9201 SE 29th St., Midwest City
When it comes to barbecue in Midwest City, usually the first name on the sauce-stained lips of locals is Gary Dale’s. But man cannot live on ribs and brisket alone. Gary Dale’s gets this and, as a respite, sets Tuesdays from 5-9 p.m. aside for its all-you-can-eat catfish dinner ($9.99). It’s a bounty of crispy fried fish complimented with hearty, home-cooked sides like steaming pinto beans, cool coleslaw and zippy hushpuppies. There are no throwbacks here — Gary Dale’s catfish buffet is a keeper.
Grand House Asian Bistro
2701 N. Classen Blvd.
Grand House sets the bar high for Asian dining in OKC. A classy setting that works for business lunches and romantic dinners alike, Grand House offers Chinese specialties like Beijing duck, numerous sushi selections and dim sum on Sundays. Its seafood menu is filled with original creations like sweet and sour white fish filet ($14.00), salmon curry ($16.00) and sichuan fish filet ($14.00), a battered and deep-fried white fish tossed in a wok with peppers in spicy sichuan sauce.
Sean Cummings’ Irish Pub
7523 N. May Ave.
Everyone’s got a favorite Mexican, Asian or Indian place to recommend, but what about Irish cuisine? Yes, Irish cuisine. Don’t worry; Sean Cummings’ Irish Pub picks up the slack by offering plenty o’ Irish dishes like shepard’s pie and Guinness wings. Sample the traditional Galway fish and chips ($11.95) featuring beer-battered cod over chips with their house tartar sauce. Throw in a pint or two from their Irish beer selection and there’s a filling meal that won’t cost a pot o’ gold.
925 SW 25th St., Moore
For a daily buffet, Catfish Cove isn’t the typical Golden Corral-style assembly line of processed food presented to the hungry masses without thought or care. Every item on its endless seafood buffet is made from scratch. The dinner buffet ($12.99) is a treasure chest of edible bootie, with fried and baked catfish, shrimp and clam strips, as well as Okie faves like fried okra, fried zucchini and fried green tomatoes. Fridays, frog legs are added to the line. Saturdays are the all-you-can-eat crab legs special.
1503 SW 29th St.
South of the border variations on seafood means more than fish tacos, and Tierra Caliente specializes in all of them. Specialties include whole fried tilapia ($10.99) served sizzling with tortillas. Swim out to deeper waters with the seafood cocktail featuring vegetables, shrimp, crab and octopus. Or try a chilled out ceviche, with or without shrimp. Tierra even has a seafood soup and sautéed shrimp guisado that’ll have anyone daydreaming about tropical beaches.
Hillbilly Po’Boy’s & Oysters
1 NW Ninth St.
Saddened by the lack of backwoods Louisiana swamps in the metro? Hillbilly Po’Boy’s & Oysters will fit that bill nicely until one comes to town. Offerings include a zingy Hopsing’s Fish Cake po’boy sandwich ($7.99), an exciting Thai variation covered in sweet chili sauce on a toasted baguette and served with rice and greens. The blackened crawfish and blackened shrimp po’boys ain’t too shabby either. Add a side of the fried taters ($1.99) and sweet pepper slaw ($1.99).
2027 NE 23rd St.
Clutch tightly to that bottle of nitro spray when dining at T.J.’s Seafood. Like a lone outpost designated to celebrate only the most fried of fried foods, this joint proudly batters and deep-fries nearly everything on its menu: fried chicken strips, catfish, whiting and crawfish. Start off with the corn-battered and perfectly seasoned catfish with crawfish meal ($8.29), and if you’re man enough, throw in the three golden brown whiting fillets with fries and a slice of bread ($5.39) for good measure.
— by Louis Fowler, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman