckygirl! Isn't that just the type of place where spending your money is really a pleasure rather than a chore? To know that they've been at it for as long as they have, consistently serving quality food in the traditional way for almost 60 years, it's nothing short of satisfying to know that my money helps support such things. The people who own, operate, and run this restaurant deserve to make a living, that's for sure!

                              I haven't tried the shrimp yet, but I've no doubt that it would be very good indeed. On Friday afternoon when I was there, I was eyeing a fellow diner's plate, wondering if he'd ordered perch, and in fact it was smelt, which he said was delicious! I had no trouble believing him, as it looked quite good indeed. In fact, I have yet to see anything come out of the grease that didn't look good enough to eat.

                              Sounds like you had Bev serve you (my personal fave), but there are lots of good servers there that have been there forever (and I say that in the best way possible). What's really nice is on Friday and Saturday night, when the place is really packed, they have lots of high school age kids working there bussing tables and cleaning, and I tell you, those high school kids could teach a thing or two to a lot of the professional waitstaff that I've run into at more posh locations.

                              About the chocolate ginger, yes, I did see your post, and I thank you for responding. Unfortunately, after looking at the website, they only offered dark chocolate-covered ginger, which is available locally. I'm looking into trying to have some milk chocolate-covered ginger special ordered locally, but the attitude I received at a local chocolatier (Gayle's in Royal Oak) from one of her obviously-obstinate-with-an-attitude-to-prove-it employees really put me off. I'll try speaking to Gayle herself on Monday, but I'm not optimistic, even though I've bought milk ginger there before.

                              You'll find that when I receive a bad attitude at any place that sells food (especially at places that charge a great deal), I get soured on them very fast. RIP Sydney Bogg Chocolatier. We didn't know what we had until it was gone...

                            2. d
                              davidandbess Jan 22, 2007 03:42 AM

                              Hey Boagman have you got shares in S/S ;-) I'm from Scotland recently relocated here and I do miss the good old fish supper
                              In the UK you can get the fish done in the usual manner the batter or you get what they call a special fish which is done in a slightly differant batter and coated with breadcrumbs,can you get this at s/s.
                              Regards David

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: davidandbess
                                b
                                boagman Jan 22, 2007 05:59 AM

                                David, to answer your breadcrumb question: no, not that I know of, or have ever seen. There's only one batter used at Scotty's, and one fryer, using one type of oil. This is used in all things fried, from the cod, to the smelt, to the perch, to the shrimp, to the chips, the onion rings, and so on. Whatever is fried is done in that oil, and anything needing batter is dipped in the one batter that they use (obviously, something like chips require no batter). So, if you're dead set on this breadcrumb type of F&C, I'm pretty sure they don't do it there...in fact, I'd put money down on it. That being said, you won't be disappointed in the quality of their "standard" fare. Trust me.

                                And no, I don't have any vested/monetary interest in Scotty Simpson's. I only discovered it a couple years ago thanks to Molly Abraham's column in the Detroit News, and I was completely blown away. Here's one thing to know about me that I've come to learn over my lifetime: ignore something, and it'll go away.

                                I can't stand to see quality, family-run restaurants that genuinely care about both their food and their customers, struggle to survive. It's just *wrong* on so many levels. I'm definitely a "Put your money where your mouth is!" kind of guy. I don't recommend places to others without first-hand knowledge of what I'm recommending (unless I specifically say that "I've been told 'XXXXX' is good, but haven't been there myself."), and when I recommend someplace, usually I'm *very* specific about what I liked and didn't like, and I'm blatantly honest. Don't let the good things die!

                                There's never going to be a shortage of chains, but it's quite often when, after not going to a specific, quality, individually-owned/run joint for a while, I discover it closed or just plain *gone*...and that's just not acceptable to me. So go to Scotty Simpson's, or this boy whose father's family hails from Dunbarton will be ashamed of you! ;)

                                "Daft dugs bite themselves." "If you burn your butt, you've got to sit on the blister." "If it's not Scottish, it's *crap*!" ;)

                              2. m
                                MAGS79 Feb 14, 2007 08:56 AM

                                BOAGMAN,
                                DOES HARRY KNOW THAT YOU SAY THESE WONDERFUL THINGS ABOUT HIS FISH & CHIPS? IN FACT I HAVE BEEN GOING TO SCOTTY'S SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. I HAVE TO SAY MYSELF THAT SCOTTY'S IS THE BEST F&C PLACE IN DETROIT. HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO THERE? I WAS THERE LAST WEEK AND HARRY TOLD ME THAT HE IS GOING TO BE IN THE HOUR MAGAZINE IN MARCH - BETTER LOOK FOR IT.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MAGS79
                                  b
                                  boagman Feb 14, 2007 10:26 AM

                                  Mags, he should...I've told him enough.

