Words of wisdom for the day: a photographic memory definitely comes in handy when it comes to finding awesome places to eat. And it’s because of my photographic memory (and a little help from my brother) that, years later, I was able to track down Captain George’s Fish & Chips in Stouffville! Yes, Stouffville. “But, but, you blog about places in Toronto!” Yes, I know. “But, but, you live in Markham!” Yes, I know that too. I like to expand my horizons. “But you take public transit and there isn’t much of that in Stouffville!” True.
So what the heck was I doing in Stouffville in the first place to compel me to go back there and eat?! Before you scoff and dismiss it as an ‘it’ place to stuff your face, here’s the story: a number of moons ago, I started taking driving lessons with the intention of getting my driver’s license. My brother and I took our lessons together, alternating getting behind the wheel with our instructor as we tentatively navigated the streets of Markham. However, there were some days where we’d drive out a little further during those longer sessions. And that is how we ended up in Stouffville, Markham’s friendly neighbour to the north. Now that’s not to say that I had never been in Stouffville prior to that. I remember a few trips to the Stouffville flea market when I was little as well as one to Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area and even a visit to a super Wal-Mart! But to eat? Never. To explore a bit? Hardly.
Thus, it was during these quiet drives through the main arteries of Stouffville that I was able to somewhat see it with fresh eyes and have certain images imprinted in my brain and in my memory. Years later as my brother and I were randomly discussing possible fish and chips places to eventually check out during one those odd ‘brother-sister same-wavelength food cravings’, an image, albeit a bit fuzzy, of a giant blue sign off the side of a road started formulating in my mind as I remembered driving past a fish and chips place during some of those lessons. And I distinctly remembered my instructor recommending it my brother and I. So I did what any modern foodie would do.
I went on the computer and start Googling.
Given how I only had a mental image of a blue sign and the knowledge of it being in Stouffville to go on, I had to do a little more than just key things into the search box. So after a little memory jogging with my brother and Google image search (way more useful when you need your memory to zero in and ‘match up’ to something), we figured it out: Captain George’s Fish & Chips at 5505 Main Street in Whitchurch-Stouffville! Located between Hwy. 48 (also known as Markham Rd. in most of Markham until you hit 16th Ave.) and Ninth Line, it’s actually incredibly easy straight-forward to get here. Just go straight up north. No crazy turns, no weird side streets, just main roads and a smooth drive. I do wish public transit was more accessible and readily available in this area but hey, that’s a whole other discussion for another time.
Captain George’s Fish & Chips is as delicious, fantastic, friendly, and down-home as they come. The owners are incredibly sweet, the nautical decor adorning the walls of the diner is quite cute and kitschy, and the food is out of this world. The portions of food will honestly make your eyes and tummy sing. And I’m not talking nasty and disgusting portions, I’m talking freakin’ awesome bang-for-your-buck portions, the type of portions that fill you and make you feel good about the money you slapped down for it. It’s all about the halibut, haddock, cod, shrimp, scallops, and calamari here (okay, there are chicken fingers on the menu but I truly believe that it’s a default for those folks who accompany seafood-loving friends and family but who don’t actually eat it or enjoy it themselves. Shrugs. To each their own) with a generous dose of chips and salad. There are so many fish/seafood and chip and salad combinations that there is just no way you wouldn’t be able to find something that strikes your fancy. Sometimes you don’t want as much fried food so you go with the grilled fish and salad. Sometimes you want the full monty and go all out on the comfort fish and chips with the salad and other times you just want to gorge on fish alone.
The menu works for everyone.
I felt like the full monty for this meal so I went all out with the works with one of the Fish & Shrimp Combos: 1 piece halibut, 5 shrimps, a garden salad and chips ($12.95). With some lemon wedges, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce on the side, this was heaven on a plate! There is just something SO satisfying and yummy about perfectly crispy, battered fish where the meat is juicy and flaky and there are those fab air pockets between the crunchy batter and fish. The battered shrimps were huge, the chips were those cute stumpy ones that are nice and starchy and potato-y with that nice crunchy crust on the outside and even the salad was wonderful because it was chopped in a way that made it easy to fork generous mouthfuls with a little bit of everything. It was a simple chopped garden salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber drizzled with my choice of dressing, good old fashioned tangy ranch which rounded out the scrumptious meal.
I love it when I find gems like these, the ones that make it worth your while by giving you a meal from the heart and a delicious, memorable eating experience that will never be forgotten, photographic memory or not.
Captain George’s Fish & Chips is located at 5505 Main St. in Whitchurch-Stouffville between Hwy.48 and Ninth Line.