Memorable | One of the Best
Doug’s Fish Fry | Upstate New York Seafood Best
Review by: Michael Stern
What to Order
Visit Doug’s Fish Fry and you find convincing evidence that upstate New York seafood is a regional treat to take seriously. Choose either a sandwich, a fish dinner, or a fish onion dinner. If you’re new to Doug’s, those titles might mislead you. Order a sandwich and you get two or three large hunks of fried fish piled in and around a modest, no-account bun. Like a tenderloin from the heartland, the presentation pushes the envelope of what, exactly, a sandwich is. This bun can’t hold half the fish on the plate. Adds beautiful chunky French fries to the pseudo-sandwich and it becomes a fish dinner. Add onion rings and you’ve got a fish onion dinner.
A sandy crust with just the right amount of crunch jackets fish that is moist, sweet, and gentle-flavored. Pickly tartar sauce is surprisingly unsweet. Sweetness comes in the form of Doug’s finely chopped and fetchingly spicy cole slaw.
(Doug’s also fries shrimp, scallops, and chicken strips.)
Eat-in-the-rough at Doug’s. Place your order at the stand-up counter (from which you enjoy an appetizing view of fish and fries coming out of the hot oil). Pay for the meal and wait for your name to be called. Fetch utensils from a table in the center of the dining room. Here you find all the accoutrements for enjoying upstate New York seafood: plastic forks and knives, ketchup and mustard, and malt vinegar for spritzing on fries.
Bonus: Doug’s makes dense and creamy soft-serve custard. Throughout the warm weather months the custard serves as a foundation for warm fruit sundaes. The available compote, made right here from the fruit of the season, begins with strawberries and blueberries early in the summer, then moves to peaches, and finally to apples in the fall. Glorious!
Note: the original Doug’s is located in Skaneateles, NY. Doug’s also serves its fish fry in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fair, starting in late August.
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