Posts Tagged chicken tenders

Mixed Bag at Eat My Catfish in Little Rock

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I was never a big fan of fried catfish until I moved to Little Rock about five years ago, and now I love it. Funny how that works out. Same can be said about pimento cheese. Anyways, my newfound love for the fried version of this bottom-dwelling fish has led me to seek out places that specialize in it.

Restaurants like … Eat My Catfish in Little Rock. Here’s how yesterday’s lunch turned out (which was also my first time at the restaurant).

I had two tablemates for lunch, so I was able to try out a few menu items. I ordered the fried crawfish po’boy and added a side of fries. The fries were solid, fairly ho-hum, but still good enough for me to devour 80% of the basket. Unfortunately, however, the po’boy bordered on terrible. The pieces of crawfish were small, over-battered and almost all fell out of the sandwich with one bite. The somewhat dry, bland bread was also a disappointment. Happily, a couple bites of my buddy’s fried catfish and chicken tenders turned the meal around. The piping hot fish was well-seasoned, crispy, and overall, just an excellent version of this Southern classic. Same can be said for the meaty chicken tenders. And while I didn’t get to try the hush puppies, they certainly passed the eyeball test.

Eat My Catfish is a fast casual, order-at-the-counter restaurant with friendly, attentive service. Think of it as a catfish version of David’s Burgers, without someone screaming at you upon walking through the door. Heck, the cashier even called me “honey,” which was cool.

My small-ish po’boy, basket of fries, and Diet Coke ran about $12 (and I added a $1 tip). I wouldn’t categorize this as an insane value, but it was reasonable.

I won’t be rushing back to Eat My Catfish, but the food was certainly good enough to inspire a return visit. The fried catfish can hold its own with the Flying Fish and The Faded Rose’s of the world … and folks on my FB claim the boiled crawfish and shrimp are the real deal. Go check out the menu, and you’ll see that Eat My Catfish is heaven for lovers of fried food. Fried chicken tenders, catfish, pickles, shrimp, and cheese … it’s all there.

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The Dish: Franke’s Fried Chicken Tenders

SAM_0542The dish…on just one dish!

There’s just something about Franke’s on Rodney Parham that tickles my fancy. Maybe it’s the quiet, cozy cafeteria atmosphere that reminds me of a simpler time. Heck, maybe it’s the smell of impending death that only comes when the average age of your clientele is 85. Whatever the case, I love Franke’s.

Little Rock’s local version of Luby’s tops the chain in just about every way imaginable. And while not all the menu options are spectacular (many are just above average)—one truly does stand out: the fried chicken tenders.

Back story time.

When I was a kid, my family would go to a restaurant called Strawberry Patch in Houston. Eating out was rare and a trip to SP was viewed as one notch below opening presents on Christmas. Ordering some fried chicken tenders with a side of honey mustard was a given. Sadly, Strawberry Patch closed within a few years, leaving a downtrodden ginger boy with nary a chicken tender in the world to call his own.

That was up until a few weeks ago…when I walked into Franke’s for the first time and rediscovered my lost youth.

Massive, flour-coated tenders are seasoned to perfection, deep fried, and served in a set of three on Franke’s “Lite Plate.” The chicken hits all those adjectives you’ve come to associate with wonderful poultry—juicy, moist, and tender. And the best part for a 35-year-old man with cholesterol issues…they ain’t greasy.

Barbeque sauce and honey mustard are offered for your dipping pleasure. Go with the mustard, although truthfully, I’ve never tried their sauce. I recommend pairing the chicken with an order of cabbage or green beans and some mashed potatoes.

Any readers out there had Franke’s tenders? Do you feel as strongly about them as I do? Would love to hear from you!