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Best fried fish in land-locked MSP?

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So, I was in San Francisco on a business trip this past weekend. After my work obligations, I took a cable car down to the Fisherman's Wharf. I strolled past the stalls upon stalls of fried-fish mongers. I kept seeing little paper baskets of hot fried fish. The batter looked airy and delicate and crunchy. I mourned that I'd just eaten dinner. The fact that I didn't have a second dinner of fish 'n chips is maybe the biggest regret of 2008 (so far).

Where in MSP can I get very good fried fish? I don't care as much about the fries.

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  1. I like Highland Grill's fish and chips. They recently changed to a slightly lighter, more herbed batter.

    I also like El-Amin's Fish House on Broadway in North Minneapolis.

    1. maybe i'm feeling grumpy and inflexible today-- but how the heck are we the land of 10,000 lakes and considered landlocked???

      now kansas, oklahoma, iowa are landlocked. *we* are lucky :)

      i wish it was more common in msp to eat our local freshwater fishes outside of our uncle vern's cabin--okay, Cleanyerplate, i see your point. here's a thread on msp fish n chips to get you started on your quest:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434030

      1. Here's a pretty good "Friday" fish fry post from last year...http://www.chowhound.com/topics/37332..., since it's the season of Lent... Fried fish/fish fry, not exactly the same, and yet, same'ish.

        For ongoing (every Friday, even outside of lent) fried fish, I like the Groveland Tap in St. Paul.

        For seasonal (ie., summer only) fish fry, my favorite isn't exactly in the Twin Cities, but about an hour out of town in Avon at Fisher's Supper Club. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/435270

        And, of course, in summer, you can't forget Sea Salt Eatery in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, though, at lot of my love for that place that might be the lovely outdoor setting, especially if you can score a table outside...

        ~TDQ

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I know, I can't wait for Sea Salt to open back up again.

          I love the Tap! I'll try them. Or maybe go to a church fish-frey or El-Amin's.

          Thanks for all the suggestions.

        2. You can find fried Walleye just about everywhere in MSP and that is something I doubt you can find in San Francisco.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Davydd

            I made this point but it was modded. We have over 90K miles of shoreline...more than California. We get terrific freshwater fish, but I am partial to perch over walleye.

            The best place to get good fried freshwater fish however is closed this time of year, Sea Salt. Embarrassingly, with all that coast, your second best bet is probably Oceanaire. Or drag yourself into a shanty and pull up some bluegills.

            1. re: Foureyes137

              I agree with Sea Salt and know I'm belaboring the point...not to mention some people aren't interested in going into this part of town (or it's not convenient) but El-Amin's has both freshwater and saltwater fish including perch.

              Here's the web site: http://www.efishhouse.com/index.html

              By the way cleanyerplate, if you're ever back in SF and you liked Fisherman's Wharf, I recommend Tadich Grill and Swan Oyster Depot.

              1. re: MSPD

                Been trying to bite my tongue, but can't stand it no mores--I just want to point out that the OP didn't actually eat at Fisherman's Wharf---if he had, he probably wouldn't be pining for it because he'd realize that the chow there ain't that good--tourist fare only. (As is the clam chowder they serve in the hollowed-out sourdough bowl, which I confess, to maintain a fondness for...can't explain why. I think because it seemed so exotic and sophisticated when I first tried it as a young girl...)

                Really, the Groveland Tap with its Leinie's beer battered white fish, crisp exterior and tender interior, not too greasy, is way better than you could pick up off any of the street vendors at the Wharf.

                I love the corn meal battered fried fish--sunnies and walleye--at Fisher's. Again, the classic preparation, with classic potato salad on the side, with the whole meal served lakeside.

                And, heck, if "street food" prepared for the masses is what you crave, try the deep fried smelt they serve in the food building at the MN State Fair.

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43406...

                And, of course, whatever fried fish they've got at Sea Salt any given day. I love the oyster po-boys, personally, but the catfish po-boy is equally as fantastic.

                Here's a link to the PiPress' annual fish fry rundown in today's paper. http://www.twincities.com/restaurants...

                EDIT: Oh, and I forgot to mention the deep fried tilapia at La Sirena Gorda in Midtown Global Market. They even have a fantastic deep fried tiliapia with an even more fantastic sauce at the Nyob Zoo Kitchen in the food court at the Hmong Market, assuming it's still open. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42824...

                ~TDQ

          2. I'm going to guess that a lot of the higher end restuarants will have fried fish on Fridays during lent. Choose some of your favorite restaurants and give them a call on Friday to find out what their fish special is.

            The BEST fried fish I have ever had (aside from my mom's fried killed-that-day Sunfish and Crappies) was at the Craftsman. They had fish and chips as a fish special and it was spectatular. Maybe they will run it again during lent.

            1 Reply
            1. re: churchka

              I've loved everything I've ever had at Craftsman, but have never had the fried fish there. Thanks for the tip--I'll keep an eye out for it in the future.

              ~TDQ

            2. Isn't Sea Salt close din Feb? I like St. Clair Broiler's fish fry

              2 Replies
              1. re: mplsmike

                Yes, indeed, Sea Salt is closed in winter, which is why I said "seasonal, summer only" and foureyes said, "closed this time of year" when we made our initial respective recommendations for Sea Salt upthread. (Though, you can't repeat it enough times in case someone only reads part of a thread--wouldn't want anyone to head over to Sea Salt in February and be disappointed...)

                I hate to say it, but everything I've ever had at St. Clair Broiler has disappointed me--and the wait is long. I'd rather go down the block to Groveland Tap. Is St. Clair Broiler's fish fry uniquely good in some way compared to everything else on their menu?

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Sea Salt opens April 1. 45 days and counting. It's our favorite place for summer evening family dinners.

              2. I'm not a big fried fish fan, however, I did like the walleye at the Grand Tavern in St. Paul.