Sunday, March 26, 2006

In the Mood for Fish & Chips

932 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415)474-5015
Monday through Saturday 11am to 11pm
Sunday 1pm to 11pm
Cash only

Old Chelsea on Urbanspoon

Last tried: March 2006

Update: Piccadilly Fish & Chips on Polk Street has reopened after remodeling.

Piccadilly Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

My favorite hole in the wall fish & chips joint, Piccadilly Fish & Chips, recently closed due to a fire. Fortunately I discovered that its sister restaurant, Old Chelsea, although smaller and in an even sketchier neighborhood, serves almost the same satisfyingly flaky white fish and thick-cut fries, both wrapped in newspaper. Although the two grandmotherly ladies who made the fish & chips at Piccadilly did them a little better, the batter coating on the fish is similarly crispy and golden brown, and the inside of the hot fries are fluffy when you bite through the crispy outside (unwrap them as soon as you get them home, otherwise they will steam from the heat and get soggy). For best results, buy some malt vinegar to sprinkle when you are ready to eat, as opposed to having them put the vinegar on the fish & chips before wrapping. Definitely do not forget to get a couple of containers of their homemade tartar sauce.

Note that Old Chelsea is strictly a take-out place. While there are a couple of worn out formica tables and vinyl chairs next to the counter, you probably would not want to sit and eat there, even if you could ignore the odd mix of people wandering in and out talking to themselves. But for really good, satisfyingly greasy-- in a good way-- fish & chips, this is the place.

Take home a large order of fish & chips, less than $15 for five generously large pieces of fish plus a giant sack of fries, pop open a bottle of your favorite beer, and indulge. It's perfect for lunch or dinner when you're not in the mood to cook, especially after an all nighter at work with nothing to eat except vending machine candy...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now don't be a location snob. Most of the oddballs in this area are harmless alcoholics bumming for change rather than the scary belligerent druggies you see further down in the T'loin.

I live right around the corner from this place (on Geary) and have never had any problems. Of course, no matter where a person lives they should be mindful of what's going on around them. But I agree w/you. Great fish!

Finicky said...

Yes, you got me for being a location snob. It did not stop me from getting my fish & chips fix, but I would rather not hang out there to determine whether a particular oddball is harmless or scary...

lisa said...

Or go have a beer at the Edinburgh Castle, located right around the corner at 950 Geary
http://www.castlenews.com/
where you can order fish and chips and they will go pick them up for you!

Olivia said...

Have you tried the fish and chips at Taylor's Refresher? Predictable, I imagine, but they are the best I've found to date, despite the differing chip styles (I actually prefer thinner fries). I would be interested in hearing how you think Taylor's interpretation measures up.

Finicky said...

Taylor's Refresher's version is not bad, but I would characterize that as more American yuppy style fish and chips. The quality of the fish they use is good, but sometimes they over-fry them so that the batter coating is too hard and brown. I do quite like their reasonably priced and very decent wine list.