Many still remember the general excitement in town when the Tin Fish opened in 2000 at the end of the pier. The restaurant attracted many locals and out of town visitors for its variety of fish dishes, view and location. Fast forward to 2019, the restaurant is still in the same spot at the end of the pier and continues to serve great fish dishes that are sure to please the palates.
My family and I walked down the end of the pier on a cloudy Sunday to have lunch. It had been a while since we had walked down the pier and noticed many people doing the same. There were also many fishermen, in particular a number of dads and kids enjoying their time together as they tried to catch a fish.
As we reached the restaurant I noticed the place still looks the same as when it first opened with its yellow and blue decor and friendly staff. Both my daughter Julia and I ordered Fish and Chips and a cup of chowder to share, while Dan ordered the Fish and Clam Combo. As we waited for our food to arrive we noticed more diners coming in. While we decided to sit inside at one of the tables at the back of the restaurant; many diners chose the outdoor tables to enjoy the view.
Sitting near us were three high school students who were enjoying their lunch. One of them, Raymond Sanchez from Chula Vista had just finished a Chowder Bowl served inside a bread bowl. This was his fourth time eating at the restaurant. “I’m from the Pacific Northwest and it reminds me of home,” he said of the restaurant. “It gives me a homey feel.”
Tin Fish Cook Ali Castro and a co-worker kept busy frying and preparing the dishes in the open kitchen. Castro said that Fish and Chips is the most popular dish as well as Fish and Shrimp. She also said many customers come for snacks like fries or a drink. “Our food is good, it’s a place to relax and get something good to eat. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” she said.
Both Julia and I enjoyed our Fish and Chips and the crosscut fries. The fish batter was crunchy and the fish tasted fresh and was cooked just right. The tartar sauce provided was very good and seemed home made. We liked the Clam Chowder which was delicious and had lots of clams and small pieces of potatoes. Dan enjoyed his combo as well. Really, what’s not to like about fried fish especially when dipped in breading made with a secret recipe called Gold Dust?
Fish and Chips is a staple of seafood eateries in the U.S., although it originated in England around 1860. Over the years it has become a common take away food served in newspaper wrapping. In the U.S. tartar sauce is a typical accompaniment for this dish, but in Britain salt and vinegar or malted vinegar are popular. Another common accompaniment of Fish and Chips in England are warm sides of curry, gravy or mash peas while here Fish and Chips are served with French fries, a thinner version of the British or the Irish chips.
The Tin Fish serves a variety of fish dishes and has an extensive menu starting with the appetizers, which include Fried Calamari, Fried Clams and Crab Cake. For diners who prefer a lighter choice, the Tin Fish offers salad plates featuring a variety of fish like Swordfish, Salmon and Halibut.
Depending on your appetite the Fish and Chips come with either a six or three pieces of fish. More choices include Fish and Clam, Fish and Shrimp or a Taco plate with two fried fish tacos and fries.
Platters come with fries and slaw and diners can chose from Fried calamari, Clams, Salmon and Crab Cake. Chicken Tenders are also on the menu for those who don’t eat seafood.
For diners who like the Mexican cuisine, there are Tacos and Burritos which come with a warm flour tortilla, fresh green cabbage, your choice of fish, shredded jack and cheddar, pico de gallo, Baja sauce and hot sauce. The Tin Fish also serves Fish Sandwiches, Sliders and a Lobster Roll served with fries. The lobster is butter grilled with Italian parsley, sizzled with lemon squeeze, tucked in a warm brioche roll.
If you are in the mood for just a snack you can order fries, onion rings, chips and salsa or a grilled chicken quesadilla. But if you just want something to drink on a hot day soft drinks and beer and wine are available. On a cold day try coffee or hot chocolate that you can sip while walking down the pier watching surfers catch waves.
Tin Fish, 910 Seacoast Drive. Hours: Mon. -Thurs. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sun. 11a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call 619-628-8414.