Restaurant Reviews

Hot Plate

A kittycat and a Kool-Aid: Twenty years ago, that meant an order of catfish and a Coors beer at Captain Benny's Half Shell [8506 South Main, (713)666-5469]. It has been more than a decade since the Cap'n's original boat slipped down Main Street to its current mooring, and two more locations now sail the suburbs, but the crisp, cornmeal-coated fried catfish is as satisfying as ever. Thin, moist, fork-flaky fillets, meticulously deboned, are wrapped in a crunchy golden coat generously speckled with black pepper. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon, throw in a pile of thick-cut french fries and some of the snappiest little hushpuppies in town, and you've got a whale of a meal (one fillet $5.25, two fillets $6.95, or a whole catfish, $7.25).

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