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Posts Tagged ‘fish and chips’

Hey everyone! As you can obviously tell (and what I try not to let happen), my activity on this blog has taken quite a big dip this past year. Priorities in life take a change in the world of parenthood. Nevertheless, Cherry and I planned this past weekend to get out and try new spots. So let’s get to it!

Peaceful Restaurant

We spent Saturday north of Washington State’s U.S. border in Canada. After seeing Peaceful Restaurant featured on DDD, it quickly topped my “must eat list” for Vancouver. We visited their W. Broadway and Cambie location around 3pm and it was extremely busy. Despite being small and narrow, Peaceful Restaurant was bustling and full of life. Regrettably we only ordered a couple of dishes, but that only means we’ll be back!

 

peacefulrest.entrance

entrance off w. broadway

peacefulrest.kitchen

the heart of this establishment

peacefulrest.narrow

narrow quarters

The Food:

 

peacefulrest.beefroll

peaceful beef roll $7.95 ca

This was the first time I’ve had a Chinese beef roll and it was wonderful. It consists of braised beef shank wrapped in a green onion pancake with hoisin sauce. This type of beef happens to be one of Cherry’s favorite, and for good reason. It’s braised in a mix of soy sauce, star anise, and five spice until tender and packed full of flavor. The green onion pancakes are savory and crispy to provide a nice bite. The hoisin sauce adds a terrific sweetness to balance everything out.

 

peacefulrest.zhajiang 1

peacefulrest.zhajiang 2

beijing zha jiang mian $7.95 ca

If you’ve been following my blog or even glanced at my “who the heck!?” page, you probably have read that zha jiang mian is my favorite noodle dish. Peaceful Restaurant does a decent job with their take on this very popular Chinese noodle dish. The menu reads as “savoury dark pork sauce,’ which is really a black bean sauce/paste. Pork combined with the sauce is placed on top of the noodles alongside shredded cucumbers, bean sprouts and carrots. The sauce was on the bland side and needed more salt. The veggies added a bright note and also gave each bite some nice texture. The star of all noodle dishes here  is their hand pulled noodles, which have a fantastic textu that you can never get with boxed noodles.

 

Nosh

On Sunday, we went to the Fremont Farmers Market with one thing in mind, fish and chips! After getting many good recommendations and even a personal invitation from the owner himself, Nosh was the obvious choice. Walking up towards the truck, the verbal invitations from owner Harvey Wolff could be clearly heard from down the street. His method of attracting customers was quite simple, offer a “money back guarantee if his fish and chips aren’t the best you’ve had!” The British accent didn’t hurt either.

nosh_bone harvey

follow the crowd

nosh_bone menu

zagat don’t lie

The Food:

nosh_bone marrow

roasted bone marrow $7

This was the first time I’ve had bone marrow and I now understand why I’ve always heard it to be delicious. The marrow itself is salty and quite flavorful. It is also very gelatinous so if you’re an unfortunate individual that has trouble with those kind of textures, I’m sorry for you. What set this dish over the top was the salad and crostini served with it. The salad consisted of shaved red onion, carrots, celery leaf, capers and parsley.  The crostini was toasted and salted. The rich savory marrow, the bright and pickled salad and the crunch of the salted crostini came together as one of the best bites I’ve ever had.

nosh_fish

british fish ‘n chips $10

Now for the Pièce de résistance. Does Zagat’s assessment hold true? In short, yes.  I’ve had my fair share of fish and chips in and around the Northwest and also in my travels around the country, and I can confidently say that these are the top. First off, you get an entire filet! Not only is the cod daily fresh, it is also sustainably caught. The batter is well seasoned and the fish is perfectly fried. The batter provided a nice crunch yet was incredibly light as well. The fries were awesome – thick cut, and ideally cooked and seasoned. The minty mushy peas were also a first for me, and I dug ’em! With all the deep fried deliciousness going on, the peas balanced everything out with a nice bright and minty freshness. As Harvey would say, “If you’re ready for grown up food, come to Nosh!”

