The secret’s in the sauce
Drop all thoughts of eating French fries with ketchup and battered fish with tartar sauce if you want to have the true experience of tasting Irish-style food at Anchor Fish and Chips in Northeast Minneapolis.
Replace ketchup with the Anchor’s very savory Curry dipping sauce for your chips – what the Irish call fries – and replace tartar sauce with white vinegar. Yes, I said vinegar. White vinegar is the traditional condiment for deep-fried fish and potatoes in Ireland.
Anchor Fish and Chips
Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.8
Address: 302 13th Avenue NE, Mpls, MN 55413
For more info: Visit theanchorfishandchips.com or call (612) 676-1300
I ordered the Fish and Chips ($8.75) and, as the description on the menu says, it’s “The Real Deal. A beautiful fillet of Wild Alaskan Cod served over hand-cut chips.”
The two pieces of cod that you get are huge. The batter doesn’t have much seasoning, and the fish is very oily, but if you sprinkle on some vinegar, it cuts the greasiness and gives it a wonderful, sweet flavor. Don’t be afraid to try the white vinegar. I thought vinegar would be a strong, sour flavor and worried it would dominate the fish too much, but not at all.
The hand-cut chips – they resemble American-style steak fries but thinner – could make a good meal all on their own! They are perfectly seasoned, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I could eat a whole plate of fries with a side of curry sauce and be in heaven.
Anchor Fish and Chips opened Oct. 1, 2009, in northeast Minneapolis with the goal of serving food found at tradition Irish chippers – fish and chip shops. The small restaurant is owned by Kathryn Hayes, Luke Kyle, who are both Irish, and Jenny Crouser, a Minnesotan.
Kathryn and Jenny have lived in the northeast Minneapolis neighborhood for 20 years and Luke has lived there for 7 years. The trio had not worked together before, but Kathryn said, “We wanted to have a neighborhood joint.”
The Anchor is a nice addition to the resurgence in the food commerce of Northeast Minneapolis.
At the Anchor, your food is cooked behind the counter, which is fun to watch. Many of the items on the menu are less than $10 and the plates bring a lot of food for the price.
The menu items were chosen by Kathryn and Luke. “We came up with recipes that we grew up with and what you would see at an Irish chipper,” Kathryn said.
Right: Sinthia loved the way sweet and sour vinegar cuts the greasy fish and chips at Anchor Fish & Chips in Northeast Minneapolis. She especially recommends the curry dipping sauce, and promises you’ll never miss the ketchup at this Irish-style bistro.
The menu includes dishes like Shepherd’s Pie ($8.95). It’s the kind of food I crave on a snowy winter day. Shepherd’s Pie has two layers: the bottom layer features bite-sized pieces of ground beef, carrots and celery in a savory and sweet sauce. The veggies aren’t mushy; they still have crunch to them. The top layer is a generous amount of mashed potatoes. The only con is that there are more mashed potatoes than meat and veggies.
Below: Shepard’s Pie is a great, winter-time comfort food.
“We would eat (Shepherd’s Pie) like once a week,” Kathryn said. “It’s a comfort food.”
Other traditional Irish items include the Burger and Chips ($8.95), and Battered Sausage and Chips ($6.95). I felt that the sausage was too salty and the batter didn’t help balance it.
The Anchor serves breakfast on Saturday and Sunday with four dishes to pick from, all Irish and organic. The dishes include some items that require some translation. Rashers is the Irish word for bacon. Bangers means sausages. Black and white pudding is not a mix of chocolate and vanilla pudding but a dish made from pig’s blood.
I missed the breakfast cutoff at 12:30 p.m., but a very affordable option called The Mini Whack is available later. It includes two eggs, potatoes and your choice of rashers, bangers or black and white pudding for $4.50.
Don’t miss the Curry sauce. It’s so tasty you could it eat on its own. Dip your chips in the Curry sauce and I promise you, you’ll never want to eat fries with ketchup again. The Curry sauce does cost $3, but it’s worth every dollar.
You can definitely miss the Mushy Peas ($3). They are mashed, like potatoes, and I instantly thought of dinners when I was forced to eat veggies I didn’t enjoy. They may give teens flash backs to when your parents made you wear a bib at the table.
The restaurant isn’t large and its dim lighting, dark-red walls, hip paintings and old-fashioned tin ceiling give the Anchor an intimate, modern feeling. The next time I am craving some fish and chips with curry sauce, I’ll definitely head there.
Sinthia Turcios, ThreeSixty’s food critic for the 2011-2012 school year.
Sinthia Turcios, a senior at Washburn HS who’s been writing for ThreeSixty for three years, will be our food critic this year. Her goal is to find Twin Cities teens great food at an affordable price.