The Anchor Fish & Chips

Last week K and I met up with the “celebrity” duo known as Brennifer at The Anchor Fish & Chips in northeast Minneapolis. The restaurant is tiny and doesn’t take reservations so K got there early to put our name in for a table. There are only about four tables that seat more than two people in the entire restaurant so they’re a hot commodity. K and I got all excited when a table became available but the other half of our party wasn’t there yet so we lost the table — they don’t seat unless the entire party is there. This, by the way, was at 7:30 on a Thursday night. I don’t think there is a time at The Anchor that isn’t busy. Lesson One: If you plan to visit The Anchor, go only in pairs.

Once Brennifer arrived, we got the next available table for four and the server asked us what we wanted to drink and eat before we’d even picked up a menu. We quickly decided on our beverages (and kudos to them for their selection of organic wines) and she asked if we’d been there before. When we said no, she said she’d order us all the fish and chips then walked away. And didn’t come back. We weren’t sure if she was kidding or if we’d all just ordered fish and chips. Honestly, we probably all would have ordered that anyway, but it was weird. Lesson two: While at The Anchor, just get the fish and chips and make it easier on everyone.  

She did return in a few minutes with our beverages and asked if we’d decided for sure what we wanted to eat so, evidently, she was kidding the first time around. We did all order the fish and chips and also a bowl of traditional English mushy peas.

The hot and plentiful fish and chips came quickly. They were good. Both less crispy than I would have liked and really, really close to being too salty to enjoy (which is saying a lot since I’m a salt addict), but good. The fish was really tender and flaky. But honestly, after all the hype about The Anchor, I was expecting fish and chips heaven. It was good. Everyone agreed it was good, but no one was really blown away. I didn’t try them, but the mushy peas got the thumbs up for being buttery and mint-free.

Three of us were drinking beer, one of us wine. While we were eating, the server brought over a glass of water for the wine drinker, but no one else. The wine drinker had not asked for water and the server didn’t ask if anyone else wanted a glass. That was also weird.

The second we were done eating (and I mean the second) the server brought our check. Apparently dinner was over and we would not be having another beverage. Lesson three: When visiting The Anchor, eat quickly, drink quickly and get out of there quickly. Their goal is to turn over tables at a rapid fire pace and they make that very clear.

If I’m in the neighborhood and in the mood for good fried food, I’ll call ahead then run in to pick up take out fish and chips from The Anchor. I probably won’t be paying them a visit to eat in-house anytime soon though. I can’t eat that fast…

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2 thoughts on “The Anchor Fish & Chips

  1. I can never understand restaurants who seem to want to rush customers out, especially when those customers are drinking. Alcoholic beverages are one of the quickest ways to run up a tab. So what, you don’t want my money? Fine, I’ll go somewhere else where they are interested in serving me the expensive beers I’ll order.

  2. Stumbled upon your blog via Heavy Table….

    Anyways, I suppose everyone has different experiences, but I have had nothing but great service and food at The Anchor. You experience sounds pretty weird though, and unfortunate. Maybe an off night? Not really excusable I suppose.

    About the Fish and Chips though, I think they are some of the best I have had this side of the pond, but at the same time….It is fish and chips. I mean, you are taking cod and frying it. Even the best fish and chips is still just cod (usually) fried in oil with a simple batter. It would be silly to expect something else. I would relate them to Victors on Grand, or Brasa…Really simple food, made very well.

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