Chow, Baby: Wednesday, January 26, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
How Far Would You Go?

Chow, Baby has had a house guest for the past few weeks, and itís been a door to a whole ínother world. You think your way of doing things, the way youíve done them for years, is the one true way, and then you learn there actually exists more than one possible setting for thermostats and tv volumes and toilet seats. Food cravings, however, are not subject to universal rules. Chow, Baby, who has made 500-mile gumbo runs, certainly sympathizes with C.J.ís main reason for moving back to Texas: Thereís no decent fried catfish in California. So we were quickly off to Catfish & Company (900 Airport Fwy, Hurst).
The nautically themed Catfish & Co. is relaxed and comfy, and the servers are fabulous: joking with seniors, teasing the juniors, and flirting mildly with the in-betweens. The food is not so fabulous, but neither is it terrible. Oysters on the half shell ($7.50 dozen) were cold and fresh, and the cocktail sauce needed no mucking with. C.J.ís lunch combo ($7.25) held slabs of crispy-coated fried catfish that was worth the 1,300-mile drive from California for the thick middle parts but, owing to the laws of fry-physics, distastefully dry at the narrower ends; three fried shrimp that smelled and tasted of bleach, but the waitress promptly replaced them with a full order of perfect fried clams; and sides of thick-cut fries, unpretentious cole slaw, and woefully flaccid broccoli.
Other lunch specials of various fried or grilled stuff run $5.95-9.95, but Chow, Baby splurged on the grilled yellow fin tuna ($11.99), a nice chunk of fish boasting beautiful grill marks without but zero pink within. Chow, Baby thought medium-rare tuna was a universal rule, but apparently itís only Chow, Babyís one true way. Paths diverged again on dessert: Whereas Chow, Baby would drive 1,600 miles for the dense New York version, C.J. enjoyed the lionís share of our light, fluffy cheesecake ($3.50) topped with once-frozen strawberries and real whipped cream. Chow, Baby, who is starting to enjoy finding housemate surprises in its fridge (but not so much in its bathroom), didnít point out that the Cheesecake Factory has 20 California locations.


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