This small, crowded, and unassuming fish market has the best fish in the country.
I asked the young man behind the counter when the rockfish had been brought in?
He looked at the clock on the wall and said, "um........three hours ago."
We both ordered fish and chips. I ordered the Pacific rockfish. My husband had the Alaskan cod.
His cod was perfectly cooked, as was mine.
The fish was excellent. Hot, breaded perfectly without a speck of oil left on it. Nor was there too much breading. The fries were perfect, too. We didn't even have to order them without salt. Maybe they're used to the retired crowd that fills the town? The fries were real ones, not uniform sticks out of a freezer box, unsalted, hot, crispy, wonderful. I had the side of coleslaw which had cranberries in it..odd, but tasty.
This tiny little place appears to have started out as a fish store that was forced by popular demand into serving it freshly cooked. The tables are small, few in number (although there's a few outside) and your name is called when your order is ready. It comes in a cardboard box with a plastic fork. It gets very crowded at lunch time.
The prices are VERY reasonable.
The staff is young, motivated, efficient, friendly and are fabulous cooks. They know fish. They know how to cook it RIGHT.
Bandon is a tourist town, far from anywhere. It's mostly a fishing and logging town, but the campers and beach crowd fill it up.
So you shouldn't complain when a shop on the shore doesn't look like a five star place in Paris.
If you pass this place up based solely on its appearance, it will be your loss.
Despite its lack of 'atmosphere"--something I've never been impressed with, as you can't eat the decorations-I give the Bandon Fish Market five stars.
If you want 'atmosphere', eat outside. You can see the fishing boats, watch folks catch them off the dock, protect your meal from the gulls, listen to the foghorn, and hold onto your hat-the wind is hawking.
Besides...what other fish restaurant do you know of that will not only feed you there, but also one where you can then buy more, raw fish to take home and cook (probably not as well as they did) yourself?
Yup. I bought two more pounds of the fresh rockfish.
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