Fish & chips at Penrose

Penrose Fish & Chips

So what if it's deep-fried and bad for you? It's hard to care when you're diving into a big plate o' fish and chips at Penrose's (Mt. Pleasant, south of Eglinton), one of the oldest fish & chip shops in Toronto.

Jeff and I are not the only ones in search of artery-clogging goodness; inevitably there's a line-up whenever we visit. If we want our fish & chips to go, they'll sprinkle it with malt vinegar and salt then wrap it up in newspaper, just like the old British custom.

Or you can eat inside. I love the Stuff-On-The-Walls diner style interior with old menus, signs, photographs from old Toronto, and (of course) a fish:

Penrose swordfish

You can get halibut & chips for $8.80 or haddock & chips for $7.00. Halibut only: $5.80, haddock only: $5.00, chips: $3.00. A bowl of Penrose's chunky homemade Maritime chowder is $4.50. I'm not a big coleslaw fan but I order it anyway ($1.00) just to see a bit of green on the table.

Boylans cream soda

I usually order the halibut. The combination of the crunchy golden coating and moist halibut meat inside is irresistable. The servings are smaller than the ones at Chippy's but that's better for me, right?

In addition to a wide range of regular soft drinks, Penrose also carries some other interesting beverages including Boylans "Old-Fashioned Pops" for $1.75 each: orange cream, black cherry, birch beer, old-fashioned orange and cream soda.

If you've still got room afterward, you can order a slice of pie for $2.25 ($3.25 a la mode); they have apple, strawberry/rhubarb, blueberry, pecan and sometimes pumpkin, depending on the season. On Fridays, you can get lemon meringue pie for $3.50, made by 86-year-old matriarch Marion Johnston; she's usually behind the counter as well. Apparently she's been making the pie every weekend for nearly 60 years (!). How cool is that?

A side note for those Barbara Streisand fans out there: Penrose is one of the diva's favourite Toronto take-out places.

Mmm, just writing this post makes me want more fish & chips. Maybe it's time someone did a taste comparison of Penrose's fish & chips to the ones at Chippy's or Harbord Fish & Chips .

In the name of culinary science, of course.

Anyway, make sure you get to Penrose early for dinner; it closes at 7 pm (6:30 on Saturdays).

Penrose apple pie

Frying hours: Tue-Fri 11a-7p, Sat 11-6:30p, closed Sun and Mon.


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