Customers take a peek at their food as it's served for the first time at the Fish Fry.

It may not be famous Frites, but


Not So Grand Opening: Hebberoy and Fish Fry Are Here


Customers take a peek at their food as it's served for the first time at the Fish Fry.

It may not be famous Frites, but its fries and sauces are on par with the former favorite Capitol Hill drunken destination. Nestled between Nuemo’s and Moe Bar, Pike Street Fish Fry even shares the old Frites location.

But the comparisons stop there. The interior of the seriously tiny former Nuemo’s box office has been revamped with red lighting, new hard wood, shiny appliances, and standing tables.

The overall concept has changed considerably from the snack stop the space once held, thanks to the creativity of new Seattleite Michael Hebberoy. Fish Fry offers street food that constitutes a meal, for one. I left full after enjoying a grilled steak sandwich on a French roll ($8) and, of course, a large basket of fabulously fattening fries ($4).

''The biggest inspiration,'' said Hebberoy as he leaned over those ridiculous bar-height tables without stools, ''is the amount of great fresh seafood available in Seattle.''

That’s right, the fish joint is now open. In fact, it unceremoniously served its first customers tonight. After Hebberoy’s One Pot fashion, in which he brings food and art together at random locations, the food artist was reluctant to reveal to anyone when he would throw open the doors.

Despite a grand opening Hebberoy says he intentionally left unannounced, there was a fair crowd on hand when I arrived around 7 p.m. Things were just a little ''hectic and crazy,'' Hebberoy explained when he wasn’t taking orders from the register.

I checked the time to see when I ordered but became so enthralled in the atmosphere and watching the new cooks struggle that I forgot to look again when I actually tore into my perfectly cooked, slightly red steak. (Yes, I got steak at a seafood restaurant. Leave me alone, I’m from Montana.)

The food took awhile, and there were some to-be-expected first go-around hiccups, but Fish Fry redeemed itself when I watched kitchen manager Monica Dimas wrap my sandwich in wax paper and then a page of Seattle’s Only Newspaper. Oh yeah, I ate my succulent steak sandwich from inside a copy of The Stranger’s Savage Love column, making the steak that much more delectable. Pass the newsprint, please?

''That’s just temporary,'' Hebberoy was sure to interject as I had a good laugh.


The steak sandwich and a delicious pile of fries, complete with Stranger sandwich wrap. They make that?

My companion enjoyed the battered and fried halibut on a French roll ($9), and while normally not a fan of coleslaw, he enjoyed it on the sandwich. And we both dipped like mad in the four cups of sauce provided. The smoked chili mayo, curry ''ketchup,'' and lemon aioli were just right, and those drunks that just keep on drinking can enjoy Newcastle, Manny’s, Olympia, and Anchor Steam on tap with some fish balls. Pike Street Fish Fry will also start serving food in Moe Bar in a week, including ling cod, catfish, octopus, and oysters.

While One Pot will remain Hebberoy’s focus, he isn’t ruling out the possibility of opening some ''slightly fancier'' restaurants elsewhere in Seattle. Let’s just hope things don’t turn out like they did in Portland, for which the charming 31-year-old is now infamous. Hebberoy seems to have moved on, and as long as the Frites devout can too, they should find an equally lovable snack attack at Fish Fry (as long as they can stand up; there’s only one sit-down table).


Hebberoy, left, watches Dimas as she works.

It helps that Hebberoy seems to like it here.

''There’s a lot more going on in Seattle than in Portland,'' he said. ''And it’s clearly more beautiful.''

Those are kind words for a city so often in the shadow of its progressive little sibling. And as long as Pike Street Fish Fry sticks around, it’s a win-win for Seattle.

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