As a New Englandah landlocked in the Great Basin Desert it’s hard to come by great fish. Sure we have an excellant market in town that flies a daily catch in fresh each day, but rightly so you will pay and you have to be prepared to cook it. Its not like back home when your “Jonesing” for a quick meal you can hit the neighborhood or beach fish shack. But wait that has changed this summer.
Four blue trucks out of Laramie, WY are extending the reach of their partner boat out of Dutch harbor, AK to bring to the west what New Englanders have known for a long time…
Cold water Cod is fantastic for fish & chips
2018 will find these deep ocean themed trucks roaming Colorado, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming managed by college students from Larramie, on assignment to introduce a simple yet often miss-presented dish here in the west. To the blue trucks we say welcome, we await your ocean treasure, they are “On The Hook Fish & Chips”. Welcome to Utah Blaine, Michael and Sam.
Our first home grown restaurant review goes out to a food truck operation from Laramie, WY that has to totally be on your list of must do’s this summah. The students are rotating around the four states but the trucks will remain in CO, NE, UT and WY where if your lucky they will motor into a town near you. Follow their migration on Facebook @OnTheHookFishAndChips
The business plan is simple, take a great resource (cold water cod) and provide it in a universally accepted, simple, but exceptionally satisfying platter. I mean how can you go wrong with fish & chips!
As noted by Blaine, the cod is provided from their corporate boat based out of Dutch Harbor. The longest long-liner, the gear stretches forty-five miles with a hook every 42 inches. The cod is prepped on average as fillets and loin cuts, approximately three inches in length and flash frozen. Sent to collection points for the trucks, each order is made fresh thus preserving a soft flacky texture when you bite into a piece.
The trucks provide one menu item, but they do it so well and simple you dont need anything else. An order of consists of three pieces of cod lightly battered and fried, served over seasoned steak fries with the company’s signature Sirracha Mayo, Tartar and upon request Malt Vinegar. Now here is where they set themselves apart from some local restaurants…
The batter is light and thinly coats the fish. When cooked, the golden color is an illusion to whats underneath, for you dont get hit with tons of oil or a greasy lingering taste but rather a soft-white-buttery flacky fish that tastes every bit of the cod and not the oil its cooked in. These guys do it right, keeping the fillets in long enough, then letting them sit for a minute or two before placing the fillets in with the fries. They have found a way where the fish does not cause the fries to get soggy.
The fries have a season salt-peppery finish to them that lets them be stand alone the best chips we have had in a while. You get that satisfying crunch you seek with a fish & chips platter, which gets furthered enhanced by the house Sirracha Mayo or Malt Vinegar. You wont need the sauces or ketchup but if you want to take it up a notch use the malt vinear.
Trueist would say all you need is the fish and the chips, if cooked well and nothing else, Michael this day hit the mark. You sink you teeth into the fish and it just melts. Each bite drives you to another, and you just cant get enough. The local venues offering fish & chips have stiff competition that has rolled into town. Not to be forgotten, a few pieces were had with the signature mayo and the malt vinegar. The malt vinegar is a light addition that compliments the fried batter and fish. The Sirracha Mayo kicks the dish up way beyond the next fish monger by giving the combination a velvety peppery finish that is smooth and even temperred. Beyond both sauces though you are reminded that the star is still the cod, beyond doubt.
If you happen to be riding into town, pass by the blue truck with the oceans waves lapping at its sides (just like its seafaring counter transport) hit the horn and flag the vessel/truck down. Follow these trucks wherever they pull into port, for your best cod fish&chips this side of the New England seashore is ready to be caught.
Soon the line for the trucks will out pace the length of the catch line.