Friday, June 10, 2005


The Chippy

There is a silly (but screamingly accurate) joke about British people seeing a line (or as they insist on calling it, queue) and just getting in it without even knowing what its for. The freaky thing is, they really do too. And being the most patient people on earth it (apparently) doesn’t even phase them. They just stand there happily and wait. Like sweet little sheep (Which are prodigious around here too, by the way. What’s up with that? There is just no noticeable division between cities, towns and absolute countryside here. It confuses me! One second, I'm in a chic boutique, two minutes later I'm out on the street dodging a truck full of cows! Help! It's like I've stepped into Green Acres! Whoa, I think I'm having a - circa 50's - Gabor moment, bare with me. I do love those Gabors. So chic! So fab!)

So if you are even still with me, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with food? Well, it has everything to do with that British deep fried favorite, Fish and Chips. Or as its also known, the Chippy (which is, of course, what I call a 20 year old replacement girlfriend, not food). I went to one today. And it really was all about the wait. (Well, and the food. But the wait really lasted longer) They actually recommend certain places based on the length of the line. The longer the line, the better (purportedly) the food. Uh, sure, whatever. I guess that makes Dad’s Lane Fish the best place in the country, because dearie me was that line long! I think I stood there for 20 minutes to get my food, which took about 45 seconds to scoop, salt, vinegar, wrap and bag up.

A lot of these places don’t have seats, (and with the grease haze, you wouldn’t want to eat there anyway. I walked into one in London last week and the air was actually palpable, I had to leave before I had a teenaged acne attack!) so you do tend to take out. This sheds some light on the fact they like their fries (the chips) soggy, since if they start that way, you don’t get all sad when you get home to eat.

Anyway, after the hectically long wait; and confusing the locals by taking a ton of pictures mixed with looking a little overdressed to be buying a deep fried dinner in this itty bitty country village, I opted for the mini-cod special. I resisted getting Donan Kebab, (whatever that is) Fa*got, (Click to enlarge the photo of the menu below to see what I mean. I know I am totally, overly PC, but that word, the one they use for cigarettes, just makes me itchy. I do sort of wonder what it is though. A bundle of deep fried sticks?) or pickled eggs. (Still popular in these parts. How retro! Really, really, retro.) The mini cod special was just plenty thank you. It was actually enough food for six large American teamsters. The “small” was double the size of what I got, and I didn’t even see what a large was, but my guess is, it comes with a forklift.

I obviously didn’t go there for the fries, because I like them American style, (read: Crispy outside, fluffy interior) but the fish itself was outrageously tasty and they did go together pretty well. The fish was deep fried to a sensational shade of golden brown, still crunchy, (after the 5 minute ride home) didn’t even taste at all greasy and kept the fish outrageously moist and flavourful. The addition of the malt vinegar gave it a mild zip that was nice. (Nice? Yes. Nice.) that I guess solved the problem way back when of not having fresh lemons to squeeze over it (which would be tasty too I think).

So fish and chips have a long history here, and while I don’t think I would have them on any sort of regular basis, the food being deep fried and all, I do think the people there are doing a super excellent job (worlds better than what we ate at the seaside a few months ago. Dreary, soggy, oily and kinda rancid.) and whenever I am feeling reckless or in a shame spiral, off to Dad’s Lane I will go.



"Expenses for food on Amtrak runs about $83 million more than the food service brings in, according to the railroad's inspector general. That sum, twice Amtrak's food and beverage revenues, is without the cost of maintaining the dining cars on long-distance trains and the cafe cars used on short-haul routes; if those expenses are included, the losses come to about $130 million.

Some White House administration officials have suggested that Amtrak should eliminate food service. The railroad cut hot food last week in the first-class Metroliner cars, and on July 1, it will not serve any food on trains through Albany." -NY Times

For a whole other version of my blabbling, check out my guest blog post (which I warn you, is very much for-mature-audiences-only. Oh and if you're my mother, really, feel free to not read it. Air kisses!) at Breakfast At Tiffany's.

You have got to check out Kuidaore. It's the most intensely exquisite food blog.

actually - the reason we like our chips like that is because they actually taste of, and are, real, fresh potato .
but you are making me homesick...
Miss Sam, you just LOVE defending those tragic non-fries don't you! Sigh. I just ate some like an hour ago, and I swear, no potato, just sog. Sog, sog, sog. Sigh. You really just have to be from here to like them I guess. Lord knows the BF likes them so much he sometimes eats them on a bun with butter. I love England.
oh a 'chip butty' - well i certainly can't blame him for that - tell him to add a fishfinger and he'll be even further into heaven :)
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