Fried fish is a specialty in the South, and everybody has their favorite version of the dish.
For me, it’s my father-in-law’s. I wasn’t expecting the fish at Crispy Catch to be as good as his, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure if it’s better, but I’d love to see a cook-off between the two.
The restaurant, located in the old Kean’s building by the Perkins overpass, is easy to compare to Raising Cane’s. The menu consists of only four combos, most of the food is fried, and there is a mayonnaise-ketchup mixture served on the side of the fish. But that’s not a bad thing, as Cane’s has seen enormous success over the past decade and a half. Also, I’m a big fan of the small menu — it gives the restaurant the ability to focus on food they do well.
And Crispy Catch does their food well.
The main combo ($9.79) consists of thin strips of catfish, fries, coleslaw, corn bobbers, “reel sauce” and a drink. They give you a substantial amount of perfectly fried fish, and the thin strips provide an ideal batter-to-fish ratio. The batter isn’t too thick and the spice mixture gives some oomph to the mild fish. And the sauce, while familiar, is still quite good. The fries were thin and crispy, while still being soft on the inside. I’m not a coleslaw person, but I liked that the cabbage was still crisp, and the dressing was creamy without being overly heavy. The corn bobbers were deliciously crunchy, with whole kernels of corn nestled in what is basically a hush puppy.
The fish tacos ($8.99) come three to an order with the same strips of fish inside a small flour tortilla. These are served alongside corn bobbers and a drink and are topped with cabbage and reel sauce. There is also a cilantro lime sauce on the side, which is fine, but I would have preferred a simple lime wedge to squeeze over the top. The flour tortillas gave a nice touch of softness to the crispy fish and cabbage, and the sauce balanced the whole dish. We also got a side order of the boudin poppers, which were, once again, crispy and delicious.
Despite most of the items being fried, the food wasn’t greasy, and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the feeling of needing a long nap as I usually am with other fried foods. Our food came out very quickly, and everything was piping hot. The building was clean and well-maintained, and I noticed the cashier and other workers quickly and efficiently wiping down tables and cleaning up. There are indoor and outdoor seating areas, free Wi-Fi, and several parking spots provided for customers, which is fairly unusual for restaurants by the overpass.
Crispy Catch is a great lunch spot, or the perfect place for a casual dinner. I know I’ll be back — I already feel a craving coming on.