Chip Shop - 383 5th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215
R Train to Union Street
This weekend, Dan and I spent time with my brother Peter and his girlfriend Fiana who live in Park Slope. I always enjoy visiting their neighborhood, as there's never a shortage of amazing restaurants and bars to try. This time, we decided on the much-talked-about, Chip Shop, which specializes in everything fried - even candy bars.
Modeled after a casual British fish 'n chips restaurant, Chip Shop pays homage to England through its eclectic decor. We had fun admiring the fun wall hangings, from funky T-shirts with a tongue-in-cheek "Make Tea Not War" slogan to pictures of the Queen, posters of British rock groups and more.
Overall, the vibe was laid-back, whimsical and very conducive to eating down-home fried food. The crowd, which is both old and young (even some families with kids) portrays Chip Shop's all-inclusive mentality, because let's face it, fried food knows no age, color, gender or race. We're all equal opportunity fried food consumers.
As I already mentioned, almost everything here is fried, and 95% of what we ordered that night was indeed fried, with the exception of the Shepherds Pie. I guess they draw the line somewhere.
Fried Pizza - I heard about this monstrosity from a fellow blogger and was so intrigued. We ordered it as an appetizer and cut it into little pieces because who are we kidding, we couldn't each eat a whole slice. The crust was deliciously thick and crispy and the batter had a slight sweetness to it. They use great quality oil, because despite its utter gluttonous nature, it didn't feel heavy and was actually a nice way to start this fried feast. The thing to remember is to share it and cut it into bite size pieces.
Fried Mac 'n Cheese - Less intrigued by this option, since I've already had it elsewhere, my dining companions felt otherwise and wanted to dig in. "What does fried mac 'n cheese look like," you ask? Like a big round rice ball actually, except for the interior, which consists of creamy macaroni and mild cheese. Overall, I wasn't too impressed by Chip Shop's version, as I think it lacked flavor that could've been fixed with simple salt and pepper seasoning.
Fish 'n Chips - We all shared two orders of battered Haddock and chips, which I liked very much. The fish was really excellent, with a crisp, airy batter that wasn't greasy, while the interior was fresh-tasting and perfectly flaky. I liked that the piece of fish was generous and more than adequate to share with another person. But the chips, although plentiful, were on the soggy side, which was disappointing--especially if your name is "Chip" shop.
Classic Shepherds Pie - This is where Chip Shop's English cooking shined. We all agreed that the classic beef Shepherds Pie was hands-down the best we've had to date. The top was baked and on the well done side, which I love. As for the actual potatoes, they were silky smooth and buttery, and once mixed with the juicy ground beef, our tastebuds went on a joy ride. Yet another plus was the side of giant peas, which were wonderful on their own, or mixed in with the potatoes and beef.
Fried Candy Bars - I can't even emphasize how much I looked forward to eating a deep fried Bounty bar, which for those of you who aren't familiar with it, is like an Almond Joy. The batter it was coated in reminded me of the pancake batter used in fried oreos. Frying the candy bar brought out its goodness further by warming it up and slightly melting the chocolate and the coconut inside.
Peter and Fiana went for the fried Snicker's bar, which was also tasty but not my favorite, as I'm not a huge fan of peanuts. Dan's fried Twix on the other hand was total, utter bliss and I think I'll be getting it next time. In addition to the candy bars we got, Chip Shop also offers Mars Bars, Twinkies and Reeces Peanut Butter Cups in a fried version. Yowza!
Service and Cost:
We were delighted with the kind service and everyone's cheery attitude. While not all employees are British, everyone sported a British-style hospitality that was infectious. Our waiter called us lovely patrons, which I thought was cute, and we walked out feeling happy and not as guilty as we should've, considering the crazy amounts of fried foods we consumed in one sitting.
Prices are moderate and include:
Fish, Meat & Chips - $8.50 - $12.75
Shepherds Pie - $10 - $12
Other English Entrees - $5.50 - $14
Sides - $1.50 -$6.50
Dessert - $3.50 - $5.50