Location: 1137 Tucker Rd, Hood River, OR
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10-4pm
Every so often I get the itch to leave the city and see where the car will take me and hope that I’ll find something awesome to eat when I get to wherever I’m going. A few weeks ago, that itch and a Zipcar took me to Hood River where my friend and I enjoyed some of what Pirate Fish and Chips has to offer.
Hood River, a gem in the middle of the Columbia Gorge, is one of those cities I have visited more times than I can count. As a kid we would stop there for ice cream or Pizza at Pietro’s on our way to camp on the Washington side of the Columbia up by Goldendale. Since then, Hood River became the wind-surfing capital of the world and turned into one awesome little town. These days, while there are amazing outdoor activities available, I visit for the breweries and the food. Like many small towns, Hood River now has some food carts that are making inroads and Pirate Fish and Chips is one of them.
Pirate was started by Richard and Sheri Wilson, transplants from Arizona who sold their restaurant there and relocated to the gorge where Richard had family. Initially, a restaurant was in the plans, but they saw how great the food cart scene was in Portland and wanted to emulate it in Hood River. They post up off HWY 35 on the way to Mt. Hood in the summer and then on the other side of town in the winter, both in Hood River County where the regulations allow them to have seating.
I eat fish a few times a week. I don’t have a deep fryer, so usually pan fry or grill it. Fish and Chips is a treat for me and at Pirate, they source their fish locally from Ilwaco, WA or through Ocean Beauty, a local purveyor of freshly caught seafood. I ordered a two piece of Pacific True Cod lightly beer-battered and served with french fries and fresh coleslaw. It was breezy with a bit of rain when sat down to eat, yet the hot fish and chips made up for the weather. The beer-batter crust was top notch, reminded me of when my father would make it when we camped. Pull off a bit, dip it in the house made tartar sauce and take a bite. I was in heaven. So many times, battered fish are a bit too oily or the crust is thicker than the fish. Not here. Richard and Sheri know their technique and do it right. I walked away a happy eater even though I was a bit damp. Ahh, the gorge.
Pirate Fish and Chips is a wonderful destination spot for lunch if you’re heading into the gorge for a day trip. Richard and Sheri greet you with a smile and have a vast menu that would satisfy most anyone. Watch for a new cart in 2013 and weekly specials depending on the market. It is always good to see street food vendors succeed in smaller markets. Drop on by next time you’re in the area and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Fish and Chips with Pacific True Cod – $6-12 depending on size
- See here for full menu as of October 2012
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10-4pm
Facebook: Pirate Fish and Chips