Fish and Chips - Phx/Scottsdale area
I'm also one that craves fish & chips -- I think this is because it's one of those things I don't do at home, so it's one of those things I'm likely to order when I see it out. And while I know chains aren't the preferred mode for Chow people, the best I've had around here are 1) McGrath's Fish House and 2) Rock Bottom Brewery.
Now, the Rock Bottom fish is their house-smoked salmon, and there are those that find the concept of batter-fried salmon to be deeply wrong, but there's something about the smoke flavor and the ale in the batter, it's just really good.
edited because I just saw azhotdish's recommendation for Four Peaks, which I'd forgotten about but completely agree with. In fact, give them #1, Rock Bottom #2, and McGrath's #3; for me.
My two favorites in the valley are:
British Open Pub
1334 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Good London-style fish and chips, even served in newspaper! Malt vinegar on the side, of course.
Four Peaks Brewing Company
1340 East 8th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
Don't forget a side of chipotle ranch!
Fish and Chips is something I crave, strongly, but, I am mostly disappointed whenever I order it. Maybe your best bet is one of the Irish Pub-type places:
I've had Fibber Magee's, and I thought it was okay. Tilted Kilt's had a lot of batter, and the atmosphere is like Hooter's.
Here are my takes on a couple of counter service places:
Knock Kneed Lobster: Fish is not bad. The portion is large. Chips are not good.
3202 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ
The Codfather (on Greenway): Fish was a little tough (cod). Maybe next time, I'll upgrade to haddock. The chips were to my liking.
3361 W Greenway Rd, Phoenix, AZ
By the way, if I find myself at a Red Robin or a Claim Jumper, I might order Fish and Chips. I expect it to be something that was frozen, but, they usually don't screw it up.
In Phoenix, a good fix for a Fish and Chips craving is Fish 'N Rice 'N Beans in the seafood section of Ranch Market.
Re: Knock Kneed Lobster.
The portions are indeed large and the chips are horrid, but you can substitute fried zucchini for a small charge. I think their fried zucchini is actually pretty good.
Just as a note, from tomorrow (Sunday) through the following Sunday, you might want to avoid Knock Kneed, especially on Good Friday. During the Lenten Season, the line is usually out the door. I learned my lesson two years ago. :o)
I second Rulabula, and also add George & Dragon. Only problems with the latter is the construction on Central Ave. and the smoke from the pub-section. For the fish n' chips, I'd give the nod to G&D, but only by a little. I need to do a back-to-back comparison, as it's usually several months between the two.
Next to O'Neil's Irish Pub (Mayfair location has been the best), in London, I've yet to have better and I seek out pubs around the country. Just had some really poor Halibut n' chips at the Pike St. Brewery, Seattle. Really thought I'd found a great spot, as it had the "look." Oh well, not the worst I've had.
Best in the US has been the Brickskaller in DC, just off of Embassy Row. Besides, they have ~2400 different beers, and maybe 120 on-tap.
Many years ago, and in the Deep South, there was a chain, H. Salt Fish & Chips, that was outstanding. They used nearly-fresh Icelandic Cod and the batter was perfect. Do not know the spread of that franchise, but they disappeared in the late '70s. Several other chains sprung up, Arthur Treacher's, and some more, but they were not even close, and I believe that all have vanished from the landscape.