I wanted to like it! I swear, I don't walk into these restaurants with any preconveived notions. However, I was trying to find a fishmonger, not a restaurant. (Have you ever noticed when you're looking for a butcher, you can type in "butcher" and get butchers, but when you type in "fishmonger" you get a bunch of shitty restaurants?) But, we were hungry anyway, so might as well try them out.
A little background: I order calamari everywhere I go. If it's on the menu, I want to try it. I have found two absolutely amazing places that make calamari as an appitizer: The RAM and Duke's Chowder House, both on Ruston Way in Tacoma. Masa on 6th Ave also makes a good variety (their food is excellent, by the way), and I've had them at other places as well that were delicious. But JJ's Fish House? Sigh.
JJ's Fish House - 18881 Front St. Poulsbo, WA 98370
The location is central to downtown Poulsbo, which is horrid in terms of parking. Even though they were sitting right at the central parking lot, we had to park far away and walk in. The wait staff were kind and very attentive, although we only arrived 30 minutes after they opened. We ate outside because it was nasty humid inside the restaurant, and if I think it's hot, then it's damn hot. (here's why)
Appitizer: Calamari - Fresh cut rings of bay squid with a light lemon pepper batter and choice of classic Marinara or Garlic Aioli dipping sauces.
It was the worst calamari I've ever had. Their batter was bland and tempura-like. They either over-fried or under-fried the squid, which leads to a very chewy texture. The "classic marinara" dipping sauce was watery and flavorless. The Garlic aioli was decent.
For lunch, I had:
SALMON FOCCACCIA SANDWICH
Delicate cold poached salmon fillet, dillsour cream aioli, capers, fresh sliced tomato and crispy greens on an open faced sun dried tomato foccaccia bread.
The bread was good. I liked it. I don't much care for the "open-face" concept (if I want a sandwich, I want a freaking sandwich) I assumed they would at least bring me the top piece so that if I wanted to eat it like a sandwich, I could. The bread was warm, but the salmon was cold. I know, that's how it comes. But as I was eating it (with a knife) I thought it would taste better if the salmon was warm. The aioli was tasty, and I loved the capers. All in all, not a bad dish. It certainly beat out the appitizer!
Would I come back? Not really. Not much on the menu really appealed to me. They seem like "the place to go" when in Poulsbo, but I just wasn't that impressed. I can handle food that tastes "good", if maybe not creative, but when they show that they can't fry calamari correctly, it's really disappointing!