OK, I'm a catfish snob.
Growing up in Kentucky, catfish was meant to be fileted or in strips, breaded with cornmeal and fried to a golden, crispy exterior.
That's exactly what I found on my plate at Sweet Potatoes Kitchen last week. It was quite possibly the best piece of catfish I've had in Georgia since 1998.
The rest of the daily specials looked awesome, too. And the word had apparently spread - even at nearly 1 p.m., the place was packed. I took one of four seats at the bar.
The fish was firm, sweet, bone-free catfish and the nicely seasoned breading added flavor and texture. A topping of fresh tomato and diced onion relish was interesting, but I'd rather had the catfish "up" in order to get the full, crispy breading experience.
I ordered green beans with bacon. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a green bean guy - having suffered through too many banquets and institutional meals where the "green" in green beans landed it in a place of vegetable honor.
Still, supporting the theory that bacon makes everything better, I admit that the green beans were spectacular. The seasoning was on the mark, the texture perfect - not too overcooked, not too undercooked.
The only bobble to my order were the caramelized apples. They were apples, nicely heated, firm and sweet - but the apples ere not caramelized. Some disappointment, sure, but cooked apples are a comfort food for me - and I'm always gonna clean my plate.
A plump, hot biscuit and attentive service to my sweet tea glass were bonuses. On previous visits, food has been slow to appear, but this time, even as the lunch crush waned, my plate hit the table hot and fresh within ten minutes of my order.
Excellent meat-and-twos are tough to find on the Southside - which certainly explains the long-time popularity of Sweet Potatoes. They keep it simple, keep it honest and please the crowd.
Sweet Potatoes Kitchen
6825 Waters Ave./352-3434