                                  I'd say I'm in there once a month at the minumum, and usually it's more like twice a month. Occasionally I'll be with my parents, but for the most part, I'll dine there alone. I know Harry and Bev the best, since they always seem to be there when I'm there.

                                  So Harry's is finally getting written up in "Hour," eh? Looks like they're finally getting some sense, there. "Hour" is fine, but their dining recommendations and spotlights are usually reserved more for the uppity-uppercrust places, which can be long on atmosphere, and short on actual food-making ability. Scotty Simpson's never forgets what the most important thing is: the food. That, and they're just such great people, who *wouldn't* want to support them by giving them their money?

                                  I still can't believe that the one guy (I think his name is Howard?) goes there twice a day every day they're open. I do so love the place, but I don't know how a person could do that without getting totally tired of the fare. I *totally understand* how good this stuff really is, but twice a day every day they're open? Wow.

                                  ;)

                                2. d
                                  davidandbess Feb 20, 2007 07:01 PM

                                  Well I tried this place today and I wasn't disappointed the fish indeed reminded me of the Uk f/c shops, but if it was not recommended so highly by Boagman you would drive by it the place could definately do with a little clean up interior and exterior.
                                  Was in a bit of a hurry and forgot about my roll which gives me a perfect excuse to get back down as soon as I can ;-)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: davidandbess
                                    b
                                    boagman Feb 20, 2007 08:15 PM

                                    And you know, if the fact that the place isn't the nicest-looking place you'll ever run across is the worst thing that can be said about it, then I've got to tell you: that's the sign of a G-R-E-A-T place. Facades can change, carpets and tablecloths, too; but when the food quality is so high, the service level and people are unquestionable, and the prices are reasonable, it's quite easy for me to overlook something so trivial as this.

                                    The truth is, its location isn't the best, and yes, it could use some sprucing up, but in the absence of that, I honestly *do not care*. I'd be the first to welcome such a thing, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen, and I certainly am not withholding my patronage based on this very insignificant trifle.

                                    I agree with you that it's a pretty nondescript storefront, that the interior could use a bit of spit and polish, and that it'll never be a "wowee-zowee" destination for the Beautiful People. Still: the whole blessed place is open to personal inspection, everything is clean, the people great, the food beyond reproach...they could have a fire and, if they were open, I'd be there the next day.

                                    It's *that* good.

                                    1. re: boagman
                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 20, 2007 10:36 PM

                                      The best fish and chips places never look like anything special from the outside: the more they look like a shack, the better the food, it seems. The same way with BBQ joints. Sounds like you've found a gem, indeed!

                                      ~TDQ

                                  2. j
                                    Jim M Feb 21, 2007 04:57 AM

                                    Hey Scotty Simpson's fans--there's a big photo spread on it this morning on the Detroit Free Press website (freep.com). Looks great.

                                    I'm going to Detroit today on other business, and I'm going to try it out if I have a moment.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jim M
                                      firestalker Feb 21, 2007 06:26 AM

                                      Their were two sets of pictures on the site one dedicated to SS which I agree with boagman is the best in the area. The other photo set under fish and chips the ones at Bet & Jessie's fish and chips in Redford. Has anyone tried them and are they as good as they look.

                                      Nice Thread!!!

                                      Gary

                                    2. x
                                      xman887 Feb 22, 2007 12:50 PM

                                      as mentioned above, s.s. is in this month's hour magazine. nice full page write up w/ picture. check it out.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: xman887
                                        d
                                        davidandbess Feb 22, 2007 06:28 PM

                                        Well went back down today for lunch and the place was very busy,this time I sat in and had the fish and onion rings with the standard crispy roll,
                                        Result-Perfect what can you say that has'nt been said already
                                        Ps starting a diet tomorrow so will have to stay away for at least 2 weeks ;-)
                                        Regards d/b

                                      2. j
                                        jdcmom Mar 1, 2007 10:29 AM

                                        My uncle (Harry Barber..or as I call him 'Uncle Harry') is the owner of Scotty's. My mom has worked there (on and off) for 35 years (If your waitress's name was Lee...that's my mom). I also have worked there and grew up in that neighborhood. My brother, other uncle, aunt and several cousins and friends have worked there. Most of the employees are family or friends of the family which I think makes for the friendly enivornment. I grew up on Scotty's fish. I never ate any other kind of fish until I was an adult.

                                        Scotty's is the best. I grew up watching my uncle and the previous owner (Sean) cut fish, make the cole slaw and the tarter sauce. The place is my second home. When the family talks about Scotty's we just call it 'The restaurant'. As in 'Let's go to the restaurant' or 'Are you working at the restaurant today?'. I will be sure to ask my uncle about Milroys. If he doesn't know Sean (he happens to be my dad's godfather too) would know.

