Fish and Chips Zeitgeist
- Jim Leff
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.....!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!