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Cherry and I were in the North Lynnwood area and found a nice and newer restaurant called, Indigo Kitchen and Ale House. As soon as we entered, the hostess greeted us and sat us at our table with our menus. The interior was dimly lit and decorated with dark colors and accents of blue. Being that it was still early in the evening, there was still plenty of sunlight coming through the two full walls of windows. There is also a large bar on one side of the restaurant featuring 20 different beers on tap as well as a large selection of cocktails and liquor.

The Food:

baby back ribs with sweet potato fries and spicy slaw $16.99

meaty and sweet potato goodness

When this plate came out, Cherry’s eyes glistened and grew like a kid on Christmas morning. This half-rack of ribs was huge and the amount of meat on them is comparable to the amount of a full rack at other restaurants. The meat was moist, tender and really did fall off the bone! There was also great rich flavors throughout with some extra housemade rootbeer bbq sauce on the side for dipping. The rootbeer bbq sauce was very sweet and didn’t carry much tanginess or kick  like a traditional bbq sauce. Nevertheless the ribs alone were awesome – generously portioned and finger licking good! If that wasn’t good enough, the sweet potato fries that it came with almost outshined everything! These fries were unlike any other sweet potato fries I have ever had – there was substance! These were thickly cut, fried perfectly and minimully seasoned to really bring out the sweet potato flavor. Each bite gave a very soft and almost creamy flavor that reminded me of warm pumpkin pie but there was also a nice crunch that came from being fried.

 

 beer battered fish and chips with spicy slaw $13.99

If you’ve been following my blog, then you can probably recognize that I am a sucker for some good ‘ol fish and chips. But who isn’t!? Two importants things I look for in fish and chips (aside from great crunch) is fresh and clean tasting fish. Being fresh is fairly self-explanatory, but what do I mean by tasting clean? Simply put, clean tasting fish doesn’t taste (or smell) fishy. Ever smelled last night’s fish or seafood that’s been reheated in the microwave? Not clean. Ever eaten a piece of fresh sashimi? Clean. But back to the fish and chips… served with three decent sized pieces of cod, a plate of fries and spicy slaw, this reasonably priced dish definitely will fill you up. The batter was light, crunchy and maintained good bite even with the squeezed lemon atop. Not only were these pieces of fish fresh and clean, they also had a light quality to them – no residual oils dripping from of out of the fish. The natural cut fries were seasoned lighly and tasted good and this dish was also served with spicy slaw. What I enjoyed most about the spicy slaw is the nice balance of heat and creamy tartness.

 

My Conclusion:

With a darker and minimally decorated interior, Indigo is one of the better restaurants Cherry and I have been to. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick drink, enjoying their delicious happy hour menu or feasting on their plates that could fulfill the heartiest of appetites, there is something for everyone here.

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Shawn O’Donnell’s is a fun restaurant literally tucked between two gas stations off 128th in Everett. If the name doesn’t tip you off, then as soon as you walk in, there is no question that you have stepped into an Irish Pub. There is a large wooden bar in the middle of the restaurant offering a huge selection of Irish lagers as well as domestic brews. Also displaced around the bar, are several TV screens showing various sports games. One thing I found unique were the vintage magic show posters throughout the restaurant. From the articles displayed on the wall, the owner, Shawn O’Donnell is an avid magic enthusiast. There are many old posters of famous Magicians such as, Houdini and Copperfield!

dining floor

entrance

 

The Food:

pub club: smoked turkey, thick sliced bacon, swiss cheese, tomato, leaf lettuce

A club sandwich is a staple of any respectable  Grill/Pub and Shawn O’Donnell’s is definitely on this list. All of the ingredients in this sandwich came together very nicely to provide a wonderful bite. White-meat turkey is usually too dry for me, however this smoked turkey was tender, moist and very tasty. The bacon also came as advertised, thick!  And also carried good savory flavor. The rest of the ingredients were just the icing on the cake- the melted swiss, fresh tomato and crisp letture. The bread was also noteworty – not too dry or too buttered.  This club sandwhich was excellent. Cherry stated, “This is probably the best club sandwich I’ve ever had!” 

