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Fish sandwiches

We just returned from Florida and indulged in some marvelous fish sandwiches, both fried and blackened. For example, Dockside Dave's in St. Petersburg Beach has a trademark grouper sandwich that you can order fried in two ways (light or heavy crust), grilled, blackened, or lemony. The sandwich I got was three substantial hunks of greaseless country-fried fish with a really good bun, for I think $10 (market price, but I did note the size of the check).

I have had other grouper and catfish sandwiches in FL at several places and it's similar-- terrific professional frying of fish that spills all over the plate, always accompanied by first-rate onion rings, fries, slaw, etc. Nothing that even begins to remind me of franchise fishburgers or what you would get from the freezer at Trader Joe's.

I can never recall seeing anything similar from any bar or restaurant in the DC area no matter what superlatives the menu writers may put on their descriptions. Even Great American Restaurants, with their terrific steaks and decent fish entrees, comes up short.

Question: Does anyone north of Richmond measure up? or are we hurting for fish sandwiches just like we are for pastrami?

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  1. The Key West-style fish sandwich at Lola's on Barrack's Row (Eastern Market) is pretty damn good. Not fried but still delicious. I've ordered it for lunch at least 5 times in the past month or so. Plus they make really delicious fries. Worth checking out.

    1. Horace & Dickies 12 St NE right off of H St makes a serious fried fish sandwich. This is strictly a take out place, the fried fish(catfish and whitting i think) is pretty much all they offer. No onion rings or other options, fried fish and white bread.

      1. A post of mine on this board from several years ago:

        Horace and Dickie's is still open. I was there three weeks ago. But a cautionary note. I am old enough (!) to remember the fish sandwiches at Benny's on Maine Avenue from the '50's where fresh perch or haddock was piled four inches high on Wonder bread and creamy home made cole slaw and Evangeline hot sauce were added to go along with lard cooked french fries.
        Horace and Dickie's is NOT the same sandwich as those or even Boyd's the H St. carryout that moved to this location and sold out to them.
        I read the Post article that raved about this place. I've been four or five times since then and also went to Boyd's in the '70's and '80's which was an EXACT DUPLICATION of Benny's from Maine Avenue. (Like McDonald's original fries which I discovered at Dick's in Spokane, WA or Hot Shoppes hot fudge ice cream cake which still exists at The Charcoal Pit on route 202 in Wilmington, DE) there are some tastes you never forget.) Horace and Dickey's french fries are frozen and cooked in vegetable oil not fresh and hot from being cooked in lard as the original. The fish doesn't have the same flavor and, maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't taste fresh. The fish fry is probably the same, though. (Yes, I've had the three and four "piece" sandwiches.) The overall sandwich simply is not as good. I seriously doubt that they are using the same oil/lard whatever that the originals used. Nor is their cole slaw which is home made but not as creamy. For those who never had the original Maine Avenue sandwiches or Boyd's then you'll probably like these but they don't even come close. (Sorry but I'm going back a lot of years to when D. C. made the best fried fish sandwich on earth.)
        But two or three years ago on a visit to Faidley's at the Lexington Market in Baltimore I found a better sandwich which was much closer to Benny's and Boyd's originals. (But NOT as good.)
        Although the Post once called the half smoke D. C.'s home grown best (one of my few disagreements with John B.) it was really the fish sandwich. From the Shrimpboat in Anacostia to Boyd's to Benny's on Maine Avenue it was this that was D. C.'s best, an indigenous taste that no one else-anywhere-duplicated.
        Faidley's may be 70% of the original. Horace and Dickey's is 40% at best.

        I've had a number of fried grouper sandwiches in Florida, most recently at Frenchy's on the beach in Clearwater Beach. Excellent. Just excellent. But this is a different sandwich from what D. C. was once known for. Horace and Dickey's is the best you'll find in the D. C. area today unless you go to Faidley's in the Lexington Market in Baltimore. That sandwich I'll match against Florida's best. Throw in some fries cooked in lard (if you can find them) and you would be close to D. C.'s best from many years ago.

        Note: Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City still serves french fries cooked in lard.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Joe H

          I haven't had any of the other fish sandwiches that Joe H mentions, but in my completely inexperienced estimate, the fish sandwich at Faidley's is excellent if eaten immediately on the spot. I'd rather have one of those than any of their crab cakes. That sandwich is worth a trip across town. And with extra tartar sauce, it almost makes eating the flabby white bread acceptable.

          I've had the Arthur Bryant's french fries too, and I didn't know they were cooked in lard. Thanks for that info Joe...I think...

          1. re: crackers

            Second on the Faidley's fish sandwiches. It's not on the order of some of the great dayboat stuff down in FL, but still fresh and hot and crisp and moist. Though I'm a fan of slaw and hot sauce over tartar :-)

            1. re: crackers

              crackers, it is *never* about the bread....
              flabby white bread, now that's the standard. ;-).

              1. re: alkapal

                Absolutely right alkapal. Unfathomable to serve it on a lightly toasted brioche roll :)

                At the other end of the region, the fish and chips at Eamonn's in Old Town Alexandria are superb, and they offer enough choices of sauces to satisfy both dmnkly's and my taste.

