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Savoury and Sustainable

Savoury and Sustainable

Chew on This: Savoury and Sustainable at the Fish Counter

There’s a new kid on the block – and they’re making solid and seriously tasty strides in making ethical eating accessible to Vancouverites. Which comes as no surprise when you learn that The Fish Counter, located at 3825 Main Street, is the brainchild of “C” restaurant’s former executive chef, Robert Clark, and marine biologist Mike McDermid, co-founders of the Vancouver Aquarium’s acclaimed Ocean Wise Program.  You’ve probably seen the program’s logo on more than a few local restaurant menus pointing you to the most sustainable seafood options and making ethical eating choices a no-brainer.

Open since early December, The Fish Counter is therefore a manifestation of what it means to be Ocean Wise, providing the community with seafood that’s fresh, seasonal, sustainable, and BC local. As an all-purpose purveyor of seafood (and even some grocery items), they also offer a killer menu of on-site and take-away eats, including knockout fish ‘n chips served with Kennebec fries, tartar sauce, and an excellent house-made slaw, as well as other on-the-spot offerings such as fish tacos, sandwiches, and a selection of soups.

Sympathetic to the allergic and intolerant, they’ve come up with a fish ‘n chip batter that not only comes out incredibly crisp and light, but is also  dairy- and egg-free, as well as providing a gluten-free version (made in a separate dedicated fryer). They also offer several vegan and dairy-free soups and prepared food offerings that cater to almost any diet. In true Ocean Wise and “nose-to-tail” style, McDermid and Clark admirably make use of the whole fish (in traditional cookery, much of the remains get thrown away), using the leftovers from cooking and filleting to create stocks and soups, such as dairy-free clam chowder and bouillabaisse.

While the Fish Counter is still in the process of finding it’s feet, they’ve definitely got a good thing going and have plans for improvement. They’re planning to expand their prepared food offerings, and while their eating area currently consists of little more than a two-person table, a standing counter and a few benches, they’ll be opening a seating area out back in the summer, and are looking into getting a patio license for the sidewalk. As the days get longer, so will their hours. And while this is already the perfect place to warm up with a bowl of clam chowder or fish ‘n chips fresh out the fryer, I predict that the Fish Counter will be an even more perfect destination for locals to hop on their bikes and grab a bite on sun-drenched, post-beach evenings.

– Alexandra Sehmer

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