I have passed this establishment near the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on my way to my hotel for the past 3 months. I usually pass it at night. It sits in a neighborhood where I make sure my doors are locked when I drive through. I had an occasion to drive past during the lunch hour a couple of times over the past two weeks and noted that it was jammed. So on a recent Lenten Friday, I decided to give it a try for lunch. It was jammed again.
Walking in, you almost immediately encounter a queue. This is an order-at-the-window place and they'll call your number. The menu consists of cod, shrimp, oysters, clams and chicken fingers - all fried. There is a small section of broiled fish (same fare plus trout) in a sidebar. But these guys are apparently known for deep fried fish. I was hoping for an experience similar to No Name’s on the wharf in Boston.
I ordered the seafood platter and my choice of sides were hush puppies and cole slaw, two of about 8 different choices. There is an assortment of condiments including tartar sauce, hot sause, vinegar and ketchup in a self-serve area near the pickup window.
I was lucky to find a table and waited only 7 minutes before my number was called. I was presented at the window with a pile of fried "stuff" and a plastic tub of cole slaw. Drinks were from a fountain with many choices. They also offer beer and wine.
Number 826 was called and I went up to the window to collect my order. I was handed a large plate piled high with steaming stuff. I dug in, starting with the clams. You know the old Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?" Well this is the fish version of it. I know that there was fish in there somewhere but it was covered in so much batter, that it was hard to find. Even the shrimp appeared to have been paired and battered resulting in a skinny sliver of shrimp under the batter. The cod fillet, which I was hoping would resemble English Fish & Chips was paper thin, dry and hard. The only item that seemed to have any protein bulk was the one oyster on the plate. I guess the batter doesn't stick well to oysters. The accompaniments were better. The hush puppies, while they looked like the rest of the fried stuff, were moist and delicious inside and had whole kernels of corn in them. The cole slaw was also good if not a little over sauced and too much for one person to consume.
In the end, I ate only half of the stuff and the rest of the afternoon belched the greasy fare to remind me never again. The Knock Kneed Lobster has apparently been serving seafood for over 60 years. I can only surmise that they have lasted so long because in the desert, people don't know good seafood.
Bottom line: When in Phoenix, Do what the Phoenicians do. They don't fish!
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