            2. re: Joe H

              So does anybody in DC/MD/VA still fry fish in lard anymore? Or is it all healthy, flavorless vegetable oil? Because lard seems to be the critical element in both flaky pie crusts and properly fried fish. I hope some bodega hidden away somewhere that's using lard in their tamales is deep frying fish in the same.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                we fried fish in vegetable oil -- usually peanut oil -- in florida. imo, fresh fish makes the real difference!

              2. re: Joe H

                Hey Joe,
                I was passing through Bmore this weekend and stopped at Faidley's for a fish sandwich. They have several but the counter girl recommended the haddock. It was great. One of the best I've ever had and the only good one I know of at the moment. Thanks for the heads up. I'll never get a crab cake there again.

              3. Ceiba does a "Florida Keys Style Blackened Fish Sandwich Key Lime Tartar Sauce, Spiced Sweet Potato Fries" $15 for lunch. Soft wonderful bun, just INCREDIBLE!

                1 Reply
                1. re: csabo

                  Thanks, csabo. I like Ceiba's "hot lava," aka queso fundido. I'll go there for the sandwich. Joe, I was a kid in New Jersey in the '50s but I do go to Lexington Market on occasion and will go soon but forsake Faidley's crab cakes (too expensive now IMHO) for the sandwich.

                2. Watch out for General Store Post Office Tavern in Silver Spring when it opens. Nobody fries as well as chef Gillian Clark (of Colorado Kitchen). Best fried fish sandwich ever.

                  1. Nicks on Washington Blvd makes a very good fried talapia sub.

                    1. American Seafood in Arlington. It's in that shopping center with Arrowine at Lee Highway and Lorcom Lane. They do a very good variety of blackened fish sandwiches based on whatever they have in that's fresh.

                      If you go in and try it definitely try the key lime pie too if you want another taste of Florida.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: jbeales

                        If they are open Mondays about 6 p.m. I will definitely go there soon as I play bridge most Monday evenings in Arlington. On those occasions I often go to the Italian Store nearby for a sandwich, so this is absolutely doable. Thank you.

                        1. re: jkosnett

                          Note that the American Seafood market and The Italian
                          Store are pretty much on opposite ends of Lee Highway within Arlington's borders. They aren't that far apart but probably at least 15 maybe 20 minute apart at the 6 PM rush hour. If you're starting from the Italian Store end of town, you might wonder if you'll ever get to the fish sandwich.

                          1. re: MikeR

                            to shave some time at rush hour from italian store to lee heights shopping center, travel instead left on spout run, left on lorcom, and it drops you back on lee highway at the perfect spot. just cross over lee hwy and "old lee hwy" (the corner of the strip mall near american seafood, which is in the "back" parking lot. lebanese taverna market is at the lorcom-lee intersection, too.

                            mike, i'm sure you know that arlington's borders extend well beyond american seafood to the west, and italian store on the east. http://gis.arlingtonva.us/Maps/Standa...

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Even the 1 mile on Lee Hwy shouldn't be that bad. Especially going on Old Lee Hwy past La Union at the light halfway up the hill. Those are three good stops within the mile - may be worth the walk!

                              1. re: Dennis S

                                definitely pedestrian un-friendly walk, that! esp. on the old lee hwy portion where la union is located...

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Oh, I don't know: there are sidewalks on at least one side of the street; maybe both. It is uphill, though, but it's not steep. I often go walking that way in good weather, stopping at Randolph's for a baguette on my way home.

                                  That said, I haven't been pleased with the few things I've bought at American Seafood. Haven't tried their sandwiches, though.

                              2. re: alkapal

                                Of course I know that Arlington's borders extend beyond the Italian Store and the fish market, but "close" is relative. And the fish market is about equally distant from what's called Falls Church, but really isn't. No mater, just giving a warning that they're not right next door.

                                1. re: MikeR

                                  Just for the record, Falls Church proper begins at about Lee Highway and Jefferson Street a few blocks west of I-66. Lee Highway east to the Potomac is in Arlington County. Picayune and off-topic, I know, but I can't seem to help myself.

                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                    I just got back from Key Largo a couple weeks ago, and loved the Key West style fish sandwiches at the Buzzards Roost, Mrs. Macs and Hobos, so I had to have a fried grouper fix recently. Went to American Seafood and ordered the fried Grouper, Key West style. I got a supremely over cooked and less than fresh piece of fish. I am not even sure it was grouper.

                                    1. re: Ziv

                                      i just had a very nice gulf shrimp po-boy at america seafood. the fish in the cases looked very fresh, and the place had no "seafood smell."

                                      i haven't tried the grouper, but i will definitely go back to do so. they have a whiteboard with all the different varieties of fish that you can have fried up right there to your order.

                              3. re: MikeR

                                I'm driving and I know exactly where all these places are. I'm familiar with the location of Arrowine and Crisp & Juicy; time is not an issue. Thanks, all.

                            2. re: jbeales

                              Good rec. Note that they're behind the strip, in the parking lot.

                              1. re: jbeales

                                Got a fried snapper sandwich Monday from American Seafood. $8.95 plus tax and maybe worth $6--- fish was thin, roll OK, man seemed miffed that I also didn't want to take out a cup or bowl of soup.

                                Still looking for the place. This isn't it.

                              2. I think Eammon's Dublin Chipper in Old Town Alexandria fulfills my wishes for a fish sandwich. Fish is fried to order and you have a choice of sauces. Many people rave about the curry sauce but it has an off taste to me.

