Reportedly, Joey the owner starts his day at 1:30am with a few rounds of boxing—or the equivalent—so, by the time he serves me his fish plate special of deep fried cod, whiting and shrimp along with seasoned french fried potatoes in a brown, 9 panel waxed cardboard box, he is already pulling himself into his 13th hour of the day, and it is only lunch time.
I eat in two memorable fish shop / lunch joints—one on each coast—and Shipwreck is entirely different from the other, not only because of the types of fish that are sold but also because of the way they deep fry their fillets.
On the west coast, the batter is milky and puffs up in the high heat of the oil, making a crusty skin that stands proud of the fish it coats and which may be covered with delectable, nearly burned nubs and bits of crispy batter. If not cooked exactly right it is nearly inedible because the incompletely cooked batter deep inside that has survived the hot oil feels on the tongue like paste.
Joey’s on the east coast seems to use no batter at all; the coating hugs the fish tightly and appears to be more like a corn flour rub which results in a harder coating that almost, but not quite, crunches at first bite.
For around $12 Joey will make you an archetypal Brooklyn fish sandwich of grouper, bronzino, red snapper, whiting or cod which he buys fresh, every day.