The Town Fryer

I received my Birth­mas present to myself last evening. The Sony DSC-N1. You can read some exhaus­tive and excel­lent reviews here: [1 2]. Basi­cal­ly, it is an 8MP point-and-shoot that is the size of a pack of cards [it lit­er­al­ly fits in my palm] and has a 3″ LCD touch-screen on the back that gives access to all the menu items. It has nice bells and whis­tles [although the paint pro­gram it comes with is stu­pid] but not a bunch of dif­fer­ent knobs and tog­gles to access them. I’ve only tak­en 4 pic­tures thus­far [my mem­o­ry stick hasn’t arrived yet] and only used the auto func­tions [which isn’t going to last] but I’m dig­ging its porta­bil­i­ty, speed of use and adapt­abil­i­ty. But I’m sup­posed to be review­ing a restau­rant, not a cam­era.

The Town Fryer in Cleveland, OH

I vis­it­ed The Town Fry­er because that was where the Decem­ber Cleve­land Weblog­ger Meet­up was being held. I chucked a ride on yon­der with Steve “Rook­ie of the Year” Gold­berg for a bite before the meet­up start­ed shindig­ging. The Fry­er an unas­sum­ing place, used to be Chung Wah’s Chi­nese and still has the sign on the wall. They got a nice juke­box full of good ole south­ern rock and roll and blues and a decent selec­tion of beer. Lon­es­tar but no Dix­ie. I had me a Paci­fi­ca, which was okay but noth­ing to write home about. Steve ordered him a mess of fried pick­les which were pret­ty good, although I don’t reck­on I could sus­tain myself through a whole plate of ‘em.

For my din­ner I ordered half a pound of fried cat­fish with green beans and cheesy grits. I was gonna get green beans and john­ny­cake, but decid­ed against the corn bread for rea­sons of gas­troin­testi­nal capac­i­ta­tion. Now I hadn’t had fried cat­fish in a dog’s age, since I was about knee-high to some­thing short and had caught it my own self while fish­ing with my dad­dy or grand­pap­py on Brookville Reser­voir. I was a bit timid at that age, espe­cial­ly about them stingers that the mud­suck­ers use to pro­tect their­selves, so when I caught a chan­nel cat I’d make some­one else unhook it.

After my meal, [which I still haven’t got­ten too, I hope you notice] I start­ed to remem­ber that cat­fish and me have a spe­cial kind of rela­tion­ship. After I eat a cat­fish I usu­al­ly dream about being a cat­fish and even start think­ing a lit­tle bit like a cat­fish. It real­ly ain’t no sur­prise. If you talk with a cat­fish­er I reck­on they can all tell you some tales about how unnat­ur­al and mag­ic they can be. Cat­fish is spe­cial. So after my half pound of deli­cious bat­tered cat­fish, I did in fact dream of being a cat­fish and being nice and com­fort­able in some warm riv­er mud. Here’s one of my favorite poems by Richard Brauti­gan about a cat­fish.

Fried Catfish

The meal itself was deli­cious. For $7.95 I got a half pound of farm-raised cat­fish and one side. I got a side of green beans and ordered and extry side of cheesy grits, just to see how they com­pared to my own. The cat­fish is dipped in Cajun-spiced bat­ter, deep-fried and served with a mild and tangy mus­tard sauce. Beer and cat­fish go well togeth­er. I was too young to know that last time. The half pound was about two and a half cat­fish. The green beans was cooked with bacon and a bit of molasses and was swim­ming in the juice. Quite tasty, and I would have loved to have more. The cheesy grits weren’t so good. A bit clumpy and not very hot, but still quite edi­ble.

By this time I was pret­ty darn stuffed, but I couldn’t go home with­out dessert. I could have got­ten me a deep fried Twinkie, some Lemon Squares or some home­made banana pud­ding with Nil­la wafers, but I opt­ed for the deep fried Ore­os. Nine of ‘em for $5. I asked for a big glass of milk to warsh it all down with, and got it. I ate me 7 of them Ore­os and gave two away. They were pret­ty darn good, the cook­ie part get­tin’ all soft and hot as a result of the fryin’, and the bat­ter being tasty in and of its own self. I think I pre­fer a deep fried Snick­ers bar, though, truth be told. Oth­er stuff on their menu includes Red Beans and Rice with Andaouille Sausage, Fried Sweet Pota­toes and Fried Mac­a­roni and Cheese.

All this food result­ed in me being stuffed like a prize win­nin’ hog, and sweatin’ grease like I was that same hog roastin’ on a spit. I had a hard time with the shut-eye and even woke up extry ear­ly because I was so full. I’m still full, now. I’d rec­om­mend the Town Fry­er as a good place to go for down­home, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it food and fix­ins. You prob­a­bly don’t wan­na go if you’re veg­e­tar­i­an though.

Fried Oreos. This is blurry because I haven't tweaked my camera yet.