                                -----
                                PX
                                728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                1. jkosnett, as a fort myers, florida native, i know *exactly* what you mean. fried grouper subs! not tilapia, not cod, not whiting, and not even catfish. i think we're up the proverbial creek here.....

                                  check out my thread from last year about the grouper "sting." http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/478487

                                  problem is, it's harder to find real fried grouper anymore -- even in sw florida. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/478487

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    Amen about tilapia! It's the fish equivalent of sweatshop clothing. It's as bad as using basa and implying that it is [U.S.] catfish...

                                    I wouldn't mind if someone could use snook or wahoo in sandwiches if grouper isn't available but I will never knowingly pay $7 or $10 for a tilapia sandwich no matter where it is...

                                    We're considering buying a place in Dunedin or Clearwater or Palm Harbor sometime in the next three years. That will fix the problem!

                                    1. re: jkosnett

                                      tilapia *tastes like" sweatshirt clothing -- after a workout. <i am using my imagination here, ok?>

                                      you can't beat a good fried snook sandwich. it has character! ;-).

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        You bet. Snook beats the hell out of grouper any day

                                  2. Captain Larry's on Fort Ave. has the best fish sandwich around. It is only like $5.95 and it is half price on Tuesdays.

                                    Grilled Mahi on wheat toast with pickle slices and mayo.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: abovethewaves

                                      is that baltimore? baltimore has much better seafood in more variety of prep styles in more places than d.c. i'm envious.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        yes, it is in baltimore....on the outskirts of Fed Hill.

                                        Captain Larrys is a nice little dive bar but with some class. I give them my vote for the best Crab Cake in Bmore, which is also half price on Wed.

                                        1. re: abovethewaves

                                          I just had a crab cake at Annabel Lee's on Clinton St. I described it to my wife as a "professional crab cake." Captain Larry's will have to show me, but I'll definitely go for the fish sandwich if someone can tell me what fish they use...

                                          1. re: jkosnett

                                            grilled mahi is used at Captain Larrys

                                            1. re: abovethewaves

                                              Chicken Trout on Liberty Rd in Randallstown has a credible fried fish - trout or croaker, made to order on white bread, right out of the fryer.

                                              1. re: abovethewaves

                                                The mahi sandwich at Captain Larry's this week was the best of the whole past year of fishwiches. And it's half-price Tuesday's. Also a nice mahi taco, but the chees sort interfered. Great handcut fries, too.

                                        2. re: abovethewaves

                                          Grilled Mahi on wheat toast?????!!!!!!
                                          Oh, my!
                                          Does that swim in the Chesapeake?
                                          This may be why Wash/Balt area is losing its local food culture.

                                          As Alkapal said in a previous post: FLABBY WHITE BREAD.
                                          And the fish should be something dragged out of the Chesapeake or at least something CHEAP - nothing to write home about - with a basic Anglo-Saxon name. Like Whiting.
                                          Or at least local, despite local fish having gotten pretty expensive in recent years.

                                          Oddly, whiting, so disparaged is the US, is just fine in Europe. Known as merlan in France and a good economical meal at less than $3/lb. Gussy it up and call it by its French moniker and your friends will be most pleased.

                                          Anyway, the "wheat bread" at places like Horaces and Dickie's - lest anyone be confused - is Wonder Wheat or some such.
                                          Artisan wheat is wrong. Essentially wrong. Disrespectful of local food traditions.

                                          We must do what we must to keep local food traditions alive.

                                          1. re: MakingSense

                                            What fish does H&D use? I've seen them haul out boxes of the frozen stuff and thaw it out in the sink, but I've never figured out what it is. I recall a Taste of America show where the owner said he got it flown in from Argentina or Brazil or something. They made a big deal about how they orignally used croaker, but couldn't get enough of the stuff so they had to go overseas.

                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                              A WaPost article several years ago said they use whiting which would make sense.
                                              It's a great fish for frying and is reasonably priced, easily available, etc.
                                              According to the aricle, they buy it in the 5# blocks, defrost it quickly under running water and use it immediately.
                                              The article also gave all the details on the types of oil they use, quantities, etc.
                                              They start with new oil every morning. We always prefer to get our fish before about 2 PM but the fish at 11 AM is pristine. Fresh oil.
                                              By midnight? Suitable for the nightcrawlers on H Street.

                                              Fried croaker is great but it's not as meaty as whiting so more expensive. It's called "hardhead" by many locals.
                                              Whole frozen croaker has just started appearing in my local Safeway and it's pretty cheap. But it has the dreaded bones which is a disqualifier for a lot of people.

                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                Yup. I'm always at H&D between 11 and 11:30 and the oil definitely doesn't have that stale, skunky bouquet one associates with deep fryers at late night chinese carryouts. After that, the lines at H&D usually discourage me, even though it tends to move pretty quickly. Sometimes though I think I'm lucky and get behind three customers, only to find that each is ordering 10-20 sandwiches to take back to the office. At that point, I usually cross the street to Danny's and get an order of fried gizzards, frenchfries, and hot sauce for $5. One has to get one's grease fix by any means necessary.

