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Apr 16, 2007 09:53 PM

Southern fried catfish in Twin Cities area?

Where is the best place for good catfish in the Twin Cities?

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  1. Let me take a moment to mourn the passing of Abundant Bistro on University Avenue, my former go-to soul-food spot . . . .sniff. Okay: Try Lee's & Dee's BBQ at Selby and Victoria.

    1. Have you tried JJ's on University and Blair in St. Paul? Across the street from Axman. I haven't, but it seems a likely place to start.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sven

        I really wanted to like JJ’s.... I went there at least three times back when they first opened. And each time was a big let down to say the least. The fish was flavorless and greasy to the point of being inedible for me. And the wings were worse: greasy, flavorless, tough, and stringy. I hate to throw away food, but I was never able to get through more then a few bites on each of my visits there. I hope, I hope, I hope that I just had a run of bad luck and people will write to say that it’s better then I think it is. They’re still up and running which means that they must be making some people happy....

        Uncle Ira

        1. re: Uncle Ira

          the 1st time we tried jj's it was great, we thought we'd found a southside chicago wing joint in MSP. got takeout a second time and it was bad in the same way Uncle Ira described, we thought we were unlucky as well. the 3rd time, it was even more appalling, and we threw it all out. the place is all about old, fishy grease and overfried wings, as far as i can tell :(

      2. mcgeary and sven covered it. Although it has been a while since I've been to any of the three, Abundant Bistro was good as is Lee's & Dee's. JJ's is unique for offering four different cuts of catfish -- steak, fillet, nuggets and tails. I tried the fillet, again a couple of years ago, and remember it was OK but nothing I have rushed back for obviously. JJ's coating seems more fast food than Lee's & Dee's crunchy and mealy (in a good way) coating.

        Another memorable place from a while back was Mama Taught Me How to Cook in NE. The memorable part was how bad it was. Lamenting the loss of Big E's (and their excellent catfish), I trekked way the heck over there for lunch one day and tried both catfish and rib tips -- they should have called the place Mama Taught Me How to Microwave. I have no idea if the place is still open.

        I'd say start with Lee's & Dee's. We really should have better soul food in this town.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MSPD

          Mama Taught Me How To Cook is no longer open.

          It's not fried, but the catfish po'boy at Sea Salt is terrific.

          1. re: MSPD

            a recent interview in ***i think*** minnesota monthly (holiday time) with eric austin said he was planning on reopening big e's or a new incarnation "somewhere around town." so fans should keep their fingers crossed.

          2. NW flight 218 to Memphis?

            The catfish fingers at Famous Dave's are predictable and forgettable.

            This is walleye country, and most places don't even do that very well.

            Let's see if we can get it added to the menu at Sea Salt this summer.