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More than just a fish fry at Craft Beer and Kitchen

Looking over the menu at Craft Beer and Kitchen this past week, I was kind of sorry I was focusing on fish fry-type meals. Because really, there’s a lot more seafood options to choose from at Craft Beer and Kitchen.

I toyed, briefly, with the idea of forgoing the fish and chips on the menu for the pan-fried walleye meal, instead. I mean, it’s fried fish, right? Ah, but then my ethical journalist side kicked in, and I went back to the fish and chips meal instead. After all, it was the closest thing to a Friday fish fry on the menu.

Manager Danielle Philippon acknowledged that fish frys aren’t really the center of the Friday night Lent business, but still, quite a few platters of the fish and chips have been going out lately.

The fish and chips meal is exactly what it claims to be – four pieces of beer battered cod and a pile of potato wedge-style “chips,” a cup of tartar sauce and a lemon. 

As I was waiting for my meal, the waitress came to my table to ask if I wanted any malt vinegar. I’m pretty sure I gave her a blank look, because I’ve not been asked that before. 

“Some people want it with their fish and chips,” she explained. 

“Oh,” said I, figuring I might as well get the full experience. “Sure.”

The beer batter is made with a dose of Grain Belt Premium, and I do love the beer batters on my fish. I couldn’t actually identify all of the spices included in the batter, but I can say that every bite tasted just a little different than the last. And that’s good, in my book. 

I have to admit, I mulled over whether or not I wanted to try the malt vinegar on my fish, since the fish was pretty tasty just the way it was. About halfway through my third piece, I decided it was time to give it a try. I mean, I eat tartar sauce on my chips, so what the heck?

I sprinkled a little on my remaining pieces and took a bite. It was good. A little different, but in a good way. If you’re a vinegar person (which I am), it’s worth a try if you find yourself ordering the fish and chips. 

Craft Beer and Kitchen opened last July, Philippon said, so this is the first Lent for the restaurant. Still, business has been pretty steady on Fridays this year. Philippon thinks that’s because, in addition to the fish and chips, the business offers four more seafood entrees, four seafood-based appetizers, a walleye cake sandwich and shrimp tacos, and clam chowder is available every Friday.