The Vision for Pajo’s
The Move Towards Sustainability
Pajo’s is a Steveston institution and takes its role of leading by example quite seriously. The Branch family and Andrew decided that the best course of action was for Pajo’s to become part of the Ocean Wise program and promote the importance of sustainability. However, they felt it was one of those things that you either go all the way or not at all. So, while it did take almost two years of working with their various suppliers to make it happen, Pajo’s only serves fish that is 100% sustainable. In fact, they are the only fish & chips restaurant in the Lower Mainland that is 100% Ocean Wise certified.
While it makes for a good marketing strategy, Pajo’s felt this was simply the right thing to do. In the past, if there was inexpensive halibut to be had at wholesale, it would be purchased because that’s the way it has always been. There wasn’t the information we have access to nowadays how our purchasing decisions have potentially long-last effects. With the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program slowly becoming a part of everyday conversation, businesses and consumers are more aware that their decisions have an impact. Andrew informed me that Pajo’s still receives offers from fishermen who offer a great deal on some fish, but if it’s not sustainable, it’s not going to set foot in their kitchens.
Local, Local, Local
Fish & Chips
More Reasons to Visit
Even though the fish & chips are the bread & butter of Pajo’s, they continue to develop their menu and offer something for everyone. Andrew’s pride and joy is their new seafood chowder and I certainly tasted why. Until recently, they had a chowder that by their own admission wasn’t as good as it could be. Well, they don’t have to worry about that anymore. Their new seafood chowder definitely trumps their previous chowder. It was fantastic and chock-full with chunks of fish, clams and corn which provided a nice crunchy texture.
Pajo’s also didn’t have a salad until recently, but they solved that problem with a Roasted Garlic Salmon Caesar. I was skeptical that a salad needed to be on the menu of a fish & chips joint, but I became a believer. If need be, with a couple squeezes of lemon, that salmon salad would satisfy even the hungriest of carnivores.
With almost 30 years behind them, Pajo’s continues to honour their past, but continues to move forward and lead by example.