I love fish and chips. My earliest memories of fish and chips were of H. Salt Fish & Chips in Anaheim, California. They would wrap their fish and chips in newspaper-like printed parchment, and it gave it a very English-like appeal. If memory served, they even seasoned the fish and chips with a light spritz of malt vinegar, which is what I think I liked best about their fish and chips over the competition.
It’s been years since I’ve seen an H. Salt fish and chips, and about 20 years ago, I discovered Skippers (at that time, I was living in Reno). They didn’t season their fish and chips with malt vinegar (although they do offer it as a condiment), but they made one of the best clam chowders I’ve ever tasted. After I moved from Reno back to Southern California, not only was I unable to locate an H. Salt, but also … no Skippers. Sad times…
Until I moved to the Pacific Northwest … SKIPPERS! They are still difficult to find, even here, but one location that is still going strong is the Skippers in Hazel Dell, Washington.
Location: 6304 NE Highway 99, Vancouver, WA 98665
Order: All You Can Eat Fish & Chips ($11.49 per person)
What I Think:
When the basket was brought to the table, it was filled with french fries, fish, cole slaw and a hush puppy. The hush puppy was kind of a new addition to the fish basket since the last time we visited … or should I say, it had changed since the last time we visited. It had been quite some time (at least six months) since we stopped in. At that time, they started to include a hush puppy with their basket meals, but, back then, it wasn’t quite as memorable as it was this time.
This time, the hush puppy had whole bits of corn in it, not just corn meal. It reminded me a bit of the sweet corn cake garnish you might get at a Mexican restaurant, except this had the addition of the large corn kernels and then deep fried. Yummy. I would have been happy with a few more of these on the platter!
One thing that I could have done without was the cole slaw, which was soaked in dressing. I understand this need to “freshen up” what would otherwise be a platter of fried foods, but, I think it could be done with an updated recipe for the slaw. Something refreshing and lightly dressed.
The french fries and fried fish were tasty, and I enjoyed them. But, as I eluded to in my rather long introduction, when we go to Skippers, we go there for the CLAM CHOWDER. It is amazing! Rich and creamy and thick. Very satisfying. Plenty of clams. Chunks of potatoes.
My husband and I both love clam chowder, so when we go out for seafood, we usually look for clam chowder on the menu, just to try it to see if we can find a better one than the clam chowder at Skippers. We’ve tried quite a few, and enjoyed them… but so far, none better than Skippers.
My Final Thoughts:
When we go to Skippers, I usually order a fish basket like this All You Can Eat special, and I don’t know that I eat enough to justify the “All You Can Eat.” I think I’d probably be better off with the All You Can Eat chowder ($6.99 per person), because that is what I usually order seconds of, anyway, and I’d probably walk away more satisfied. That is not to say that the other items in the basket aren’t tasty, I enjoy them all (except the cole slaw). But that clam chowder … it’s a winner and outshines everything else on the menu!
PS: If you know of a seafood restaurant in the Portland area that makes a great clam chowder, please comment here… I’d love to try it and see how it compares!