                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                  I WILL NEVER FORGET HORACE AND DICKIES...ITS ADRESS IS 809 12TH STREET NE DC. I GREW UP AT 824 12TH STREET NE.. AND IF THERE IS AN EXSPERT ON HORACE AND DICKIES ITS ME!....SURE MR SHANNON..IE THE HALF OWNER..MR DICKEY TO THOSE WHO DONT KNOW...YEA HE PUT OUR FIRE PLACE INSIDE OUR HOME BACK IN THE DAY. I REMEMBER BOYDS ON H ST.. ITS WAS GREAT FISH THEN IF YOU REALY KNOW THE HISTORY.... A GROUP OF LADIES BOUGHT THE PLACE AROUND THE CORNER TO 12 TH STREET. IT WAS CALLED LADY'S... THEY OPERATED FOR A BRIEF MOMENT...THEN MR SHANNON DICKEY AND HORACE BOUGHT THE PLACE AND CONTINUED THE TRADITION OF GREAT FISH.....nOW MIND YOU HST WAS A BAD AREA IN MY CHILDHOOD BUT THOSE FOLKS GAVE TO THE NEEDY ON THE REGULAR. THE FISH IS NEVER BAD...NO MATTER HOW MANY FISH SANDWICHES YOU EAT YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK TO HORACE AND DICKIES AND ITS NO ONE LIKE THEM..NO ONE!....SO IF YOU LOOKING FOR A NICE GOOD SANDWHICH ON A MID DAY OR LATE NIGHT, HORACE AND DICKIES IS THE PLACE TO GET WHAT YOU CRAVE...

                                                  PLUS TONIES ON 14TH AND H STREET CONER IS GOOD TOO......IT USED TO BE REDSKIN CHIEF BACK IN THE DAY ON 13TH STREET NE...BUT THATS JUST MY HISTORY.......

                                                2. re: MakingSense

                                                  I don't know what kind of fish Horace and Dickey's uses. But it tastes nothing like it did at Boyd's on H street who later moved to H & D and once served the exact same sandwich. If my memory is correct, as noted above, perch or haddock was served at Benny's on Maine avenue and later, Boyd's, still later, the original Horace and Dickey's.

                                                  I haven't had Faidley's sandwich in several years. Does anyone know what kind of fish they use?

                                          2. speaking of fish sandwiches, does anyone know anything more about the allegedly-soon-to-arrive "ray's the net"?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              I have been looking and I haven't seen anything since the October article in the Post, which also got Twittered. When he announced it, Michael did mention that nothing was set in stone, but that he was waiting for the county to give permits and such.

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                The other day, they said in a month or so.

                                              2. I loved the fried fish I had at Harris' Crab House on Kent Island.

                                                1. You might laugh but the Baja Fresh in Wheaton makes great fish soft tacos, lightly battered and fried, moist and thick. $2.79 apiece. I get two.
                                                  Haven't been to Crisfield's in Silver Spring recently but the fried perch sandwiches used to be good.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Pesel

                                                    If you're going to toss in fish tacos, then Teocalli Tamale in Herndon has to be mentioned. It's not Baja - it's better. Mahi Mahi w/o breading in a double corn tortilla with cabbage, lime, etc.

                                                    1. re: Dennis S

                                                      Fish tacos.......mmmmm....became a favorite staple of mine this past summer.....have never had them out before.....just make them at home on the grill....so easy, yet so good......

                                                      1. re: Dennis S

                                                        The Baja Fresh shops in California have both the breaded and fried fish tacos that we get around here and a broiled mahi-mahi taco. I asked the local Baja Fresh if they were going to get the maha-mahi and they said they didn't carry it in the Easter because it was too expensive to ship and a taco would cost too much here. In California as I recall the mahi-mahi is close to a buck more than the fried fish.

                                                        I rather like the fish tacos that California Tortilla has. The slaw and dressing is different from Baja Fresh, but the fish is about the same.

                                                        1. re: MikeR

                                                          I have been jonesing for a fish sandwich and working close to the overcooked, less than fresh grouper sandwiches at American Seafood doesn't help. Finally broke down and went to Baja Fresh expecting a bland but decent fish taco and was pleasantly surprised! That is a pretty good fish taco! Not great, but definitely good! Nicely spicy, the fish is fresh tasting, the spices nicely done, the pico de gallo had a nice snap to it. I think the next time I will have a taste off between the breaded fish with pico de gallo and the mahi mahi grilled, that should be a decent meal!
                                                          I can't believe the best fish sandwich/taco I have had in Arlington has been at Baja Fresh... I hear Cheesecake Factory has a good one, but I can't stomach $14 for a lunch sandwich.

                                                          1. re: Ziv

                                                            Did you find a local Baja Fresh with the grilled mahi mahi? Which one? I usually go to the one in Falls Church since it's near my home, but the Clarendon location isn't far. Maybe they all carry the mahi now and I just never noticed because I don't usually read the menu.

                                                            1. re: MikeR

                                                              Alas! No my much looked forward to taste test will not happen until I go to California! The website says they have the grilled mahi mahi, but the fine print somewhere states that only the California Baja Fresh cafes offer the mahi mahi.
                                                              And, as you might expect, having fish tacos from a fast food joint two days in a row, it didn't seem quite as good today. Or maybe the gross miscarriage of justice, my being summarily denied a grilled fish taco was what made the breaded fish taco good, but not quite as good as it seemed yesterday....
                                                              ;-)

                                                              1. re: Ziv

                                                                You can get your fix from Teocalli in Herndon, in the meantime.

                                                                1. re: Dennis S

                                                                  I tried their fish burrito and it was ok, but I wish I had tried the taco instead. Two of the cooks were having lunch at a table on the left of the cafe and the girl that took my order and cooked my meal didn't understand fish taco or know how to cook the fish taco entry I was pointing to on the chalk board on the right. I don't think she didn't want to do it, I think she didn't know how to do it. The burrito was kind of mushy, but with a little hot salsa it turned out fairly good, just not 'drive back to Herndon' good.

                                                                  My timing is fairly bad, but considering how long I have been prowling around, that is about par for the course.

                                                                  Just remembered, there is a place on Rte 1, way down nearly to Mt. Vernon, southeast side of the road, latino cafe that serves a really reasonable and tasty ceviche, I may go back and try that and any other seafood they have, the next time I am visiting Mason Neck to chase eagles around the park...

                                                                  'Me gustaria un taco de pescador' didn't get me anywhere, but 'Mi espanol is suficiente para una taxi o una cervesa, pero no mas', did get a smile at my butchery of her language.

                                                                  1. re: Ziv

                                                                    It sounds like you might have ordered something else. Most of the things on the new menu are great, but the fish taco is something off the old menu that shouldn't require the extended grill time.

                                                                    I think they're softly changing their approach, in that many of the items from the old menu just aren't being given the love they once used to (and hence may even affect the fish tacos, too).

                                                                    Some of the relatively newish staff is quirky in different respects - language barriers included.

                                                    2. I live near Maine Avenue so I default there due to proximity - but the place in the inside corner is my go-to for fried fcatish. It's just a take-out - they don't have a retail market for crabs and fish. Flabby white bread, filets fried crisp. Eat it right away. Sit in your car or stand around like everyone else. It's a lot of food and not very pricey for DC.

                                                      11 Replies
                                                      1. re: dcandohio

                                                        IMHO, fried fish is one of the reasons for the existence of "flabby white bread."

                                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                                          Indeed. Wonder Bread exists as simply a neutral delivery vector for whatever's between the slices, be it fried fish, barbecue, or what have you. You don't want anything distracting your taste buds from what's IN the sandwich.

                                                          And it's great for soaking up the BBQ/hotsauce. Try doing that with ciabatta.

                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                            The best BLT's are on Wonder bread also.

                                                            1. re: Joe H

                                                              And with crusts trimmed, Wonder Bread is perfect for tea sandwiches, like watercress and cucumber.

                                                              All my old recipe books have caviar and steak tartar being served on Wonder Bread toast points. Like with the fish sandwich, the bread is there to get the food to your mouth. Nothing more.

                                                            2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                              We had fried soft shell crab sandwiches on Wonder at a Volunteer Fire Department fair. Really disappointed until we realized that the Wonder soaked up all the juices that were squirting out. Didn't miss a drop of all the crabby goodness!
                                                              Works great for perfectly fried oysters too. Anything juicy, warm, and fresh.
                                                              Sponge bread has its place.

                                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                                Yes. It's really nothing more than an edible napkin to wrap around that hunk of fish/ribs/barbecue/what-have-you.

                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                  I'm going to start using a piece of white bread for a napkin from now on and just eat it at the end of the meal.

                                                                  1. re: abovethewaves

                                                                    Yep. Too bad we've civilized ourselves beyond where food was plopped on a slab of bread instead of a plate. The food juices made stale bread edible, and the bread meant valuable nutrients weren't wasted by washing off plates. We still eat like this in my house, though.

                                                                  2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                    When I had a dog, I always used a slice of bread as a spoon rest on the stove when I cooked.
                                                                    That went to the pooch when I was done.

                                                              2. re: MakingSense

                                                                you all might think of summer (oh yeah, baby!) with this praise-of-wonderbread thread!: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/550332

                                                                another thing about the bread with the hot fried fish is that the bread cradles the fish to keep it warm, and the little oily residue makes the bread taste a little like the fish nestled in it. mo' flavuh!

                                                              3. re: dcandohio

                                                                Agreed. I just tried this place recently (Jimmy's Grill) and the catfish has that nice "muddy" flavor. I also like the whiting which is coated in a lightly seasoned flour, unlike the cornmeal crust that's on the Horace & Dickies sandwich. Run by some nice ladies who also do a brisk business selling cakes. The carrot cake is pretty tasty and I don't even like carrot cake. The german chocolate cake is also tasty, rich, and cheap. They always seem to be giving out free samples of their clam chowder, which is actually one of the better soups in the Market. A nice thick white chowder with bits of clam and potato. Far superior to the clam chowder served around the corner, which tasted like a cup of hot Elmer's Glue with some undercooked potato.

                                                              4. I know it's not on the caliber of fish sandwiches you folks are talking about......but at the corner of 170 & 174...Reese road in AA county, there is a sign proclaiming lake trout........by any chance has anyone tried this place? I don't even know the name of the dive.....

                                                                1. Try the fish that is served at the baptist church on friday's (only) near chinatown. Its pretty good.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Soup

                                                                    In Baltimore, One World Cafe has a grilled marinated tuna/wasabi mayo fishwich that was damned good today.

                                                                  2. Just had dinner with friends, at Teds Montana Grill and I, foolishly, ordered the fish sandwich special. Abysmal. But when I mentioned that I have been hunting for a Key West style fish sandwich they laughed and said I should try Dave's Seafood and Subs off of Columbia Pike at Glebe. They were really bullish on the fish sandwiches, and said it was all the rage with their friends that work in Ballston.
                                                                    I drove by and it looked like a promising hole in the wall joint.
                                                                    Has anyone been there?

