by Ashlee Clark
Every few years, I become fixated on a particular dish.
A few years ago, it was cheesecake. I had to have the dessert at every restaurant I visited in an attempt to find the best.
Then there was the Club Sandwich Tour of ’07. Cheddar’s won that battle.
Now, I’m on the hunt for the best fish in Louisville.
It started when I returned to my hometown and started to gorge myself on all the Moby Dick I had missed while I was away. But I discovered that Louisville’s seafood landscape is more vast than I had anticipated.
There’s Mike Linnig’s, which I still need to try. And there’s Hill Street Fish Fry, a surprisingly disappointing entry. And I’ve ordered the fish at non-seafood restaurants.
Then there’s The Fishery.
I’m not finished with my Tour de Fish. But The Fishery has jumped to the top of my list of best places to find a great fish sandwich in Derby City.
The Fishery is an old-school fish joint, and I mean that as a compliment. The menu ain’t fancy. Neither is the dining room. Because instead of bells and whistles, the restaurant puts its energy into churning out some of the best seafood around.
The menu blends seafood from the Atlantic shore and the Gulf of Mexico. The most prominent fish is the Boston scrod, which Wikipedia tells me is a staple in New England. But there’s enough variety to please lots of palates – catfish, oysters, shrimp and crab cakes also make appearances on the menu. And with nothing over 11 bucks, you can indulge on a budget fairly easily.
Though many of the seafood selections have an East Coast flavor, some of the dinners will delight those with a taste for Southern flavor. There’s frog legs ($8.95 with two sides), chicken livers ($7.95 with two sides) and fried chicken strips ($7.95 with two sides). These are the types of food that would make my folks like my dad wish for a side of hot-water cornbread and chitlins.
And speaking of sides, The Fishery offers basic seafood supporting players such as coleslaw ($1.50), hushpuppies ($1.95) and clam chowder ($1.95 for a cup, $2.45 for a bowl). I was disappointed that baked beans, one of my favorites wasn’t available.
During my visit to The Fishery, Mama Eats and I ordered Boston scrod sandwiches on wheat buns with french fries and coleslaw.
This is what Boston scrod looks like. Who knew?
You can’t tell from the picture, but the fish fillet was one of the thickest I had come across in recent memory. The crispy, thin coating covered the flaky, moist fish perfectly. The seasoning was simple, but effective, just how I like it, and the fish was a suitable canvas for the many condiments the restaurant provides at the pick-up window (malt vinegar, Frank’s hot sauce and tartar sauce, just to name a few).
The side dishes were just as good as the centerpiece of my meal. The coleslaw was a joy to eat because it was the first time I had eaten the dish without the shreds of cabbage swimming in a pool of soupy mayo. The slaw was crisp yet moist with a hint of sweetness. The fries were hot, thick and just plain good.
The Fishery, with locations in Middletown and St. Matthews, is a little out of my way. But I would spend the gas money for another taste of that Boston scrod.
Do you think your favorite fish place tops The Fishery? Contact me so I can try it.
Notes about The Fishery:
- The restaurant caters for parties of 15 or more.
- You can order your meal to-go.
- Expect at least a five to 10 minute wait for your order (at least at the St. Matthews location) because everything is cooked to order. It’s a fair exchange for such hot food.
- The Fishery, 3624 Lexington Road and 11519 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, Ky.
- Boston scrod special with coleslaw and french fries: $7.50
- Total (including tax): $7.95