Comfort food for blokes and birds
The New Hampshire interpretation of fish and chips
By Susan Reilly firstname.lastname@example.org
In the UK, fish and chips (called a fish supper) is often eaten late at night after a few rounds of pints.
Had from a cozy neighborhood take-away chip shop, it is a meal of a large piece of white fish — typically cod or haddock — deep fried in a thick beer batter, then laid across a heap of crispy fries and topped with malt vinegar and salt or brown sauce — truly comfort food.
On this side of the pond we skip the malt vinegar and slather on lemon, tarter sauce andketchup for the fries.
In Manchester, Tinker’s Seafood has been using the same fish and chips recipe for the past 24 years.
“It is light, not too much gunk, people really like it,” said owner Steve Nichols as he quickly dipped pieces of haddock in his secret batter before dropping into the fryolator.
Tinker’s uses only haddock, not cod or Pollack, for fish and chips. Nichols gets large haddock filets from his purveyor and cuts the thick ends for haddock plates, then uses the thinner ends for fish and chips.
“Fish and chips is about $2 cheaper than a haddock plate, but it is basically just a different cut of the same fish. We sell tons of it,” he said.
At Markis Lobster & Steak House in Concord, brothers Greg and Jimmy Markis use the same batter their father and three uncles developed in the 1940s. The four Markis brothers were cooks at Kenniston’s in Concord, billed as New England’s largest seafood drive-in restaurant at the time.
“It is an old batter recipe that is just terrific because it is full of flavor and doesn’t hold the grease,” Greg Markis said. They also use tartar sauce and cocktail sauce recipes from the old Kenniston.
Markis has had fish and chips in England, but prefers his family’s recipe.
“I like all food, but I like ours best,” he laughed.
At Olivia’s Pizza in Nashua, fish and chips means a 10-ounce filet of haddock deep fried and served with fries, salad, bread and homemade tartar sauce.
“For a pizza place, we go through roughly 50 pounds of fresh haddock every week,” said owner Jim Manning.
Like Tinker’s and Markis, the fish at Olivia’s is not frozen.
“A lot of places advertise ‘fresh’, when they really mean frozen-fresh. Once people taste the difference, they keep coming back,” he said
As for the apparent popularity of fish and chips in the area, Manning says it is part of our food culture.
“We all grew up eating fish and chips, probably because of the availability of good haddock in the area. People love it, even those watching their diet,” he said.
Now only if we could get the other British chip shop specialty — the deep-fried Mars bar…
Note: many of these dinners come with sides in addition to fries.
• Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040. Fried haddock with fries ($11.99).
• Andy’s Place, 342 Cypress St., Manchester, 645-1889. Fish and chips ($7.95).
• Black Brimmer, 1087 Elm. St., Manchester, 669-5523. Phish ‘n’ chips ($10.95).
• Blake’s, 222 Elm St., Milford; 353 S. Main St., Manchester. Fish and chips ($7.95).
• Bluesology @The Lodge, Rte 106, Belmont, Delta Blues fish and chips appetizer ($6.95).
• Brothers Family Restaurant, 6 Willow St., Manchester, 668-7333. Fish n’ chips ($8.99).
• Nathaniel’s, 537 Amherst St., Nashua, 883-4052. Fish and chips inclusive meal ($11.95).
• Clam King, 791 Second St., Manchester, 669-2868. Fish and chips ($5.67).
• Commercial Street Fishery, 33 S. Commercial St., Manchester, 296-0706. Fried haddock dinner with fries ($15).
• Cotton, 75 Arms Park, Manchester, 622-5488. Fish and chips ($11 lunch).
• DW Pizzeria & Family Restaurant, 78 DW Hwy, Merrimack, 598-3888. Fish and chips ($8.95).
• Fish n’ Kebob, 171 Hanover St., Manchester, 606-6009. Fish and chips ($4.99).
• Goldenrod Restaurant & Drive-In, 1681 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-9469. Fried haddock plate ($7.75).
• Grand Slam Pizza, 331 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 606-4244. Fish and chips ($7.25).
• Joey’s Diner, 1 Craftsman Lane, Amherst, 577-8955. Fish and chips ($9.99).
• JW Hill’s, 795 Elm St., Manchester, 645-7422. Classic fish n’ chips ($9.95)
• Karen’s Kozy Kitchen, 170 Route 101, Bedford, 637-1326. Fish and chips ($7.95).
• Li’l Lobster Boat Restaurant, 273 Derry Road, Litchfield, 882-4988. Fish and chips ($9.25 to $10.25).
• Lobster Boat Restaurant, 453 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-5221. Fish and chips ($9.29 to $10.29).
• Lobster Claw II, Rte 28 Bypass, Derry, 437-2720. Famous fish plate ($7.75-$8.75).
• Lobster Tail Restaurant and Fish Market, 4 Cobbetts Pond Road, Windham, 434-TAIL. Fried North Atlantic haddock with fries ($10.95).
• Madden’s, 583 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-4572. Fish and chips ($9.95).
• Makris Lobster & Steak House, 354 Sheep Davis Rd., Concord, 225-7665. Fish and chips all day Friday $8.95 with seconds.
• Milford Fish Market, 309 Nashua St., Milford, 673-4200. Haddock with fries ($8.95-$12.95).
• Newick’s Seafood Restaurant, 696 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-0262. Fish and chips ($8.99).
• Olivia’s Pizza, 379 Amherst St., Nashua, 883-8200. Fish n’ chips ($8.95); kids portion ($3.50).
• Peddler’s Daughter, 48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7535. Ale-battered fish and chips ($13.95).
• Poor Boys Family Diner, 136 Rockingham Rd., Londonderry, 432-8990. Fish and chips ($10.95).
• Puritan Backroom, 245 Hooksett Rd., Manchester, 669-6890. Fish and chips; Wednesday special ($8.50).
• Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118. Ale-battered fish n’ chips ($7.99).
• Red Blazer, 72 Manchester St., Concord 224-4101. Fish and chips ($9.95).
• Shaskeen, 909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246. Beer-battered fish and chips ($10.95).
• Strange Brew Tavern, 88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292. Blue Moon-battered fish and chips ($8).
• Surf, 207 Main St., Nashua, 595-9293. Tempura fish and chips ($16).
• Tinker’s Seafood, 545 D.W. Highway, Manchester, 622-4272. Fish and chips ($7.95).
• Weathervane Seafood Restaurant, 393 Route 101, Bedford, 472-2749. Fish and chips ($6.79).
• Wild Rover, 21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester, 669-7722. Fish n’ chips ($9.99).
• Yankee Chef, 321 Nashua St., Milford, 673-3535. Fried haddock with fries ($12.99)..