fish and chips: lightly breaded white cod, home-made tartar, fries

 I’m a sucker for fish and chips so it was a no brainer to order these! When my meal came out, I had four decent sized pieces of fried cod and a basket of fries – nothing fancy but everything I wanted. The fish was perfectly fried and had excellent crunch! The batter maintained ideal texture throughout and didn’t get soft even after I squeezed lemon juice atop. Another thing that really stood out was the flavor – the batter had great flavor that did well complimenting the freshness of the fish. As far as I’m concerned, these pieces of fish had everything I look for in fish and chips – thick cuts of fish, perfect crunch and great flavored batter! Their home-made tartar was also very tasty! There were pieces of diced onions that did a nice job cutting through the sweet and creamy flavor of the tartar sauce. The chips served were also delicious. These natural-cut fries were cooked just right and seasoned with just the right amount of salt.

My Conclusion:

This was my first time eating at an “Irish” restaurant, and although the items we ordered weren’t the most traditional Irish dishes, they showed much promise and appeal. Looking through the menu, there were a ton of dishes I would want to try next time I eat here…because I am definitely coming back! I am sure there something for everyone here at Shawn O’Donnells; from Bangers and Mash and Shepards Pie to a large variety of burgers and seafood and other land fare. The only thing missing from my magical meal was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

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Cherry has had a craving for shrimp for the longest time and being the considerate husband that I am, I decided to help her fulfill her craving. But we’re not talking about the regular shrimp you can find at any supermarket or seafood restaurant… we’re talking the shrimp you find at Sweet D’s Shrimp Shack. I’ve only been here one other time in my life and that was many years ago… so this was a good refresher. If you’ve never heard of Sweet D’s, that’s not too surprising – it’s located in the middle of nowhere off Highway 20 in Anacortes. It’s literally a large white shack on the side of the road with a handful of parking spots and a large covered area with a few picnic style tables. They specialize in their local shrimp, but they have a surprisingly large menu offering adventurous items; from elk burgers and gator-wiches to blue crab sandwiches and oyster burgers. All the food they serve in is Washingtonian style – fresh and local!

sweet d’s shrimp shack 

daily specials

The Food:

pound ‘o shrimp

 beer-battered fish and chips

breaded humboldt squid steak strips & fried oysters

My Review:

The shrimp is served cold (cocktail style) with its head and shell on and scooped into a brown paper bag. I was a little surprised because the shrimp were so small, but that didn’t take away from experience – if anything, it added to it! Getting down and dirty peeling each and every shrimp before you devour them is somewhat barbaric – very gratifying. Each shrimp had great natural flavor – perfect combination of sweet and salty. No cocktail sauce or additional flavors were needed to finish the entire bag. We were definitely rookies buying 3-lbs… most everyone bought the 5-pounder and there were even several people with coolers buying 10+ lbs. of shrimp!

I’m a huge fan of fish and chips and these definitely filled the “greasy fried foods” hole in my stomach. Two adjectives I wouldn’t normally pair together when describing something I was to put in my mouth are; big and thick… however when it comes to fish and chips those two words are what you look for! Small and skinny fish and chips wouldn’t be very appetizing. I was a little torn on how I felt about these fish and chips. Some parts of the batter was fried perfectly – with the bites being very crunchy. But then there were some parts of that weren’t as crispy – almost like a thin layer of corn bread. The fish was cooked well but the inconsistent texture of the batter on the outside threw off the experience. The fries were good – nothing special or out of the ordinary.

The breading on the calamari strips had nice overall flavor, but slightly overpowered the natural flavor of the squid. They were fried a little too long for my liking as well – past the golden brown that you look for more into a clay-brown color. The two oysters were breaded nicely and did a good job accenting the flavor of the oysters. These local oysters are larger than your average oyster which makes them ideal for frying.

My Conclusion:

When I think of Anacortes, diversity isn’t the first thought that comes to mind, however I was very surprised to find the exact opposite when I ate there. It was like I stepped into the seafood isle of SeafoodCity! Nonetheless, the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. Don’t come up expecting the best seafood in town because you’ll get the lowly sidekick. Anyone that makes the drive up here is definitely coming for the  main attraction, the superhero, the shrimp.

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