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Get a Right Proper Fish @ the British Chippy

Updated July 2015

 

The Facts

1216 S. Park Ave / South Buffalo |  (716) 292-2012

Hours: Mon. – Wed.: 11 AM – 6 PM, Thurs.: 11 AM – 7 PM, Fri: 11 AM – 8 PM, Sat: 11 AM – 4 PM, Sun: Closed

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At first glance you might think the British Chippy a bit of an odd duck- an English fish and chips shop on the edge of the South Buffalo brown fields in an old warehouse.

It all started when owners Damian and Vicky Parker started the English Pork Pie Company in 2008. They produce genuine English “pies” and ship them all over the world. Notably, they’ve received awards that proclaim them Best British shop in the World award 2010 & 2012 and Best British Shop in America 2010, 2011 & 2012 ( for more info see English Pork Pie Company -A Taste of the Old World from 2013). As the story goes, about a year ago someone drove into the side of their building. The hole in the wall made them think maybe they could make use of it. When Damian came across an ad for a British Fish and Chip shop range that was for sale in the UK, the light bulb went off. They bought the range and had it shipped to the states. The rest, as they say, is history.

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It kind of makes sense, I guess. There are plenty of Brit-Americanos in the area (think South Buffalo Irish). The chippy attracts any and all British expats passing through town for “a true taste of home”. The restaurant is a little out of the way now, but it will be right across the street from Solarcity pretty soon. Besides, who loves a fish fry more than Western NYers?

Given the location you might think restaurant traffic would be a bit scarce, Friday or not, but you’d be wrong.  We were in for lunch, and people came and went the entire time. As many people came for takeout as stayed to dine.

While the exterior is a bit stark, the inside is comfortable if not abundant. Four – five tables and a few stools is all she wrote. You step up to the counter, order your meal, wait 5 minutes and they’ll call your name.

The cuisine is promoted as “proper fish & chips”. I’m guessing that means authentic. It must be, because the guys serving it up sure sound funny (kidding guys).  In addition to the aforementioned range, (according to their website) they use special British frying oils, make their own secret batter fresh everyday following a 146 year old recipe, and they use their own fishing boats off the coast of Iceland to catch free and wild cod.

I ordered the Fish Sandwich (cod) & Chips – $9. My companion went with the Battered Cod & Chips – $12, which is similar to the sandwich without the roll, and a little larger piece of fish. The Battered Cod & Chips comes properly wrapped in newsprint paper sans ink.

I can tell you the fish was a nice, thick and seemingly fresh piece that was not the least bit fishy or greasy. The batter was light and flaky, maybe a little lighter than a traditional Buffalo beer battered fish fry. The chips were good – lightly fried, thick and potatoey, which I like, but nothing to write to London about.

Authentic also might mean that they don’t offer up much in the way of condiments. They’ll add salt and vinegar if you want, or you can do it yourself with what’s available at the counter. If you’re looking for lemon or tartar sauce you’re out of luck. I’ll admit to wanting both. I did see one customer buy a small bottle of mustard. (Correction: The folks at British Chippy say they have lemon and tartar – just ask).

In addition to fish they offer a few frozen pies to go, fish cakes, sausage bake, mushy peas, a few things I’m not sure what they are, and assorted non-alcoholic beverages.

I have to say I really did enjoy my visit. The food was good, and the experience bloody marvelous. If you’re a homesick Brit or a fish & chips fan you should go immediately. If not you should stop in soon. Don’t forget to grab some pies to try at home.

 

 

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