If you know me personally, this post should confound and arouse you. Part of it is... I hate going to Brooklyn. Hate it, hate it, hate it. First of all, the streets aren't numbered for a non-geographically inclined ass-hat like myself. I like knowing where I am and how far I am from my destination at all times. Call me neurotic, but I just feel lost in hipsterville when I'm in Brooklyn... like I might be attacked by fixie riding baristas at any given time. That shit is terrifying - more so than clowns. Also it's across a river, and I have a weird paranoia about being in tunnels underwater in our subway system. Did you know that the bilge pumps that keep out subways dry were borrowed from the original construction for the Panama canal? Did you know that if they failed catastrophically, the entirety of the subway system would flood in 17 minutes? Fuck that noise! I can't even really swim. The other part of it is... I avoid seafood as much as I can. I used to be allergic to shellfish and I never fully came around to the taste (there are exceptions to that rule). So the fact that I was willing (and will soon go again) to Brooklyn to eat seafood should be testament enough to the fact that Chip Shop delivers some bangin' fish and chips right?
Fine. You don't have to believe me, but seriously... as someone who really hates most seafood, this is pretty much the bees knees. Obviously, I'm hard pressed to say that anything fried isn't already interesting to me and will subsequently raise my heart rate significantly, but there's something unique about the way they prep their fish (I went with cod, but I don't really think there's really a wrong choice here). What's truly special about their fish is the way the batter adheres to the surface of the fish. A radiant golden hue that shines brighter than Fabio's glorious hair, the batter fries up into a devilishly thin, crisp, and airy barrier to oh-so-tender whitefish. While it has a certain degree of separation, you don't get that shitty fried chicken problem where you take one bite and end up with all of the skin in your mouth and a completely nude piece of meat. Incredibly, it maintains a perfectly balanced ratio no matter how much you fuck it up with a fork. Flavorwise, it's definitely light - depending mostly on the salt and vinegar to bring out the fragrance of the fish, but there's an innate richness to the fact that it came from a vat of liquid fat. Naturally. As for the fries? Yeah, they're solid too. Not "pee your pants in excitement" good, but they can most certainly stand on their own.
They have fried Twix! While I would never kick a naked Twix bar out of my bed at night, I have to take a moment to lament the decision to pass on the fried Twinkies. With the Hostess factories now a thing of the past, I'm not sure if they still serve glorious bars of fried sponge cake and artificial cream, and short of re-visiting the land that is Brookyln sometime soon, I'll have no way to verify (someone do this for me). This is more or less WYSIWYG - it's a fried candy bar. The outside is hot, crunchy, and filled with pores of hot oil while the center quickly loses its unique characteristics upon biting, blending into a glorious mix of caramel, buttery biscuit, and molten chocolate. Cover that shit with a thick dusting of confectioner's sugar and you'll leave looking like a crack addict who weirdly has managed to smother some poo on your face. There is no sugar-coating (har har) here. It is delicious, it will give you heart disease if eaten enough, and it is gloriously decadent.
tl;dr - I hate Brooklyn... sorry, I have an irrational fear of the unknown when it comes to new places. I also generally hate seafood. The Chip Shop makes me kind of forget that a little bit. The fried skin on their fish is something magical though - perfectly light, yet crunchy. The only thing that could make it better would be if Margaret Thatcher were my server.
The Chip Shop
129 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201