British-born chef Michael “Mick” Shillingford craved the traditional fish-and-chips of his native land, but all he could find were those platters of dry fish and mealy potatoes served up in soulless restaurant chains across America. So Shillingford opened the Fish and Chip Shop last October, wasting no time, money, or energy on décor or frills. His focus is the fish, which is so fresh he doesn’t even cut it until your order hits the counter. During the midday rush, patrons wait happily in mismatched chairs for the twenty-five minutes it can take to deep-fry lunch. Hot out of the oil, the halibut’s light batter crumbles on the tongue, revealing the succulent flesh within: it’s rich with brininess (never fishiness), which proper deep-frying enhances. The servings are generous enough to share, and the chips are authentic British fare: thick wedges of potato as opposed to skinny, crisp fries. For a spot-on experience, pair your catch of the day with a Scotch egg (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in banger sausage, coated in bread crumbs, and deep-fried) and a Tizer English soda. World-class? Maybe not. But until your next trip to the United Kingdom, a fine placeholder indeed.
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