Who Has the Metro’s Best Fish & Chips?

After my post on Sea Salt, a reader wrote in wondering if I had ever considered comparing local versions of fish & chips. Well, shucks—that’s a very good question. But which places should I compare? Off the top of my head, I would say: Brit’s, the Local, Mac’s Fish & Chips, the Groveland Tap, and the Highland Grill, though those last two are owned by the same company, so, hmmm.

After some readers raved about the fish & chips at the northeast Minneapolis market that gets their stuff straight from Alaska, I tried it, but I wasn’t too impressed: The fish was tilapia and I thought it was flavorless.

Speaking of northeast, I adore the fried smelts at Red Stag Supperclub: They’re crisp as potato chips, crunchy and glossy with their little eyes and fins and bones—a glorious regional treasure. And the fried walleye at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Chambers Kitchen is nothing short of wonderful: frothy as bath bubbles, but light and clean as vapor. However, I’m not sure that either fried smelt or Jean-Georges’s walleye count as fish & chips. Actually, I do know: They don’t count.

I tried the fish & chips at Harry’s on Washington Avenue, but… nothing to see there, so move along. I’ve never had the Friday fish fry at the Groveland Tap, though I do know you can get an all-you-can eat basket of fish, chips, and tartar sauce for $9.25, and add a pint of Summit for another $1.50.

There was someplace else that I had fish & chips recently, but I am completely drawing a blank as to where it was. They offered the option of getting them wrapped in a bundle, British style, or open-basket, as they serve them in the rest of the world. The paper the fish came in was silly wax faux-newspaper, and the whole thing tasted like wet bread. Where was that? I can’t even remember if it was in Minnesota. The fish & chips were nothing to recommend. That much I do remember.

Well, that’s a pathetic anecdote to close with, but if anyone does have any hot fish & chips tips, I’m all ears!

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