Friday afternoon blogging: what do you expect, economics? No, my attention shifts elsewhere...
Being the son of an Englishwoman I was bred with an appreciation for fine English cuisine. And there is no finer example of the fine art of English cooking than fish and chips. Okay so maybe you think it is low-brow, but there is not much worse than fish and chips done badly - it becomes a greasy, slimy, tasteless fat fiesta. But done well, the batter is crisp and the fish is moist and juicy and wonderful.
In the US, bad is the norm and good is elusive in the fish and chips world. So I am always on the lookout for good spot. The worst offense in my mind is to try and make it too fancy - using bread crumbs and spices and fancying up the fries just misses the point. Also using too much batter and - gasp - overcooking it are crimes against humanity.
It is a typical pub food and as Oregon is awash with good pubs, you often find it on the menu. But one suspects that in most cases this is just because the pub thinks it 'should' and is not really serious about it. I keep trying however because I am determined to find a great spot for fish and chips.
The best I have had in the last few years was at the McMenamins Corvallis. One summer day me mum and I arrived and both ordered the F&C and a little while later were told that they would be delayed as a new batch of batter had to be whipped up. I suspect this was to our great fortune as, after a wait, the meals arrived piping hot, with absolutely perfectly cooked fish on top of McMenamins perfectly unadorned fries. Mum said it was fabulous and I agreed. But subsequent visits to that and other McPubs have not yielded as good results - the kitchen does not pay enough attention usually is my conclusion - but is probably the best I have yet found on average. Deschutes pub in Portland tries to be too fancy, as does the Rogue pubs, the Thirsty Lion yesterday was decent but not memorable and the Pilsner Room/McCormick and Schmicks use too much/too fancy batter. Glaringly, I have never tried the fish and chips at the Horse Brass, which might be expected to have the best.
So I ask you, fellow fish and chips enthusiasts, where to go next in my quest?