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Restaurant Review: Smokin Fins, Fort Collins, Colorado

Written By | Mar 28, 2017

@Ron Stern All rights reserved

Fort Collins, Colorado March 28, 2017– Is it really possible to have three restaurants under one roof and do it all well? Judging from the online reviews, the answer is yes at this extension of the Lucky Fins brand. Tucked into a corner at the gateway entrance of the newly remodeled Foothills Fashion Mall, Smokin Fins offers palate-tempting dishes of seafood, sushi, and barbecue.

What started as the restaurant concept Lucky Fins in Meridian, ID has now grown into six locations, including Boise, ID; Littleton, CO; and Chandler, AZ. The idea is to offer fresh ingredients using local fare to provide affordable seafood as well as burgers and sandwiches. Smokin Fins added a new dynamic of incorporating an industrial smoker to offer brisket, sausage, pork, and salmon.

Using their proprietary rubs, they create mouth-watering, tender meat that adds a wow factor to the experience many find here.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved

The décor is clean and modern with brick and wood-lined walls and a large, full service bar in the middle of the space. There is ample table and booth seating in a pleasant atmosphere overlooking the courtyard of the Foothills Fashion Mall.

Start with a libation such as the pineapple mule with Captain Morgan pineapple rum, pineapple juice, ginger beer, and mint ($9). They have quite a few starters but you should tread gently as the entrees are large and almost enough for two.

You can tell the attention to detail that General Manager and Chef Justin Morris puts into his creations. Take their Key lime calamari, for instance ($11.99). This is sourced from the Town Dock in Port Judith, Rhode Island. Using a small fleet, this company provides sustainable seafood recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program and ensures that the highest quality production standards are followed.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved

For sushi, try the Mango Tango Roll ($13.99). No skimpy portions here as it is a meal in itself. This colorful concoction is chock full of tempura shrimp and crab and topped with avocado, panko, mango, eel sauce, spicy aioli, and a bit of heat from habanero masago.

You’ll have plenty of seafood choices but one of the most popular is the lemon caper halibut ($24.99). This is made with Alaskan halibut over their signature risotto with a lemon-caper beurre blanc sauce and fresh Roma tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved

Of course, don’t leave here without trying some of their smoked meats, which do change on a daily and weekly basis. But, one of their top selling items is the kālua pig ($13.99). The meat is slow smoked for 10 hours, blended with Dr. Pepper bourbon sauce, and accompanied by loaded mashed potatoes and house-made pinto beans.

If sushi, seafood, or smoked meats aren’t your thing, then give the 24 Hour Nashville Chicken a try ($14.99). This one is a local favorite and features a golden-fried chicken breast that is marinated for 24 hours in a secret blend of buttermilk and spices, including one that adds a little kick. It is served with mashed potatoes and house beans.

If you still have room for dessert, then their bread pudding, topped with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream is a good choice ($6.99). Made on site with chocolate chips instead of raisins, this bread pudding has made fans of non-bread pudding folks.

With all the tempting choices at Smokin Fins, one thing is certain; you won’t leave hungry. With great service, quality products, and attention to detail, Smokin Fins has upped the ante for excellent, affordable food in Ft. Collins.

Location: 327 E. Foothills Parkway; Fort Collins, CO 80525


Sunday- Thursday-11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Friday- Saturday- 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit, however, all opinions herein are the authors

Ron Stern

Ron Stern aka "The Global Gumshoe," I am a travel photojournalist and the author of hundreds of international and domestic travel articles. I am the Denver City Guide Editor for The Daily Meal, and a staff writer for Communities Digital News. My articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, San Diego Union-Tribune, Sun Sentinel, Yahoo News, MSN, and others. Magazines include Shape, Cruise, AAA Motorist, Visit Los Cabos Guide, Destinations West, Key Biscayne and La Jolla Today. My contributions have been noted by PBS, Mobil Travel Guides and my photography/ videography has been used extensively by entities such as tourism boards and public relations firms.