Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fins on the Hoof - Fish and Chip Roll

A few weeks ago my friend and I attempted to visit Fins on the Hoof for their Off the Grid debut. When we arrived they had already closed the line to new orders, so we were not able to sample their wares. Since then it's been a game of food truck tag, and I have been unable to catch them. Today, though, the stars were in alignment. Not only did I get to enjoy them for lunch, but I also got to do it on the sunniest, most beautiful day of the year.

I grew up in New England, where seafood is plentiful. I have fond memories of spending summer holidays on Cape Cod, where fried fish is a staple on every menu. The days there are hot and humid, and I can almost feel the salty breeze as I recall taking my meals outside against the ocean backdrop. I have a strong association between summer days and fish and chips, so it was the natural selection for me today when I saw the Fish and Chip Roll on the Fins on the Hoof menu, standing out among the other yummy sounding dishes.

Sometimes the simplest dishes are the hardest ones to make, so I think it's a good indicator of a restaurant's potential if they can make them well. I have had fish and chips more times than I can remember, and if it's not executed correctly it can be dreadful. There is nothing worse than soggy, greasy, overcooked fish. It's certainly a menu item that I find myself gravitating towards, and when I order it from a place that is new to me, I always hope that it will be done well.

For his version of the summer staple, Chef Todd Middleton delivered with his take on this classic seafood dish and then gave it a twist of his own. My fish and chips were served up together, surrounded by cabbage slaw in a big, buttery roll. Yes, the french fries were actually part of my sandwich! The traditional part of me was tempted to pull them off and eat them separately, but instead I chose to eat my sandwich as it was presented.

And it worked! I rather enjoyed everything jumbled together, and each bite had many layers of flavor and texture. The fish was fried perfectly. It was crispy on the outside but flaky and soft on the inside. There wasn't a hint of grease, and it sat lightly atop my bun with it's hat of creamy, crunchy, cabbage slaw. The chips were shoestring french fries, cooked until golden brown and finished with a sprinkling of chopped herbs. I wish there had been a tad more salt, but other than that, all of the seasonings highlighted the tender fish.

All of the waiting to try Fins on the Hoof definitely paid off, and I thoroughly enjoyed my Fish and Chip Roll today. The other items on their menu, which combine both sea and barnyard also sounded great, and I am looking forward to sampling them all!

Rating: 3.5/5 (ratings guide)

Fins on the Hoof (@finsonthehoof) $8.00 per sandwich

Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisine!

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