Sunday, April 19, 2015

Catfish at Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon There aren't many New Orleans restaurants to choose from in Vancouver, so it was doubly fortunate that during my trip to Berkeley in 2015-April I got to visit one, and it was rated highly on Urbanspoon and Yelp.

In the still sunny-bright evening, the curtains were drawn, leaving the restaurant dim and cool on the inside. For a place that was pretty busy, table spacing was good -- they aren't sardine-ing you in here. There were two-person tables left, but to help them with the almost constant stream of people coming in the door, I opted for the bar, which proved to have a wide table comfortable for having dinner.
Normally they weren't quite so busy in the early evening, but it was Monday, and on Mondays and Tuesdays they have half off all red wines.

According to the bartender, their top three items were Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Fried Catfish, and Jambalaya. I'd only had catfish twice (the second time at Ouisi Bistro in Vancouver and it was undercooked), so third time's a charm, right?

Fried Catfish ($13.99) potato salad, tartar sauce & hushpuppies with honey butter (cocktail sauce available)
  • This turned out to be more like fish and chips, except with fish strips instead of fish fillets. By strips I mean long strips, maybe 1.5 cm thick at most, but generally about 1 cm thick.
  • If you take it apart and remove the crust, you can properly taste the catfish, which is actually nicely done: Moist and sweet meat.
  • Go very easy on the sauce because it's easy to overwhelm the other flavours.
  • The problem with the plating here is you basically taste either the crust, or the sauce if you use it. To really taste any of the catfish, you need to take off the crust, and for thin strips like this, it is not worth the effort.
    • Maybe worst of all is the "wasted" catfish. I think they could easily have done a really nice fillet, considering they fried these just right without overcooking the fish.
  • Potato salad had quite a bit of onion in it.
  • Six hushpuppies the size of ping-pong balls or slightly bigger. These are primarily what fill you up.
    • Get started right away if you want to butter them because they will probably come piping hot, which is great for melting butter. Just tear or cut them open and smear on the butter.
    • This is the primary make-you-full item on your plate, but sadly no substitutions allowed if you want to skip it. At least they feed you really well for your money.
Swamp Water ($3.99)
  • This is the non-alcoholic lemonade + ice tea version.
  • Tall, big glass, maybe 1/3rd ice. Straw optional as they hand it to you still in the paper wrapper. Don't waste it if you don't need it and just give it back.
As with any restaurant caught at a really busy time, kitchen was slower, so if you go on red wine nights, expect a longer wait.

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