                                        The fries are fresh too. I have sat and watched the cooks peel (via a machine) and cut the fries and then put them into the cooler to keep cool but never frozen. Same goes for the fish. Delivered fresh, cut and put into the cooler, never frozen.

                                        It's good to hear that people are still willing to go into that neighborhood to eat at Scotty's. Keep coming back : )

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jdcmom
                                          b
                                          boagman Mar 2, 2007 02:10 PM

                                          Nice to hear from you! I was absolutely surprised to find out yesterday that Bev, who's the server I run into most often, is actually the "new kid" in the place with *only* 25 years of service (she is the only full-time waitress, though)!

                                          I already did ask Harry about Milroy's and he wasn't really familiar with it at all, but he may have heard of it somewhere along the line. Sean may know it more, though. I know of very few places where the "retired" former owner would continue to come back weekly, strap on an apron, and work as if he never left! It truly is a special, altogether different, kind of restaurant.

                                          You know, you really shouldn't worry about people coming into "that neighborhood." People naturally go where the best food is, and some, like me, are willing to drive a bit for the best. Scotty's *is* the best, and I've had many good F&C served to me over my 35 years. I love the rustic charm of the place, and know how much things like the write-up in the Free Press, Hour Magazine, and the radio interview really pump things up.

                                          I was there yesterday, as well as last week, and you guys didn't miss a beat. You've also got me hooked on DiMaggio's rolls! I can only thank you for that, though. Trust me: I'm pretty picky in a lot of things culinary, and I vote best with my wallet. It's honestly a *pleasure* for me to be able to spend money there, knowing the quality of the fare, the sincerity of the staff/owner, and the pedigree. What you do, you do *so* very, very well.

                                          I'll keep sending people your way. If I want places like this to stick around, it's only fair to show my support by my own purchases, and recommending it to those I know.

                                        2. b
                                          Briton in the Mitten May 21, 2007 02:16 PM

                                          Thanks to all for the recomendation to dine at Scotty Simpsons I will make my way there asap. I can also recommend the authenticity of Bet and Jessies which fries a very nice piece of fish. As a Briton though, the thing I miss the most is the mushy peas which always accompany Fish and Chips in England. Does anyone know a Fish and chip Shop in Michigan that serves Mushy peas?

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Briton in the Mitten
                                            j
                                            Jim M May 22, 2007 06:50 AM

                                            You will have to make a run for the border, but Kildare House in Windsor (1880 Wyandotte E.) has mushy peas. Not only that, their menu asks the seemingly simple but in fact profound question, "Why not try a side of mushy peas?" If you've been craving haggis, they have that, too. Good Celtic music on occasion, and a friendly spot in a pleasant old part of the city.

                                            BTW, all, I finally got down to Scotty Simpson's and can add another confirmation to the good reports. The crispness is really out of this world, even if you drench the fish in vinegar.

                                            1. re: Briton in the Mitten
                                              b
                                              boagman May 22, 2007 11:49 AM

                                              This is really interesting, in a "You learn something new every day!" kind of way. Not only did I not know that "mushy peas" are a traditional British side to go along with fish and chips, but I've never even *heard* of "mushy peas," as such.

                                              Are they just peas that happen to be sort of slushy/mealy, or are they regular peas with an additive or extra flavor or something like that? I'm genuinely intrigued...

                                              1. re: boagman
                                                s
                                                Summerfield May 22, 2007 12:47 PM

                                                I think that you can just take your fork and mush them, assuming that a side of peas is available. Don't think Scotty's has got them, though.

                                                1. re: Summerfield
                                                  b
                                                  boagman May 22, 2007 01:08 PM

                                                  No, Scotty's most definitely does not have them, or at least I've never heard them mentioned there, nor seen them on any menu. Hardly matters, as Scotty's is still worth the trip every time.

                                                  Actually, those peas don't sound very appetizing to me...I rather like having my veggies with a little "pop" to them, rather than mushiness. To each his own, however.

                                                  1. re: boagman
                                                    j
                                                    Jim M May 22, 2007 01:22 PM

                                                    if you must try them without going to Windsor, I think Hiller's supermarkets have them in cans in their British food aisle. They are not ordinary green peas but some other legume, cooked and mashed to a paste. They have a unique flavor that I think may come from treatment with soda, like hominy. No one would claim them as one of the great taste thrills of the planet, but I can see the downhome (or whatever the British equivalent of that term would be) appeal--they're hearty. That said, I think if you ordered them with fish and chips, you'd want a lot of beer to wash it all down--which may be the idea.

                                                    Kildare House, BTW, is said by Windsorites to have very good fish and chips, but I've never tried them there.

