I have been to a number of places on the list posted above (Ivar's, Spud, Lockport Cafe, Jack's Fish Spot, and Duke's), and I think I have found a place that betters them all. Wally's Chowder House Broiler
) overlooks the Puget Sound in the Seattle suburb of Des Moines. I tried to search and found no one else has ever mentioned the place here, so I figured it was something worth talking about.
For my most recent trip to Seattle, I stayed near the airport (though I usually stay in downtown). Des Moines is a lot closer to the airport than it is to downtown, so I don't know that I would pass up Jack's at Pike Market to drive all the way out of town to go here, but, in my most humble opinion, this may be the best fish and chips I have ever found.
As you can see, I visited on what I could only describe as a typical Seattle day.
They have an extensive menu, and a number of daily specials. My server was quick to point out to me that the lunch portion special of halibut and chips is a bargain price, but they use frozen halibut for the special. Instead, she recommended the currently-in-season fresh halibut
and chips. At $19.99 for a five-piece meal, this is not cheap, but it was worth every penny. She told me that they have the fresh halibut from spring through summer and into early fall. Outside of season, she said that the frozen halibut is very good, but when you can get the fresh, why would you get frozen.
The fries were OK - skin-on, frozen. If they used fresh-cut fries, this could have been an all-time perfect meal.
Since I was going all out gangbusters cheating on the healthy eating, I figured why not add some blackberry pie. I was expecting a slice, but what I got was this (pardon the lousy cell phone photo)...
Baked in its own ceramic dish, fresh tart blackberries are loaded into a flaky pastry crust and served with optional ice cream (not pictured, as I ordered it on the side). My usual hesitation about ordering ice cream as an add-on to pie was half right and half wrong. See, I hate when places take really good pie and top it with crappy food service-quality (or lack thereof) ice cream. This ice cream tasted good, but they didn't list its source - and, if you've ever been to the northwest, you know that they love to tell you where the napkins are sourced, so if they don't mention where they get their ice cream, odds are that it is institutional. I asked, after I ordered it. It was institutional, but I was surprised by the quality.
Overall, the meal was a total indulgence, both on the waist and on the wallet. For a very casual-looking shack, I was a little surprised to realize that I had spent $40 on lunch. Don't get me wrong - there are only a handful of times you can walk out of a place saying that something was the best you'd ever had - and, in most of the times you would do so, you'd pay far more than $40. I would absolutely say that it was worth it and would highly recommend anyone in the area to try it for themselves. On a rare cloudless Seattle day, you could also take the opportunity to sit outside and soak up rare rays.
<message edited by The Travelin Man on Thu, 04/10/14 3:27 PM>