Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pasadena Fish Market

I wrote about Pasadena Fish Market last fall and my infatuation with the place, the way it transported me back to the South, sharing my table with a fly on a hot day and eating a fried shrimp meal better than any I have ever had in the San Gabriel Valley, cormeal-crusted crustaceans that would not have been out of place at a stand on Highway 61. And indeed it was a stand on Highway 61 that I was thinking of while dining at Pasadena Fish Market, time and space telescoping and giving my the strongest sense of deja vu I have ever had, right down to the way the slice of bread was lying on top of the grub in my styrofoam container.

A few days ago I took Elizabeth's car to get new brake pads and by the time I finished I was almost painfully hungry, one of those hungers where you would eat anything but at the same time nothing sounds good to you because you want that perfect food. I heard an ad on the radio for Popeyes butterfly shrimp and that sounded good so I started to drive to Popeyes, but then I had a better idea: Why not hit up Pasadena Fish Market for some catfish? I've heard that the catfish there is fantastic.

There were no other customers when I arrived. I ordered the lunch portion of the catfish strips - they also have catfish steaks and fillets - with fries and cole slaw. The man took out a handful of fresh, white strips of catfish and placed it on the scale: .49 pounds. He took it in the back, breaded it and dropped it in the fryer. I few minutes later I had my styrofoam container and took it out to the car to eat.

It was beautiful. I almost want to re-do the collage at the top of the blog to include this photo. The catfish was high quality, warm, crispy... everything I want in fried fish.

I wish there had been more than a thimble of tartar sauce, but it wasn't a big deal because they also give you a small container of hot sauce that is equally good with the fish. But mostly because it was so good that I didn't need any condiments. A mayonnaise-based sauce is extremely helpful in covering up the taste of lesser-quality seafood, but when the fish is this good, it does not need masking.

The fries are great, too: just out of the fryer they are hot and crispy and perfectly seasoned.

I liked the catfish even better than the shrimp at Pasadena Fish Market, so I will definitely be back to try some other items. I'm thinking next up will be the orange roughy or the sandabs.


Emily said...

Golly, that looks good.

Nosh Gnostic said...

Nobody likes a dirty chitterling.