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Good fish & chips in NE Seattle?

RandyB Apr 25, 2013 09:55 PM

Just rolled in to town this afternoon. I had a craving for fish & chips. What's close to Cedar Park (Lake City)?

Last time I did this, I went to Coopers Alehouse on Lake City Way. Good, batter fried fish and crispy fries, cut with skin on. See my comment here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/390067
That was 2009.

I couldn't find any particular, recent comments about Coopers f&c. I decided to see what else I could find. Based on raves elsewhere, I drove down Stone Way to Pacific Inn Pub at NE 35th St.

Big mistake. The portions of fish were generous, and the coleslaw was chunky and not mayo-y. The fish was tasteless. The fries could have been from frozen bag to fryer, not crispy and also tasteless. I should have just walked and left it all on the plate. (Joule is right across the street.) Hunger overcame me. My punishment is a lump in the gut an hour later.

Next time (2016?) I'll go back to Coopers, or head downtown to my favorite, Fado's. Of course, it's also a while since I've been to Fado's . . .

  1. c
    christy319 Apr 27, 2013 03:56 PM

    This truck is parked on 85th tonight--I'm going to check it out.

    8 Replies
    1. re: christy319
      gingershelley Apr 28, 2013 10:09 AM

      Nice! This is a truck I had not heard of before... please report back!

      1. re: gingershelley
        christy319 Apr 28, 2013 01:28 PM

        We had fish tacos and clams and chips. The fish tacos were probably the best I've had in Seattle, since I insist on having fried fish and nearly everyone here does grilled. I wish they used corn tortillas rather than flour but since I'm so desperate for a fried fish taco, I'm letting it slide. The clams were fine, but just like all the other clams and chips I've had (ie Ivar's). So fine but not exceptional. The chips are what I, in the '80s, would have called "jo jos". Wedges with seasoning. Based on the fried fish in the taco I'd try the regular fish and chips.

        When it's parked at Chuck's you can order beer and grab an inside table, and they'll deliver your food inside (or outside, though signs indicated you couldn't drink beer outside. Though I think people were).

        1. re: christy319
          mrnelso Apr 28, 2013 03:43 PM

          Like Shelley, we thought Chuck's fish tacos were best we've had in the city. We agree corn tortillas would be better, and hope they try the 'homemade' ones ones at Trader Joe's.
          We also thought highly of both the cod and salmon & chips, though we deferred the clams on the same basis. Last night, the spuds were waffle-cut and tending to a bit saggy, but they contributed a bit of savory flavor.
          These geniuses have created a lively, buzzing scene where diners get to sit for maybe an hour, scanning retail offerings of exotic beverages from around the world while exotic flavors on the palate whisper suggestions to the Id.
          Did I mention genius?

          1. re: mrnelso
            gingershelley Apr 29, 2013 10:14 AM

            MrNelso - where is this 'scene' that they create? I like me a buzzy scene with fish and chips and an exotic beverage or two:)

            1. re: gingershelley
              mrnelso Apr 29, 2013 11:57 PM

              Egad - I was blinded by the light and forgot a couple of things. The dining room/beer store (with corkage) is inside at Chuck's Hop Shop at 656 NW 85th. The FISH TRUCK parked outside, where we ordered on bustling Saturday night, was THE FISH BASKET. They served us inside, where they will sell you a thousand bottles of beer and corkage to drink with your fish. The rotation of trucks there is a wonder, if something of a puzzle-hunt, but lovely.

          2. re: christy319
            Scrofula Apr 29, 2013 04:17 AM

            Agua Verde has fried cod tacos on corn tortillas. (Memo's also has fried fish tacos, but they are less recommendable.)

            1. re: Scrofula
              kaleokahu Apr 29, 2013 08:36 AM

              +1 on Agua Verde's bacalao tacos.

              1. re: kaleokahu
                christy319 Apr 29, 2013 11:39 AM

                I will have to try those. As part of my general mission I'm also looking for a fried fish burrito and I went to Agua Verde and got that, and the fish was fine but all of the burrito stuffing--cabbage/lettuce, guac, sour cream, pico--came OUTSIDE the burrito. Was I supposed to unwrap and stuff it myself? I was annoyed.

