A Brief History
It is written that fish and chips dates back to England in 1860, when a man named Joseph Malin opened a restaurant on Cleveland Street in London.
Basically, battered fish with fried potatoes composes this dish. Popular seasonings include tartar sauce, vinegar, ketchup, and lemon.
It's become a bit of an American staple today and can be found in many restaurants and some sports parks. Other popular additions include shrimp, clams, crab cakes, and of course, hush puppies.
Fish and chips is a tasty alternative to hamburger or chicken strips.
Many people also desire a side salad, such as coleslaw.
Some Restaurants Are Better Than Others
Of course, with the variety of restaurants that garnish the landscape, there are many choices to choose from.
Cod is the most popular type of fish served in the meal, although paddock—another white fish—is becoming a common substitute.
One would think that with a simple ingredient, there probably isn't much difference in taste. Of course, some restaurants prefer to offer a frozen sample because it is most cost-effective to store something that can be kept and easily prepared.
While the fresh type of fish is definitely more palatable, it may also be more expensive and is usually found in restaurants where the seafood is a specialty.
With this article, I am sampling some of the more common eateries that may be found in your area and offer my opinion, and hopefully some advice.
You may agree or not, but if you are a fish and chips fan, please answer my survey questions in the article and leave a comment below.
|Restaurant||Fish||Chips or sides||Overall|
Long John Silver's
H Salt Fish and Chips
West Coast Fish and Chips (Fresno)
Price: $15 (with beverage)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
If you ever happen to find yourself in Bakersfield, California, you might want to give this place a try. Located right off the 99, it's a quaint and popular beach-themed restaurant. In addition to their fish and chips, which they claim to be known for, you can also acquire a variety of meats and sandwiches.
The fish and chips are tender and delicious in a thin and crisp batter. Not the best I have ever had, but certainly worth a visit. The batter is clean but a bit bland, in my opinion. Not that batter has a taste, but it's one of those substances that kind of makes or breaks the fish.
The fries were all right. With fish and chips, there are a variety of fries you might encounter. Shoestring, crinkle, cross-cut, crinkle steak, and steak fries, among others.
Coconut Joe's served the natural cut fries. They almost seem as if they were cut there—but I highly suspect they are frozen.
Worth a visit.
For a fast food place that specializes in hamburgers and shakes, this shop produces some pretty nice fish samples. They actually looked like they were hand battered and not frozen when served. They may have been, for all I know.
Nice thin, samples in a crispy batter that tasted all right.
My one fault was with the fries, which were burdened with that spicy paprika-like drizzle.
The fish was sort of bland—I guess most fish is. I was surprised by a burger place. They were all right.
Would I write home about them? Probably not.
Would I try them again? Yes, without the fries, though.
Long John Silver's
Well, you probably would have guessed that I would have included LJS here. They're pretty much a given. I like to think of them as the McDonald's of seafood.
Not really the best—but it hits the spot when you are craving something quick. You can get the white fish or cod and even have it baked. My personal favorite—now defunct—is the beer-battered style. Otherwise, I would probably opt for the regular fish. It's not worth the extra price, and the flavor is much better than the cod.
Often, it also depends on which LJS you go to. Different restaurants seem to produce different quality food. With the other options—shrimp (in some places, you can get crab and clams)—this place is fancy for a fast food establishment.
My favorite are the hush puppies.
Nice portions. I don't know if I can say that it is worth the price. I remember when you could get a complete meal for about four dollars.
Price: $4.99 - $8.99
Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2
Well, believe it or not, the company known for hot dogs and chili fries also offers fish and chips as a dish.
Certainly not gourmet by any standards, the meal will suffice if you are hungry and looking for something that you may not have tried before.
Obviously frozen and pre-battered, the fish samples are long and thin—so they can go into a hot dog bun for the store's sandwiches. This leads one to believe that the portions are a little smaller than their competitor's pieces. Honestly, they are probably not since each piece is about seven inches long.
As far as taste is concerned, they use white fish and, quite possibly, whole fillets. It's definitely not cod and lacks the typical moist texture you get from higher-end shops.
The batter is thin and crispy and has a light taste to it that is appealing enough to compensate for the bland response from the meat.
Recommended if you want to try something new, but I would not go out of my way for it again.
Well, usually, this place is pretty good. The fish is nice and spicy, and you get thin strips of delicious tender meat caked in a crunchy batter. A variety of sides include potatoes, fries, red beans and rice, and jambalaya.
The price is a little steep for fast food, but the portions are pretty good, particularly if you were to get the fish and popcorn shrimp.
Popeyes has a nice variety of items otherwise, and their Cajun-inspired sides are unique compared to your average restaurant.
Although not as good as your specialty place, Popeyes is definitely worth a try and fares very well.
H Salt Fish and Chips
Price: About $16 for two fish, fries, pups and a drink.
Well, it was all right, but not what I expected. I hadn't been to an H Salt in many years, and I recall the fish being thin and well-cooked but tender and delicious.
I think this time, the fish was frozen—it wasn't previously.
Mine was a little undercooked in some areas and overcooked in others. The batter was thin and tasty, but everything else was sort of bland.
The fries were "fresh cut" and okay, but I like mine crispier on the outside.
The hush puppies were what I remember, though. They are good but kind of salty. The side is six pups, which is quite a bit. The food is kind of expensive.
Overall, not really worth it. LJS is just as good.
West Coast Fish and Chips (Fresno, CA)
4639 N Fresno St,
Fresno, CA 93726
Well, this place is absolutely the best place for fish and chips in the Central Valley and perhaps even the West Coast.
A proud sign proclaims "London Style" as you enter the clean, well-kept establishment. Everything seems new and pristine. The seating is comfortable. You can tell the owners care about their place because it is so well kept up.
The food itself is delicious. Fish is tender and flaky; the way fish should be. The batter is thin and crisp with just the right flavor. You can get french fries, cole slaw, okra, or hush puppies. I don't think they serve pilaf anymore.
This has been a favorite of mine for years. The price is just right too. You can get a one-piece meal with a side of your choice for about five dollars. The fish portions are large, and even a well-practiced eater would probably be filled with two pieces.
Give this place a try if you are in the Fresno area. If you live here, you probably already know about the place.