Seafood eatery takes special care to be eco-friendly
Here’s a real fish story for you.
It’s not about the ones that got away, but about the millions and millions of fish that have been caught, threatening to decimate their fragile populations.
When a seafood becomes trendy, it is often over-fished to satisfy public demand and winds up on the lists of conservation organizations as a species in danger. Chilean sea bass is a good example.
Others are grouper, monkfish, orange roughy, redfish, Atlantic sea scallops and swordfish, to name a few.
I had red snapper about a month ago, not realizing it was on a list somewhere, and that it is not nearly as plentiful as when I was growing up near the Gulf of Mexico.
These are things you don’t have to worry about at Fins Grill. All of the seafood is rated wild, natural and not endangered.
The goal at Fins is sustainability, from the healthy food they serve to the tableware it’s presented on.
Now residents of Grand Junction, owners Ron Hegge — with 30 years of experience in commercial fishing in Alaska and Oregon — and his wife Judy opened Fins Grill in March.
The not-so-fancy location is in a strip mall on Horizon Drive. You order at the counter and are served at simple tables inside or on the small patio.
The plates aren’t china, or even sturdy restaurant dishes. Instead, the dinnerware resembles ordinary throw-away plates and utensils. But looks are deceiving. All of the “disposables” are made from potato or corn products that are compostable.
Fins serves mostly wild seafood from Alaska, but offers natural chicken as an option in many dishes.
Most appetizing among the appetizers is Judy’s sweet potato and leek chowder with house-smoke salmon. Or, you could munch on some steamed edamame.
The lunch menu includes grilled fillets, tacos and sandwiches, with Alaskan cod or chicken.
Sides are a combo of sea-salted Yukon gold and sweet potato fries, rice with pine nuts, a green salad or green beans.
What I call Greek-style, the fresh beans are prepared with tomatoes, onions and roasted garlic. Those, and the Baja fish tacos with tropical fruit slaw that I decided on were consumed in a heartbeat.
My husband’s eyes lit up when he heard he could have his cod fillet grilled with teriyaki sauce. He loved it. Other options include Cajun spice or straight-up with olive oil and lemon.
The dinner menu provides a little more variety, with Alaskan salmon, ocean scallops, halibut, Ahi tuna and a USDA Choice black angus beef 10-ounce ribeye. Dinner is served with a choice of two above-mentioned side dishes.
Very few items are fried, but they’ve recently added fish and chips as a Saturday-night special, which was a frequent customer request.
Lest they waste a single item, the zero trans-fat oils at the restaurant are recycled as bio-diesel.
Somebody should come up with a less clinical description than sustainable. Earth-friendly, maybe? Nah, needs some thought. Where are the clever advertising people when we need them?
The laudable goal at Fins is that everything be healthy. Healthy for the ocean, for the planet and for the human.
BOBA WHAT? Bowing to customer demand, Thai Chili & Pho has added a popular Taiwan-style smoothie to the menu. Called boba slush or bubble tea, it is made from creamy tea, fruit and tapioca pearls. The little round balls you remember from tapioca make for an interesting sensation in the mouth. Thai Chili has strawberry, peach, mango and pineapple on the menu.
QUOTE: “Fish, to taste right, must swim three time — in water, in butter and in wine.”
— Polish proverb
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