When I was a child, my Father used to remind us that, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Fortunately that isn’t a problem when talking about DD’s Chick and Cat Shack located at 2545 N. Fair Oaks.
DD’s has been known up to now as “The Official Chicken and Catfish of the World Famous Rose Bowl”. Since January, they have been serving up fried chicken and fish specialties in their new take out facility located on the west side of the street in the little shopping center just north of Baja Fresh Market (look for the banners in front of the parking lot).
I featured DD’s recently in the Frugal Family column, so I stopped in on a Tuesday night to take advantage of their “Two Can Play That” special featured on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you buy two baskets of chicken, or catfish, red snapper or shrimp served with Cajun fries, you get two free 16 oz drinks, two slices of white bread and two slices of cake (pound or red velvet).
I ordered a basket of catfish nuggets and a basket of fried chicken breast tenderloin, and “Dirty Tea” for our drinks. I also ordered a side of loaded mashed potatoes and a side of greens – all for just under $19.00.
As I mentioned, DD’s is a takeout place. There are two tables inside but most customers either call in, or come in and wait. I would suggest the latter. The restaurant is owned by David and Crystal McClendon and I have to say ALL of the people there were the friendliest folks that I have met and talked to in a long time.
Our food was ready when we walked in the door and I was torn between wanting to rush home and eat the wonderful smelling food, and wanting to stay and chat! Also….it took us a bit longer than the ten minutes they told us it would take. So don't stay and chat for too long, because this food deserves to be eaten HOT and right out of the fryer.
Sadly, our food had cooled down a bit by the time we got home and set it out for my household of six to try. The catfish is fantastic! It is crispy with a nice coating and nicely seasoned. Everyone liked it.... it was a real hit.
I will return to try the sandwich and the red snapper for sure! The Cajun fries were seasoned well, but I have to confess that I am not a big fan of the French fry in general.
These were frozen crinkle cut fries coated with the Cajun seasoning. I imagine that directly out of the fryer, these fries are slammin’. Unfortunately our tardiness rendered them cold.
We also got the chicken breast tenderloin. Again the breading was good…..but the chicken was dry and a bit tough. My son is a chef and suggested that perhaps the chicken had been fried and held, or that the fryer oil wasn’t hot enough to sear the juices inside the chicken.
I would give it a second look, however, because it comes with THE BEST barbecue sauce. It is their secret recipe and I liked it a lot. So is the recipe for the dirty tea. If you like your tea SWEET, look no further. We liked it, but had to add more ice and water.
On to the sides – I have determined that these are the secret gems of DD’s. The greens were nicely seasoned and well chopped with a very green taste – no meat cooked with them. They gave us a side of their Louisiana style vinegar hot sauce that was great on the greens (and chicken).
The other side, the Loaded Mashed Potatoes ,was decadent potato-y goodness! Don’t even walk by this dish if you are watching your cholesterol! All of my family wanted MORE! I can’t wait to try the Yams and the Mac 'n Cheese.
Last but not least there were two slices of lemon pound cake. This is the most delicious lemon pound cake that I have ever eaten! Light, not too lemony, not to sweet, it was moist and luscious.
I would go there just to buy a piece to eat with a cup of coffee or tea! I will probably be talking to them about the possibility of buying a whole cake at some point. Their red velvet cake is on my list for the next visit. So is their BBQ that they feature on the weekends. They do ribs, rib tips, links and chicken – with that amazing sauce…….I AM THERE!!
So give them a try – but go in to order and wait for the yummy goodness. Maybe I will just sit down and eat my food the next time! If I’m there when you come in, say hello. I’ll be the one covered in barbecue sauce!
DD’s Chick and Cat Shack
2545 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena T: 626-398-0366
Hours: Tues. – Th. 11:30 am – 9 pm, Fri. & Sat. 11:30 am – 10 pm, Sun. 1 pm – 6 pm Closed on Mondays. Catering Available.