Downriggers on the San Juan Islands

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 
I get excited over food, so when hubs and I made our way to Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands during our Washington state trip, I really wanted to try Coho as it is known for local and fresh ingredients.
Unfortunately, Coho was closed during our day trip, so we found another local stop - Downriggers.  They too serve local and fresh ingredients, and being right off the harbor, they are hard to miss (ignore the fact that hubby and I walked all the way around the town only to end up steps away from our original location...sigh...)
We were seated right at the window overlooking the harbor.  This is where I decided that if (or as hubs says, "when") we have a boat, I'll be naming her "Curiouser & Curiouser."  Love my Disney.

There were so many great seafood starters to choose from, but I settled on a cup of the chowder that hubby and I could share.  New England style, it was creamy and rich.  Fresh clams from across the island filled the bowl to it's brim, and the buttery soup warmed my belly.  It wasn't as thick as I like my chowder, but pretty close.

For lunch, hubs ordered the halibut fish and chips - he couldn't resist the fresh halibut versus the cod option (though I'm sure the cod was also fresh.)  A generous portion of tempura battered fish was piled high on fries which were crisp and seasoned well, but the fish was the star of this plate.  Though the batter was golden fried to perfection, he striped most of it all just to get to the halibut.  This halibut was fantastic - cooked well for sure.  Hubs even said he wished he hadn't gotten it fried, and that he could have eaten more of it (and I concur!)

I ordered these beautiful boys....

Don't they make you drool?

Not only were these fresh blue mussels perfectly steamed, but the broth and their juices combined may have been the best broth I've ever had.  So simple, but the combination of a good white wine, butter, garlic and onions can create an amazing broth that you just have to order bread to soak it up.  And I did, I ordered myself some bread to soak up this amazing juice.  I was dipping my fries in it - anything I could get my hands on.

It was a great lunch - perfect way to welcome us to the island before heading out to a winery for the afternoon.

What is your favorite type of seafood to enjoy and what one word would you use to describe it?