The Hawthorne Fish House feels like it’s been there for ages. The food already has quite a following. Its sister restaurant, the original, Corbett Fish House across town opened in 2002. The Hawthorne location opened 3 years later after the city gave the Fish House an enthusiastic response. Today it is well known for offering gluten-free fare by using brown rice flour rather than wheat, and for flash frying to limit the amount of fat that goes into food, and for delivering fish and chips with a kick.
The first thing you should know going in is that you need to get a cup of soup when you eat here. Lots of seafood restaurants have the standard New England style clam chowder. Hawthorne Fish House is no exception. They also have a spicy Mexican tomato-based soup they call Sopa de Pescado (Spanish for “fish soup”). It’s got an assortment of seafood delicacies from their menu set in a very deliciously spicy red broth. It’s really surprising to find this kind of taste. I admit that I need to keep my glass of water handy when I drink it, but it is worth every bite it gives back to you. You’ll also want to try the Crab pepper cheese soup. It’s a more rich and hearty soup than the Sopa de Pescado, but this too has a kick to it.
The fish and chips here are pretty good. Some of their selection, like fried oysters, don’t have the best texture for seafood n00bs, but that’s the nature of the beast. I never get their fish and chips combos when I’ve eaten here in the past because they simply have better items on their menu.
My favorite thing on their menu is their fish tacos. I was a fish taco virgin when I first ordered them from the Hawthorne Fish House, and they’re still something I always like to get. You can pick from either catfish or cod, and then pick from a variety of different taco styles. Some include pineapple salsa, sour cream, and cabbage. Others have red salsa and cheese in a more traditional Americanized Mexican style. They’re all very tasty and generously sized.
This is a pub. They have a pretty good bar, so any taste in beer you have is going to be well satiated. More in the vein of pub food, they also have a pretty good line of sandwiches. Salmon burgers are a staple of a lot of seafood restaurants now and theirs is about in line with what you’d expect there. The sandwich I enjoy the most though, is their halibut sandwich. Served on a hamburger roll, it comes with their tartar sauce, with optional cheese, and a freshly fried fillet of halibut. It’s probably one of the nicest basic fish sandwiches I’ve ever had. I’ve found this sandwich is at its best if you opt for their jalapeno tartar sauce, either in the sandwich or on the side.
This is one of my favorite seafood restaurants. It’s probably my favorite fish and chips place in general. The prices aren’t always super awesome, but you get what you pay for. Want one last tip? Save room for ice cream. They offer a generous cup of moose tracks at definitely super awesome price.
Note: This is a review of the Hawthorne Fish House, which sometimes has different items on its menu than its sister location. I found this out the hard way. Some things, like the soups, weren’t available at the Corbett location when I was last there. It was kind of a bummer.
4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97215