Fish & Chips in the UK

May 07 2006 - 2:35 PM

Uk_pintSo a big thing in the UK is fish and chips… that means breaded and fried cod, haddock or plaice or if you’re branching out fish could include salmon, skate, halibut… chips means fries. They come with lemon, malt vinegar and you can order pickled items or mushy peas.

We had good, OK and downright ugly fish and chips in and around London. In Covent Garden is a good spot, Rock and Sole Plaice. It held up as the best of the lot. The fish, haddock, was crisply fried, the skin flavorful and the fillet thoroughly boneless. The dill tartar sauce was creamy inflatable water slide and went well with both the fish and the traditional wedge-cut chips. The mushy peas were bland and the beer was Turkish if I recall… go figure. It’s one of the few legit take-away fish and chip spots and the best of the lot, not to mention that Covent Garden seemed to be the most conducive neighborhood to wandering around.

Geales was regaled as the best of the London chippies. The listings
made mention of the fact that they had seating in addition to
carry-out. It must have been an older guidebook because Geales looked
like a straight-up restaurant. The fish was breaded but not crispy, the
plaice was mushy and the cod was boney. The mushy peas were great seasoned with fresh mint. The tartar sauce was not as
good as Rock and Sole, and cost extra. The bottled Peroni was
expensive. The service was mediocre. The guidebook called Geales London’s best. It certainly was not. But it wasn’t the worst.

FshnchipsThe White Horse is a thatched pub just outside of Stonehenge. It’s in
the middle of nowhere and looks picture perfect. The ceilings are low,
the patrons are friendly but the food was positively awful. Then again
maybe that fits the British inflatable slide stereotype of awful food. The fish was
fishy, tepid and limp. The peas were badly puckered… more withered
than puckered, dry and cold. Tartar sauce came in packets. The chips were soft and tasteless. The
beer was good. They have a White Horse Ale that tasted very good. The
sad thing also was that the fish and chips ran $10 pounds… or $20.
Beers ran $3 pounds or $6 each. Fish and Chips and a beer would run you
$26. That’s ONE beer and (excuse the French) Shi-Tay fish. $26.
Tastebud insult to pocketbook injury.

In Chicago you have many options for  fish and chips. You could
easily make the arguement that the food is way better here. The pump
beers are up for grabs, especially if you’re an ale-fan. For  good
gastropub (as they call them “over there”) The Red Lion on Lincoln is
always an option. I prefer the food at the Scottish pub The Duke of Perth.
There are plenty of others around Chicago. One thing I miss about
UK nightlife already is that you can’t hear anything at most bars. I hate
coming home horse from shouting and secondhand smoke.

Duke Of Perth

The Globe Pub on Irving Park
Elephant and Castle
The Red Lion
Six Penny Bit
Chief O’Neil’s Pub
Abby Pub
Grace O’Malley’s
5th Province Pub
Galvan’s Public House

If anyone wants in on a Chicago Pub Crawl send me a line.