Back when I lived in San Francisco I began a long distance collaboration with some musicians in England. Me and Ure were doing a compilation at the time called Audio Odditions and one band he grew fond of at the time called Orchis, whom we included on the compilation.
After the compilation I was still in correspondance with the band and asked if they wanted to collaborate on a track, which began a series of collaborations through the mail. We started simple just one track at a time, the first being centering around a bass line I had written. The second being off of a song I wrote on guitar whilst staying at my ex-wife’s place in Pacifica (yes, I was married once).
The first time around I remember they sent me their music back in the mail, but for the second song I decided to go to them. I was going to be in London to visit my brother anyways so I figured we could meet up.
When I finally came face to face with them it was in a British version of a sports bar. Having a bottomless pit when it came to my appetite, I decided to order up some food and reckoned the national dish was good enough for me. That’s right, fish and chips, this was the food that fueled an empire that once spanned across the globe. When I went to order it thou, I was stumped. I ordered fish and was then given an option for chips or mushy peas. I have no idea why I did this, but I ordered mushy peas.
Alan and Tracy gave me vocals and guitar accompaniment for the work I had sent them in the mail while I ate and enjoyed mushy peas.
Every time after that I would spend a week with my brother in London and a week with Alan and Tracy in Lincolshire. Lincolnshire is known for how well they do British cuisine, but thats another article. One thing I would request whenever I’m in Lincolshire is fish and chips, and thats when Alan took me to a spot called Mermaid Fisheries.
Apparently they had award winning haddock and chips. Growing up in America, whenever you order fish and chips, the fish was traditionally cod, but in Britain, haddock is more prevalent. You can get cod, but cod seemed cheap compared to haddock and at some places you could even get sea bass.
The last time I visited the Mermaid had gone downhill. Everything was greasy and salty, which was just a shame really. When it was good, it was a treat, now it was penance.
Everyone now and then I get an urge for “proper” fish and chips like I used to get at the Mermaid, and living in New York, there is only one place I can think of that fits the bill. Park Slope has the Chip Shop which is ok, but the West Village has A Salt & Battery.
At A Salt & Battery, you can get haddock, pollock or sometimes even sea bass. You can get “proper” chips as a side or mushy peas, or if you like both and dip your chips in the peas. My only complaint about this place was that the mushy peas are bland, but then again, maybe they have always been bland and now I’m just realizing that… either way, I want to go back and order mushy peas again, cept I want to bring in my own hot sauce to mix in. Habenero should do the trick.
Is that bad to bring hot sauce around with you when going to a restaurant? I knew two different women, one from Thailand and one from Trinidad who did the same. They kept it in their purse in case of emergencies, like when you’re at a restaurant that sucks, or whenever I date went sour.
Maybe if I left the hotsauce on the counter at A Salt & Battery as a suggestion it would be ok.