Hicks Weekly Dish: Grandin Fish 'N' Chips - Fish ’n’ chips done right BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 05, 2017
Grandin Fish ‘N’ Chips
9902 109 St.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday
Food: 4 of 5 Suns
Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns
Service: 3.5 of 5 stars
Plenty of fast food outlets offer fish ’n’ chips, but the batter usually drips oil like a rusting car, the fish is mushy, the French fries from a bag and the ambience as charming as an aging fastfood court.
In the years I’ve called Edmonton home, only once have I experienced the very best of fish ’n’ chips, being a special-of-the-day at Beaumont’s charming Franco-Albertan Chartier restaurant.
Until now: With the opening of the Grandin Fish ’n’ Chips shop on 109 Street just north of the High Level Bridge, a glorious new era of fish ’n’ chips has dawned.
The new shop is clean, sunny and well-ventilated, with some 40 seats. The decoration and décor is whimsical and appropriately Maritime themed. The open kitchen is superb.
It’s not surprising that the food is exponentially tastier than any other fast-food fish ’n’ chipper – it’s being made by real chefs with an appreciation for the task at hand.
Grandin Fish ’n’ Chips is a second enterprise by the partners in The Common just a few doors down. The Common is arguably the best “gastropub” in Edmonton.
Overseeing Grandin Fish ’n’ Chips, bringing his high standards to the operation, is The Common’s executive chef Jesse Morrison Gauthier.
It’s an efficient operation. A chalkboard menu lists the choices – always basa, haddock or cod, with other fish as specials of the day – deep-fried, gluten-free fried or pan fried. If you must, there’s chicken or hot dog and chips for the nonbeliever.
The standard order – one fish fillet, fries, coleslaw – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday no reservations
Dinner for two (excluding beverages and tip): basic, $20; loaded, $50 runs at $12 to $16 depending on the fish. The fish is all fresh, used within two days of arrival. The vegetable sides set Grandin apart. There’s excellent mushy peas, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts …
You line up, order and pay at the counter, take a numbered flag and find a table. Your food is shortly thereafter delivered.
My battered halibut (a fish of the day) was scrumptious – the batter light and near perfect, fluffy with a light crunch to accompany the fresh, moist, firm halibut fillet. The fries are homecut, crinkly and tasty, the coleslaw freshly made and mixed shortly before serving. Just one flaw: The halflemon garnish had been cut some time ago. Its face was puckered and tired.
We had no room for salads, but a return visit is a must to try the anchovy fritters in the Caesar, the seared tuna in the Nicoise, and a honey truffle dressing with the house green salad.
Finally, a fish ’n’ chips shop to call home. May others follow the Grandin example – there’s more than enough market. Get there early or late. On a sunny early-spring weekday, the lunch-time line-up stretched down 109 Street.
*** When JOEY Jasper Avenue (11228 Jasper Avenue) relocated to JOEY Bell Tower, the restaurant chain re-opened in the original location using its LOCAL Public Eatery brand.
I don’t know if you can bottle friendliness, but the down-home LOCAL — all wood and TVs — seems to make an extra special effort. The smiles on the servers’ faces are big and genuine.
The food is an interesting retreat: No more JOEY-style page after page of trendy dishes, it’s back to the basics – burgers, pizzas, a few salads and starters.
But good! The brioche burger buns are baked in-house, the burger patties top quality, the fixings outstanding. The pizzas are thin, beautifully blistered in a wood-fired oven.
Quantities are generous – a burger and a pizza slice and I was down right stuffed.
A cheerful, loud downtown gathering spot, to hang with the lads and cheer on our play-off bound Oilers, especially with Happy Hour beers at $2.50!
The very successful, informative Eats on 118 Avenue tour – learning about and eating at several restaurants on Edmonton’s most diverse and inexpensive dining strip – is back for 2017. The first tour is planned for Wed. April 26, and two more are planned. Info and tickets ($40) at alberta-avenue.com