I took it upon myself to revamp my search for the finest fish & chips in the land with a trip to my local Fins fish market on Fair Oaks Blvd. My previous visit to Fins had been delightful. I had, therefore, been looking forward to this meal for quite a while based on nothing more than a hunch that Fins would do something wonderful with the traditional fish & chips plate. Unfortunately, my hunch turned out to be more of a misplaced wish than an intuitive guess and my visions of otherworldly fishy and chippy experiences fell apart more quickly than a flaky piece of halibut.
THE FISH: The piece of fish I was served came lightly dusted with what appeared to be panko bread crumbs. The traditional English cornmeal batter was absent, which I have come to realize, is not a good thing. The fish tasted of a whole lotta nothing, which, if I’m not mistaken, is one of the primary characteristics of cod, that being its lack of anything resembling flavor. We F&C connoisseurs know this going in, so it is rarely the flavor of the fish, but rather the texture that draws us in. The texture of this particular piece was firm to the point of being rubbery as well as being served in a very odd shape that I’m sure was meant to highlight the piece but only acted as strange distraction while I sat, continuously chewing.
THE CHIPS: To call these fries ordinary would be to imbue the word “ordinary” with perhaps a bit too much zing. These fries made Jim Lehrer look like a Wheel of Fortune contestant.
NOTE: This entire review is slightly tinged by the fact that I’ve had the flu for the last few days and got it the day after I ate at Fins. Now, I’m not claiming that the food at Fins made me sick since it seemed like a stomach flu has been going around to just about everyone lately. But, I will say that after you’ve been evacuating your stomach and bowels at an exciting pace for the better part of a weekend, you can’t help thinking back the last solid meal you ate and kind of hating it a little. Please don’t tell me that had it been a food borne illness it would not have surfaced so soon. Everyone who has ever read the Berkeley wellness letter of listened to Dr. Dean Edell or stubbed their toe has taken the time to explain to me that food poisoning takes 48-72 hours to hit you. Thank you for your concern, really, I appreciate it, but some of us just like to believe that if you eat something and feel sick, then the food most recently consumed made you sick, that if we go outside in the rain with just a t-shirt we’ll catch a cold, or that if you get too close to it, that swimming pool intake pump can suck your whole colon out. Just let us wallow in our misery Quincy, please.
Fins- Fair Oaks & Munroe, Sacramento
Fish and Chips *