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Looking for fried catfish in the East Bay

  • s

Haven't had good fried catfish and hushpuppies since we left Texas, and now my wife's got a craving.

Any recommendations for southwest-style catfish in the East Bay? Would prefer the Richmond/Pinole/San Pablo area, but willing to go further for a really good source.

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  1. There's a truck/trailer set up in a parking lot on San Pablo Ave. in Richmond that says fried catfish is their specialty. Sorry, have not tried them and do not recall their name but if you're driving northbound on San Pablo Ave., it'll be on your right hand side and before both the McBryde and Solano intersections.

    10 Replies
    1. re: kc72

      Good enough for it's type, frozen fish, mix breading and hush puppies. I like it enough to go back, but only because there isn't anyplace better nearby.

      1. re: Scrapironchef

        It is Mississippi Catfish. Hours and link to website are in the place record
        http://www.chow.com/places/16545

        Frozen or not, they are kind of proud of their catfish. From the website ...

        "Simmons catfish are farm-raised and grain-fed in the freshest, purest water from spring-fed aquifers found deep within the heart of the Mississippi Delta.:

        Have you tried the following places?

        Boulevard Fish & Barbeque
        http://www.chow.com/places/16187

        Snapper's Seafood
        http://www.chow.com/places/16191

        Someone whose taste I respect and hates ... HATES ... Pit Boss BBQ ... likes one thing there ... the catfish
        http://www.chow.com/places/12710

        I'm not a catfish expert. Haven't tried Pit Boss but I thought Mississippi Catfish, Boulevard and Snappers were all good.

        There's a few other places I'm blanking on. There's that new Seafood place on San Pablo Dam Road in the Lucky's Plaza and ... uh, a few others.

        Seafood House N'Donuts
        http://www.chow.com/places/16190

        I've only had breakfast at Chris' Soul Food Kitchen, but they have catfish and hushpuppies on the menu. They have quite and African American following, especially sports players. Don't know if it is more social or the food. This looks like a place you'd see down South.
        http://www.chow.com/places/11630

        Haven't tried the catfish at Trinity's in Rodeo either.
        http://www.chow.com/places/11481

        Solup, what do you define as the perfect "southwest-style catfish"?

        1. re: rworange

          My problem is that my reference standard comes from the catfish joints down near my parents place in Arkansas. Fresh as opposed to frozen and everyone has their own recipe. Missisppi Catfish is okay, and I do get there every so often, just not spectacular. Have you tried them?

          1. re: Scrapironchef

            Took the words right out of my mouth, Scrap (if I can call you that), except that my reference is catfish joints in Austin. All a bit different from each other...

            Lot of interesting suggestions here. Snapper's sound tasty, but by the description, theirs is a bit lighter than I'm used to. Still, just might give them a try.

            Chris' Soul Food sounds promising, but if they're really only open until 2:30, that's *not* gonna work for a dinner.

            Hmmm. Can't resist the name "Seafood House N'Donuts", and the convenience factor can't be beat, since I drive past there almost every day.

            Will give *someplace* a try in the next few days and report back.

            1. re: Solop

              Had dinner at "Seafood House N'Donuts", which is now apparently just "Seafood House". Fuller review over at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412359 (rw's original rundown on the place) as soon as I type it up, but briefly, the catfish is tasty, but not quite the style I'm looking for. I prefer a thicker, cornbread-like batter. SH's version is much lighter and doesn't stand out very well against the "muddy" flavor of the fish. Using a batter based on what goes into the (excellent, I thought) hushpuppies would work better.

        2. re: Scrapironchef

          Gordon Wing reviewed Brown Sugar Kitchen, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/484835

          I haven't been but I'm very curious and it lists fish on a daily basis. The reviews elsewhere are positive and would be curious to find out more.

          Also, there's Jesso's in Old Oakland that specializes in southern seafood.

          There's also Uncle Willie's that's a BBQ joint but serves catfish, and he's from Texas.

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          Brown Sugar Kitchen
          2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607

          Jesso's Seafood Restaurant
          901 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607

          1. re: ML8000

            Uncle Willie's

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            Uncle Willie's BBQ and Fish
            614 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612

            1. re: ML8000

              Is Uncle Willie's still around? I used to go there, but it was closed the last few times I walked by and looked like it wasn't about to reopen. (their web site is disabled, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything)

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Thanks -- it must have just been a summer redecoration or something.

      2. Art's Crab Shack on Broadway in Oakland. My husband loves the cat fish. They have tiny hush puppies that are pretty good when you haven't been back to the South in a while. I don't think they are southwest. They are just fried and great catfish.

        1. Angeline's in Berkeley.

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          Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen
          2261 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

          1. You've got to go to Jesso's on 9th St. and Washington in Oakland. They have the best! My brother moved to Hawaii after living in Oakland all his life. He came back home to visit and after I picked him up from the Airport he said "I'm going to Jesso's". That should say something. Let me know what you thought.

            1. The only place I know (and I realize it's a bit more eastern than you wanted) is:

              Rosalie's a Taste of New Orleans
              1448 High St (corner E. 14th)
              Oakland, CA 94601-4534
              510-532-8955

              They make food fresh and it's decent but not great. It is like what you'd get going over to someone's house. They fry up catfish, among others. The sweet potato pie is good too. I haven't been in years since I no longer live in Oakland and I have some food allergies I didn't have to deal with then.

              I don't eat meat so haven't tried them, but they're all Halal.

              I only found one review (very positive) but it's from 2001. I'm hoping it still exists...

              1. I've only been able to find fried fillets locally. In the south, where I grew up (particularly in Arkansas where I lived for many years), the standard is fried steaks. There's no comparison in succulence. Anyone know a place that serves fried catfish steaks?

                3 Replies
                1. re: rfneid

                  It's been a while, but the last time I had catfish at House of Soul in Vallejo, it was served on the bone. Much, much more flavor and succulence, seemed fresher too. I think it's only available on fridays, be sure to check ahead of time.

                  Driving through Vallejo on Saturday, we got off the highway at the Tennessee exit. Looping around, we saw a Catfish Cabin truck that seemed like it was open for business in the car wash on that intersection. Can anyone tell us about it? I remember Catfish Cabin from its strip mall location. Has it been reincarnated in mobile form?

                  Edited to add: Answering my own question, here's the thread about the Catfish Cabin truck. You might also want to check out Soultran's Seafood, which will fry anything in the case for you. I'd love to hear an update.
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/319131

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Thanks Melanie - I'll check it out.

                    1. re: rfneid

                      I looked through the messages here and didn't see Luka's Taproom mentioned. They have a fabulous fried catfish sandwich at lunch. I was with friends and one ordered the sandwich. After her raves, at the next lunch everybody ordered it. Great!

                      I don't know from "real genuine" catfish dishes from Alabama or elsewhere down south, but this tasted really great to us.