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Nominations for the Tour de Fish Fry

July 20, 2011

It’s been a long time coming. I know there are people who have been waiting in breathless anticipation for this announcement. So take out a pen and grab your calendars.

The Tour de Fish Fry commences on Saturday, August 13. And it’s going to be a doozey.

For others who may be new around these parts, or have a nasty habit of not reading their daily dose of Fussy, you may have no idea what I’m talking about. Well, every so often I take a bunch of readers around the region to sample back-to-back some of the cherished culinary treasures of the Capital District.

It started with cider donuts in the fall, mini hot dogs in the winter, and soft serve in the spring. Naturally, in summer we should all be eating fried fish. Right?

Well, it may seem odd. But there are indeed seasonal fish fry joints. Places that open after the first spring thaw only to close shop at the end of fall in anticipation of a long cold winter. And originally, I thought the Tour de Fish Fry would be the perfect place to try a bunch of them out.

The only problem is that there don’t seem to be as many as I had anticipated.

Sure, there is Gene’s in East Greenbush. And I’m very excited to put them to the test. But I am hard pressed to find other dedicated seasonal fish fry stands. Almost every seasonal soft serve stand has a fish fry on the menu, but that’s different.

However, I don’t think it’s really a problem. Because even with Gene’s as the only seasonal location, a Tour de Fish Fry would hardly seem complete without Bob & Ron’s, Ted’s, Harbor House, and Off Shore Pier.

If you happened to be counting, that is already five, which would max out our dance card for this tour. However, the agenda is not yet set in stone, and I would like to open the floor to nominations. This worked very well for the Tour de Soft Serve and ultimately changed the original itinerary for the better.

Before you start suggesting The Local in Saratoga Springs for their reportedly delicious fried fish, you need to understand the criteria for this tour.

We are not evaluating fried fish, we are in search of Fish Fry. It’s a very specific Capital Region variation that consists of a long narrow piece of deep fried fish nestled in a hot dog roll. These sandwiches are served with either tartar, cocktail or chili sauce.

At each spot we will be evaluating just the fish fry and its various components. These include but are not limited to the crust, the fish itself, the bun, and the sauces.

If you want to get clams, you can get clams. Same goes for french fries, coleslaw and milkshakes. But these items will not be officially scored. While many of them are an integral part of the fish fry experience, none of them are actually fish fry. I believe there will be enough variation in the basics of fish fry itself to provide adequate differentiation among all of these beloved institutions.

I am also discouraging people from splitting a fish fry sandwich with a compatriot, although you can if you must. That is because each fish fry has a narrow end and a thick end, and each of these offers a different experience.

If you have never attended one of these FUSSYlittleTOURS, they have all been a lot of fun, which is why I keep on organizing them. I provide the route and the score sheets, and everyone is responsible for buying their own food and bringing a pen. If you just want to tag along, eat some food, enjoy the company and not fill out a score sheet, that’s fine. But if you want your scores to count, you must complete the entire tour.

That should be all you need to know for now. But I’d like to know what you think about the current list, and if you think you will be coming.

What do you say?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2011 9:44 am

    Bob and Ron’s, of course. Off Shore Pier, North Greenbush, combination fish monger and fry shop. Ross’s, Slingerlands.

    Not sure if it’ll stand up, but I would be interested to see where Jumping Jacks in Scotia falls in the mix. They use different cuts of fish for their Fish Dinner vs. Fish Fry, and their clams are sporadically divine.

  2. July 20, 2011 10:04 am

    this sounds awesome!!! I would love to partake since I had so much fun at the tour de soft serve but I will be out of town…darn it! hope all goes well!

  3. July 20, 2011 10:25 am

    Bummer, my family will be in town that day or else I would be all over this. I’m not such a fan of Bob and Ron’s because of the fist they use but they have to be included as well as Off Shore Pier and Gene’s.

  4. July 20, 2011 11:23 am

    Greenbush? Blergh, so far and out of the way. But anyway… how ’bout Matt’s Cape House? I’ve heard good things but haven’t ever gotten there to try it myself. And I imagine Bob & Ron’s and Ted’s would have to be staples, since they’re the most well-known.

  5. July 20, 2011 10:21 pm

    Bob and Ron’s should win I think. Don’t know why you are always crossing the river though, you live in Albany County and should know better. You are going to get eaten by the bridge trolls one day. You should bring some fresh goats as bait.

  6. July 21, 2011 12:49 am

    You’re killing me…

  7. July 21, 2011 7:41 pm

    Ahh man, you stole my idea! Actually, I was gonna pitch to you the idea of a tour de Fish Fry but I would focus on “what someone who doesn’t like fish” eats at these places.

    There’s a place up by Hot Dog Charlies in Cohoes that I’m curious about. Matt’s (maybe it’s the same place KB proposed)

  8. August 2, 2011 10:13 pm

    Definitely Ted’s, though I’m a little partial, since I know the family who owns it. Also, Offshore Pier in Rensselaer is a sure bet.

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