Saturday, August 13, 2011

Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips

This isn't a story about one of these restaurants that may still exist but rather one from the early days, back in the 1970's. There was an Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips on Avenue U between East 29th. Street and Nostrand Avenue and I recall on particular instance being in there with my brother.

I am recalling the thick, crunchy fried batter surrounding the fish and the pungent malt vinegar we used to pour atop the fish before dipping into the tartar sauce. I recall the hush puppies, little fried balls of oniony dough and the fries - well, they were there but not nearly as memorable as the fish or the hush puppies.

My brother and I had our food at the table and he asked me to go get something, either additional condiments or napkins or something. What it was I had to get wasn't as relevant as knowing it was planned trickery so that while I was gone, my evil brother can add a host of items into my Coca Cola. Upon my return, there was no indication of trickery and I had no clue even through the meal while sipping my soda that it had been altered by the addition of salt, pepper, tartar sauce and who knows what else. I know that once the meal was done, my brother began laughing and fessed up and that was that - I don't recall getting angry as it didn't really affect the meal but the prank stuck with me and perhaps influenced my pranksterisms later in life.

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