By Ken Shimamoto
Sure, it’s a chain, but Flying Fish -- which appeared seemingly overnight a few seasons back, cannily located right across Montgomery Street from the Railhead Smokehouse, at the Vickery intersection -- is within walking distance of mi casa (granted, we like to walk more than most folks) and has the goods to provide a seafood fix when I’m not in the mood for Zeke’s (which is still unique and ranks high in my estimation among area eateries; I started going there 30 years ago, and when I’m craving their cod, nothing else will do).
Chain or no, Flying Fish puts me in mind of lakeside fish houses like the late, lamented Cypress Inn in Benton, Louisiana, where I used to go with my students when I was an Air Force instructor to eat massive “all-you-want” (as opposed to “all-you-can-eat”) catfish feasts. Now, Flying Fish has “all-you-can-eat” catfish Wednesdays, but I’ve never tested the limits of the definition there, as I usedta at the Cypress Inn (the only restaurant where I’ve ever eaten so much I couldn’t sleep) or even further back, the HoJo near the SUNY at Albany campus, where my cohort and I usedta smoke out and go for “all-you-can-eat” clam night (which custom ended the night our waiter brought us a single clam strip and a single French fry and pointedly informed us, “This is all you can eat”).
I like their fish tacos because they come topped with cole slaw, like a Memphis barbecue sammitch, as well as pico de gallo. My sweetie, being health-conscious (within reason) like she is, tends to favor their grilled plates, the god-king of which is the “protein platter,” which consists of two grilled fillets (options include rainbow trout, salmon, tilapia, red snapper, or grouper, which I only remember from The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau) or a single filet with six boiled shrimp or a dozen oysters on the half shell, grilled veggies, beans and rice. They’ve got baskets, salads, and po’ boys, too. And key lime pie for dessert – always a plus in my book.