                                                                    http://www.fcnp.com/502/restaurant.htm

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Ziv

                                                                      fwiw, i have looked closely at that place twice, craving a good old sw fla style fried grouper sub -- anything but steenkin' catfish or tilapia, really. iirc, this place only had catfish and croaker -- both no go in my book.....

                                                                      but, i have never eaten there....it has one little table to wait for your take-out, if that.....

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        Yes, I had a whiting fish sub from Dave's. they claim that their fish is fresh. I must have had the fresh fish from earlier in the week. Not too good. They regularly have catfish, trout, croaker, and whiting. But they will only do whiting as a sub, the others they do as a platter.

                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                          I just got back, and I have enjoyed just about the best trout sandwich platter I have had in years. It was lightly breaded and deep fat fried to a golden crunch. Simply delicious, served with 2 slices of white bread wrapped in wax paper, slightly smoky collard greens & a little tub of decent potato salad. I drove like a maniac to Lyon Park to grab a table and chow down. They serve the platter with 3 filets of trout, two of which make a pretty good sandwich. They also give you pepper sauce, tastes like Pistol Pete to me. I stood in line with a guy from southern Virginia, he claimed the croaker, which looked really good, is about as good as what his Mama made, on one of her good days.
                                                                          This isn't a Key West style sandwich, it is more like the ones I used to get in Deal or Hughesville in southern Maryland.
                                                                          Now for the blasphemy, I liked my trout sandwich from Dave's much more than the 4 pieces of whiting and wonder bread I got at Horace & Dickie's. Apples and oranges, I know, but the trout at Dave's was pretty darned good. And the croaker looked like it was worth the occasional bone!

                                                                          1. re: Ziv

                                                                            "I drove like a maniac to Lyon Park to grab a table and chow down. "

                                                                            Hmmmm .. Columbia Pike and Glebe Road isn't very close to Lyon Park. And I thought I read that the place had only one table, for waiting. Is this the Dave's that Steve reported on?

                                                                            1. re: MikeR

                                                                              They must have taken the table away because the chairs were there, but no table in sight. And that's why I had to drive like a maniac, the park was 1 1/2 miles away up Fillmore, and my fish was cooling!
                                                                              I think it must be the same place, there can't be too many Dave's Seafoods in Arlington.
                                                                              Not sure if Google street view works in a link, but if you look at the street view of 963 S. Glebe Rd., Dave's is just to the left of the Boston Market.
                                                                              http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp...

                                                                              Just checked on the Google street view and it doesn't link, but it is the same place I think.

                                                                              1. re: Ziv

                                                                                Ah, I get it. You ate in the park a mile and a half away. I guess most people just eat in their cars. Or I suppose you could have gone into Boston Market, orded a drink, and ate your fish sandwich there. <g>

                                                                                I know where that shopping square with the Boston Market is. I think the original Five Guys used to be there, and the late, lamented Brenner's Bakery.

                                                                                1. re: MikeR

                                                                                  "he claimed the croaker, which looked really good, is about as good as what his Mama made, on one of her good days..."

                                                                                  GREAT line. Thank you for sharing!!!!

                                                                    2. Nice to have this resurface - as I might know of a far-western place for you AND I plan to try it again on Friday. It's the place in Haymarket run by a franchisee(?) of Foster's. Catfish Lewie's. Before I go on Friday - anyone have a more recent update?

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Dennis S

                                                                        Bad omen is that the site is completely down - AND exposed!

                                                                        1. re: Dennis S

                                                                          To report back - Catfish Lewie's looked closed for good. I thought it was a good idea but maybe the service never improved or they tried in the wrong location. If it opened in Herndon/Reston or Fairfax I'd bet they'd do well.

                                                                      2. Any Pittsburghers on this board? I'm looking for a huge piece of cod on a hoagie roll, breaded not battered. Like church basement fish fry style. I can't find it anywhere in the district. Also NO BONES!!!

                                                                        Incidentally wonder bread is good for one sandwich only - closed faced hot turkey sandwich.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: buzzy715

                                                                          Pittsburgher-by-marriage here. I've been looking for a Benkowitz/Robt Wholey/VFW Hall/any Western Pa. Catholic church basement-style fish sandwich in metro Washington since 1985. Haven't found one yet.

                                                                          1. re: buzzy715

                                                                            Wonder bread: Closed face COLD leftover turkey sandwich. Which is also the only sandwich where Mayo and iceberg lettuce should be used.

                                                                            1. re: buzzy715

                                                                              The Wonder Bread BAKERY was on Georgia Avenue just across from Griffith stadium. The original fish sandwich from Benny's on Maine avenue used fresh (i.e. really soft having been baked that morning!) bread which they stacked the fresh perch filets three or four inches high on with creamy cole slaw and cheap Evangeline hot sauce. Wonderebread ALLOWED a great fish sandwich. That same fish sandwich can be had today at Faidley's in the Lexington Market although it is probably not made with...Wonder bread. I should note here that there are places in northern Ohio on Lake Erie that do a similarly "wonderful" sandwich...

