Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Fish & Chips

On a cold & wet February day what could be more depressing than visiting the seaside town of Paignton? Going to the 99p shop? Eating some greasy comfort food? Well, combining all three actually creates a fun day out.

We decided to go to the award winning Squires of Paignton for the best fish & chips in town. They probably are the best in town, although the establishment is far from stylish. My girlfriend and I both ordered the standard meal - Cod or Haddock, chips, mushy peas, bread and any 500ml soft drink, all for £5.95. Our food was served with cheap white sliced bread with Flora spread all over it (they advertised it was Flora, no cheap rubbish at Squires, award winning shit). I wasn't quite sure what to do with the bread, but because I'd paid for it, I was going to eat it and therefore made a chip sandwich laced with mushy peas (proper CHD). For a laugh my girlfriend sneakily ordered me a pickled egg, again, in proper northerner mentality I ate it because we'd paid for it. Deliciously sulfurous vinegary weirdness washed down with a Dr Pepper. Not much point in eating a pickled egg, unless it's battered and deep fried.

Actually Squires is pretty good and I shouldn't take the piss, they offer things like wheat free batter, which I assume is made from chickpea flour, and the quality of the meal was really good. But there are a few things which stop this place being good and the main problem is the clientele, at one point we over heard a chav scum-bag say in reference to the problems in Libya - "I don't know any of them, I'm not related to them, so why should I fucking care, I especially don't care when they're fucking darkies", this comment wasn't because the group of social lowlifes were having a political discussion, not that it would justify such ignorance, but the bloke was simply commenting on the BBC news which was being broadcast on a 50 inch plasma screen. I suppose the clientele can't eat unless there is a 50 inch screen in front of them. The other massive disappointment was to see 4 optics behind the counter serving some average spirits like Bells whisky and Tia Maria, again this is probably to service those lovely people who have such thoughtful opinions on global politics and come to Paignton for their holiday, because they don't own a passport.

I was also annoyed not to see any information or posters on Hugh's Fish Fight, as surely any fish shop is effected by the idiotic EU law on discards. I feel really hypocritical saying that as I had Cod, but that's not the point.

For the best fish & chips, Rick Stein's wins my award because the fish is always fresh and coated in beer batter, they fry in beef dripping, it's served with a slice of lemon and with homemade tartar sauce. That's award winning in my opinion and it cost no more than the average chippy, but best of all, you don't have to endure a 50 inch screen and the idiots which come with it.


  1. Nice piece, although I would hasten to add that many of the people who congregate in and around 'Padstein' during our summer months are just as unbearable and loathsome as our Paignton brethren. Luckily Steino's F&C's help make this particular breed of idiots, their BMW's, inability to reverse, penchant for 2nd homes and ugly children worth putting up with. Oh, and the massive contribution they make to the Cornish economy (without which I expect we wouldn't have places like Rick Stein's). Why do I feel like my point just went full circle?

  2. Seriously good point Fish, great narrative structure in your argument, always a good idea to come round full circle.