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Fish Daddy's – Sometimes Good is Good Enough
Sometimes good is good enough. If you want the best fried catfish you can imagine, make the drive to Bixby and head for Lazy Fisherman (Review). For the best Cajun food, go to Lafayette, Louisiana or to Chicory & Chives (Review), it’s up to you. But if you’re cruising around the superstore zone at 71st and Memorial, and you want both of the above and you want it now, head on over to Fish Daddy’s.
Though owned by a chain, Cheddar’s, Fish Daddy’s is pretty much unique. (There’s now a second branch near Austin, Texas.) The prices are low, and the ambiance is a bit more elegant than you might expect. Have a look.
That was lunchtime, the place was packed, there was a line to get in. We got a table in the corner and started off with “Killer Calamari” ($5) and Jalapeno Hushpuppies ($1). Not quite a killer, but both quite good. The nicely fried calamari came nestled in a hard taco shell. A nice start, and then came the meal. I ordered a Fried Catfish and Shrimp Combo ($10), and for my two sides I chose corn and baked potato. And so a mountain of food was brought to me.
The fish and shrimp were fresh, well-cooked and flavorful. But the cornmeal breading lacked crispness and flavor. Perhaps Lazy Fisherman has spoiled me. Still, along with the corn, which did have crispness and flavor, and the nice baked potato, it made a satisfying meal. The catfish also comes in a sandwich, appropriately called Big Fish Sandwich ($6), and that’s a nice choice too.
Steer towards anything more complex, though, and it’s a crapshoot. Two of my friends ordered gumbo ($4), and what came was vegetable soup with a lot of black pepper thrown in. They’d shoot you for that in Louisiana. We also got an order of Broiled Stuffed Shrimp ($10), which was shrimp, a little dried out by broiling but still good, smeared with a paste of minced crab. Not bad, but not memorable either.
My friends later told me that they were disappointed with their meal. I liked mine just fine. As I said at the beginning, sometimes good is good enough.
10624 E 71st St
Menu: http://assets.shopbrazos.com/menus/45463.pdf (this is the menu of the Texas branch, but it’s almost identical to the Tulsa restaurant’s)
Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com
I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola.
“A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.