The Fish Fry Showdown: <br/>Local SD Beer Batter vs. Cornmeal Dusted

The Reel

01 May 2020

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We love weekends that are all about good friends and the freshest catch. Whether you like your fish soaked with malt vinegar, dipped in tartar sauce or au natural, we cast our nets to produce exciting fish fry dinners for you! Fish fries began

as a communal celebration to unite people during the Catholic observance of Lent which requires members to abstain from meat. These fish fries proved to be such a fun, social gathering that they spread further into the community and in many areas of the country are considered a geographical tradition.

The Key to a Great Fish Fry?

The details matter in fish fry catering. In addition to having the freshest in-season fish and the perfect coldest local beer you need a great fish fry batter!


Do you know why we batter? Batters are dry out in a particularly graceful way as they cook. Rather than burning, a nice batter forms a delicately crispy crust that provides substance and crunch- perfect for holding hot sauce or your toppings of choice!

When we go cornmeal:

We tend to use a cornmeal crust when we cook fresh water fish like catfish and tilapia. Cornmeal is also our go-to for most southern style fish fries regardless of the specific fish type. Pacific Cod also goes pretty well anything and a cornmeal crust works great here too. By hand grinding corn meal we are able to suit any preparation. If your idea of fun is cornmeal crusted fish we can make it great every time.

Local beers well suited for frying fish.

Reel & Ranch always has fresh, local, in-season white fish on the menu. We source straight from local fishermen and deep fry it until golden brown. When we use beer batter we choose lagers, ales & sometimes even stouts. San Diego is fortunate to have easy access to the best craft brewed beer in America. Our beer selection changes regularly but these are a few of our absolute favorites.


San Diego Pale Ale .394 (AleSmith): In 2014, Tony Gwynn’s team approached AleSmith to create a distinctive beer for the baseball legend. The result of the Gwynn family’s feedback rendered a golden pale ale full of American hop flavor and aroma, with a subdued bitterness and a malty sweet finish. San Diego Pale Ale .394 pays tribute to the city “Mr. Padre” loved with a portion of sales proceeds going to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation.


Black House Oatmeal Coffee Stout (Modern Times): Modern Times is one of the only breweries in the world to roast our own coffee, which allows them to be exceptionally picky about which coffees they use and how they roast them. The result is an abundantly flavorful beer that’s incredibly complex and aromatic, with loads of roast character and a chocolate-covered espresso bean finish.


La Flama Blanca Pale Mexican Lager (Thr3e Punk Ales): A tip of the cap and shout out to our brother, chef Joe Mizzoni of Pinche Guero Tacos in Lake Havasu. Crisp, refreshing, impressive body, along with a great balance of sweet malt character and hop bitterness. Flaked maize gives just a hint of corn flake flavor. This might be the perfect fish fry beer.


Depending on the season, we source snapper, rockfish, cod, catfish and other great white fish for our popular fish fry catering. Sustainability is key – check out our blogs on Sustainable Sourcing & Seasonal Seafood to learn more!


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