Hook’s Catfish Kitchen

   January 17, 2012 11:16 pm    0

 

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I have lived inEriesince 2003 and have never been to Hook’s Catfish Kitchen.  During my lunch break on Tuesday, I made my way to 38 North Park Row downtown with my co-worker Jenny Sholtis to get some food.  After spending five years at a location onBuffalo Road, Rahman Hooks moved his business to the downtown district.  Now, in their fourth year downtown, the business is booming.  Jenny and I got there around 12:15 and just beat the lunch rush.

There are paper menus at the counter, but there is a large board menu on the wall.  For fish choices, you have catfish (fillets or nuggets), monster whiting (fillets or nuggets), perch, walleye, and tilapia.  There is also a shrimp basket, chicken tenders, or chicken wings.  Seeing as how it’s called Catfish Kitchen, we both felt like we should get the house specialty.  All of the meals come with your choice of fries or onion rings as well as two pieces of white bread.  In addition to our fries and bread, I ordered a side of fried okra and Jenny got a split order of sweet corn nuggets and mac & cheese wedges.

We were the only people there when we placed our order, but by the time our food was done, there wasn’t a seat left.  Our food was served in Styrofoam containers for easy clean-up as well as take-home packaging.  We had a table right next to the counter so it gave Rahman an easy way to hand us our food as well as giving us easy access to the condiments (hot sauce, ketchup, vinegar, and ranch dressing).  You can ask for tartar sauce if you’d like, but you might get some weird looks in your direction when you do.

I started with our sides.  The fried okra was light and the frying got rid of the typically slimy texture. I put a little malt vinegar on it for a bite and then dipped them in either ranch or hot sauce as the meal continued.  Jenny’s sweet corn nuggets and mac & cheese wedges were great as well.  The corn was a cream style corn with a crunchy fried batter coating.  The sweetness of the corn mixed with the saltiness of the batter and a dip of hot sauce was perfect.  The mac & cheese was the same way.  The bites were super cheesy without being hard to eat.  The insides were molten hot so be careful when eating.  Using ketchup on these was my personal favorite.

The fish really was the star.  The fish is breaded and not battered like most fried fish places aroundErie.  The breading is a secret blend of flour, cornmeal, Cajun seasoning, and other spices. The cornmeal gave it some sweetness while the Cajun spices added all of the flavor.  At first, I was just ripping it apart with my hands, but then I proceeded to make small sandwiches with the slices of white bread.  I covered the fish in both malt vinegar and hot sauce which really makes the flavors explode.  The slices of bread gave the fish body and made it easier to eat.  The thinner parts of the fish got extra crispy and were delicious.  Next time, I would ask for the entire filet to be fried longer to make it crispier, but it really was fantastic as is.

My two filets with fries and okra was $12.50 and Jenny’s single filet with mac & cheese wedges was $7.50.  A full lunch for $20 was well worth it.  They are cash only so remember to stop at an ATM before you go.  Although everything was fried, I didn’t leave feeling like I was weighed down.  Thank you to Rahman for the fantastic lunch and hospitality on our first visit to Hook’s Catfish Kitchen.  You will see me back for sure.

Until next time,

Andrew – Beard vs. Food

 

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