On Saturday morning, I was enlisted to feed my hungry 15-year-old nephew for lunch who was visiting from SoCal by way of Carlsbad and San Diego. He said he had a craving for fish and chips. This being a weekend morning, I decided that my usual SF standby and favorite -- the Old Chelsea Fish & Chip Shoppe on Larkin and a quick trip to the Edinburgh Castle pub to quaff a pint or two -- would not be appropriate for the young, impressionable nephew.
After searching a previous Chowhound thread for Fish & Chips, I managed to stumble across a mention of Camelot Fish & Chips down in Pacifica. Having never tried this place, I decided it could possibly make a suitable alternative and would at least be a nice adventure for the kid. The fact that it appeared to involve a mere 5-minute drive from my Glen Park home also entered the decision-making process.
The place was very crowded around noon -- 7 of the 10 or so tables were occupied -- a very good sign. A sign above the ordering counter said "Since 1969". We each placed orders for fish and chips ($6.50 for two large pieces) while I chatted with the counter girl, flipped through a copy of the Union Jack newspaper and eyed a sign denoting a nice selection of pub beers, including Harp, Boddington's, McEwan's, Guinness, Bass, Newcastle and John Courage.
The batter coating the fish was crisp, and not too heavy. The fish itself was very tender, moist and flavorful, and tasted very similar to cod, but I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly what it was. My nephew, after only two bites of his, suddenly blurted out: "Man, uncle Larry, this is some darn good pelagic gadoid!" (Great -- the kid must be studying oceanography AND Languages, I thought). When pressed, he further informed me that this was actually Pollack, which, everyone (except me) knows, is "an ocean-dwelling member of the cod family and includes also Haddock and Hake".
All I know is that it felt firmer and tasted "meatier" (i.e., not as delicate) than the typical Ling Cod offered at the Old Chelsea. Their chips are almost identical to Old Chelsea's -- most likely Kennebec -- fresh potatoes fried to just the right consistency. They stayed firm after vinegar and salt for over 30 minutes while we were there.
Can't wait to go back again and this time try some of the beer(s) as well. The nephew also thought it was great.
Camelot Fish & Chips
70 W. Manor Drive (take the Manor Exit off S Highway 1)
Paficica, CA (650) 355-1555
Hours -- 11:30AM - Not sure, but I think 7:30PM?