Weird Fish report: Not so very fantastic
- pane Jan 3, 2007 03:16 PM
Cutting to the chase: not good.
I moved to Liberty Hill last week and set forth exploring the culinary neighborhood. Because Range was closed, We went yesterday to Weird Fish a little after six. When we arrived the place was entirely empty. It slowly filled to capacity in the hour or so we were there: eventually a line of about ten people formed outside.
We were seated immediately and ordered ginger lemonades to start. The lemonade, which was unsweetened, was too bitter for my taste and did not have enough of a ginger kick. I much prefer Burma Superstar's version.
We had read on Chowhound and Yelp that portions were small, so with that in mind we ordered shrimp louie salad, spinach soup, blackened trout with mango salsa, a halibut sandwich, and fried pickles. This was for two people.
For me, the highlight was the fried pickles. I love salty foods and fried foods; this was an ideal combination. The trout was good, fairly mild in taste, but nothing that made me take notice. The halibut sandwich was also okay, but had a bit too much tartar sauce on it. The 'creamy' spinach soup, which was vegan, tasted vegan: lacking a good dollop of real cream to add depth and richness. The salad I liked, but the proportion was out of whack: it was on the appetizer menu, but was entree sized and arrived along with our sandwich and fish. I could barely eat half, but would have been hungry with the trout alone.
Service was slow, despite the fact that it was mostly empty when we arrived. Our water glasses were not refilled until we received the check. When a group of four came in, the waitress asked a group of three to move from their table to a smaller one, then relented when a manager-type rebuked her.
Total bill was $55. If I had a friend who insisted, I would go back and order the salad with a side of pickles. However, I wouldn't return of my own volition and certainly would not wait in line for any length of time.
Being at this place reminded me of a visit a couple of years ago to Uglesich's in New Orleans: an old seafood shack with excellent ingredients cooked simply and with no pretensions. It was everything I didn't get in a visit to Weird Fish.
Had lunch there Friday. Service was amateur but friendly (starter arrived after entree). I didn't find the portions small. The tarter sauce was excellent so was the coffee.
The fish and chips was good but it's fish and chips so nothing to write home about. I am not convinced the sweet potato fries are a good idea, not crunchy enough. The chowder was tasty.
Overall this is an ok place if you want fish and chips. It si quite pricey for the neighborhood.
Quick update: Went last night at the last minute and had a nice basket of fish & chips. The service was remarkably good, but not surprising given the limited space (this place is the size of a shoebox). I'd go back if it were closer, but I am still glad Woodhouse Fish Co. is nearby.
I had lunch there this week and found it too expensive for lunch (nearly $20 with tax and tip). Prices would have been fine for dinner. Decor is funky and charming, and service was friendly enough. But the food is disappointing.
I had the crab and avocado sandwich; my companion had the fried tofu and chips. We also got the tempura green beans, which were greasy and served with mayo. Yuk. The best item was the fried tofu, which was crunchy and not overfried. That and discovering Pick-A-Peppa, the Jamaican vegan Worcestershire like sauce in bottles on all the tables. (Does anyone know where I can buy a bottle?) Ginger lemonade wasn't as good as it sounds.
Woodhouse doesn't have the same atmosphere, but the food and service are much better.
I am relieved that I am not the only person unimpressed with Weird Fish. I have had the crab louie, fish and chips and the calamari. I found everything ok but it missed the mark somehow. Some people rave about the light quality of the fried tilapia but it is still greasy and fried. I would much rather have a thicker battered fish if it's fried. The only memorable items are the deep fried pickle and clam chowder. Save your money.
I made a mad dash through the rain to eat at Weird Fish on Saturday evening and was very happy with my meal. The space is small but pleasing: Flea market style tables, nicely lit with candles, cool fish pictures. The only problem was that it was difficult to hear. The service was attentive, no complaints at all.
We thought the portions for most dishes to be huge. We started with an appetizer of shrimp and crab cocktail with avocado and cucumber. While it wasn't the biggest portion, there was an ample amount of crab meat and shrimp. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fried calamari and a 2 piece fish and chip meal were really big portions. Delicious sauces, aioli, tartar, and some tomatoey thing accompanied the entrees (while I don't think that the calamari was meant to be an entree, my husband made it his). The amount of fries that accompanied the fish put a girl to shame. I couldn't eat even a third of them and had to get help from my dinner partner. A Trumer pilsner went perfectly with the food.
Finally, a plus for me was knowing that the restaurant went to great effort to use sustainable seafood (sustainably caught or raised or ?? I can't think of how you describe this right now). Our meal, food plus 3 beers, came to only $29.00. A great deal and a fun restaurant.