The best fish dinners ever

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Have you ever eaten a fish dinner so good you’ve remembered it the rest of your life?

Which fish dinners do you remember? Here’s my list, in no specific order ...

Walleye. My all-time favorite walleye dinner was fresh nuggets at the North Dakota home of a friend who had guided some writers on Lake Oahe that afternoon.

Perch. Wife Nan’s perch fresh perch recipe with special red sauce.

Clam Chowder. Can’t remember the name of the restaurant in downtown Cannon Beach, Oregon, but it was raining and we’d already spent a week sampling chowder from Newport to Astoria.

Lingcod. My favorite fish taste in all the world! We didn’t keep many on a trip to Port Hardy, British Columbia, but, when I returned home, Nan deep fat fried some fillets. Bests ever!

Butterfish. A tie between that little divey spot on Maui and the open-air place on stilts in Placencia, Belize. I’ve been told a butterfish really isn’t a species of fish but rather a “recipe” of goop to cook over the fillet of a fatty fish.

Seafood Buffet. No debate here. Don’t remember the name of the restaurant (pretty fancy) but their seafood buffet was spectacular. Not typical, everything is fried stuff, but many choices, many preps.

Awesome opportunity to compare tastes of marine shellfish. At the greatest seafood buffet I’ve ever paid for, my daughter ordered mac and cheese!

Lobster. Another tie. Between lobster mac and cheese (my choice) at that little bayside place in Kennebunkport, Maine, and buying fresh lobsters from shack near coast, then boiling them at my daughter’s in-laws. Juicy, messy, but—oh, soooo, good!

Frog legs. Ya, I know — not fish. But if you’ve ever eaten at one of those “All-You-Can Eat” Friday nights at the Riverview, right on the shore of the Mississippi River in McGregor, Iowa, you’d know why these frog legs made the list!

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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