As told to Richard A. Martin: Ever since that bitch Francesca ruined my life in Madison County, I've drifted from town to town shooting photos

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Chips ahoy!

The Fish 'n' Chips Shacks of Shilshole Bay

As told to Richard A. Martin: Ever since that bitch Francesca ruined my life in Madison County, I've drifted from town to town shooting photos of covered bridges and drinking way too much Blue Nun and Colt 45 (which mix surprisingly well). But that pansy-ass Robert James Waller sold out to Clint Eastwood, stranding me in some sort of literary purgatory. Then National Geographic pulls the plug on my assignment—apparently they didn't like my edgier, out-of-focus style (or the half-dozen sexual harassment suits). So I wind up having to sell my camera, and next thing I know I'm eating out of dumpsters in some weird Scandinavian outpost called Ballard, Washington. Until I get a call from Seattle Weekly, whose editors want me to go out and shoot the fish 'n' chip shacks of Shilshole Bay. Problem is, my camera's back in an Iowa pawn shop—and I look like shit, so hitting up some bored housewife is out of the question—so I done wrote up this chart instead. Totem House Seafood & Chowder

3058 NW 54th,

784-2300 The Historic Lockspot

3305 NW 54th,

789-4865 The Little Coney

8001 Seaview NW,

782-6598 Gordo's

6226 Seaview NW,

784-7333         THE FISH       Two hook-bending hunks of true cod ($6.29), lightly battered; tough to dunk in tartar sauce, so it requires a lot of hand-shredding Two thick, flaky pieces of true cod ($6.95), golden brown and flecked with parsley, and served with lemon wedge? Two cod filets ($6.32) that look like McDonald's hash browns; the breading overwhelms, but a squirt of lemon makes this fish passable Four thin pieces of true cod ($6.95) dipped in a tasty beer batter and left in apparently natural shapes THE CHIPS       Standard by-the-beach fries, inexplicably served in a paper cup Bland, not-salty-enough, McDonald's-esque fries—a generous portion, but dammit, these aren't chips! Golden-brown fries, salty and crisp, but hey, these ain't chips either! What the hell's going on? Slippery skin-on fries, thick-cut; the type you'd like to wrap in newspaper and slather with vinegar, just like the real British thing THE ATMOSPHERE       A 52-year-old landmark across from the Ballard Locks, the gold and brown shack is notable for its fanciful totem pole; a few tables inside, and outside dining on two small terraces A red English telephone booth marks the Lockspot, which abuts the Ballard Locks' parking lot; an indoors restaurant caters to the tourist 'n' senior circuit A fast food-like shack in the midst of the marinas; an outside table overlooks a parking lot and Shilshole Bay A trailer sort of joint dropped on Seaview halfway between the Locks and Golden Gardens; looks out on a creepy statuette shop NAPKIN FACTOR—1 to 4 (4 = greasiest)       2—more of a family spot than a slob's paradise, the Totem's light on the grease 3—Gloriously greasy, splattery, and lemony 2—More dry than greasy; make sure you ask for tartar sauce 4—Bring on the napkins, the grease is a-flowin' RATING       2 fish 3 fish 2 fish 4 fish Rediscover ramen — Read Just add water.

 
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