TNT Diner

Fish and chips find: The newly opened Johnny's Seafood and Bistro

Some diners prefer fried fish with a crunchy coating.

Others prefer the puffy texture of a beer batter.

At the newly reopened Johnny’s Seafood and Bistro, diners get both: a quick dunk in a beer batter followed by a coating of bread crumbs. The result is a crispy jacket with a delicate interior. I’m a fan.

That Foss waterway restaurant has become a new favorite. It’s not fancy. It’s not cutting edge. But it’s reliably good, and easy prices top out at $14.95. It also comes with a remarkable waterside view of Tacoma’s working Foss waterfront.

For nearly four decades, Johnny’s Seafood has been a retail seafood shop on Dock Street where shoppers could pick up fresh salmon or scallops, or eat a takeout crab cocktail at the picnic tables. A remodel shuttered Johnny’s earlier this year, but it reopened in May with a bistro sporting a patio dining room and seating inside.The casual eatery echoes the fairly-priced eateries nearby – Choripan by Asado at the Museum of Glass, and Social Bar and Grill, which also makes a knock-out rock fish and chips.

So about those Johnny’s fish and chips. They’re worth a trip, especially at $10.95 for cod and $14.95 for halibut – almost half of what some Ruston Way restaurants are charging. Johnny’s can keep prices low because it doubles as a seafood market with a well-stocked inventory, said executive chef and bistro manager Michael Fenton, an Art Institute of Seattle culinary graduate who most recently cooked at the now-closed Lobster Shop at Dash Point (the Ruston location remains open).