Whatcom Magazine

Food and Drink: JoFish offers fresh fish in Lynden

JoFish Seafood & Grill in Lynden is the fourth fish-and-chips restaurant opened by Deana and David Haworth. Their first was in Atascadero, Calif., in 1990.

That’s one way of saying the Haworths have had time to perfect their approach to food, which is to keep it simple when you’ve got top-notch ingredients like their signature true cod.

The cod is caught by Lynden-based Alaskan Leader Fisheries from the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, using hook and line as part of a sustainable fishery, and frozen within two hours while at sea.

When it arrives at JoFish, David Haworth hand-cuts the cod — as he does with other fish served at the restaurant — for such dishes as fish tacos, fish sandwiches, and fish and chips.

“It’s important for us to get our fish in a whole form because of freshness,” he says. “I’m able to assure the freshness and I’m able to cut the portions in the exact manner that works best for us.”

David Haworth is demanding when it comes to fish.

“He’s not keeping it if it’s not top-notch,” Deana Haworth says.

JoFish makes its fish and chips by rolling the fish in a dry breading before deep-frying it for a delicate crunch in every bite. JoFish is the place for people who prefer fresh fish that isn’t hidden by puffy, greasy batter.

Their maritime-theme eatery — decorations include a ship’s wheel over the fireplace and a giant marlin over the kitchen —opened at 312 Front St. in November 2013. It’s a family-owned venture, with daughters Maleah and Lyndsey helping out, as well as son David.

If seafood isn’t to your taste, the restaurant also serves grass-fed hamburgers and grilled chicken.

The Haworths are proud of their award-winning clam chowder, which is rich with a taste of smokiness from the bacon, and a cheesecake using a friend’s recipe — drizzled with chocolate and topped with raspberries —that’s so good they just call it the “best cheesecake ever” on the menu.

As for the restaurant’s name, JoFish is how their son David, when he was 2, pronounced his middle name Joseph. Their son’s nickname also made sense as a restaurant name, given their focus.

JoFish is open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Contact: 360-922-0187 and on Facebook.