As with Adelbertos, most cities have their Fish & Chips clones. The Sacramento area most notably has Tugboat Fish & Chips, which they have scattered all over. I used to go to the one at Sierra College & Douglas until it went out of business some years ago. The remaining fish & chips joint in Roseville is called Anchor’s Fish & Chips and seems to be independently owned and family run. It’s located on Harding Blvd at Estates Dr. next to McDonalds and across from Wise Buys in what must have been an old Taco Bell, based on the building design.
Inside, each table has one of those hand drawn fun/touristy maps of cities like New York, San Francisco, LA, etc. Checking those out is a good way to kill some time till your order is brought out to you. The order taking process is a simple one, the very nice owner (I’m assuming she and her husband are the owners as they are usually there) writes everything down on a order slip, calculates your total on a calculator, rings you up on a simple register and then takes the slip back to the kitchen. No fancy touch-screen point of sale equipment here. For beverages they have Pepsi fountain products, some other bottles sodas like including Dr Pepper, a small selection of beer both on tap and in bottles, and some other varying options like Sobe and energy drinks.
Long ago I found that I prefer the fish, clams and chips combo to everything else. About a year ago I went off my normal order and got their appetizer of deep-fried mushrooms to give them a shot and was a bit put off when I bit into one and realized that’s truly all they were. I had wrongly anticipated a stuffed mushroom of some sort, but it was just a big mushroom, battered and fried. Pretty boring. So I stick with my usual.
I like this place quite a bit, but as I type this I’m finding it hard to articulate why. The food is somewhat bland on it’s own. I eat everything here (fish, clams & fries) with ketchup, and use a fairly generous amount of it, more so than any other food I can think of. The fries are very boring, and the only time I will finish them is when I am very hungry. The fish and clams are mostly defined by the batter. The fish has a light but very crispy batter while the clams have a much heavier, almost corn-dog batter. The clams do actually taste decent on their own and I have no problem gathering up every last little piece that’s too small for dipping and eating them plain. Perhaps it’s just a comfort food type of thing, I’ve liked fish & chips since I was a kid.
Of all the clones I’ve been to, this is easily my favorite because they are very consistent with how crispy they fry everything. The Tugboat in Rancho Cordova is not very good. The fish, clams and fries are often too soft, on the verge of underdone. They aren’t very friendly, and they have the tiniest little cups for dipping sauce. Here they give you a good sized paper serving ‘boat’ for your tarter sauce, cocktail sauce or ketchup. My big complaint about Anchor’s is that their fountain soda is extraordinarily weak. I got the soda this time to confirm that it’s still watered down, and it is. I think I only drank about a third of it. I could just get a bottle of Dr Pepper here, but I’m sure the cost is more than I’d like to pay, and my meal already comes close to $10 as it is. I usually will just go next door to McDonalds to get a large, cheap soda and then sit at one of their few outside tables so I don’t feel bad about bringing in outside drinks.
Though I enjoy the food here, objectively I must give them a 3 out of 5. The food, while always fresh and hot, is highly dependent on dipping sauces, and the fountain sodas need a lot of adjustment.