The recent newspaper ad caught our attention: “Keep calm. We are under new ownership.”
Egad! Nobody called to tell us. Turns out the time-tested Streets of London Pub has simplified its name to Streets, expanded its menu and slicked-up its logo to show profiles of Sacramento’s Tower Bridge and the Tower Bridge in London.
The website quotes the new owner: “’We’re kind of just expanding on what this place has already,’ said Thaddeus Johnson, who took ownership of the business Sept. 25 after serving as its general manager for the last year.”
Good for him, but we did have a concern: How would the changeover affect the pub’s four-star fish ’n’ chips? We went on a mission to find out.
We walked in and took a booth by a window. The pub seemed to be its usual self — dark wood, red brick, dart boards, well-stocked bar, many beers on tap. The Scotch egg, Cornish pasty and bangers ’n’ mash were intact, but we wondered if you’d really find a Southwest veggie wrap or ground-beef tacos in, say, Norwich or Portsmouth. But we’re in California, aren’t we?
We settled on a “full order” of “legendary” beer-battered Icelandic cod and twice-cooked fries ($12; half for $7.50) and, just to be safe, a basket of beer-battered shrimp ($12).
Lunch arrived. The hefty fillet of fish was moist, flaky-tender and steaming hot, so good that it really didn’t need the sweetish tartar sauce (made with pickle relish) or the malt vinegar served with it. The house-made batter includes Newcastle Ale as an ingredient.
The “shrimp” were actually sizable prawns — sweet and tender, with a pop to the bite. Don’t ruin them with cocktail sauce.
“Somebody here knows what they’re doing,” said the lunch pal.
The appropriately prepared hand-cut fries (from Kennebec potatoes) were marvelous — crispy on the outside, creamy in the middle, nicely seasoned with salt and pepper. The spuds are first blanched, then deep-fried. “I love them too much and need to stop eating them now,” the lunch pal added, halfway through the pile.
Good — more for me.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.