                                                    1. re: boagman
                                                      b
                                                      Briton in the Mitten May 22, 2007 06:58 PM

                                                      Thanks Jim for your recommendation of Kildare house. Mushy peas are indeed availlable in cans in Hillers. "Bachelor's Fish & Chip shop style" are my favourite. Traditionally, mushy peas are made in the Chip shop by boiling dried whole peas for a long period of time until they adopt a consistancy quite similar to baked beans (only green). They were traditionally ladled over the chips but nowadays put in a plastic foam carry out container. My American friends always express surprise that during the 44 years I lived in England I NEVER ONCE saw fish and chips served with coleslaw.

                                              2. detroiter Nov 30, 2007 06:59 PM

                                                Ok...so after typing Fish and Chips Metro Detroit into Google, Scotty Simpson's repeatedly showed up, which then of course led me to this board. Being of Irish/Scottish decent, I love a good plate of fish & chips. After reading review after review, I figured this place must be good, but being a father of a young child, I wasn't sure about venturing down to 5 Mile and Lasher. It took me 2 weeks to finally just take the dive and invite some family as it seemed that the bigger the group, the better. (Think MORE protection)
                                                My Dad having grown up in Scotland and moving to Detroit was also interested in the hype, so we loaded up the car and headed out on a Friday night. Upon arriving, the outside didn't look as bad I thought it might, and it was nice to see an older gentleman sitting outside watching the cars, although I don't know if he would have been able to provide much assistance in case of attack. We entered and were not sure if it were supposed to order and then sit down, or just take a seat. So we stood there for a moment and eventually a nice lady approached and said, "must be your first time here...welcome!" So far so good. We then sat in the non smoking section (who really wants to smell smoke while eating?) Our waitress came quickly and brought us water and asked if we wanted anything else to drink. We placed our drink order and waited for her return to order this "famous" fish & chips. The waitress was wonderful, offered great service and was very attentive. From a distance we admired all of the friendly faces around us and everything smelled pretty good as we eagerly awaited our meals. It wasn't long before we had our own plates placed before us and got ready to dig in. Sadly though, the happy thoughts didn't last very long. First of all, I've had fish & chips from Detroit to the west coast, in Scotland, England and even Amsterdam(the worst yet!)....but I must admit, I was not all that impressed with what we were fed at Scotty's. Of course, this is not meant to be disrespectful, and is simply my opinion (well, and the other 4 members of my family as well), but if people are going to come on this board looking for the answer to the question about the "best fish & chips in Detroit", not everyone is going to agree.
                                                When I eat fish & chips, I want a nice tender meaty piece of fish with a light but crispy batter. At Scotty's, you get a fairly thin fillet with an almost overly crispy batter, which is also very greasy. I like to taste the different textures between the tenderness of the fish and crispiness of the batter, but with the grease soaking through into the fish, it was pretty soggy and not very satisfying. The chips were actually pretty good, but again, a bit greasy and 1/3 of them were soggy.
                                                The experience of actually going there was good, and as I stated, the service was great, but as far as the "best fish & chips in Detroit," I'm going to have to disagree. I know I may be a bit of a snob, but when it comes to fish and chips, it's worth being a snob.

                                                Even though I hate spending too much money on any meal, and considering this small plate of fish and chips at Scotty's (which was 3 small pieces of fish and a handful of fries) which wasn't actually that cheap at $9, I would rather splurge less often to get good fish and chips. Instead of going out for fish and chips once a month for $9, save your money and spend the extra $6 at McCormick & Schmick's every two months. Sure it might cost you $15, but you will get 4 fresh pieces of fish that are not only big and chunky, but flaky as well, and the batter is crispy without the grease.

                                                I prefer to support the small independent restaurant, the local dive, the Mom and Pop type place, but when it comes down to it, if I am going to spend hard earned money on a favorite meal, I want to be satisfied when my plate is cleared, and honestly, Scotty Simpson's just didn't cut it. I am glad that I took the chance and experienced it for myself, but again, you can't always believe what you read, and I found that out firsthand after my trip down to 5 Mile and Lasher.

                                                So to all of the people that read these reviews, I seriously mean no disrespect to this fine establishment whatsoever, and if you are a lover of fish and chips like the rest of us, perhaps it's always worth the trip to see for yourself, but don't expect the best in Detroit.

                                                21 Replies
                                                1. re: detroiter
                                                  b
                                                  boagman Nov 30, 2007 10:14 PM

                                                  No disrespect taken. It takes different strokes for different folks, but I will tell you this: Friday nights are perhaps the worst night on which to visit Scotty Simpson's for consistency. Since they're doing so much frying, sometimes you'll get a piece or two that might be a bit on the soggy side, but if you say something, they'll take care of it right away.

