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Have you ever wandered the city with the strange desire to eat divey British food in a divey setting, served by divey guys with Jason Statham accents pulled right from the extras pool of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels who alternate between taking your order like they're doing you a favor and yelling at the football game on the telly? Yeah, me either. But Pike, Bossette an Shoulders met me in the West Village for some pre-David Cross chowin', and there we were, standing in A Salt & Battery, sucking down more fried food than could possibly be considered acceptable by either my waistline or the Surgeon General.

One thing is for sure, you get a lot of food. I ordered the small and it was massive. But if the size of the food is huge, the size of A Salt & Battery itself is very small. Don't expect tables as there are none. Be comfortable standing because you'll be less comfortable sitting on the stools. Be comfortable having everyone hear your conversation, because you'll be standing so close to them that they couldn't help but listen. I, for one, got to listen to two guys gripe about resumes. Finally, and this only applies to me, tourists, and girls night outers, taking pics in here was so awkward you just can't help but be conspicuous. (Dear girl in photo below: see, I blocked you eyes, just like you asked? I'm such a gentleman...).

A few varieties of fish are available on the menu and I went for the Haddock with Chips. Pike opted for the combo basket including Shrimp. Add to this mountain of food, the onion rings and this was a heart attack waiting to happen. Add a couple of bottles of Bass and we were still keepin' it cheap. Bossette and Shoulders ordered the Cod and the Baked Beans. Shoulders liked the baked beans, which were vegetarian for those concerned, and he and Bossette had good opinions of their cod. Same with Pike and his combo. My thoughts were that they were good (especially having recently had the attempt at fish and chips by the nearby Gansevoort 69) but I wasn't blown away. The truth is, no one was swooning.

There just seems to have been a lot of jeans-creaming over the AS&B fish and chips lately, thanks in large part to their having beaten Bobby Flay in a cook-off. But honestly, they weren't really necessarily any better or worse than the fish and chips that I've had elsewhere. I mean, you typically use a bland white fish in fish and chips to begin with, and you don't get much more bland than haddock. It's a fish that needs seasoning just to remind you it exists, lest it become omega-3-rich air. So you drown it in batter and douse it with vinegar like it's on fire and suddenly, dinner appears. Is that dinner good? Yeah. Is it fun, yeah? Do I think it would be featured in Elle magazine as a place where the rich and famous can slum it without having to walk too far from the comfort of Meatpacking without the cute name? No.

I returned soon thereafter (the next day) for lunch and ordered a Steak and Kidney Pie. Steak and kidney pies are so infrequently on menus on here on the Leftern Atlantic, probably because most Americans would shy away (eeeewww, kidneys!) so it's the natural thing to try. Hell, I ate heart the other day, might as well keep going (look out, haggis). The pie wasn't great, but it was good. A little dry, but with a little help from my friends malt vinegar and ketchup, all was well.

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