Perfectly crisp batter surrounding moist and flaky white fish. French fries cut to order. The tang of malt vinegar cutting through the oil.
A great fish and chips is the ultimate British comfort food. Just because we are not in England though, does not mean we can’t dive in to a basket.
Here are a few versions around town that are worth the trip.
Australian Bakery Café
48 S Park Square NE, Marietta, GA 30060; (678) 797-6222, www.australianbakerycafe.com
Marietta’s own Australian Bakery Café offers all of the tastes an Aussie could want. Included among the meat pies is a basket of fried whiting dipped in a made-to-order beer batter and served with thick cut fries. While the meat pies and sausage rolls can be delivered to your home, the fish and chips are only available in the store.
1705 Virginia Ave., Atlanta, GA 30337; (404) 763-9980, www.themanchesterarms.com
In a charming Tudor home in College Park, there is a genuine taste of Britain. Among the 100 year-old Union Jack and the owners’ family portraits customers are transported to a British pub. They serve the traditional cod in their fish and chips. The batter is fluffy and the fish moist. Hand-cut fries and malt vinegar round out the $14 dish.
914 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318; (404) 477-6260, theoptimistrestaurant.com
The West Side’s perennial fish house does a wicked take on the dish. They start with a large piece of cod and fry it crisp in a beer batter. The “chips” are unlike the hand-cut fries you’ll see at other spots. They resemble breakfast potatoes, but are fried crispy in duck fat and served with malt vinegar aioli.
The Porter Beer Bar
1156 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; (404) 223-0393, www.theporterbeerbar.com
If there’s anything that goes better with fish and chips than malt vinegar, it’s a perfectly pulled pint. There aren’t many places in Atlanta better for beer than The Porter. Their take is a bit more southern. Cod is tossed with cornmeal beer batter. Served with some addictive herb fries, and pickled green tomato tartar sauce, it is a can’t-miss dish
As beer whisperers, all of the food on the menu has a suggested beer pairing. Take their advice and order whatever is on the menu.
659 E Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030; (404) 373-1116, www.steinbecksbar.com
A true neighborhood joint must have two things; great, local brew on tap and plenty of fried goodies to soak it all up. Decatur’s Steinbeck’s does both very well. An impressive beer list is accompanied by a just as impressive food menu. Their take on fish and chips is right at home. Using a tempura batter for ultimate crispiness and an old school tartar sauce, the dish is both fiercely traditional and contemporary. Steinbeck’s prides itself on a rotating menu so if you’re really jonesing for F&C, call ahead.