Fish Café – Vancouver, BC

Fish Café
2053 W 41st Ave
Vancouver, BC
(604) 267-3474

The impetus for a repeat visit to the Fish Café in Kerrisdale was the result of a horrible bowl of pho nearby for lunch.  I just couldn’t let my afternoon continue on that low note, so crossing the street I decided to give this place another try.  Back in May on my virgin visit, this is the comment I made on Urban Spoon.

“If you enjoy your F&C on the lighter side, with a fluffier texture to the batter (deep fried), then this place might suit you, but for me, it just didn’t work. Tearing through the crust took no effort with a fork, and the halibut inside soon found its way all over the place in my basket. Chips were good however. For about $18 for a two piece set, perhaps a touch on the pricey side as well. A steady stream of customers at the start of the dinner hour, suggested to me its a popular place for a quick meal.”

When I stepped back in and saw their chalkboard menu board, I was tempted to try their fish & chips again…

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Captain Bob’s – Woodstock, NB

Captain Bob’s Takeout
3512, Rte 585
Woodstock, New Brunswick

Traveling along the Trans-Canada Highway we left the province of Quebec and entered into New Brunswick.  After quick stops in Edmundston and Grand Falls, we decided to take more scenic secondary highways and visit some of the many small towns along the  St. John River.  After we crossed the longest covered bridge in Hartland a couple times, this sign on the road caught my eye.


Just in time for lunch – we followed the cookie crumb trail of signs to this shack parked in the driveway of Captain Bob’s home.  A couple of kids were already ahead of us and had ‘honked’ (as per the posted directions) to let the Captain know of our arrival.

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Elysian Fields – Seattle, WA

Elysian Fields
542 1st Ave South
Seattle, WA
Tel: (206) 382-4498

Preface: Being from Alberta, I know how at times it seems the province is actually part of Saskatchewan.  The seemingly large number of people from that Prairie province who live and work in Alberta, as well as those who actually make the journey to watch their beloved Roughriders football club play in cities like Edmonton and Calgary, further compounds this image.

On a recent day trip down to Seattle to catch the Toronto Blue Jays take on the local Mariners, I was surprised to find a row of ten young men decked out in full Roughriders fan gear – complete with those popular watermelon helmets, green body paint and colored wigs.  The curious and bewildered Yanks in the stands were coming down and taking pictures of these fellows, and as a Canadian, I was proud to see them showing love for our country (albeit, I am not a fan of that particular ball club, while my travel companion is).  Incidentally, the hottest daytime temperature ever in Seattle was recorded on this day!  Field level mercury was reported at 41 degrees C!

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Longhouse Seafood Market – Vancouver, BC

[As with all of our posts, please click on any image for an enlarged view]

Longhouse Seafood Market
4288 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC
Open seven days a week
Mon-Sat, 10am to 9pm
Sun, 11am to 7pm
Cash only

As a preface, let me begin by saying that I am not very familiar with the history of this business nor the neighborhood (Dunbar) where its found, so some of this background may need some confirmation.  But my understanding is that until recently, the Longhouse Seafood Market was a First Nations-owned and operated fishmonger, popular with those in the know, for its salmon (fresh, smoked, candy, jerky, etc.) along with seafood products (smoked oysters, canned sockeye, and live crab and lobster).  I randomly spotted a sign out front while driving by, and decided to stop in for a quick bite, not knowing at all it was formerly known more for its fresh market than as a place to sit down and eat.  The afore mentioned sign I saw stated in bold lettering, fresh oven baked halibut & chips, and for two pieces could be had for $14.99 (single piece offering was also available for $9.99).  The words “fresh” and “oven baked” got my attention, and at that price, I figured it was going to be a lot better than some joint that deep fries (in nasty old oil that hasn’t been changed in weeks) some frozen product coming out of some mass production plant.

Stepping inside, you immediately notice a few tables in the forefront of the space, which leads to a counter towards the back, with a display case at the far end.  When I walked inside, I noticed it was completely empty (both the display case and the seating area).  It was then that I had some doubts about what exactly this place was about, as the other fishmonger places I know of in the west side don’t have a cafe-like section for customer seating and are all about just selling fresh seafood to go.  Hesitantly, I asked for the halibut & chips offering, found that it was indeed on, paid for my order and sat down to wait.

And wait, and wait, and wait.  In the thirty minutes that passed, five other customers had come in.  Most were there to pick up some fresh halibut, salmon, etc.  One guy came in and got told it would take some time to prepare his order (same thing I asked for) and left instead.  Partway through my waiting time, the lone front of shop employee brought out a salad to my table, which was part of the meal.  A pleasant tasting, though not overly exciting mixed greens combination, with dried raisins, sunflower seeds, and a simple vinaigrette.

It seemed that my order was taking more time because the fishmonger in the back (incidently, seemed to have French accent, thus led me to believe the Native connection to this place is no longer) was in the process of breaking down some product they had just received.  At least that’s the sense I got from listening to the other customers’ conversations with him.  In fact, most of the customers that ordered something, stepped outside and said they’d come back later to pick it up, making me think that they were locals living nearby.  In one conversation, the man in the back said they had some lobster and offered it up to a customer, not sure if they still have the live tanks this place is said to have had back in the day.

Finally, when my plate was delivered, I was relieved to see that on first glance, it looked pretty good.  Nice light golden color, not that ugly dark burnt brown you see with deep fried variations, with an appetizing smokey scent coming from the chips.  Skin-on and still soft inside, the chips were very good, though a bit weak on the seasoning.  The halibut as soon as I cut into it with my fork, I knew was indeed fresh, flaky and a brilliant white in color, and the meat itself was very flavorful.  The outer crust, made with potato flakes, complimented nicely in terms of texture, as well as the side of chips.  A few squirts of fresh lemon gave the halibut a further upkick in taste.  The garnish of orange I thought was unnecessary though.

Despite the strange feeling of not knowing if this is indeed an eat-in place (on my way out, I briefly saw this simple computer printed sheet that had a name, something like “Sweetwater Cafe”, so perhaps that’s what they are trying to call that part of the business), the long wait time, and the virtually non-existant service for table seated guests, I’d recommend this place for the meal to be had.  Fresh, oven baked halibut & chips, doesn’t get much simpler than that, and that is indeed what this place offers, and delivers well.

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