85. Crispy Smelt at Big Catch Seafood

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

The chefs at Big Catch Seafood are wizards of the deep-fry. The crispy Brussels sprouts are faultless, served in cute little fry baskets. Fried catfish fingers are encased in a golden, greaseless, crunchy cocoon of batter as rigid as coral until your teeth breach the crust to find a creamy white flesh as clean as milk and without a trace of muddiness.


The same batter gilds the $5 smelt, which may be the best fried dish of all, each length of fish locked in the golden amber, then served with a horseradish and lemon tartar sauce that cuts through its complex fishy soul of sweet and bitter.

Get this dish and get it often.

The List:

86. Teriyaki Chicken Plate at California Plate
87. Combo Plate at MasalaCraft
88. Cornbread Waffle & Chicken at Mrs. Bea's
89. Everything at Crispy Town
90. Kurobuta Pork Belly Bánh Mì at Mendocino Farms
91. Tostilocos at Tortas y Biónicos “Nice”
92. Milanesa at Delicias Peruanas
93. Super Nachos at Kelly's Korner Tavern
94. Tortas at Sliced and Diced Eatery
95. Seasonal Dumplings at Coconut Rabbit
96. Burrito de Birria de Res from Burritos La Palma
97. Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant
98. Pancake Sandwich at Willowick Golf Course
99. Tahdig at Tanor Fresh Mediterranean Grill
100. Quatro Formaggi Panini at Old Vine Cafe

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