Although our arteries might disagree, here at Gut Check we say there's no such thing as too much fried food. Which is why the catfish platter at the Gumbo Shop (9501 Manchester Road, Webster Groves; 314-918-8747) is a welcome sight. One large and crispy catfish fillet rests on a mountain of crinkle fries, and the side of fried okra piled into a plastic foam bowl could easily serve three people.
There are plenty of ketchup packets at each table, but everything on this plate is best dunked into the pool of tartar sauce that accompanies the meal. The fish is piping hot and plenty crunchy around the edges after its quick dip in the fryer. The cornmeal batter that's made in-shop makes this fish extra crunchy. Yet somehow, despite all that crunch, bites of hot fish still flake off in your fingers.
Beginning last year, RFT restaurant critic Ian Froeb counted down -- in no particular order -- 100 of his favorite dishes in St. Louis. Now Gut Check has taken up where he left off. Check back frequently as we detail our 100 favorites, and don't hesitate to send us yours, too, either via the comments thread or at email@example.com.
#82: Shrimp & Andouille Flatbread at the Shaved Duck #83: Vegetarian Pasta at Terrene #84: Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms at Zia's #85: Legend Club at LeGrand's Market & Catering #86: City Coffeehouse & Crêperie's Nutella-Banana Crêpe #87: Raw Vegetable Lasagna at Scape #88: Quesadilla Azteca from Tower Tacos #89: The Perfect Pear at Foundation Grounds #90: Banh Mi Sandwich from Sweet Art #91: Chicken and Dumplings at Yummies Soul Food Cafe #92: Cuban Sandwich from La Tropicana #93: The Prosperity at Ruma's Deli #94: Cherry Cheese Danish from Missouri Baking Company #95: Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse #96: Egg Salad Sandwich at Township Grocer #97: Cheeseburger and Fries (Extra Crispy) at O'Connell's Pub #98 Mussels & Fries at Brasserie by Niche #99: Beef Taquitos Mexicanos at El Indio #100: Spinach Artichoke Dip at Cafe Eau