A mainstay of downtown Woonsocket, Ye Olde English Fish & Chips reflects the industrial base of this northern New England city. The restaurant is located in the historic Market Square Plaza on South Main street. This workingman’s restaurant accompanies newer restaurants boasting modern cuisine and the museum of work and culture, but it does not sink into the background.
Simplicity defines the best cuisine. The title dish, fish and chips, reflects simplicity and quality flavor. They serve the fried fish and chips in paper akin to traditional English style. Flavorful cod is fried with a savory batter, producing a delicate piece of crispy and then flaky fish. The batter could be a bit lighter. The ‘chips’ (french fries on this side of the pond) were nice hand cut spuds, though most were a bit soggy. The oil used (non-hydrogenated for those self-conscious about trans-fats) was neutral enough to let the flavor of both to shine through.
The ‘Boneless Chicken’, or fried chicken fingers, provide an alternative for land lovers. They give depth to the menu. Unlike the thick batter on the fish, the chicken fingers have an almost non-existent coating. The fingers are also served with chips.
A wonderful pickle made a great side dish to the fried dinner. They serve it pre-sliced into coins. The garlicky-sour flavor play wonderfully with the buttery fish and tender chicken fingers. The coleslaw, however, tasted bland and of too much mayonnaise.
Service is restrained to the counter, though the restaurant has a full dining room for patrons to sit and enjoy. Cleanliness was a bit lax, but everything looked clean enough for a quick meal of fried fish and potatoes. They only take cash so be warned if you prefer using plastic. Ye Olde English Fish & Chips is worth the trip to the ATM, the prices are low and the food is delicious.