                                                  I'm obviously one of those who are completely and totally sold on the place, and so I won't try to paint myself in any other color. I won't deny the greasiness of the fare...rather, I embrace it! I fully agree with you that soggy F&C are a bad thing, and if I was served soggy F&C, I wouldn't much care for them, either.

                                                  You didn't mention anything about the homemade cole slaw, the homemade tartar sauce, the Stewart's ginger beer, or anything else. Did you not go for the entire experience?

                                                  Either way, fair is fair. Not every place is made for every person, so I can accept your opinion as valid, especially based on this single experience. I do hope you'll go back and try it again.

                                                  1. re: boagman
                                                    detroiter Dec 1, 2007 06:51 AM

                                                    Sorry I forgot to mention a few things. I actually had the orange cream soda and my Dad had the ginger beer. I didn't mention it because I've had Stewarts soda many times, so it wasn't anything new to me. As far as the cole slaw, it was pretty good with a little added salt and pepper, otherwise it was a bit bland. If you want a good cole slaw, I suggest going to Slow's BBQ down by Tiger Stadium. Probably the best in town. And then there was the tartar sauce, which I actually thought was good. I can be picky about my tartar sauce since I am not a big fan of mayonnaise.

                                                    As far as going on a Friday...fish is a Friday thing in many families, so I would have guessed the opposite and thought that it would have been even better on a Friday. As far as getting a piece or two that is soggy...there were five of us who had the fish and chips, and it was all soggy.

                                                    After reading some of your previous posts, I read this, "the half-beef-tallow of the frying oil is probably the "secret" ingredient." Considering I am a vegetarian and the only meat/animal I eat is fish...I am totally disgusted at the thought of this. (not to mention the gas it gave me) Good fish should never give a person gas, and my stomach is still feeling the effects after eating that soggy grease.

                                                    So in the end, to answer your question, I gave it a go, but no, I will not be returning to try it again.

                                                    1. re: detroiter
                                                      b
                                                      boagman Dec 1, 2007 08:01 AM

                                                      That's a fair statement. I give you full marks for putting your money where your mouth is, and for giving it a try. Better to give these folks your money than, say, a chain (like, um, McCormick & Schmick's). At least you're willing to try to support the local gems, even if they're not for you. Effort counts.

                                                      I think we may just disagree on the point of what constitutes good F&C. Our different tastes may just never let us agree on that.

                                                      As for the cole slaw thing, they couldn't be any more different from each other. I happen to like both types, but the Slow's type would most definitely *not* go well with the F&C. However, if you're looking to boost the local reputation of Slow's BBQ, I'm first in line for that, too! Slows deserves every accolade they receive, since the food is consistently wonderful! The service can be eye-roll-inducing, but the food? Good stuff, Maynard.

                                                      1. re: boagman
                                                        detroiter Dec 1, 2007 09:07 AM

                                                        I didn't mean that the cole slaw at Slow's would be good with fish & chips, I just meant overall, it's some of the best I've had locally. And I wasn't necessarily bringing up Slow's to boost their reputation. Like I said, I am a vegetarian (with the exception of fish every now and then) so I really only eat one thing at Slow's and that is "The Genius" which is a BBQ "veggie chicken" sandwich that I could eat just about everyday! As far as the service, I guess I've been one of the lucky ones. Granted I have only been there a few times, but I have gotten seated fairly quickly and always receive my food just as fast.

                                                        Despite McCormick & Schmick's being a chain, (although technically there are only about 30 of them nationwide, so it's not like a fast food place) they do strive to provide excellent service and their food is quite simply, amazing. I personally only like a few different types of fish, and don't enjoy "dark meat" "fishy fish" like salmon and such, so next to going to a fish market and purchasing my own fish, they provide a wide variety of fresh fish from Cod to Alaskan Halibut to Hawaiian Mahi Mahi and beyond. MMMMM Sure, like I said, they may be a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for...and anytime I go there I leave full and happy! (albeit a little lighter in the wallet, but that's why I only go about twice a year)

                                                        Anyway, I read that you are from the Ferndale area in another post of yours. I'm not sure of your age, but do you remember a place called Duke's Fish & Chips on 9 Mile in Hazel Park? Several family members of mine used to work there and we ate there quite a bit. They closed many years ago, but that used to be some of the best fish and chips around. Also Clubhouse BBQ that was on Woodward in Ferndale (owned by the makers of Garden Fresh Salsa) had good fish & chips as well.

                                                      2. re: detroiter
                                                        b
                                                        boagman Dec 1, 2007 09:58 AM

                                                        Duke's in Hazel Park is a place of legend, no doubt. Unfortunately, that was not a place that my family used to go to, so I guess I don't know what I missed there. It's funny that you should mention Clubhouse BBQ, since their F&C recipe was gotten directly from the old Heather Hills F&C that used to occupy that very same space, and *that* was the F&C place my family used to go to all the time. I tried the Clubhouse BBQ version, and while it was functional (full disclosure: I had the F&C delivered, not on premises), it wasn't nearly as good as it used to be. It hardly matters...the salsa that they make is well worth the loss! ;) Nothing like going to the manufacturing facility itself and buying the freshest of the fresh, you know.

