5 to try: Fish and chips at E.V. restaurants

With Lent starting today, East Valley restaurants are bracing for their annual surge in seafood sales. And when it comes to seafood, few dishes are as popular — and inexpensive — as fish and chips. The fish, usually cod, haddock or flounder, is typically battered and deep-fried, and the “chips,” of course, are thick-cut potatoes more similar to French fries than potato chips. Whether you’re a strictly observant Christian or just someone who likes fried food, here are five East Valley restaurants to try for fish and chips:

Fibber Magees: The first place to look for good fish and chips is an English or Irish pub — the dish is, after all, a traditional favorite in the United Kingdom — and this Chandler favorite serves up some of the best in the Valley. The beer-battered cod is fried until crispy, then served with golden chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce. Get a lunch portion for $8.99 or a dinner portion for $13.99. 1989 W. Elliot Road, Chandler, (480) 722-9434, www.fibber

Murphy’s Law: This Irish pub in historic downtown Chandler boasts it uses fresh, hand-cut Alaskan cod, which it dips in house-made Harp Ale batter ($12.95, pictured). You get a choice of regular pub fries or sweet potato fries as a side. Murphy’s Law also offers another seafood entrée: a pan-seared Alaskan salmon steak in a sweet pepper almond sauce with roasted potatoes and vegetables ($12.95). 58 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler, (480) 812-1588, www.irishpubchandler.com.

Islamorada Fish Co.: Take a break from shopping at Bass Pro Shops to visit its in-store seafood restaurant. Beer-battered cod comes with a choice of thick-cut chips or seasoned French fries ($10.95). The fried section of the menu also features catfish, shrimp and alligator, but there are many non-fried seafood dishes — from grouper reubens to flame-grilled tilapia — also available. 1133 N. Dobson Road, Mesa, (602) 606-5500, www.fishcompany.com.

Joe’s Farm Grill: Every Friday, this retro-looking burger stand puts on a fabulous fish fry. Sit at one of the many tree-shaded picnic tables and enjoy panko-breaded cod, fries, cole slaw, house-made tartar sauce and corn fritters for $10.99. Also on the menu: fried shrimp ($14.99), grilled wild salmon ($12.99) and a grilled ahi tuna sandwich with Asian slaw and wasabi mayo ($11.99). 3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert, (480) 563-4745, www.joesfarmgrill.com.

Pete’s Fish & Chips: If you’re in a hurry or strapped for cash, this Mesa-based chain of restaurants, which has eight Valley locations, has been reeling in hungry diners since 1947. Fine-food aficionados may turn up their noses at its drive-throughs and walk-up windows, but Pete’s Special Sauce is legendary. And you can’t beat the prices: $3.75 for two-piece dinner and $5.25 for three-piece dinner. 22 S. Mesa Drive, Mesa, (480) 964-7242, www.petesfishandchips.com.

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11 Responses to 5 to try: Fish and chips at E.V. restaurants

  1. Big ben says:

    Great photo of Murphy’s fish and chips

  2. Bill Richardson says:

    I think you forgot one of the better fish and chips outlets that is a first cousin if not a sister to Pete’s —– Pirates Fish and Chips located in several locations in the East Valley. Delicious and a great price!

  3. Tularockstar says:

    Pete’s Fish & chips? Are you kidding me? I think the author needs to put on some glasses or get out of this State and learn what this dish is really all about! Pete’s fish is nothing more than grounded up fish on a patty–similar to McDonald’s. Having tried Pete’s before, it was a complete disappointment. One has to go to a real English pub or restaurant to find real F&Cs. We all might as well go to Fry’s and get a box of Gorton’s fish and fry them up ourselves! Lame!

  4. Tony says:

    I sometimes wonder about this column,it is very obvious that Jess harter has his favorites around the East valley ,i wiil not mention them here they get enough free publicity here.
    There are many places to get fish n chips in the E V and he puts in the top 5 Petes? and Joes farm ? Really!
    What about Churchills in Chandler?Shakespeare’s in Mesa?
    I have been to both these British owned pubs many times and they have the best fish n chips in the Valley not just the East Valley.

  5. skippy says:

    Petes is not even edible
    Is there anyplace that serves haddock?

  6. It’s 8:18am and I’m already thinking about Fish & Chips! Never tried them at Fibber McGee’s… sounds like it should be added to the “Weekend To Do” list.

  7. Tony says:

    Shakespeares and Churchills has cod and haddock Skippy!

  8. Donna Clarkson says:

    Gosh! When did Pete’s prices skyrocket? I guess it has been a while since I have been there. I gotta admit that I have had that greasy paper plate piled high with their breaded mystery meat (?) dipped in their famous sauce.
    Jess, I tend to agree with Tony. It is quite obvious that you sit in a “realjoe’s back pocket and honestly,…..it is getting b-o-r-i-n-g.

  9. Jess Harter says:

    Tony & Donna — I can understand your point of view. But realize the Tribune covers Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert, and I try to include each of those communities in every “5 to Try” (and other such restaurant-related roundups). Obviously, Gilbert doesn’t have a very long list of noteworthy restaurants, so it shouldn’t be surprising that someone who owns three of the city’s most popular ones would appear to get a disproportionate amount of coverage. In this particular case, can you suggest a better place for fish & chips in Gilbert?

  10. Claude Suddreth says:

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am not a huge fan of either Pete’s fish and chips or Pirates fish and chips mentioned by a poster above. Both use a breading that to my taste leaves quite a lot to be desired, with Pirates for all the world tasting to me like a heat up microwave fish piece from the grocery store. I would rank Long John Silvers above either of these. Fibber Maggee’s and Murphy’s Law are definitely a step up with a correspondingly higher price, however, if fish and chips is your passion they are worth the extra expense.

  11. stuart says:

    Its a bit of a drive from Gilbert but if u want the real deal then go to the CodFather in Phoenix… They even have battered and fried sausages made from a local butcher, not the brauts other places call bangers.

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