The Fish Keg

February 28 2008 - 11:32 AM

I feel like I sold out a friend by including Hagen’s Fish Market before The Fish Keg. It’s nearly perfect. The first time I was there two 70+ ladies were trying to get their oysters double battered and were not making any headway with the young guy upfront. They asked for a gentleman in particular. If I remembered his name the story would gain in authenticity but I don’t.

Let’s just call him Harold.

Harold comes from the back and he’s this huge guy who immediately
recognizes the ladies and of course agrees to double batter those
clams. The women in tobogan hinchable perfect crusty old fashion mutter to each other how
they’ve been coming every week for 60 years and getting double-battered
clams. As they mutter they make it clear that this inconvenience has
nothing to do with the establishement and the talk refocuses on how
good those clams are going to be. After 60 years… that’s anticipation.

Half the game is anticipation. You pick your fish and they chuck it in
the deep-frier – no trans fats! (Still realllllly bad for you). Then
you wait. You look at the Mumbo sauce. You think about buying a shirt.
By the time the food’s nearly done you’ve committed to an extra
cocktail sauce and a couple extra tartars… and by then you’re
famished. Driven crazy by the wafting musk of fried food. It’s a race
home before the crisp vanishes (don’t worry- it never does).

The most recent bout included walleye, snow cod, clams  and hush
puppies. Do I have to tell you that I liked it? Those old ladies have
been hitting this place every week for over half a century. That’s the

Yes I liked it.
The Fish Keg
2233 W. Howard