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Fish and Chips Zeitgeist

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Jim Leff May 4, 2003 02:44 PM

We've gotten some fish and chips tips in the last couple of days, which reminds me that I passed a ton of these places while in town, and, alas, tried none of them.

Feel free to name names if you'd like (for the benefit of Torontonians reading along), but I'm wondering, as an outsider, what's the general level of these places up there? Is it a strength for the city, or are these just kind of crappy fast foody places, for most part?

On a completely different tack, I'm kind of bummed that nobody's tried my beloved Ethiopian yet. Hope you guys aren't of the "clip-tips-and-forget-about-them" school.....!

ciao

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    julesrules RE: Jim Leff May 5, 2003 12:21 AM

    From the online article, I couldn't figure out exactly where to look for this Ethiopian place. I know the Danforth area so I have an idea where it MIGHT be, but an intersection would help alot!

    Hmmm, I only recall ever having fish n chips once outside Toronto, I was in London where sadly enough they were TERRIBLE (pre-fried fish that had been sitting under a heat lamp for god knows how long. And they weren't even trying to hide it, it seemed that it was totally acceptable to serve it this way). So based on that experience Toronto would be a f&c destination!

    1 Reply
    1. re: julesrules
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      julesrules RE: julesrules May 5, 2003 12:28 AM

      Okay, I found the post with the address:

      Ethiopian Village Food & Spice, 2229 Danforth Ave. (east of Woodbine Ave.), 416-686-1846

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      Dan RE: Jim Leff May 5, 2003 09:28 AM

      Several are decent, but the best and most authentic of the bunch is the newly opened Chippy's

      Link: http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2003...

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        Elizabeth RE: Jim Leff May 5, 2003 01:25 PM

        For years my husband and I (I always sound like the Queen when I say that!) went every Saturday to Reliable Fish and Chips at the corner of Queen and Logan. The batter on the fish was so light and delicate - like a tempura batter - it absolutely shattered when your fork hit it.......but then the owners sold and the new people (foolishly) didn't use the same recipe. Since then we've been searching for the same experience. We plan to try Harbord Fish and Chips as the description sounds close....but to this day when we drive past Logan and Queen it's a sad moment!

        10 Replies
        1. re: Elizabeth
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          Rory RE: Elizabeth May 5, 2003 02:36 PM

          1) Duckworths at Main & Danforth is a very good Fish & Chips spot. There's also a spot on Kingston Rd. by the same name. Excellent.

          2) My Favourite - Old Yorke Fish and Chips (I believe) in Leaside on Laird, south of Eglinton. Very light batter. Very nice restaurant interior - not typical of Fish & Chips places. Fish and Chips for the Yuppie set. Very nice, though. It's become my favourite.

          3) Penrose Fish & Chips at 600 Mt. Pleasant, south of Eglinton. Many feel this is the best Fish and Chips place in Toronto but I think it's riding on its laurels.

          I've tried Harbord Fish & Chips a few times and found it overated and inconsistent.

          Can't wait to try Chippy's!

          Rory

          1. re: Rory
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            marie RE: Rory May 5, 2003 03:07 PM

            chippy's? over-rated & inconsistent! one time the fish was great, huge portion, crispy batter & fish was perfect. last saturday - mingy portion, soggy batter & overcooked fish! chips are always greasy & heavy but they re-heat well in the oven.

            1. re: marie
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              jack cousteau RE: marie May 6, 2003 11:08 AM

              I've been there a couple of times now. Being in my neighborhood, I like to support the local businesses any day then the dumb McCrap and franchises that have invaded. But I don't think they'll be getting my money anytime soon. The service is inconsistent from barely pleasant to down right terrible. The preparation of the fish was raw and mushy between the fish and the batter 3 out of the 4 time I've been there. Their fries are extremely greasy and soggy. It just seems to be a "cool" flavour of the month place that NOW magazine is notorious for all scenesters infront and behind the counter. Chippy's definitely gets a thumbs down! And another up their pretentious butts!

              1. re: jack cousteau
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                Fugu RE: jack cousteau May 6, 2003 11:50 AM

                My sentiments exactly. Thank you!

                1. re: Fugu
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                  ray RE: Fugu May 7, 2003 11:13 AM

                  chippys'chumps.sat on park bench across from chippys while i ate my order and got an earfull from other patrons as well.to expensive,inconsistent,never again.i second that.

                  1. re: ray
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                    bbbradk RE: ray May 13, 2003 04:08 AM

                    Wow, can't say that I agree on the bad reviews of Chippies.
                    I've only been twice, but was very impressed both times.

                    1. re: bbbradk
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                      Sei Jung RE: bbbradk May 13, 2003 10:00 AM

                      My experience with Chippy's has been terrible the food was bad. The service was horrible. It seems to be coasting on hype not on serving quality food.

              2. re: marie
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                Kosmonaut RE: marie May 6, 2003 11:10 AM

                Chippy's fish is really fresh but I don't like their fries. Harbord Fish and Chips wasn't fresh but the batter's amazing. Both have something to offer. I have to try some of the places mentioned to see how they compare.

                Love your fish.

              3. re: Rory
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                estufarian RE: Rory May 8, 2003 12:13 PM

                Haven't tried Duckworths, but have tried the others.
                Olde Yorke - once - never bothered (or wanted) to go back.
                Penrose - twice! After the first time I vowed not to return, but several people recommended it so I tried a second time. There won't be a third!
                Obviously our tastes are different (which is great, otherwise there would only be 1 fish & chips restaurant in Toronto).
                My choice is still Harbord - and I'll add a reason why - they peel and cut their own potatoes right there.

                1. re: Rory
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                  Morse Cat RE: Rory May 8, 2003 02:42 PM

                  I've been to some of these places in the past and agree with most posters. Very recently in the local paper there was a good write up for a F&C shop on Gerrard just East of Coxwell - I already forgot the name, but the owner (fairly new owner) brought his recipe from London England from a relative's shop. Fish (we selected halibut, but there were other fish choices) battered and well cooked, potatoes were freshly (as in while we waited) peeled and chopped and the overall result was very good.
                  The place is small (maybe 4 tables), but he was doing a good take out business while we were there.
                  If you're into Ironbru (pop) they carry this.

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                Richard Warriner RE: Jim Leff May 7, 2003 11:12 AM

                One of the most satisfying Fish & Chip meals I've had lately was at a pub called Fiddler's Green on the south side of Wellesley between Yonge & Church. I used to eat at this pub quite regularly years ago when it was The Jack Russell, but the food was not as good then.

                TIP: Ask for extra coleslaw - you won't be disapponted!

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                  Otonabee RE: Jim Leff May 8, 2003 01:39 PM

                  I recently tried the White Bros Fish & Chips in the Beaches and was quite impressed! (They are on Queen I beleive east of Beech) They do their own tartar sauce which is very good. The fish was exactly as I liked it, and beleive me I am pretty fussy. I am going back this weekend so if hopefully it was not a one time thing!

                  Its also close to one of the best ice cream places in TO - Ed's Real Scoop.. If you have not been it is absolutely a spot to put on your "to do" list!

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                    sandy4t RE: Jim Leff May 11, 2003 04:15 PM

                    Best fish I ever had was at B&B Fish & Chips at 1116 Queen St E. (east of Pape). Take out. Closed Sundays. NO PHONE. Very 1950's decor.

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