                                                        Hmm. No "real" meat for you, eh? That's...a shame. I'm a meat-eatin' sonuvagun, and what little experience I've had with vegetarian places would cause me to run in the opposite direction, or burn said places down entirely. Inn Season Cafe in Royal Oak gets nothing but hate, loathing, and burning disdain from me. It's not that I don't like vegetarian dishes...to the contrary! Great flavor is great flavor, no matter what the ingredients are! But ISC is just such a snobby, boorish, nasty operation that I hope it dies, sooner rather than later.

                                                        You may enjoy the Blue Nile in Ferndale if you like vegetarian. They do have some meat choices for the carnivore in your party (the lamb is quite tasty indeed, or at least it was when I was there), but the vast, vast majority of what you're served is tasty, vegetarian fare.

                                                        But I digress. Fish and chips. Scotty Simpson's. Great pair! ;)

                                                        1. re: boagman
                                                          p
                                                          petmom2007 Feb 7, 2008 05:14 AM

                                                          Have you tried Scalawags Whitefish & Chips? I go to the one in Rochester Hills and they serve fresh great lakes whitefish & chips -- their fish is shipped fresh from Bells fishery in Mackinaw and it is delicious.... they have lots of other offerings too... perch, walleye,etc. but their whitefish is the best.

                                                          1. re: petmom2007
                                                            b
                                                            boagman Feb 7, 2008 09:30 AM

                                                            I have not. I'm unfamiliar with them, but I'll have to give them a shot when I'm around that way, which isn't that often. Is everything housemade?

                                                            1. re: boagman
                                                              g
                                                              grouper Feb 7, 2008 01:40 PM

                                                              I agree wit;h the post about Scalawags. It is really nice tasting and not overpowering of "deep fried" flavor. As someone born in Scotland, they are a lot like the fish and chips I have eaten there. The sad part of that store is that they are in the same location as a sports bar and their patrons seem to take all of the parking spaces. I really hope they can survive that

                                                              1. re: grouper
                                                                j
                                                                Jim M Feb 7, 2008 01:41 PM

                                                                There's one in Brighton, too, on old U.S. 23. I'll try it out--a native Scot recommendation is all I need.

                                                                1. re: Jim M
                                                                  d
                                                                  Docsknotinn Feb 8, 2008 08:06 AM

                                                                  I've been to Scalawags many times but not the down state ones. There is one on Rochester road now just N of M-59 on the W side. Very good for fried whitefish.
                                                                  They started in Mackinaw City and now have stores in Petoskey and Cheboygan as well. Best avoided at peak times though as they use small fryers and once the grease cools down the fish is not so great. Possibly the worst hush pippies outside of Long John Silvers.

                                                                  1. re: Docsknotinn
                                                                    k
                                                                    kellycolorado Feb 8, 2008 02:31 PM

                                                                    I was just going to recommend Scalawags. I prefer wild Lake Superior whitefish for the health benefits (and low mercury) so they are a winner with us. Incidentally, my kids also LOVED their chicken fingers, so it's a thumbs up from the whole family.

                                                                    1. re: kellycolorado
                                                                      d
                                                                      Docsknotinn Feb 9, 2008 04:15 AM

                                                                      In the Northern locations Scalawags uses Bells as their whitefish source. Bells is located in Mackinaw and they fish Lake Huron and lake Michigan. As Sacalawags has expanded I think it's very unlikly that they are using a fresh whitefish at all of their locations and most likely not a lake Superior product.

                                                                      1. re: Docsknotinn
                                                                        p
                                                                        petmom2007 Feb 11, 2008 04:26 AM

                                                                        Actually they told me they get their fresh fish from Bell's in Mackinaw as well

                                                                        1. re: Docsknotinn
                                                                          KansasTravel Oct 30, 2008 12:13 PM

                                                                          Most of Bell's fish comes from Canada. You are unlikely to find any fish from Lake Michigan.

