they were wandering through the International Food Court at the Lonsdale Quay Market in North Vancouver, British Columbia, in hot pursuit of lunch.
Still looking for the ultimate fish and chips, we had identified a restaurant near the market but, not willing to brave the rain, we decided to remain indoors and see what the market had to order.
We walked past Pita Feast, Dex Gourmet Burgers, Curry Point, Chicken Chalet, Sizzling Wok, and Souvlaki and none of these inspired our taste buds. Then, there it was. Montgomery’s Fish & Chips. It wasn’t outside the market – it was there inside. What luck. We were in business.
Let me start by saying that this small (it can’t be more than twelve feet wide) take-out window served us the best fish and chips we have eaten since our visits to Go Fish! Seafood Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. And like so many good eateries, they keep it simple. The emphasis is on fried fish – cod, red snapper, or halibut – in filets, nuggets, on a bun, with fries, or without fries. Yes, they also serve clam strips, oysters, prawns, and scallops, but I saw nary a person order anything other than fish with or without chips.
Using my new theory that one order of chips will feed two persons, I decided to just order one piece of fried cod and one of fried red snapper. Chuck went with the two piece cod with chips. Having eaten so many disappointing fries during our Canadian stay, I am pleased to report that these were everything a hand-cut fry is supposed to be. The outer surface was crisp and the interior was moist and fluffy. And there was an absence of surface grease. I suspect that they had been twice-fried in hot and fresh oil. Truly excellent fries.
But these were just a prelude to the fish. The coating was ultra thin. One on-line reviewer said that he always asked for the filets to be double dipped because he thought the coating was too thin. Not us. To me the batter is just a way to seal in the natural fish moisture and to provide a texture contrast with the flaky fish. The cod (above) was ultra sweet and fresh, and the red snapper (right) was equally fresh, but had a slightly stronger fish flavor and aroma. But then, while still being a mild fish, snapper is stronger than cod.
And Chuck’s two piece order? It contained two large pieces and two small. Another bonus.
Decor? Come on. This is a food court. Service? Come on. This is a food court. Meal? Wonderful and rates 5.0 Addies.
As we were scoping out the food court, I passed a station called BeaverTails. Other than noticing that the food item comes in both sweet and savory varieties, I didn’t pay much attention. But a visit to Go Fish! was never complete without our sharing a slice of their battered and deep-fried cheese cake, I wanted something sweet. So while Chuck was finishing the jumbo portion of chips, I went to investigate the sweet beaver tails.
BeaverTails began when Grant and Pam Hooker decided to turn their family recipe for fried dough into a corporate business, and in 1980, the Hookers opened up the first BeaverTail stand in the Byward Market in Ottawa. BeaverTails are fried dough pastries made with whole wheat flour that are individually hand stretched to resemble a beaver’s tail. They are popped into a vat of hot canola oil, flipped once, and then drained on paper towels. While still warm, they are topped with one of a number of either dessert or savory toppings. That day, the sweet toppings included cinnamon and sugar, blueberry, apples, and chocolate hazelnut.
Both Chuck and I are fond (OK, more than fond) of the chocolate hazelnut combination, that was my choice. The warm pastry slightly melted the spread into a film of gooey lusciousness. And the pastry itself was thin, light, and ultra crisp. If I couldn’t have deep fried cheesecake, this was the next best thing.
Then it was time to go shopping. Yesterday, Chuck told you about the so-so dragon fruit. My other stops included the Salmon Shop where I purchased (clock wise from the top) smoked salmon pepperoni (outrageously good), smoked salmon hot bits (really good), smoked salmon candy twists (not so good), and salmon pate (haven’t tried it yet).
Then it was off to Cobs Bread for an apple log containing apples, raisons, and nuts; two cape rolls made with 100% wholegrain flour and nine grains and seeds; and a half dozen Vienna rolls.
Before leaving the area of the Market, we took a walk past this gathering of cranes. I (Chuck) thought the activity of the harbor and the nearby construction projects provided plenty of work for these giant "birds."
Leaving the North Vancouver waterfront, we could see the giant "Q" (right of center in the photo, left), which marked the plaza of the Lonsdale Quay Market.
From a distance, these cranes used to unload containers from cargo ships on the Vancouver harbor looked like giraffes along the watery desert.
Maybe it was the overcast afternoon, I don't know, but as we were docking, I noticed this building looked a lot like an ocean liner.
Then again, maybe I'm coming down with something.