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Ford's Fish Shack, Ashburn and South Riding - Ana and Tony Stafford's Neighborhood Seafood Huts


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In the ice rink plaza over in Ashburn, Ford's Fish Shack is the third restaurant in the same space. Food-wise, of my first try, it's already blown the previous two out of the water.

One of my coworkers had gone on and on about how much he liked the fish and chips. A buddy of mine and I went there for lunch. I had the lobster roll ($17), and if you use Mark Slater's definition of how trite it may be from another thread, well, this one is NOT trite. It was DELICIOUS. The lobster was nice and firm, the roll buttery, the combination with the just right amount of dressing fantastic. It came with shoestring fries that I could've eaten pounds of.

My friend got a fried fish sandwich ($9.50) - it was huge, and his only complaint a bit too heavy to combine with a beer and then go back to work on a Friday afternoon. biggrin.gif

I'm going to have to go back here a few more times to, uh, make sure the quality stays up...yeah, that's it....

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These are what the website terms "Classic Cocktails":

Cocktails

Blueberry Martini

Smirnoff Blueberry vodka, Patron Citronage [sic], and a splash of Blueberry juice. Garnished with fresh blueberries

.......................................... 6

Grand "Maine"r

Grand Marnier, muddled mint and lemons and cane sugar.

.................................................... 8

Chuck's Coconut Kiss Martini

Malibu rum, Midori, Absolut vodka, pineapple juice. Garnished with a cherry.

....... 7

Pomegranate Margarita

Cuervo Silver tequila, Patron Citronage [sic], Pomegranate juice, with a splash of lime juice.

........................ 7

Kiwi Breeze

Bacardi Dragonberry rum, Kiwi syrup, and a splash of soda.

................................................................. 6

Bloody Mary

Absolut Peppar Vodka, Zing Zang mix, with an Old Bay rim. Garnished with a pickle and a spicy pepper.

....................................................... 7.5

Sunset Lemonade

Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka and lemonade.

.......................................................... 6

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You couldn't have mentioned this in the fried scallop thread I started so long ago? So many wasted years...

Sorry! -_o

That being said, now that Don's played his usual "Three Post Monty," the South Riding location is *much* easier to dine at.  They take call-aheads and there's more real estate and parking.  All you need to do is suffer Route 50 or come in the Loudoun County Parkway via Old Ox Road.

The fried scallops are ~20 bucks, but you get more than a fair amount of them (along with tartar and remoulade), and the calamari is a great starter.

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We went last night.  The fish and chips are always a safe choice and the kids loved them.  I really want to love this place but I have one real complaint about them.  Three, really.  Salt. Salt. Salt.  The last two times I have gotten anything besides the fish and chips whatever dish I have gotten has been over-salted.  Last night it was the mahi mahi.  The fish was salty.  The sauce was even too salty.  Don't get me wrong, I love salt.  I can down a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips in 5 minutes flat.

They just need to cut down on the salt.

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Hrm.  I've never gotten anything other than the calamari, fried cod, and fried scallops, and I've never really noticed over-salting.

Supposedly their head chef is formerly from Artie's, which explains the lobster ginger on the calamari, *and* potential oversalting, since the shoestrings at Artie's have always been like eating a salt lick.

I will admit I had my first 'mistake' there the last time I went.  They brought out fried shrimp instead of fried scallops.  I learned that ideally scallops should rest, because if they come out too hot from the kitchen, the breading will never stick to the protein.  You end up eating plain scallops and the breading *after the fact*.

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Went again because we were close and the boys wanted fish.  Got the fried scallops per the above recommendation.  My wife who doesn't like scallops liked them fwiw.  Also got the guac appetizer which prompted this exchange with my wife.

Me: Oh, I figured out why the food is so salty here.  Guess where the head chef came from.

Wife: Sweetwater Tavern (With the answer being Artie's, this was apparantly a nice guess)

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Yeah, Ford's actually does better with scallops than they do with lobster, in my opinion, seeing as I've had their lobster.  I actually - sacrilege, I know - prefer scallops to lobster, both because of taste and because I just really don't like tearing into the dead carcass of my food for my meal.  Yes, I've certainly heard of butter-poached lobster, but that brings me ultimately to my last point - scallops are cheaper (usually).

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Despite living less than two miles away for the last six months, last night was our first adventure to Ford's in Ashburn.  The blueberry martini would normally not be my first choice of cocktail, but as a blueberry martini, it was pretty good (and at $7.50, pretty cheap for a liquor cocktail around here).  Per the comments above about being called a 'classic cocktail', the list has been adjusted to 'hand crafted'.

Crab cakes were very respectable, my wife's grilled shrimp "basket" was great and came with more shrimp than I would have expected.  My one gripe is that almost everything comes with fries and slaw.  I was able to add a side of green beans, but seems sort off to get a light meal of grilled seafood and have the only menu option be fries and slaw.

Would be curious to know if the slaw is house made, as it seemed very very similar to what is served at Coastal Flats (not that I'm complaining, both are good slaws).

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