We decided we needed a fried food fix on this day, and opted for Pajo’s at the Steveston Wharf. Fish & chips on a pier over the water…. it’s just the way it should be.
We started with a cup of clam chowder.
This is a think cream based chowder, stocked with (modest amounts of) clams, potatoes, carrots, onions, etc. It seems to be made fresh and in-house, but it doesn’t really stand out. It wasn’t under seasoned or anything. Just lacking in something. Perhaps it needs more clams, or some bacon for smokiness.
And of course, the real reason we came here, was for the fish & chips. Although they have halibut and salmon available, we favor cod.
This is three strips of fresh cod, dipped in a batter and deep-fried to golden crispy, served with a generous portion of freshly chipped fries, accompanied by tartar sauce. On a self-serve counter there is malt vinegar, ketchup, salt, pepper, etc.
This fish is fresh and moist (there are a lot of places that have control problems and overcook the fish). The batter is light and crisp in the first few minutes while it’s still hot, but within about 5 minutes, it starts to go soft. Not that it lasts too long anyways.
The chips are okay. They were hot and lightly salted, with a slight crispness to some of them. They were certainly freshly chipped potatoes, but I’m pretty sure they’re only fried once (purists will insist that fries should be fried twice at two different temperatures to get that perfect crispness).
This is cafeteria style service where you place your order at the window, receive an order number, and you wait at the next window over.
The seating is just a bunch of benches scattered around the floating dock, and some on the adjacent pier. The tables have holes cut in them to accommodate the cones that the fish & chips are served in.
Overall, Pajo’s does good fish & chips, but IMO there are other places that do it better.
Following lunch, we took a stroll along the board walk and checked out the pier to see what the fishermen had to offer on this day. Seems we walked a whole lot further than we expected because we found ourselves on San Fransisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
We could have had a bite at the Alcatraz Bayside Bistro too.