After a little more than a year of construction and permitting delays, Aaron Peterson, who grew up in Northeast Portland and attended John Adams High School, has finally opened 42nd Ave. Fish & Chips at 5302 N.E. 42nd Ave. in the Cully neighborhood. Peterson is owner and founder of the shop. His business partner, Cedric Burton, also grew up in the neighborhood and is also an Adams alum.
Peterson had great success with his previous shop, Alberta St. Fish and Chips – which operated from 1451 N.E. Alberta St. in the Vernon neighborhood for a little over a year – until the property was purchased by Ndamukong Suh’s family for a mixed-use development. Peterson’s new space is larger, brighter and offers a rack of comic books for reading while diners wait for their meals.
“We did good business over there,” said Peterson. “It was disappointing when we got the 90-day notice and we had to get out. We had a good recipe and we had a nice following. We got this building in Cully with a five-year lease and a five-year option, so we’ll be here for ten years. We didn’t want to be in the same situation – month-to-month – that we were in on Alberta Street. Some day, hopefully, we’ll be able to buy the building.”
Peterson serves three types of fish at the 42nd Ave. shop – basa – a Vietnamese species of catfish – tilapia and cod. All are prepared with a custom cornmeal batter he has fine-tuned over the years. Side orders include house-made greens, potato salad and coleslaw. Specials include a catfish nugget basket and a shrimp combo basket. Desserts – frequently homemade pound cake – beer and wine are also available. Peterson’s unique cornmeal-breaded recipe was inspired by his mother, who used a similar method to prepare fish for his family when he was a boy.
“I wanted to do something like my mom’s,” said Peterson. “So I came up with this recipe and I tried it and tried it and tried it – until it came out with the perfect taste. Not too salty. Not too sweet. People eat it and they like it.”
Peterson and Burton are delighted to be back in the neighborhood they grew up in.
“Even though our fish was real, real popular on Alberta Street, the parking situation was bad,” said Peterson. “When we opened up here, the neighborhood welcomed us with open arms, you know? The mix of folks coming in is great. Everybody comes in, sits down, enjoys themselves and enjoys the fish. That’s what I like about this neighborhood.”
The shop is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. except on Sundays, when they are open 12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
For more information, call 503-477-5312 or visit www.42ndavefishandchips.com.