                                                                          1. re: KansasTravel
                                                                            d
                                                                            davidandbess Nov 19, 2008 08:21 AM

                                                                            Hi, I'm from Scotland and missed good old fashioned f/c, then I found this site tried s/simpsons-excellent, but have since found another place worthy of note nearer to home "The Linden Hotel"Linden., would you believe you get fish ( pollock )and chips for $6.99. annddddddd the fish is all you can eat.
                                                                            Once you get through the crispy light batter you get to fish that falls apart and it is always very tasty and piping hot,I'm not kidding when I say I could close my eyes and think I was back in my local chippie in Scotland, no peas just coleslaw and tartar sauce which are both not bad either,all you fish fiends should give it a try I'm sure you will love it. Service to is very good and the waitresses are very friendly.
                                                                            Regards David

                                                                            1. re: davidandbess
                                                                              g
                                                                              grouper Nov 19, 2008 09:55 AM

                                                                              Is this in the town of Linden? Haven't been to LInden for years, but is it on the main street (I think it's Broad St)? I'm also from Scotland and my mom lives up that way. If you're missing meat pies, bridies and sausage rolls you'll need to try Ackroyd's in Redford. I have to say they're pretty close to what you get in Scotland and they sell Irn Bru by the case.

                                                                              1. re: grouper
                                                                                d
                                                                                davidandbess Nov 19, 2008 12:48 PM

                                                                                yeah it's on the corner next to gas station, Yes I know about Ackroyd's in Redford. I bought a big steak pie for new year last year,and go down when I'm feeling homesick for a hot pie.My local meijer in Howell has been given an uplift recently and their selection of goods from uk is very good with better prices than Ackroyd ie beans,chocolate bars and tea bags.
                                                                                Regards David

                                                                    2. re: Jim M
                                                                      KansasTravel Jul 1, 2010 05:49 AM

                                                                      Has the Brighton Scalawags closed?

                                                                      1. re: KansasTravel
                                                                        g
                                                                        gooddog Jul 1, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                                        According to their website, they have 3 locations now: Mackinaw City (seasonally open), Traverse City and Petoskey. I guess this means that not only has Brighton closed, but also Okemos, so no more Scalawags downstate at all. I think they also had a location in Cheboygan, which I thought had closed temporarily because of construction in the area, but is apparently now permanently closed as well??

                                                                        1. re: gooddog
                                                                          tokyo Nov 25, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                          The Cheboygan location did in fact close permanently. The Petoskey location, though it appears to still be owned by Scalawags, is now called The Fishin' Hole. Not sure the reason behind the name change.

                                                                2. re: petmom2007
                                                                  b
                                                                  bluetamarai Jan 14, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                                  I didn't know there was a Scalawags in RH! I used to go to the one in Petoskey (which is now closed, I think) whenever I was up there and loved their whitefish reuben... so good! They also sold a smoked whitefish dip in their cold case, which was also fantastic. I might have to get over to RH soon...

                                                                  ETA that I read further and see that the RH location is closed, and that perhaps the one in Petoskey simply got a name change. Thanks for the info!

                                                        2. m
                                                          machinewave Jan 4, 2010 10:55 AM

                                                          Heard about this place from online and love fish and chips so a friend and i went. The food is amazing to say the least. the fish is light and flaky, not too greasy and just damn delicious. This isnt a flashy place by any means but i didnt go there for the atmosphere, i came for the food. Best fish and chips i ever had by FAR. This place has ruined fish and chips for me almost because i cant go to another fish place without comparing it to this one. tarter sauce was delicious, best I ever had also. Just wish the cole slaw was a little less dry but still way better than most places. The fries were right on also. If you are a fan of fish and chips at all you need to do yourself a favor and get to this place. After we ate we even got two carry outs. it was that good and we ate them the same night. there is a reason this place has been open for so long. waitress was very pleasant also. cant wait to go again and i will be getting a couple of carry outs to take home then also.

                                                          -----
                                                          Scotty Simpsons Fish & Chips
                                                          22200 Fenkell St, Detroit, MI 48223

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: machinewave
                                                            JanPrimus Jan 4, 2010 03:05 PM

                                                            I think I have said before that I normally do not like Tartar sauce...this place could serve it to me like a milkshake and I would smile like a 18 year old boy who just lost his virginity!

                                                            Agreed yet again on Scotty Simpson's!

                                                            1. re: JanPrimus
                                                              b
                                                              boagman Jan 4, 2010 03:20 PM

                                                              Right there with you on the tartar sauce. I normally eschew it on everything, but at Scotty's, I always ask for extra. It gets used, too. I can actually *feel it* clogging my arteries, too...but at least I'll die happy!

                                                              It's actually been several months since I've stopped by Scotty's...I really miss it. I'll have to make a point of getting there this month. The F&C there really is second-to-none, and if you like onion rings, few can compare.

                                                              You jerks. I just ate dinner less than two hours ago, and you're making me hungry for F&C! How *dare* you? ;)

                                                              1. re: boagman
                                                                JanPrimus Jan 4, 2010 03:27 PM

                                                                Wanna do lunch tomorrow? :)

                                                                1. re: JanPrimus
                                                                  b
                                                                  boagman Jan 4, 2010 03:33 PM

                                                                  Hmm! That sounds interesting, and it might be just the reason I need to get down that way. If you're in, I guess I can be, too!

