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Red Mill Totem House



Prawns & Chips

There was a time in my life when stopping by Totem House Seafood and Chowder was a fairly regular occurrence. We’d grab a couple of orders of fish and chips and head to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (more often called the Ballard Locks) to watch the activity. Boating traffic before or after events like the 4th of July fireworks on Lake Union or the Seafair Hydro races was heavy and often extremely entertaining. Boaters not familiar with the locks learned the ropes, so to speak, or sometimes those having partied a little too hardy caused all kinds of commotion with their impared boating skills. Even when it’s just normal traffic it’s always an interesting place to spend an afternoon.

Totem House closed their doors at the end of 2010. A few months later the folks behind Red Mill Burgers, announced they had leased the location and were planning to open it as a combination burger and fish and chips restaurant. It’s been open for several months as Red Mill Totem House. Red Mill Burgers has a very loyal following in this city but I wondered if they’d also be able to pull off the seafood part of the combination.

On Sunday I stopped in, grabbed an order of prawns and chips and made my way to a grassy spot overlooking the locks.

The prawns were decent, not anything to knock your socks off.  The breading was crispy and not too heavy; they were not greasy; the Thai Sweet Chili sauce that came with them was good.  My fries were a little soggy but that was primarily due to having them wrapped up with the prawns “to-go”.  It took me 5 or 10 minutes to get settled at the locks, so the fries would have been steaming that whole time.  They were wrapped so well that my prawns were still warm when I unwrapped them.

Making a special trip to eat here is not recommended but if you are nearby or want to grab a picnic to go for the locks or even for Golden Gardens this is a decent option.

Red Mill Totem House
3058 NW 54th St
Ballard – Directly across from the Ballard Locks

Red Mill Totem House (Ballard) on Urbanspoon


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