      2. k
        kaleokahu Apr 26, 2013 08:37 PM

        Hi, Randy:

        I couldn't disagree more about Pacific Inn's F&C.

        So I hesitate to suggest another place: By's, 2901 4th Avenue S. It's a drive in, much like Spud, except the fish is much better. IMO.

        If you're really into F&C, McCormick's on 1st Avuenue (and in the AGC Building will prepare you F&C using fresh Hawai'ian ono when they have it. Ono, indeed.


        4 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu
          gingershelley Apr 27, 2013 10:21 AM

          Seriously Kaleo - ono fish and chips? I would eat that in a heartbeat. LOVE ono. But, I would rather have it grilled till just cooked, then have some macadamia butter on top, and a wedge of lime. Yum.

          1. re: gingershelley
            kaleokahu Apr 27, 2013 08:42 PM

            HI, gingershelly:

            Ae, pololei. When it's on McCormick's fresh sheet, I get the ono done as F&C about 80% of the time. The simple prep you describe is awesome, but there's something unholy-trinity good about ono in English-style batter, and a schmeer of your favorite tartar/vinegar. So very wrong culturally, but I'm incapable of resisting. If they would do a peppery black 'awa tartar, I would be their slave.

            I want to find someone here in Seattle who will source the cheeks--they have to be, well... mobettahs than halibut cheeks. Maybe still a "junk" cut in some purveyor's eyes?


            1. re: kaleokahu
              gingershelley Apr 28, 2013 10:08 AM

              When I go to Maui, I eat ono every other meal.... it is hard to find here. Sometimes, at Mutual Fish I get it, but I am not that way often.

              Ono cheeks? Sign me up!

          2. re: kaleokahu
            GreenYoshi Apr 28, 2013 01:03 PM

            If I recall correctly By's also does a breaded-style F&C. I'd put it pretty similar to Pacific Inn (but it's a little better. Crispier, thicker crust, fresher, less soggy overall) Although, if the OP didn't like Pacific Inn, I don't think he's going to like By's much better. (I know I don't love it)

            McCormick's does battered, so I'll have to check in sometime about the ono...

          3. g
            GreenYoshi Apr 26, 2013 09:15 AM

            Thank you. I never really got Pacific Inn... A fun place to go drinking, but those F&C really aren't that great. (Hell, I'd rather get Ivar's...)

            Spud's on Green Lake would have served you well, and I remember enjoying Green Lake Bar & Grill's F&C, but that may have been an example of exceeding lowered expectations than anything else.

            5 Replies
            1. re: GreenYoshi
              christy319 Apr 26, 2013 03:11 PM

              I like Spud, too. That's as NE as I can think of.

              1. re: christy319
                kaleokahu Apr 26, 2013 08:39 PM

                In the food wasteland known as Juanita?

                1. re: kaleokahu
                  RandyB Apr 26, 2013 11:01 PM

                  Spud Greenlake Way NE. There's one on Alki, too.

                  I don't know if the Juanita Spud (in NE Kirkland) is related to the others.

                  1. re: RandyB
                    MsMaryMc Apr 27, 2013 05:03 PM

                    I believe they're not related, or not anymore. I once saw a sign there informing customers that the Groupon (or a Groupon clone) that was being offered by the other two Spuds restaurants wasn't good there.

                    I used to work in the area and go there for lunch fairly often. They're a little pricey, but I quite like their fish. The fried artichoke hearts were also pretty addictive.

              2. re: GreenYoshi
                RandyB May 4, 2013 05:45 PM

                Well, I was back in Seattle today and I decided to go back to Cooper's Ale House on Lake City Way. That's the place I did not go to when I made my original post.

                Nothing fancy, just large, thick cod fillets perfectly fried, i.e., very crispy beer batter outside and very moist inside. The fries were thin, nice and crispy on the outside.

                Despite it being 2:30 pm with a virtually empty house, nothing tasted like it had been sitting around. There is a difference when oil is old, and from the clean taste of the fries, it was not.

                For NE Seattle fish & chips, that will be my go to place.

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