March 22, 2012

Eat and Run: Susan's Fish-N-Chips, Portland

You'll be hooked: Both the catch and the kitsch are likely to please.

From staff reports

It's been a Portland institution since 1989, but inexplicably, I had never been to Susan's Fish-N-Chips. Until, that is, a recent Saturday night, when three of us found ourselves starving after a Maine Roller Derby bout at Happy Wheels on Warren Avenue. The question of "what's near here?" volleyed around when suddenly one of us proclaimed "Susan's!" and minutes later, there we were.

click image to enlarge

Fish-N-Chips are on the "Dinnahs" menu at Susan's Fish-N-Chips.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer


WHERE: 1135 Forest Ave., Portland. 878-3240;

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday

CHEAPEST GRUB: Hot dog, $1.99

WAIT: 10 minutes

PARKING: Off street


RATING: **** 1/2

Based on a five-star scale

I was charmed the moment I walked in by the various displays of old fishing gear and kitschy decor. My trio perused the menu board, happily placed our orders and plunked down in a booth to await the feast armed with tartar sauce, ketchup and a stack of napkins.

I ordered from the sandwiches list and settled on the Fried Clam Roll ($8.99). The clams were piled high on a hot dog roll with an equally impressive pile of french fries.

Upon diving into my meal, three words came to mind: Hot, fresh and delicious. During a whirlwind feeding frenzy, I still managed to savor every bite. Speaking of rolls, you bet Susan's has a "Lobstah" roll for $11.99 and a fried veggie boat for $7.99 so that your vegetarian comrades can join in the merriment.

Susan's "Chowdah," which is made fresh daily, comes in three sizes, with prices ranging from $2.99 to $4.99. It's also worth noting that if you're in the mood for deluxe indulgence, you can score a frappe for $3.99 along with a variety of ice cream offerings.

My two dinner mates ordered from the "Dinnahs" list, and both opted for the classic Fish-N-Chips, one going with the haddock option for $9.99 and the other going for the traditional cod version for $8.99. Other options include smelts, shrimp, clam cakes, calamari and chicken.

All "Dinnahs" come with a choice of french fries, potato salad or pasta salad, or slaw. I took the silence from my dining companions as a good sign, as they too dug right in, raving between bites about flavor and freshness. One friend said she appreciated the no-frills style of the place and the fact that they put their attention on freshness.

She also has every intention of going back for the banana-peanut butter ice cream hot fudge sundae. I plan on being available when that day comes.

The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $7.


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