Thursday, July 28, 2011

Simply Najiyyah's Fish Boat & More - I'd like the Black Muslim burger, please.

2900 South University Ave., Little Rock

For those of us who have read and/or read about Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, it made the prospect of dining at SNFB&M (hereinafter, "Fish Boat") very interesting. The owners are Black Muslims (black folks who belong to "muslim" organizations -- such as the Nation of Islam -- that may or may not be recognized by orthodox muslims) and extremely nice people. If you want scowling, sullen, working-at-being-menacing black folks (and who doesn't?), don't go to the Fish Boat -- they're not there. Based on a single visit, they seem to be quite ordinary people trying to run a business and please their customers. Enough of the sociology and on to the food.

Wish it had been a tad better. My dining companion had promoted it as "the best cheeseburger in Little Rock," and that, my friends, is what makes the world go 'round. Tastes are very subjective, and one man's cheeseburger from Valhalla is another's pretty good sandwich.

So, we both ordered cheeseburgers, which, by the way, are not on the menu. No matter. And, as we waited, he told me about the first time he went there and asked about a double-cheeseburger. "You don't want to do that," the waiter said. And, when his very large, regular cheeseburger arrived, he understood and appreciated the warning. I couldn't finish mine. My guess is that the meat would "dress out" at about a half-pound, because I noticed that it took two slices of American cheese to cover. Then, it's garnished with the usual toppings: lettuce, fresh tomato, onion, pickle, mayonnaise and mustard. The classic cheeseburger. My tab for a Dr. Pepper, cheeseburger and fries: $7.12 before tip.

It was tasty and very filling. Maybe not the best cheeseburger I've ever had, but good. The pre-fab, frozen fries were, well, what they always are. Seems like a place like the Fish Boat could slice a potato and fry it, but it's probably cheaper for them to buy the frozen variety.

I'll go back, but I'm going to try the catfish next time. I saw a few huge plates go by and they looked good. But I really need to find a catfish-eaters-12-step program to get into, and soon, so don't trust my judgment on this. They also do enormous catfish and tilapia po-boys. And, in retrospect, what were we thinking when we ordered cheeseburgers in a place called the "Fish Boat"? Obviously, we weren't.

The bottom line: the Fish Boat offers large portions of simple food, mainly fried. Not the greatest, but also not the worst by a large margin. If they served greens, yams and ribs along with the catfish, it would be a soul-food place. And, as I say that, I wish they did serve those things, because I love that stuff and they would probably prepare them very well. And, did I mention that they're nice people?


At 6:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, if they served ribs they would hafta be beef.....


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