After a couple of months of hemming and hawing I decided yesterday to put my reservations about Mississippi Fish Shack away (shocking yellow facade outside, reports of so-so food inside) and give them a shot. A blast of Delta Blues hit me as I walked through the door. “Robert Freaking Johnson,” I thought to myself. Nice, very nice.
It was a good thing I had the music to keep me company, as the bizarre oil lamps and knick-knacks behind the bar sure weren’t going to do it. The food wasn’t going to do it, as I waited every bit of a half-hour for an oyster po boy, greens and fried pickles. The kitchen clearly outpaces the service at Mississippi Fish Shack. Consistently cooks shouted “order up” for entire minutes before a server finally arrived to gather the plates for delivery. And this was on the lee side of the lunch rush.
But then, the food.
My oyster po boy came out on a giant hoagie bun with tomato slices, lettuce and a nice remoulade sauce. Four big, plump fried oysters sat atop it all like jewelry on a cushion. The woman behind the bar brought extra napkins, which would be well-used.
To the side were delicious, deeply-flavored greens. After I complimented her on their flavor she tried twice to explain her preparation before being interrupted by customers needing to be rung up. She eventually forgot; it’s worth a return-trip for that intel alone. The fried pickles were sliced thin and lightly breaded but I can understand what people are saying about the breading being too salty. These walk right up to that line, something many people will be bothered by. I’m a salt fan, and feel the toughest thing a cook can do is discern the very thin line between well-seasoned and too salty. These were close. I thought them delicious, others will be turned off. Fair warning.
The oysters themselves had a thick, crunchy breading that, despite their limited number, pulled the whole sandwich together well. Crunchy/soft, sweet/spicy. It was excellent, and extremely messy. The menu, chock full of sweet potatoes and fried okra and cobbler, is mouth-watering. Next time I’ll give the catfish a try, and hopefully I won’t have to sell my soul to the devil to get it before the lunch hour’s over.