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The Fish Peddler

Not a seafood market anymore, get in there ...

Once a bustling seafood market, now a great spot to dine. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

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ANNOUNCER: Nearly a year after replacing the fresh fish market with a bar space, the Fish Peddler on Dock street in Tacoma continues to draw diners to the Foss Waterway. Though the market is gone, fresh seafood continues to drive the menu, the cozy space and patio on the water remain. Dutch and Jackie step through the doors for the first time since the remodel.

DUTCH: January weather made my visit an indoor visit only, but even from the window, I love the waterway during a good winter storm. And nothing satisfies better than a warm, creamy, bowl of clam chowder and a pint of a favorite dark ale. The house-made chowder is full of large pieces of razor clams, rustic potato chunks, and celery in a creamy broth. Each spoonful is guaranteed to have a full balance of all the flavor. I have to admit that I like a little kick, and so I made good use of the bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table.

JACKIE: Foss Waterway is one of my favorite strolling spaces for its proximity to the water and while you can hear buzzing of the freeway nearby, it manages to feel calm and detached from the usual grind. During the winter season the chowder is definitely the way to start any meal! Also try their Bloody Mary. The foundation is the same as any other, but it's a snack all by itself, garnished to the max with a pepperoncini, olive, baby clam, shrimp, sausage bite, cheese and pickled asparagus! Whew, it was a sight to see!

DUTCH: There is an abundance of fresh seafood options on the menu ranging from fried oysters to grilled fillets of the daily catch. I went with the traditional route of fish and chips, but did upgrade myself from cod to halibut. The thick halibut is surrounded by a crunchy beer batter made with Mac & Jacks Amber Ale that managed to stay crispy throughout my meal. I haven't always found this success at other locations. There are plenty of flavor complements to go along with the fish, including a horseradish tartar sauce and a pineapple/jalapeno coleslaw that offered a nice sweet and spicy kick to an otherwise subtle halibut flavor. Additionally, the fries were hot and crisp with plenty of salt for flavor.

JACKIE: I was feeling indecisive so I opted for a smorgasbord of appetizers to satiate my seafood craving. The Seafood Nachos are much like most nachos with corn chips layered with melted cheese (real cheese, not that liquid stuff) but adds bay shrimp and clumps of lobster and crab meat throughout. Topped with pico de gallo and served with a side of sour cream and salsa, it's a tasty snack that's just a small twist on a classic. I also dove into the Bulgogi Street Tacos. These were surprisingly scrumptious! With a kimchi slaw, sriracha aioli and sesame pickled cucumbers, there's loads of flavor in every bite. My one complaint is that the meat is cut in big chunks making it hard to devour within the confines of a tortilla. And my favorite was the Seafood Dip. Dungeness Crab, house-smoked steelhead and bay shrimp come baked in ooey-gooey, cheesy galore. I greedily scooped the goods into my face one corn chip at a time.

DUTCH: Seafood isn't the only thing on the menu worth noting. The chicken club and Hawaiian BBQ pork sandwich is a tasty option for those not craving seafood. The chicken club incorporates a cilantro avocado aioli that makes this unique from other club sandwiches. The pulled pork sandwich adds the aforementioned pineapple/jalapeno slaw to traditional Kalua pork. There's really something for everyone who enjoys good food and a great view.

JACKIE: There really is, Dutch.

THE FISH PEDDLER, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily, 1199 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.627.2158,

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