                                                                              1. re: buzzy715

                                                                                Buzzy, no cod or haddock, but they do have salmon, which is odd, at the fish fry at St. Cyprian on East Capital Street. They also have the usual suspects, trout and croaker. Looks like it is every Friday in Lent, noon to 6pm. I have been waiting for someone to post a fish fry like you describe because it sounds great.

                                                                                http://parishbulletin.com/Organizatio...

                                                                              2. "bait shop here..." Florida? Gulf Coast? Like Frenchy's literally on the beach in Clearwater Beach where a fried grouper sandwich is my choice for the single last thing I would like to taste before...leaving the nursing home...

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Joe H

                                                                                  Absolutely Joe H, love it. Love blackened, fried or broiled anything, some slaw, tomato and lettuce ... I like my remoulade, by tarter is fine... Heaven right? Sarasota, FL Anywhere up and down the coast, grouper, snapper even whiting is great. Love them all.

                                                                                  I worked in a bait shop for 2 years part time, loved it and the best d*m* sandwiches you could get.

                                                                                2. Just got back from a second trip to Dave's Seafood, tried the croaker which was only slightly boney, and a friend had the whiting. Both servings were very well prepared, golden, fresh and tasty. The sides were ok, I had the mashed potatos and gravy and the gravy is kind of like store bought, which it probably is. The greens were good though, just a touch of smoke and salt. One of the pieces of croaker had a spot that was a bit off, but the rest of the 6 pieces were delicious. One other thing that I like, the ladies that work there are pretty concientous about washing their hands. In a seafood place where they handle both food and money, that is important.
                                                                                  All in all, very good, but not great. Still miss the Key West style fish sandwiches in Key Largo. What I wouldn't give for a well fried chunk of grouper...

                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. This probably doesnt belong here and I know it's fast food, but I just had the new premium fish filet sandwich that is available for a limited time at Wendy's... and it was quite good. Hit the spot with a baked potato on the side.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jodik

                                                                                      i had it a year ago, and it was pretty good, albeit pricey for fast food. but it was fresh and crispy, and tasty. but there is too much "bun" and it wasn't room temp, but cool. the lettuce was wimpy leaf lettuce, when it would be better with fresh shredded iceberg. the tartar sauce, too, was a bit odd, imo.

                                                                                      despite those shortcomings, if you put two together, you're getting close to a pretty decent fish sandwich -- but then you're looking at $12, more or less, and a lot of (actual) bread. enough "bread" to get you a good grouper sub in florida - not cod. ;-).

                                                                                      i notice that the wendy's premium fish is not available in all of its outlets.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Twelve bucks for a sandwich at Wendy's? For how many? Or how many sides/drinks/desserts?

                                                                                        1. re: MikeR

                                                                                          i said, "put *two* together"..... i'm basing this on buying it in florida a year ago. now that i think about it, you'd need three wendy's fish filets to equal what could be called an average-sized grouper sub in florida.

                                                                                          but, to cut to the chase, how much is the wendy's sandwich in your experience?

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            Oh, you mean two fish sandwiches. I wasn't sure which "two" you were talking about or how they would be put together - I was somehow thinking about ordering a meal with a sandwich and sides. I don't know how much a fish sandwich is at Wendy's currently but I walk past one a couple of times a week. I'll try to remember to stick my head in and look at the menu next trip.

                                                                                            1. re: MikeR

                                                                                              OK, it's $3.79 for the sandwich, $5.49 for the combo, which I assume includes a sandwich, side, and drink. So If you get a combo and a sandwich (to add to the one that comes with the combo), it's about $9.75 with tax. More than I usually spend for a quick lunch, but not $12 either. I suspect that one slab of fish would be enough for me, and I usually don't order sides and drink water, so I'd get away with less than $4.25 and probably have all I wanted to eat.

                                                                                              I didn't try one, however.

                                                                                              1. re: MikeR

                                                                                                ok, well the price is lower than in florida (or maybe just lower than i remember). not a bad deal, so i may take a little hop over to wendy's -- although the closest on near lee hwy. between glebe and george mason dr. is *terrible*. why isn't their quality control better, i wonder?

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  I went to the one in my hood on Columbia Pike. I was just pleasantly surprised. Try the potato with it... makes it a little ;-) healthier than the fries.

                                                                                                  Enjoy!

                                                                                                  1. re: jodik

                                                                                                    I like that Wendy's, right by my old apartment! lol. And yes, they did do a decent job with the fish sandwich. I was surprised to actually have a fish that flakes from a fast food restaurant

                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                          Hmmm... I didn't pay $12. I paid under $7 for the sandwich, baked potato and soda.

                                                                                      2. I just had a very good grouper sandwich at Dogfish Head, surprisingly meaty, fried til it was crisp on the outside and firm on the inside, served on a pumpernickel bread that was slightly overpowering but delicious. They also pile the coleslaw on a bit thick which makes it more than a meal, but I put the slaw on the side and the sandwich was even better that way. $11 is a bit high, but this far from the source I can't complain. The jambalaya looked good and got a thumbs up as well.
                                                                                        All in all, the best grouper sandwich I have had since I left Key Largo last year. And the beers are good, the service professional and prompt. I will give it 5 stars simply for the combo of a very good fish sandwich and excellent beer selections.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Dogfish Head Alehouse
                                                                                        6363 Seven Corners Ctr, Falls Church, VA 22044

                                                                                        1. we ate at eamonn's for the first time on saturday evening. i was very disappointed to find very greasy fish and greasy chips. very disappointed.

