Fish fry season has swung into full gear, and while we would love nothing better than to go out every Friday for a fish fry (with beers, a waitress, et al), it’s just not possible.
It may be counterintuitive to eat at a place that’s famous for its roast beef, but we are telling you to do just that in the case of the iconic Anderson’s.
It works as a great alternative in a few ways — there are multiple locations with ample parking, reasonable prices and best of all, good quality.
Our visit to the Anderson’s in Cheektowaga focused on three items: A fish fry, fish and shrimp (both $10.99) and a salmon burger ($5.99). A fish sandwich is $5.99. An all-shrimp dinner (six) is $10.99; a side of shrimp (six) is $6.
We picked up our two trays of food a short time after ordering, surprised to see the fish fry hanging off its Styrofoam plate. It came with curly Q fries, a Costanzo’s roll and butter and generous cups of coleslaw and tartar sauce. The fish and shrimp plate was equally impressive with the addition of cocktail sauce. The salmon burger was a nice size, too.
But how would they taste?
Honestly, delicious. Anderson’s menu notes it’s wild-caught haddock. Our fish fry was unbelievably hot and fresh. The coating was super-crisp. Anderson’s fish is breaded, so there is no heavy beer batter to get in the way of the fresh fish taste or provide the side effects of a greasy fry job. The fish was skinless, so we could polish off the entire fillet.
The fish and shrimp combo featured a large half piece of fish with four large breaded shrimp that were equally toothsome. Along with a crispy coating, the cocktail sauce added just enough kick to the shrimp.
The fries on both dinners were nice and hot. (We admit we love to dip coils in ketchup.) The coleslaw was crunchy but on the sweeter side. A big plus was the addition of a healthy wedges of lemon. Lots of places cheap out on lemon; Anderson’s didn’t in our case.
The salmon burger was a nice surprise, served on a Costanzo’s roll with romaine lettuce, tomato and red onion. Its spicy chili sauce was a little too hot, so we recommend ordering it on the side. It was solid salmon, too. If there was added breading, we couldn’t detect it. We suspect the fish sandwich is just as good, considering how good the fish fry was.
Order a sandwich, hot side and a drink and get 40 cents off your combo.
We ordered a fish fry to go. It stayed hot and crunchy even waiting 15 minutes for Sig Other to get home. The added side of mac and cheese ($3.99) was a little on the small side, but really good. It had a nice tang of cheese. In a pinch, it would work as a meatless meal for a wee one.
Can you have a beer with your fish fry at Anderson’s? No. But you can call-ahead your order and take it out. Have the beer waiting at home and don’t forget to grab a pack of ice cream sandwiches ($7.99) for dessert as we did. Unless, of course, you gave up ice cream for Lent. In that case, you’ll just have to wait.
Where: 3724 Union Road, Cheektowaga (plus multiple locations)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Fishing expedition: Fish fry and fish sandwich Friday only. Shrimp and salmon burger available daily.
Bonus: Ice cream! View each location’s “Custard Calendar” online.
Happy B-day: Greta Anderson celebrated her 98th birthday on Feb. 9.