Ed’s is often given credit for configuring the hot fish sandwich, but when we brought up the subject as we were waiting for our fish to fry a couple of years back, the regulars at Ed’s tossed their memories about and agreed that the tradition actually was begun by two little old ladies who long ago ran a place called Whitey’s. One gent recalled the first time he was taken there by a friend. The ladies looked him up and down and warned him in no uncertain terms, “If you are in a hurry, you do not want this fish.”
The same is true today. The goodness of a hot fish sandwich depends to a large degree on its being eaten within moments of the fish getting pulled from the fry kettle. That being the case, restaurants cannot make them in advance. We were worried when we came to Ed’s because we had read a report by someone who claimed they were using heat lamps to keep cooked fish warm. We are happy to say we waited a good fifteen or twenty minutes for our sandwich to be presented, the fish still sizzling hot.
It is a beautiful sandwich, loaded with plump, moist fillets in a golden crust, splotched with only enough hot sauce to boldface their flavor. The spaghetti we ordered on the side is anti-trendy, having left its al dente character long behind; and its chunky red sauce is nearly chutney-sweet. While these noodles (which we hesitate even to call pasta) likely would raise the hackles of a fastidious bec fin, their bright innocence is just the right balance for Ed’s hot and funky fish.