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Tour de Fish Fry

August 8, 2011

There are a lot of places to get a Fish Fry in the Capital Region. Originally, this tour was scheduled for summer because I wanted to sample the seasonal Fish Fry joints that are closed for most of the year.

As it turns out, there aren’t a lot of them. Gene’s in Rensselaer seems to be the only seasonal Fish Fry joint. Sure, there are a lot of soft serve places that might make a mean Fish Fry, but in these cases it’s a secondary offering. And while it may make sense to visit these places, doing so before evaluating the regional Fish Fry giants seems unwise.

So this Saturday, August 13, I’m going to visit the majors. Regrettably, I will not be able to make it to them all. But I’ll hit five restaurants in two counties in under five hours. The objective is to sample this regional food from some of the area’s favorite purveyors, back to back to back to back to back, in an effort to learn more about it and ultimately determine who makes it best.

You are cordially invited to come along and join me and other FLB readers in this effort.

Saratoga County got the shaft this time around. Our tour will not cross the Mohawk, so Harbor House and Matt’s Cape House in Clifton Park were cut from consideration. I’m bummed about skipping Harbor House. But luckily Matt’s has an offshoot in Cohoes, and the tour will make it there.

The tour will commence at 11:30 a.m. outside of Gene’s Fish Fry in Rensselaer. Since it was the driver behind the summer tour, it’s only fitting that they go first. And seriously, Rensselaer is not that far away. Especially when Off Shore is effectively right across the street. We’ll go there second, laying down a good baseline of experience before heading out on the road to Bob & Ron’s in Albany.

Bob & Ron’s will be back to back with Ted’s Watervliet location. Given the strong loyalties to these two shops, people will be most interested in how they stack up against each other.

We’ll be pacing ourselves to make sure we arrive in Cohoes no earlier than 3 p.m. when Matt’s Fish Fry opens. This will be a good test for my event planning and time estimation skills. We’ll see if they have improved from the first Tour de Donut almost a year ago.

Here is the map of the day.

Mr. Dave should be relieved that we are only crossing one river, and hopefully it will be early enough that the bridge trolls won’t bother us.

Here’s some mumbo jumbo that should be obvious, but I’m just going to say. Please let me know if you are coming, and if you plan to bring people with you. I’d just like to make sure I have enough score sheets to go around. If you want your score sheet to be counted, you must complete the tour in its entirety. Attendees will be among bloggers. You should expect your picture to be taken and for it to appear on the internet. Please bring a pen. Please be on time. You may want to wear loose pants. The only things I will be providing are score sheets, the map above, color commentary along the way, and a wrap-up post of the event.

To be able to fill out the score sheets, you will need to order the following at each of the five stops:
– A Fish Fry
– Condiments are left to your discretion, and can be ordered on the side, but once chosen must be held constant

It is fine to share your Fish Fry with a close friend you bring along, although I will not be sharing with anyone. Touch my food at your peril. Also if you want to just tag along and try some of the food, but aren’t so into the judging thing, the score sheets, and the restrictive ordering that’s fine too.

Just know that we’ll have to discount your opinion accordingly.

I think that about covers it. If you have never been on a tour before, they are a hoot. Come out and don’t be shy. I’m looking forward to eating a lot of fish with you all on Saturday. See you at 11:30 a.m.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2011 10:24 am

    I’m curious to see the results, but I’m going to skip this tour since I dislike fish fry. (Yea, I know I’m odd.)

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    August 8, 2011 10:33 am

    Too many Cap District places leave the skin on; I hate that.

  3. August 8, 2011 11:02 am

    Trying to convince the Mister to go along with me. I’ll keep you posted.

  4. August 8, 2011 12:03 pm

    Yay, a map… I have no idea where a chunk of those places even are. But I’m in, with fingers crossed that we can wrap it up before I have to go to work (I’m supposed to be at work at 4…here’s hoping, anyway). And I’m bringing a friend to split the fish with.

  5. August 8, 2011 2:18 pm

    I’m in!

  6. Mike W permalink
    August 8, 2011 5:12 pm

    So sad, I’m going to be away this weekend and cannot attend. I’m glad you’re including Gene’s and Off Shore, Rensselaer needs as much love as it can get.

  7. RealFoodMom permalink
    August 8, 2011 7:51 pm

    Please let us know which kind of fish (haddock, cod, etc) each place uses.

  8. stereotypicalone permalink
    August 8, 2011 8:45 pm

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to join for this one, but I will be checking the twitter updates!

  9. Jessica R permalink
    August 10, 2011 3:11 pm

    Aww, I wanted to do this one, but will be out of town. :-(

  10. August 11, 2011 8:06 pm

    I can’t make it, but I am so excited to see the results!

  11. Dano permalink
    August 13, 2011 10:38 am

    I’ll be there. Dunno if I can eat all that fish, but I will give it a shot.

  12. August 13, 2011 8:04 pm

    I was gonna suggest TJ’s Cafe ….but they only serve Fish Frys on Friday..
    a bit late I know…but, better late than never. And I happen to know there are occasions that they have them on Saturday as well.
    Just my 2.78cents (adjusted for inflation)

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