The Argyle serves beautiful fish and chips. Each platter holds one very large triangular hunk of haddock (or cod) that has been battered and deep fried until the exterior is brittle and the inside, nearly two inches in height, is a pillowy mound of snow-white, moist, sweet fish. The soft flavor of the meat and the hard crunch of its golden jacket are joy for tongue and taste buds. Alongside the fish comes a heap of chips (aka French fries); and on the table is a bottle of malt vinegar – the preferred dressing for deep-fried potatoes among Brits.
If it’s Caledonian cuisine you crave, the Argyle is your cup of tea. Beyond fish and chips, you can dine on such peculiar British-Isle dishes as a Scotch egg – hard-boiled, wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried. Old-country chicken pie and meat pie, accompanied by beans and chips, are true comfort foods; and black pudding (blood sausage), albeit somewhat gruesome-looking, has a truly appetizing smell that is like savory cinnamon. For dessert, you want clootie dumpling, a not-too-sweet spice cake that is sometimes known as “boiled baby”, served in a pool of hot custard.
The Argyle is an inconspicuous neighborhood lunch hall, with the fry kettles up front, and long rows of tables in back. Its patrons are locals as well as homesick Scots and Irish from towns and states far away. It adjoins a store called The Piper’s Cove, where culinary adventurers will find British Isle groceries little-known in most of the U.S., i.e. cans of mashed peas in marrow fat, Scott’s Porage Oats, and McCowan’s Highland Toffee.
"Beautiful fried fish emerges from the fry kettle at the head of the Argyle dining room. The "chips" on the side are regular French fries, ready to be spritzed with a little malt vinegar."
"Hard-boiled, wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried: Scotch eggs are a dish not found in too many American restaurants we know!"
"Sweet and spicy, sopped with custard, clootie dumpling is a sort of deconstructed bread pudding."