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[PDX] Coupon Cuisine: Corbett Fish House

Nick | Oct 2, 200409:18 PM

Went to CFH with my wife for lunch the other day and used a coupon. It's a pleasant little place in John's Landing on Corbett. Navigational charts don the walls and cover the tables. We had the big island on our table, which was fun for reminiscing.

The menu has a variety of fish and chips options, sandwiches, soups, etc. My wife and I ordered their specialty, the walleye, plus the New England clam chowder, and the Mississippi catfish.

The clam chowder was good. Nothing special, but good. The fries that came with our meals were pretty good. Very nice and crispy on the outside, not undercooked or soggy on the inside. They had that slightly chemically aftertaste that I hate in fries. I guess it's a canola oil thing or something. It's present in most french fries. Supposedly they have special friers that constantly clean the oil. Maybe they need dirtier oil. Some people insist that the oil gets best once it's been used for a while. But this may be my own peculiarity.

The fish was almost there. I liked the style of each. Mine was batter-coated and very crispy. They coat the catfish in a chile sauce before battering and they have a kick to them. However, the chile couldn't hide a noticable off-flavor on some pieces. I think it was freezer burn, but I'm not sure. People who eat fish more than I do probably know better. I get that taste from tilapia fairly often. It's just this weird off flavor that reminds me of freezer burn. When the pieces were good, though, they were very good and very moist.

My wife's fish, the walleye, was probably about the same. It wasn't as moist, it was a little fish, but it didn't have that freezer burn flavor. The breading, more of a tempura style, maybe, or a light flour coating, maybe rice flour, didn't seem cooked through. It was a little starchy.

Maybe it was an off day. I don't know. I am picky about fish, but my wife said she'd rather have Burgerville's halibut fish and chips and she just had Corner Table's fish and chips the other day and preferred that. It clearly wasn't as good as the stuff at Ecola in Cannon Beach or a couple of the places on my Michigan trip or Army and Lou's in Chicago. Maybe imported walleye isn't a fair comparison.

But even without my complaints, I'm not sure that CFH is a good value. The catfish was $10 and the walleye was $12. I would guess that each had about 1/4 to 1/3 a pound of fish at most. A lot of fries, but little fish. You get more fish in a Burgerville basket at half the price.

I think Newman's in City Market should make freshly fried oysters and fish. Viande is now serving sandwiches with their house smoked pastrami.

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