Fish Daddy's – Sometimes Good is Good Enough

By on September 29, 2010

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.

Fish Daddy’s
10624 E 71st St
307-1388
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)

Fish Daddy's Seafood Grill on Urbanspoon

Brian Schwartz:

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.

Brian Schwartz

About Brian Schwartz

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.

0 Comments

  1. Brian Schwartz

    September 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Let me just say a word in praise of the service. We were welcomed at the door by a friendly hostess. We were served by a competent, attentive and very professional waiter. Never for a moment did we feel neglected. With two exceptions (Wolfgang Puck and Bodean’s), I can’t think of a single top restaurant in Tulsa about which I could say the same.

  2. Tulsa Food Guy

    September 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Cheap and large quantities. Not the best, but not bad either.

  3. Russell

    September 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Brian, I have tried this place twice and have not been impressed. The last time they actually served me practically raw fish. Though they apologized, and offered to re-cook it, they did not offer to take it off my bill.

  4. Chris

    September 30, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Their food is terrible

    • Carol

      October 4, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Chris, please explain. Just saying something is terrible as a blanket answer doesn’t mean a thing. Please qualify your answer.

  5. Carol

    October 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I like to read reviews, I just don’t care for incomplete ones. Thanks for the opportuniuty to add my 2 cents.

  6. Tulsa_ld

    October 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    -Service was good enough on two visits there, but both times the food disappointed.

    I am not a very efficient or effective describer of things, but the sides were obviously not prepared fresh and the fried fish on the second trip was not cooked enough. I believe this was the time i ordered fish and chips, and they used another fish besides cod or haddock…i don’t think it was tilapia, maybe catfish? either way, not pleasing and not cooked appropriately.

    The first visit i had a grilled salmon that was average, but without sufficient herbal seasoning.

    I’d rather go to Bodeans, Whiteriver, etc. Glad you had an enjoyable experience, though.

    • Brian Schwartz

      October 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      Oh of course we’d sooner go to Bodean’s. That’s like someone finding a nice painting in a garage sale, and you saying, I’d rather own a Rembrandt. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it.

      • Tulsa_ld

        October 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

        -I understand the point, but no one can afford a Rembrandt. Instead of going to someplace like Fish Daddy’s, most working class folks with a eating-out budget could save yer money another week and you can go to eat at Bodeans. The gumbo at White River costs less than a McDonalds meal nowadays. Spring another two bucks and you get some fairly tasty hush puppies to boot.

        I guess i’d rather save up and go someplace worth the money to me personally than settle. To each his own. Again, glad you had a good experience.

        Have a good day.

        Tulsa_ld

  7. Anthony

    October 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I have eaten here about 3 different times. I would just have to say that the food is bland to say the least. Everything tasted like seafood base and was overseasoned. I had the fish and chips last time and the batter on the fish was soggy like it had been sitting under a heat lamp way too long. I would just say 1 out of 5 on my list.

  8. Danny B

    October 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    This review got me thinking…I am shocked that there has been no review of White River Fish Market on this blog!

    • Brian Schwartz

      October 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

      You’re right, there isn’t a review of White River. I used to go to White River Fish Market quite often, but not in a few years. I’ll have to go on back someday soon and remedy that. Meanwhile, here’s a short review I wrote about 2 years ago of White River Fish Market, so if someone searches for White River Fish Market, they will at least find something:

      Okay it’s hardly a new restaurant but when I went there late last year I found it as good as ever. In fact, I liked it better than the other time I went. The first time I had the broiled flounder ($13.40), a whole fish that looked beautiful on the plate but yielded a few juicy delicious morsels and not much else. This time I had a fried platter ($13), with catfish scallops and shrimp. They have a knack with frying and it was very good indeed. Okay, I have had fried fish done better, but I wasn’t complaining as I ate every bit of the huge portion. One of my friends had the broiled salmon ($16)and it didn’t look very exciting but it had a surprisingly good flavor.

      You walk in, and there’s a counter next to a display case of fish. You order at the counter — basically you choose what kind of fish you want, and whether you want it broiled, grilled, or fried. You can even pick the fish you want from the showcase. Then you choose two sides. Please choose the onion rings. They are awesome. You then go pick a table in a big airy room with lots of tables… .and lots of diners, and a waitress will bring your food in short order. As you leave you might want to do what I did, which was to order a quart of gumbo ($6.50) from the retail counter on the other side of the dining room.

    • Brian Schwartz

      October 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

      I took your suggestion. I went there and wrote a review.

      http://tulsafood.com/seafood/white-river-fish-market-restaurant

      White River has vastly improved and now lives up to its excellent reputation.

  9. JimMorgan

    September 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    All I can say is, PLEASE open one of these in Wichita Kansas!!!! Awesome place
    Jim

  10. Greg Good

    April 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I had dinner at FD’s and it was excellent. Fresh salmon was fresh and delicious . Fried shrimp looked tasty. Key lime was best I have ever tasted. Prices were excellent. The place was packed so I suggest going early.

  11. Sammy Smith

    September 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Let’s just say FIsh Daddy’s Grill House is good at serving minors..

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