So much fuss over a fish sandwich.
Maryland natives (and steadfast Williamsburg detractors) are already sneering over restaurateur Joe Carroll’s new Baltimore-inspired, blue-collar fry-shack. $6.25 for a couple of low-rent whiting filets on deliberately cheap-ass white bread? Yet another ironic appropriation of junky, regional comfort food by Brooklyn’s trust fund set!
Yet if the unprecedented popularity of Carroll’s established Metropolitan Avenue dynasty (Fette Sau, Spuyten Duyvil and St. Anselm) is any indication, those same acolytes are happy to follow him anywhere—as long as it doesn’t involve crossing the Williamsburg bridge.
If you happen to fall in the latter category, don’t expect to find a table at the teeny, 16-seat sandwich spot. That’s really not such a bad thing; the space is almost determinedly dreary—dark, wood paneled walls, orange plastic bucket seats, a couple of old baseball posters—like a 1970’s Orioles fan’s decked-out basement. Might as well order your lake trout (Baltimore slang for fried and breaded Atlantic white fish) to go.
Three sizable lozenges of cracker-crumbed, generously salted, silver-skinned whiting are fried to order and piled atop two large slices of pliant potato bread. The unacquainted will be pleased to discover the fish has been deboned—heresy to the B-More native but a relief to the casual consumer, who’d rather not walk down Havemeyer picking connective tissue out of their teeth. You’ll have to construct your sandwich yourself, so pause for a minute at one of the bay windows to extricate your fish from it’s foil wrapper and slather on the Mumbo sauce (a duck/hot sauce mix popular in the DC area) from one of the racks of squeezee bottles attached on interim to the wall.
All said, will Lake Trout and their eponymous house sandwich win over the hearts and minds of the most hardened naysayer? Probably not. But for our money, $6.25 for a sufficiently satisfying, fried fish gut-bomb is a hell of a lot cheaper, and infinitely more convenient, than a bus ride to Baltimore.
160 Havemeyer St, (718) 782-3474