Fresco's Fish and Chips
Fresco Fish and Chips is a take-out joint located across the street from Kensington Park, ideal sitting grounds for a takeaway meal. Having grown up in a small fishing community on the coast of BC, I expect fish and chips to be served straight off the docks with seagulls looming overhead and the scent of salt air permeating the air. However, in Kensington Market , pigeons looms overhead and the smell of pot permeates the air.
Location aside, fish and chips are normally a pretty standard deep-fried affair. Fresco, however, sets itself apart by using a high-quality, non-hydrogenated, trans-fat free canola/corn oil blend. All the fish used are top-quality, fresh Ocean Wise sustainable. The chips are also of the best quality. Owner Michael Fresco tested over 300 pounds of potatoes- he's admittedly a little sick of chips now- before settling on Ontario grown Russet potatoes.
Playing up the British origins of fish and chips, Michael decided to take his love of the Beatles as the theme for his shop. Michael can be found sporting a black Beatles cap, while posters of the group cover the store and provide the soundtrack.
I shared an order of the cod and chips ($9.73 - top photo) with my friend and it was suggested that we try the popular option of half regular and half extra-crispy Miss Vicky's chips batter. Michael later told me that he worked arduously perfecting his signature Miss Vicky's recipe, consulting chef friends on how to get it just right; it certainly paid off.
The unique batter was certainly delicious; it was thick and crispy and a perfect compliment to the tender cod. I much preferred it over the original batter which was too doughy for my liking. However, my friend felt the opposite and preferred the original recipe batter - each to their own batter I suppose. The serving size was generous and easily shareable. The Russet potato fries, or chips, were thick, crispy and perfectly cooked.
I came back another day to try out the vegan poutine, a great Canadian influence. I tried a small chile version ($5.97) and admittedly, it doesn't look terribly appetizing in the photo. Regardless it was a gooey, thick, Daya cheese-filled container of thigh-fattening joy. A small order was enough for a meal and I'll definitely be going back to try the traditional Quebec version.
I also tried a small order of deep-fried pickles ($4.87) which, as a big pickle fan, got me pretty excited. The small order came with 5 pieces of pickles sliced lengthwise into quarters, lightly battered and deep-fried. They were a delicious side for sure, something I imagine pregnant women would go nuts over. I washed it all down with a Boylan's Black Cherry Soda ($2.25).
The food at Fresco's is great, however, you might get stuck trying to pay since they only take cash and the prices add up. Even off the docks in BC, the fishermen take cards!
Fresco Fish and Chips brings more to the table than a standard take-out fish and chips restaurant. Michael is committed to providing Torontonians with fish and chips that are good for you and the environment - a hefty task considering after all, it is fish and it is deep-fried. His commitment shows with his use of "healthy" oil, "sustainable" fish and biodegradable packaging. Owner Michael and his Beatle-loving ways have put a delicious Canadian spin on this standard British fare.
Vegetarians and Vegans, come and try the poutine!
Mon-Thu 11 am - 8 pm
Fri 11 am - 10 pm
Sat 12 pm - 10 pm
Sun 12 pm - 8 pm