Original Halibut's

2525 NE Alberta St
(503) 808-9600
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7 days

halibut and chips

The Original Halibut's has two doors to two rooms: a comfie tiny bar which is host to live blues music at times, and a walkup counter with some tables. The bar has table service, so if you'd like a beer or a drink with your foot, begin and end there. Anymore, it seems like almost every bar has TV screens everywhere you look; here, they have two, one with sports, and usually, the other with the cable blues music channel on. Whereas, if you're getting take out or with kids, go to the walkup counter side.

There are also some pleasant tables out on the sidewalk.

The menu continues to grow: giant tiger prawns, and halibut are our favorites, but there's also Copper River salmon, true cod, catfish, and chicken tenderloins, ahi, dungeness crab cakes, and get this: lobster tails with sweet potato fries! If this all seems a bit, um, deepfried, they also offer an unfried combo, chowder, corn on the cob, bay shrimp or giant prawn cocktail, and key lime pie.

Vegetarians: sorry, the only things here for you are the seasonal corn on the cob and the pineappley cole slaw (creamy, and pineapply - I love it).

All of the entrees come with skin-on fries, and all come as a half or full order.

I've finally come to the realization that while it seems like a half order should be enough, it's not. Maybe a half works for you, but I find myself cursing myself for being cheap. Though the menu still doesn't give you much of an idea of the size differences between the half and the full.

Half baskets range from $5-$10, while full baskets are $3-$5 more. $6 will get you a very small bowl of very good clam chowder (though, at that price, it ought to be).

We've had the halibut, the prawns, and the true cod. All very good. The fish and shrimp taste fresh and well handled. The beer batter is tasty, and the result isn't greasy, generally. I've noticed that the batter does tend to fall off the shrimp, which is an effect of steam. But overall, it's not soggy. A full basket of halibut has four pieces; a full basket of prawns, 8. This might be the best fish and chips in town.

Or it might not be. There are complaints of inconsistency on the batter. But I go there maybe once every two or three months, and I have yet to complain about anything (but the owner).

Some folks are charmed by the owner. I find him obnoxious. But the last couple times I've been there, he hasn't, and it's been a pleasure.

They have some beer on tap, Anchor Steam, Fish Organic IPA, PBR, and Widmer Hefeweizen as well as a full bar.

entree range: $6-20
median entree price: $10
vegetarian options: corn on the cob ($1.50), coleslaw ($1.50)


filled under Restaurants, storefronts, taquerias, and other eateries in NE Portland
November 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBacks (0)

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9 Comments

negreg said:

I have tried it several times and it has been hit or miss. I work in the restaurant industry and for the life of me cant figure out why the portions sizes keep changing, and the batter has been good/bad (too thin and falling off,soggy). Otherwise the sports bar decor just sucks no real atmosphere.

extramsg said:

I don't know. Corbett/Hawthorne is every bit as expensive or moreso, has worse fish, and has spotty service. I like Alameda's fish and chips, but they're $13 as well.

vj said:

My beef is with the owner. If I could be guaranteed to not have to interact with the owner, great. But the menu/menu boards could be more descriptive of what an order consists of, given that the staff are anxious to get out and have a cig.

The next night, we did go to Alameda, and while the fish & shrimp was very good, the serving sizes were about the same as the full, and it also came with a generous serving of coleslaw, and really good service. I've never had bad service or bad service at Corbett/Hawthorne, but you may go there more often than I do.

Having never been to Halibuts but biked by many times, I think I might veer on the side of caution following you lead, VJ.

Nothing I hate more than obfuscation and vagueness. I like to think I have an eye for usability, and it pains me to endure a clusterf!@# (efficiency is a fetish for me), especially when a few simple attentions to detail would solve the whole nut.

It also helps that the employee cafeteria where I work has fish n' chips every Friday, and it is really actually fresh and costs only $5.25.

brett said:

I find, when reviewing a restaurant, that it sometimes helps to use more than two sentences, and words more descriptive than "tasty," to convey how the food tastes.

I do enjoy reading about how the existence of two separate rooms in the same establishment, and TWO (horrors!) order sizes, apparently results in confusion for some people.

extramsg said:

I understand that the guy is annoying. I've only gone at off-hours so I've avoided him, apparently. I have had bad service at Alameda, though (see number 10):

http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=843

That's relatively anomalous, though.

vj said:

Ah yes, I remember that hamburger picture, Nick!

Twitch said:

Is he still a trans-fat nazi?

Christie Vitale said:

I went to Halibuts last weekend with a couple of friends. The food was actually very good and they also had a great band playing that night. The entire experience was ruined by a staff member there that called herself the "lead bartender." At first she seemed like a normal, yet slightly indifferent, bartender/server (she also took our order). However, when a friend and I went to pay we noticed that our entire credit card number was on the receipt instead of the last four digits, when we asked her about this she proceeded to tell us that she didn't like our attitudes from the beginning and even if we scratch out the numbers on our receipts (which I was doing at the time) she can just print out another one and have our entire number again if she wanted. When we told her we would not be coming back she said she didn't want to see our F-ing faces in there again anyway. I have never been treated like this in any business establishment and am shocked that a person of this caliber was made "lead" anything. I will NEVER return to Halibuts and will tell anyone that asks that the food is not worth putting up with the staff!!!!

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