I usually use the reemergence of flowers and flip-flops as a warning signal that spring is here and good weather surely must be on the way.
Now it’s fish and chips stands. When the seasonal restaurants open, the sun must surely follow, right?
This will be the second season for the two al fresco-style fish and chips stands. Both have reopened within the past week.
The best part? Both come with waterfront views. Consider them the most inexpensive view restaurants in the area.
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I hope you won’t need an umbrella.
THE DAILY CATCH
Info: 5115 Grand Loop, Tacoma; 253-448-2145; bit.ly/2nVm409.
This waterfront walk-up fish-and-chips stand at the Point Ruston development earned the top position on my best fish-and-chips list in 2016 for good reason.
Not only is the beer-battered cod some of the crunchiest in town, but the Daily Catch has all-you-can-pump tartar sauce in two flavors.
Here’s an insider tip: Steamers also allows diners to pump their own. Everywhere else is like getting gas in Oregon, someone else gets to control the pump, sorry!
Co-owner Attila Szabo said the menu and pricing will stay stationary this season, which should last until October, weather permitting.
At The Daily Catch, fried fish shows up in the form of fried cod, halibut, clams and calamari, all served with fries. There’s a fried fish taco on the menu, but I’d go with the stand’s outstanding banh mi taco, which is grilled cod in a salty marinade with the trimmings of a bahn mi sandwich ($6.99). It’s wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Prices start around $7.99 for a two-piece cod and chips to $8.99 for clams and chips; $9.99 for calamari and chips; and around $12.99 for a two-piece halibut and chips (remember, halibut pricing can fluctuate greatly).
Also on the menu is seafood chowder, coleslaw and beverages.
This is a stand-and-eat adventure, but there are benches at the nearby water fountain and along the beachfront. The restaurant is a sibling to its neighbors, WildFin American Grill and burger restaurant, Stack 571.
JW AT THE BOATYARD
Info: 3117 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor; 253-432-9991.
The waterfront fish-and-chips trolley at the Gig Harbor Marina is again open for business.
Only a few changes were made to the JW at the Boatyard menu, said Jamie Lindsey, general manager of the trolley and its sibling restaurant, nearby JW.
“The Boatyard burger is probably the most noteworthy change. Plus the lobster roll is served chilled on a toasted bun this year rather than served warm,” she said.
The cheeseburger is $10 with chips (add $1.50 for bacon). There’s chicken tacos ($4-$11) and a veggie burger ($10). From the fish list, find cod and chips (one-piece, $5; two-piece, $9; three-piece, $12); clam and chips ($9) and cod tacos (one piece, $4.50; two-piece, $8.50; three-piece, $12). Sorry to report the outstandingly crunchy calamari and chips have exited the menu.
Yes, the fish-and-chips stand really does operate out of a converted trolley. Order on one side and pick up on the other. There’s a small amount of seating at picnic benches, but there’s a nearby park for lawn sitting and some random seating along the waterfront.