                                                                                          they need to let the stuff drain more out of the fryer -- and not stick it into a little sleeve so that it holds the grease, and then steams the fish -- killing its crispiness (and we took the fish out as soon as we could).

                                                                                          plus, a draft guinness (less than a pint, i think, but maybe not.....), two pieces of fish (one grouper, one skate), weird-flavored coleslaw, "medium" chips, one hard cider: nearly $35.

                                                                                          ~~~~~~~
                                                                                          i forgot to mention that the "background" music playing from an ipod plugged into a speaker setup sounded like the sex pistols and the like. now, the sex pistols are fine WHEN i'm wanting to be rousty and bump around and pretend that i'm back in college. not when i'm trying to eat.

                                                                                          i told mr. alka that it was like "annoying white noise."

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            I had a similar experience at Hank's up the street, except with oysters. Really greasy. Yet right up the street at The Fish Market, they're perfectly fried. Too bad their fish is lousy. You'd figure a place called Fish Market would have decent fried fish.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Fish Market Restaurant
                                                                                            105 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                              The fish served at the Fish Market is the left over fish thats about to go bad in a day or two. Thats why they have those foods stands to make so extra money before the fish goes bad. Something they do in restaurants when they have a special - either they got a good deal on the product or its going to spoil in a few days.

                                                                                              Fresh caught fish (24hrs) or less you can't beat the flavor.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Fish Market Restaurant
                                                                                              105 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                                              I find this place much ado about nothing as well. I have been there twice: once the batter on the fish was raw; the other time it was cooked correctly but nothing special. I also got the fried candy bar - now that is a waste of calories. The sauce (as I remember was nice).

                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                My one experience at Eamonn's was drenched in oil. The worst fish and chips I've ever had. Perhaps an aberration, but I don't care to go back.

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Eamonns
                                                                                                728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                                                                                1. re: Steve

                                                                                                  I've been a staunch fan of Eamonn's but I have to say, when I went about 3 weeks ago, it was bland and greasy. The only flavor was from the dipping sauce. I'm sorry to say that it's just not worth the calorie splurge.
                                                                                                  I still like those big fat chips, however.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Eamonns
                                                                                                  728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  Completely agree. Never liked Eamonn's. My review from another site: The worst fish and chips I've ever had. Aren't fish and chips supposed to be crispy? I mean, that is the point of deep frying food, right? The breading fell off the fish in a wet, gloppy, greasy mass every time I have gotten it. And the fish was bland. The fries (chips, yeah) were thick-cut and mushy, oily, and soft every time as well. And they were bland. Even their silly dipping sauces didn't have much flavor. Meaning that they were bland. I stopped going after about 8-10 horrid times and put my foot down when others continued wanting to go to this place. It takes a lot to completely write off a place, but the fish and chips were so disgusting I wouldn't eat it for free, never mind pay their artificially inflated prices.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Eamonns
                                                                                                  728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                                                                                  1. re: link_930

                                                                                                    I've never found their sauces bland--a bit salty, perhaps, but not bland. I give you major kudos for trying it so many times in hopes of liking it though!!

                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                      seriously. link is kinder than i. i will not go back.

                                                                                                3. i had a very nice shrimp po-boy at "america seafood" in arlington (behind the lee-heights shopping strip mall). they have a wide variety of fresh fish that they fry up when you order it.

                                                                                                  my gulf shrimp were very fresh, and i'm going back for grouper next. truly, they have a very wide range of better-type fish (swordfish, e.g.) -- ready to fix up just for you.

                                                                                                  (ps, get a sample of the smoked blue fish). they also have ready to eat chowders for take-out.

                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                    Smoked blue fish is awesome I catch them in the Bay during the season

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                        Peak abundance of bluefish near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay occurs in April-July and again in October-November

                                                                                                        http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/...

                                                                                                        1. re: agarnett100

                                                                                                          i'm wondering when these blue fish were smoked then? hmmm......

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            The fish could also be from Florida thats where this areas supply of grouper comes from

                                                                                                            1. re: agarnett100

                                                                                                              good point -- they had lots of florida fish.

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                This place used to be called Florida Seafood. Blues run the Florida east coast December through March.

                                                                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                  flavr, how long ago was it that name?

                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                    I dunno--15-20 years ago. Doesn't seemed to have changed any since.

                                                                                                  2. The fish and chips at Samuel Beckett's in Shirlington is a nice plate of crispy, golden fish with wedge chips.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                      Had the fish & chips at Samuel Beckett's and it the fish seemed plump, white & fresh, but the coating was not crispy at all, which to me is very important, and the chips were about average, so was definitely not very impressed. Not a fried fish sandwich, but maybe good to add to this list are the fresh fish tacos at Surfside on Wisconsin Avenue in Glover Park. Cafeteria style, reasonable prices, cooked to order. Yes, please.

                                                                                                      1. re: OneMoreBite

                                                                                                        Looks I am having fresh caught rainbow trout for tomorrows dinner. Thank you MD DNR

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        1. re: agarnett100

                                                                                                          nice catch agarnett. Were were they caught? I typicaly have trout once a year, during trout season. So far this year, no luck on two outings!

                                                                                                          1. re: cb1

                                                                                                            Thanks I caught these in a put and take area, Greenbelt Lake. I try to go trout fishing 2 times a week I may hit the bay this Friday to try and catch some crockers.