We discovered The Anchor Fish & Chips, over in NE Minneapolis, a few years back. And, really, what better time of year to talk about our favorite fish and chip place than Lent? Here in Minnesota, Friday fish fries are a big thing this time of year. On our first attempt to try Anchor, we came around 6:00 on a Friday during Lent, and the line was tumbling out the door and down the block. Too hungry to wait but figuring it’d be worth an attempt another day, we left and tried again later.
I’m so glad we came back again. And at an earlier time! We made it just in time to snag the last couple of spots at the counter.
The fish and chips brought back memories of being in Galway for part of our honeymoon in Ireland. It was one of my favorite places on the entire trip (The people were especially lovely here!), and it’s also the place where J and I picked up our Claddagh rings as our honeymoon memento. Sitting across the River Corrib from all that fishing gear, J and I ate our McDonagh’s fish and chips (so good!) while people watching. Well, and, perhaps more amusing, dog watching. It was glorious! The harbor master’s dog, Blackie, according to the moniker on his collar, meandered from picnic group to picnic group hoping for handouts and pets. And he usually came away with both.
Anchor brought all those fond memories rushing back –as food often does for me. And I hadn’t had fish and chips as good as McDonagh’s until finding The Anchor.
The batter is crisp, and the fish flakes nicely. The sea salt sprinkled on top adds nice crunch. And the chips are delish. Added bonus, I dig that the Anchor’s salt shakers are filled with the same salt that they sprinkle over the fish and chips. It’s nice having something better than basic table salt in the shaker.
I hate tartar sauce in general (usually way too “pickle-y” for me), but love Anchor’s — with both the chips and the fish. The flavors mesh well together. Though, at some point, I resort to ketchup with the chips in order to cut the richness of everything.
Yes, it’s greasy. But, that’s fish and chips for you. If fish isn’t your thing, The Anchor does have other food offerings (shepherd’s pie, pasties, and burgers plus brunch fare on Saturday and Sunday morning).
A couple words of caution: Anchor might not be your best choice if you’re a strict vegan/vegetarian or going to dinner with someone who is. They’ve got options that are meat-free, however, all items may come in contact with meat products.
Also, like a lot of my favorite places, Anchor does not have a ton of seating. It’s cozy in here and has a warm vibe, and that’s a big part of its appeal for me (along with the friendliness of the folks who work here). I tend to go only with groups of 4 or less. I’ve done it once with a group of 5. And it’s do-able, but you’re probably going to have a long wait. On the bonus side, while you wait for a spot, you can order up a Harp or Guinness at the bar, if beer is your thing (that’s more J’s scene than mine.).
Other option, which I’ve never actually tried but have seen loads of people do, you can order food for take away.