                                                                  1. re: boagman
                                                                    b
                                                                    boagman Jan 4, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                                    You want to meet there for lunch around 11:30AM or so? They open at 11AM.

                                                                    1. re: boagman
                                                                      JanPrimus Jan 4, 2010 05:45 PM

                                                                      Sure...I will have to bring my partner.....he is will be the short guy aged 2. I will wear a Spartan ball cap.

                                                                      1. re: boagman
                                                                        JanPrimus Jan 5, 2010 03:11 AM

                                                                        Remember...cash only

                                                            2. b
                                                              boagman Nov 24, 2010 09:01 PM

                                                              Just went back to Scotty Simpson's Fish and Chips today for a late lunch/early dinner, and allow me to ease any fears: it was *just as wonderful as it's always been*. Just absolute perfection is all.

                                                              It's just that delicious, folks. If you haven't been, *get there*.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: boagman
                                                                jjspw Nov 26, 2010 08:16 PM

                                                                Okay, I'm posting this despite my fear of being exiled from Detroit for hating on one of the city's most beloved institutions... but I just don't get all the excitement about Scotty Simpson's.

                                                                Today was my third time there--I've kept going back to try to figure out what I'm missing. I feel that the batter (on both the fish and onion rings) is completely bland and that the fish fillets themselves aren't seasoned before being dunked in the batter. I end up dousing my fish with salt and vinegar to get it to taste like anything. I also find their tartar sauce to be far too mayonnaise-y, and am surprised to read so much praise of that tartar sauce here!

                                                                I'll give it to them that the texture, weight, density, and done-ness of the batter is PERFECT. But I just don't get any flavor (besides grease) from the food.

                                                                What am I missing? I've had the fried cod with fries or rings. Is this not the thing to order at Scotty's?

                                                                1. re: jjspw
                                                                  b
                                                                  boagman Dec 6, 2010 08:26 PM

                                                                  I don't know what to tell you exactly, JJ. What kind of flavor are you looking for in your cod? Because cod isn't exactly a strong fish, you know? Maybe good F&C just isn't for you?

                                                                  1. re: boagman
                                                                    jjspw Dec 8, 2010 08:33 AM

                                                                    I'm not looking for flavor *in* the cod itself... but the batter should taste like more than just flour and deep-fryer grease. IMO, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon in the batter would do wonders for Scotty's fish, as would a sprinkle of salt & pepper on the fillets before they dunk 'em in batter.

                                                                2. re: boagman
                                                                  w
                                                                  worldwarz Nov 29, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                                  http://www.scottysfishandchips.com/

                                                                  Heres a link to the website

                                                                  1. re: worldwarz
                                                                    r
                                                                    Rheta Nov 29, 2010 07:26 PM

                                                                    Sounds like authentic British Fish and Chips to me. No flavor!

                                                                    1. re: Rheta
                                                                      rainsux Dec 7, 2010 02:11 AM

                                                                      > Sounds like authentic British Fish and Chips to me ...

                                                                      Nah. AUTHENTIC "British" fish and chips is served with a side mushy peas. No,
                                                                      thank you.

                                                                3. j
                                                                  Jack Freeman Dec 6, 2010 02:03 PM

                                                                  I remember going to Milroys when I visited my grandparents! They had great fish! I finally tried Scott Simpsons last weekend after all the reviews on CH. I have to say...the batter is excellent and overall probably the best fish and chips I've had in the area!! I have to say the majority on CH is pretty spot on!! Thanks

                                                                  1. rtv Jan 4, 2011 07:11 PM

                                                                    just drove over to Hopes F&C note on the door says "sorry were closed" and the phone# we dialed was disconnected! any info?!?!?

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      BoSchimers Feb 17, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                      Nooooooooooooo! to Scotty Simpson's. Tried the cod and the smelt. If you like your food sweet - you will love their batter. Anytime the batter outweighs the fish 2-3/one is a tip-off that something is amiss. All in a lovely Brightmoor setting (although the popo's sat at the next table so I felt safe)

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: BoSchimers
                                                                        g
                                                                        goatgolfer Mar 28, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                                        Welcome back honey. Where have you been. Thank the nice man for bringing you home safely.

                                                                      2. d
                                                                        desperado2100 May 19, 2012 04:46 AM

                                                                        With all the comments about past/present FC's places from Detroit... I'm blown away that no one mentioned Brown's Fish & Chips on Greenfield Rd., just N. of Michigan Ave in Dearborn!!! The place was always full and being close to Ford Motor HQ's didn't hurt at lunch time either! Can't believe they closed with the quality food and volume. Another sad loss to add to nostalga of great places that no longer exist. Their FC's were fabulous!!!

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