Is On the Hook’s fish and chips food truck worth the wait?

by Nick Gonzales

Back in early December, I saw on Facebook that an On the Hook fish and chips food truck was parking itself on the south end of Durango. My interest was piqued.

Sure, Durango has a wide variety of places to eat, but any time someone wants to add something new to the mix, I’m on board. Unfortunately, I got distracted — fish and chips isn’t such a draw that I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to get it — and missed the truck entirely. When it returned for the day on Jan. 29, though, I made time to try it.

On the Hook is actually a fleet of food trucks based in Laramie, Wyoming, but is covering a large chunk of the western U.S., including Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If the last couple of months is the norm, they return to a city our size about once a month. In Durango and Pagosa Springs, they set up shop in the parking lots of each town’s Tractor Supply Co.

The menu is simple. A meal includes three pieces of hand-dipped cod, beer-battered fries, Heinz ketchup, tartar sauce, and Sriracha mayo. You can mess around with the quantities of each thing that they give you, but that’s all they’ve got.

According to the company’s website, the cod is wild and line-caught in Alaska before being headed, gutted, and flash frozen. The founders apparently came up with the idea for the business while studying at the University of Wyoming in 2016.

How was the food, you ask?

The fries, *ahem* … chips were pretty decent. No complaints here. They were definitely better than an average fast-food fry, but they weren’t, like, mind-blowing.

The fish, on the other hand, was surprisingly good. Keeping in mind that we’re talking about fish and chips, which is inherently a street food, it was quite satisfying. The batter was crispy, all-encompassing, and flavorful. Biting into it revealed flaky, juicy, white fish. For what it is — fried fish and potatoes — the meal wasn’t as greasy as it could have been.

The house-made tartar sauce was a pretty basic tartar sauce. I only took about two bites of fish with it, mostly because the Sriracha mayo was much more appealing. While it was more mayo than Sriracha, it was a little bit spicy, and easily the best of the three dipping sauces provided. (I’m including the Heinz ketchup in that equation — after all, John Lennon smothered his in it.) I dipped my fries in the Sriracha mayo as well.

As an American from a landlocked state, I can’t say that fish and chips as a meal holds a special place in my heart, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for On the Hook’s return to the area.

Nick Gonzales


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