Best Bites: Catfish at Dino's Pizzeria

Summertime, and the living is easy, catfish are this local diner

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By David Hammond

Catfish is one of those food items that seems to lack respect.  Maybe it's looked down upon because it's a "bottom feeder," but  then again so are lobster and crab. Maybe it's because it's the kind of downhome food that people associate with home-cooking, and indeed you will not find a lot of catfish at white tablecloth restaurants. To me, that's a plus.

Where you will find catfish – and very good catfish at that –  is at Dino's Pizzeria, a place whose name hardly reflects that multi-ethnic menu of offerings that in addition to the mudfish include Italian, Mexican and Philadelphian (cheesesteaks). Like the catfish, Dino's is not a place that's likely to get a lot of respect. It's billed as "The Home of the Pizza and Wings Deal." You get the picture.

I ordered a small basket of catfish at Dino's and it was…fantastic.  White fish in general has come to bore me (I don't need to see a tilapia ever again), but this white-ish fish had fluffy flesh and a definite flavor (unlike a lot of generic whitefish that tastes hardly of anything). The flavor of catfish, to me, is kind of earthy, and I can see why that might not appeal to many.

The thought of catfish broiled or baked…doesn't appeal. Not sure why, but for catfish, frying seems so right.

With frying, if the oil is not the right temperature, the breading can become too oily, or mushy, or hard. The planks of catfish I had at Dino's were really perfect, with just a thin fried shell that was not at all greasy.

Thank goodness the fries were just meh; I don't need more reasons to eat fried potatoes.

Normally, eight bucks for two planks of catfish, fries and a small container of cole slaw would not be a good deal. But for fish done this well, it seemed a definite value, a best bite.


Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad