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The walls at Chicago’s Catch are adorned with posters of the Windy City, but the bulk of the menu is surprisingly familiar (fried appetizers, catfish, fried chicken, burgers). The scant exceptions, however, are delicious.

Nestled among a bunch of other small businesses in a bustling strip mall, Chicago’s Catch is modestly sized, with just enough room for four tables and a buffet-style serving area that’s stocked with craft sodas and energy drinks.

The meal began with two dishes –– egg rolls and jalapeño poppers –– that were far from creative but still scrumptious. The five silver dollar-sized peppers, each stuffed with rich, tangy melted cream cheese, were mercifully mild. A thick coating of golden fried batter added a nice crunch. The egg rolls, which could have benefited from a dip of some type, preferably soy sauce-based, were lightly fried, meaning they didn’t have the texture of tree bark. The filling, a medley of finely chopped pork, carrots, and cabbage plus a mild teriyaki seasoning, was delicate but tasty.

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Chicago’s Catch offers fried chicken in several flavors. The wing and thigh of the straight-ahead two-piece were tender and juicy with a light, slightly spicy crust — nothing special, but solid. The lemon-pepper chicken (three wings, three thighs) was much livelier, with a tangy, subtly sweet coating that was finger-licking good. The only disappointment was the order of wings only. They tasted OK but were super-tiny. Each one disappeared in about two bites.

Chicagoans are quick to brag about their hot dogs, and the one at Chicago’s Catch dutifully hews to tradition. Sitting between halves of a hefty poppy seed bun, the quarter-pound beef frank was adorned with a bright blend of mustard, chopped onions, sweet relish, and two fiery sport peppers, meaning that eating this sandwich was a two-handed affair. The toppings’ piquant flavors often overpowered the frankfurter, but it was a refreshing change from your typical chili and cheese.

The catfish was mild, soft, and buttery. An airy cornmeal crust added some zing without stealing the show. Anchored by two nearly foot-long (!) fillets, the entrée was rounded out by two large dollops of freshly made tartar sauce, a thick slice of buttered toast, hush puppies, and a generous pile of crinkle-cut fries.

The Godfather sandwich –– one part Philly cheesesteak, one part hamburger –– was an offer that couldn’t be refused. The juicy quarter-pound patty was nearly undetectable under a mountain of gooey American cheese, thinly sliced roast beef, and a spicy relish of pickled jalapeños, carrots, onions, and cauliflower. The heat from the peppers made every bite pop, and the combo of tender roast beef and hearty ground chuck actually worked. One was smooth and strong while the other was rough and subtle.

The menu at Chicago’s Catch is a bit scattered and could benefit from more Chicago-centric recipes, but the service was quick and friendly, and each dish, familiar or otherwise, was made with care.

 

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Chicago’s Catch

8653 N Beach St, Ste 205, FW. 817-337-0706. 11am-10pm Sun, 10am-10pm Mon-Sat.

Jalapeño poppers……………………………………….. $3.99

Fried chicken (2)…………………………………………. $3.99

Catfish………………………………………………………. $7.99

Chicago-style hot dogs (2)…………………………… $5.99

The Godfather burger………………………………….. $6.99

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