Short Orders: Hook, Line & Sinker

Hook, Line & Sinker
3103 Lemmon Avenue

Fans of the popular Uptown shack may find it harder to support their 'best catfish' claims, thanks to at least one more upscale challenger. I've never been certain they deserved the accolades lately, anyway, given their simplistic approach to the fish. On the other hand, Hook, Line & Sinker fries up an honest version--decent meat, an unaffected but crisp cornmeal crust, little if any greasy residue.

Those who prefer an even, clean flavor, this is the place.

If the kitchen took a little more interest in the subject, their hush puppies would really stand out. Despite a 'look what I dug out of the litterbox' appearance and soggy clumps inside on some visits, the fritters present enough savory flair to suggest the folks behind this place call the Old South home--in spirit if not upbringing.

What's truly fascinating about the place--still--is its democratic appeal. In one sitting, you might see empty nesters from Turtle Creek stepping from a Mercedes, minimum wage types (or Dude Food types, for that matter) in threadbare tees, one of the city's vapid pretty people, Uptown's $30,000 millionaires, self-assured young professionals, families in from the 'burbs, white, black, Hispanic, whatever.

Have I missed a local stereotype?

Seems like everyone has their favorite dish here, whether it be the storied catfish, the crab legs or--don't know about this one--grilled fish. It is also one of the few spots along McKinney with adequate parking. More than adequate, actually, with what seems like two spaces for every one seat inside the restaurant--and they guard the extended lot zealously, according to the many towed vehicle stories one hears.

But that's it in terms of fascination. Tthere are several menu items that just don't stand scrutiny. Their fries, for instance, are flaccid and pathetic. "Seafood" gumbo should really be re-labeled with the word 'bait shrimp' added somewhere to the listing. It is edible, certainly, but sad and over file'd.

Hook, Line & Sinker is a joint. If you count fish--fried fish in particular, shellfish secondarily--amongst your comfort foods, then it's a casual, turn-no-one-away place to hang out, have a few beers and watch the tow trucks roll by.

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