We’d been to the Corbett Fish House before, and it almost seems like a landmark. You can’t say “gluten free” to someone in Portland Oregon without hearing about the Corbett Fish House. The Hawthorne Fish House is run by the same people.
Serious About Gluten-Free Food
Almost everything at both restaurants can be had gluten-free. In fact, we were notified by our server that they just started carrying gluten-free buns, so all the sandwiches are good to go as well. The Hawthorne Fish House seems like an English pub but cleaned up so it’s family-friendly. The Corbett Fish house seems a little more upscale. Both have a full bar. They both have almost identical menus. Both also seem to have brought space age technology to fried fish.
Our waiter at the Hawthorne Fish House was friendly and helpful. He was able to answer our questions without having to consult a list or the kitchen. The food came out very quickly. The decor is interesting. Almost every square foot of the restaurant has a plastic fish or a picture of a fish in it. They also serve gluten-free beer. One last note: They follow the guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainable Seafood List, which we think is really cool.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I tend to equate fish and chips with dive bar food or English pub food, or a place like Two Jacks in the Lower Haight in San Francisco. Fish and chips should be greasy. It should be served on oil-spattered paper in a basket. There should be too much batter on some of the fish and not enough on the rest. The batter should be flavorful. There should be one piece of fish in the the batch that looks strange and you will have to debate if you should or shouldn’t eat it. The fish should be cod. The entire place should smell like vinegar. The table tops should be carved up to heck. The person handing you the fish should be wearing too much eye make-up, have artfully huge runs in her stockings, and be wearing Doc Martens. Or it should be a strangely skinny guy wearing all black and sporting a bad moustache. Am I painting a clear enough picture here?
I guess what I’m getting around to saying is that when I want some fish and chips or a fried fish sandwich, I don’t think to myself, “Where can I get myself a nice, healthy, sanitized version of an unhealthy, greasy, battered dish?” Maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it, but there it is.
I can see the appeal of the Hawthorne and Corbett Fish Houses. They deliver a consistent product, and I think that for people who are looking for what they have to offer, they can’t be beat. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if you really love both restaurants, I think I can understand why and I won’t even hold it against you. I’m just going to have to keep hoping that a greasy, unhealthy, gluten-free place shows up to offer me a nice fried fish sandwich.
Gluten Free Fried Fish: Click here for our breaded fish recipe.
We want to know: Do you love the Corbett Fish House? Are there any differences between the two fish houses that we missed? Are there other places for a person on a gluten free diet to get fish and chips in Portland Oregon? Let us know!
Times we have visited: 2 (So we feel pretty good about our rating.)
Overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same
Hawthorne Fish House
4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97215 / 503.548.4434