The location of the two shops was extremely convenient. They’re located on Greenwich, between 12th and 13th, less than two blocks from the ACE Subway exit. I heard about A Salt and Battery after watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay (and, apparently, so did everyone else). I read on a few websites that the shop was tiny, so we made sure to get there before the dinner rush at around 5:30 PM. There were seven stools at two small counters, and we managed to grab two before the place filled up. Like most awesome “themed” spot, the walls were covered with kitschy British-related plaques and wall-hangings, and their menu reminded me of every dive-y fried food restaurant. I know these things seem stupid to dwell on, but in New York, it’s a calculated move to have a classic menu board and corny decorations. I fall for it every time.
I ordered the pollock with chips, and, naturally, I accidentally said “fries” and absolutely panicked. “Chips! I meant chips. Chips, please.” I basically ejected myself just for being so spastic. It came with tartar sauce, which was tasty enough to also use as a chip dip, and there was malt vinegar on the counter. (I absolutely drenched my chips with it. Necessary.) The small order of pollock contained a four-ounce piece of fish for $5.50, and the chips were $3.50. For $10, it was filling and satisfying. When is pure grease not those things? I haven’t been to England, or even had tons of fish and chips, so I’m in no position to call the place authentic. But I do think it was relatively cheap and tasty. I still have Brooklyn’s recommended spots to try, so we’ll have a face-off later.
Anne got an order of chicken bites, and they were awesome. Based on the taste and the yellow color between the chicken and the batter, I think that they add curry powder when they dredge the chicken. Her chicken came with a simple dipping sauce, which consisted of (I’m guessing) ketchup, mayo, some spices. For $7.50, she got about seven large chunks of chicken. Between all the grease and the dipping sauces, we could’ve split a small chip (is this like fry? or do I pluralize “chip” here? DAMN IT!) and been satisfied.
…Especially since we saw a sign advertising fried cadbury creme eggs. In case you haven’t figure it out yet, I am a Cadbury-head. If Cadbury chocolate was a religion, I’d pray before every meal. Of chocolate. They already have the religious undertones with Easter, so I think this might catch on. Anyway, it was $3 so we split it (WE’RE IN A RECESSION), and that’s probably a good thing since I didn’t feel like having a heart attack yesterday.
I had never tried those other fried, artery-clogging items, like fried twinkies and snickers and such, so this was a completely new experience for me. (What am I talking about? I’m Italian. We fry vegetables in fat drippings whenever possible.) How could it not be awesome? It couldn’t. It couldn’t not be awesome. The fried part was, of course, gratuitous, but I enjoyed it because it made the chocolate and creme all melty. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start microwaving my creme eggs, but I might just start microwaving my creme eggs. Because the only thing better than a Cadbury creme egg is a creepily-warm Cadbury creme egg, and I mean that with all sincerity.
At this point, we were both sweating grease and decided to head over to Tea and Sympathy. By the way, I would recommend not only going to A Salt and Battery at off-times because it gets so crowded and, therefore, hot in there, but definitely don’t eat in the restaurant during hot weather. I can’t imagine that that ends well. Tea and Sympathy is a restaurant with a connected shop, and we entered the shop from the separate front entrance. And managed to fill up the entire space with the smell of fried food. We then continued to entice and seduce the cute shop worker by literally drooling over all the Cadbury chocolate items. The shop contained adorable tea kettles, a few baked goods, chocolate, and some other random British items. The set-up of the shop and the exotic chocolate stock reminded me of Willy Wonka. I don’t know why chocolate with bubbles or flakes in it BLOWS MY MIND, but it does. Give me my little pleasures.
Lastly, I don’t know if you guys have noticed that the vintage Hershey’s commercial where the lion auditions as a bunny has been on TV this year. I couldn’t find it but there’s always this one.