Saturday, April 25, 2009

Deep-Fried Goodies and Hot Chocolate at the Pilot House and Sipps - March 22, 2009

I don’t know how it was possible that I’ve lived in Kingston for six years and never ate at the Pilot House. Their fish and chips are supposed to be the best in Kingston, and yet, I never dropped by to see what the hype was about.

I blame my mum.

My mum makes some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. Her beer batter and hand-cut fries edge out all others. I love her fish and chips so much that I don’t order fish and chips when I’m out eating. I don’t want to be disappointed. And why would I go somewhere for fish and chips of unknown quality when I can go home and fill up on my mum’s?

Well, I finally visited the Pilot House last year to celebrate Jimmy’s birthday, and it has definitely become one of our favourite haunts.

The pub is tiny, but always full of people. Every time we’ve gone, there’s either been a party or a gathering of some sort. It’s not overly boisterous, though, so you can still have a conversation without having to shout.

Jimmy ordered the halibut and chips. The fish was meaty and firm. Judging by the few bites I stole, the halibut was a winner. The outer breading was crisp without being crunchy. I burned my mouth on the first bite, but man, was it worth it! He also had a side of mushroom gravy for his fries.

I ordered the scallops and chips. Scallops are my favourite seafood because they’re generally mild in flavour and are bite-sized. These scallops were treated to a different, crispier batter. It suited them well because the crunchy outer coating sealed in all the scallop juices. Each bite had a burst of sweet and briny juice. I loooooooove the scallops here, but I love almost all scallops. As long as they’re not overcooked, and these were cooked perfectly, I will devour the scallops.

Oh, and the chips are great, too! Each time we go, the fries are of varying crispness. I think it just depends on the day. I like these types of fries to be on the softer side because they absorb more vinegar. I doused the fries in malt vinegar, until it started dripping out the bottom of the basket. Oops! But man, I love my malt vinegar. I also had some ketchup on the side, to mess with my taste buds every now and again.

Full and happy, I desperately needed something to help cut the grease (I didn’t have beer at the Pilot House). We slowly meandered over to Sipps for some coffee.

On the way, we saw this funny sign at City Hall. With only a few puddles and patches of snow left, who would ever think to come out skating? I doubled over in laughter before snapping these pictures.

Sipps is another place that I’ve heard people rave about, but never visited. I admit, I’m a Starbucks girl, but I am always open to trying out small coffee houses.

I ordered the hot chocolate, after a co-worker recommended it. It was okay. I prefer a rich hot chocolate that feels like I’m drinking a melted chocolate bar. This one had more milk in it than I like, and not enough chocolate.

I was totally foiled by the lid. I just couldn’t figure it out, and Jimmy laughed at me for a good five minutes before he offered to help me. Cruel. Anyway, pouring steamed milk on top of fish and chips didn’t help cut the grease at all. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Still, it was a gorgeous day, filled with outstanding food, and a hilarious photo. You don’t get these days often in March.

~ * ~

The Pilot House
265 King Street East (at Johnson, across from the church)
Kingston, ON
(613) 542-0222

Sipps Coffee & Dessert Bar
33 Brock Street (near Market Square, City Hall)
Kingston, ON
(613) 542-8868

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