Drink beer, eat fishEat This! Thursday, August 4th, 2016
“Butch” moved to an apartment in Normal Heights a few months ago. We enjoy exploring the neighborhood and experiencing everything Adams Avenue has to offer – unique shops, quirky bars and a variety of restaurants. Beerfish is the newest eatery along the busy boulevard. As one would correctly surmise, Beerfish focuses on two things – craft beer and fresh seafood.
The experience begins before stepping through the door; oyster shells are piled along the sidewalk. Entering the relaxed casual establishment is akin to grabbing a bite at a New England fish shop. I’ve never been to a New England fish shop, but I imagine they look a lot like this; blowfish lanterns hanging from the open beamed ceiling, lap wood siding and nautical maps gracing the walls, long heavily varnished communal tables filling the room and patio, large windows providing plenty of light and a great view of the street. Relaxed. Comfortable. Casual.
Beerfish does not accept reservations and offers counter service. We scanned the extensive selections of beers and seafood choices before placing our orders and grabbing a seat in the corner.
It was difficult to decide which “barley pop” to choose given more than 30 possibilities, but I opted for the Knee Deep Breaking Bud IPA ($6.50) and Butch picked the Anchor Steam ($6.50). The golden-colored IPA, 6.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), begins with hints of pineapple before mellowing to more fruity notes of mango and apricot, then finishing with just the right amount of pine and juniper. Not too bitter and very satisfying. Anchor Steam, 4.9 percent ABV, is a deep amber pour with a malty aroma and a well-balanced blend of caramel and toffee, fruit and spice, on the tongue. A velvety brew with enough snap to keep it interesting.
Joey, the not shy shucker, presented our dozen mixed oysters ($29). Oysters are bivalve mollusks filtering water for food all day long and their flavor is influenced by the environment in which they’re farmed. The Ayocks (Washington) have a mild flavor and a medium firm chew; Fanny Bays (British Columbia) are satiny and briny; Kumiai (Baja) are soft, almost squishy; Malpeques (Canada) have a firm chew and a mild sweetness; Minter Sweets (Puget Sound) have a mild chew and a surprising depth of rich flavor; while the Chesapeakes have a more “brackish” taste. They are served with the traditional condiments of lemon wedges, a fiery horseradish cocktail sauce and a lovely mignonette of red wine vinegar, cracked pepper and minced shallots.
The menu focuses on salads, including a Wedge and a Crab and Shrimp Louis, sandwiches made with grilled yellowtail or fish cakes, and plates featuring roasted local catch, served with cilantro rice and chimichurri sauce, or the captain’s platter with shrimp, oysters and fish. I chose the Lobster Roll ($16.90) and Butch went with the Beer Battered Fish and Chips ($13.90).
Served warm, the roll is a thick slice of crunchy grilled brioche bread stuffed with savory chunks of smoky sweet lobster meat tossed in a sauce of brown butter, lemon juice, chopped chives and tarragon; think hot pocket for grownups. Lip smacking good and not to be missed. The beer-based tempura batter fries up light and crisp and compliments the mild locally sourced cod fillet. Perfection in every bite.
Beerfish reflects the vision of owner Abel Kaase (Sessions Public) and Executive Chef Aaron Obregon (Bay Park Fish Company). Discover why there’s usually a line of patrons queued up at the door. Eat this, hungry eaters. You’ll be glad you did.
2933 Adams Ave.
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
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