Our visits to Fish Tale have kind of accumulated to a roller coaster ride: some decent ups; baffling Applebee-quality downs; loops. At least we‘ve escaped any subsequent nausea.
Where on the ride are we today? I don‘t think anyone would mistake Fish Tale for a gourmet destination, but that‘s not to say it doesn‘t have its place. Among its ilk it‘s right up there1, though one could probably argue the merits of said ilk. I am not averse to keeping the spot in the rotation for the most part, albeit as something more of a semi-regular destination.
There are things Fish Tale truly gets right. The service, for example. It is consistently fast and friendly, and the servers are knowledgeable about the menus. Low of a denominator as it might sound, it is not something to be taken for granted.
The locale has a nice vibe. It‘s unpretentious and it‘s well laid out, feeling very much like the after-work happy hour spot it is. And the beer? I wouldn‘t rank Fish as one of my favorite breweries, but they‘re at least pretty solid. Their seasonals tend to be good, and you‘ll do better here than you would at McMenamins. Plus, they have Spire on tap for those who prefer cider.
Which leaves the food, best described as… generic. After a recent downswing, that‘s a change for the better, and if this brewpub is more of a laid-back happy hour spot, then passable can be good enough. You‘re not really here for the food (I would think); that‘s more of a bonus.
The rockfish po’ boy I tried during our visit was for the most part fine. I mean, the fish could have stood being quite a bit less salty. It completely outflanked the remoulade which only function was to add calories. The pickled shallots made a decent effort to restore some sort of balance, and the bread wasn‘t too bad either — it managed to hold its contents without getting soggy.
As a meal there really isn‘t much more to say about it. It was fine as far as being something to nosh on with a beer, but not exactly something you‘d travel from New Orleans to sample.
A destination spot Fish Tale is not, then, but I really can‘t fault it for being a local stand-by. You won‘t have much of a memorable meal here, but the potential for a good conversation in a good space is definitely there.
And isn‘t that what it‘s all about?2
1 Not that Three Magnets generally holds a lot higher standard, spotty service aside.
2 I could argue that it‘s not.