Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fish and Chips at Dick O'Dow's

Another adventure in fish and chip hunting in Metro Detroit, this time at Dick O'Dow's in downtown Birmingham.

(A confession of bias first: I am not a big fan of "Irish" bars. I am plenty Irish - of my 16 great-great-grandparents, 14 left Ireland during the 1840's famine and most of them were, in my mother's words, "peasant farmers." I don't really know what counts as authentic Irish, but I doubt any of my ancestors ate and drank in an establishment like Dick O'Dow's. I'm not really angry about places like this - I just don't see any of my ancestors' lives here.)

Anyway, onto the food. I liked the fish here. The fish quality seemed right up there to me and it was cooked perfectly. The coating is different from most F&C - very thin and not very crispy. The coating came, I'm guessing, from a very thin batter. They advertise Guinness in the batter but it was more subtle than my ravaged taste buds could identify. The serving is more than sufficient - I took the third piece home with me.

The fries exceeded any I have had for a while. Ordinarily, steak cut fries are not my first choice, but these were big, crunchy on the outside, pillowy inside and HOT - and by hot, I mean hot from the fryer, not from the heat lamp. Dandy fries, however they're cut.

The slaw was good, fresh, creamy with a bite of vinegar and a generous serving it was, as well.

The service was OK. The waiter was friendly and helpful; she was just overworked. To be fair, we were there at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon, the first warm springlike Sunday of the year. I assume they wouldn't have a huge staff scheduled for that time of day. She had 5 or 6 tables going in the back room, which is a long way from the kitchen and the bar. So the service was slow, but she served our food hot from the fryer and grill (daughter's hamburger) - she got the essential work done right and of course I tipped accordingly.

Would I go back? Probably for a beer and some fries, probably not especially for the F&C.

Our meal was about $25, with tip and soft drinks. Dick O'Dow's serves alcohol; we just didn't have any.

Dick O'Dow's is on the north side of Maple, a half block west of Old Woodward in downtown Birmingham.

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