This spring break, I went to Chicago, where my friend Katy promised to take me on a trashy-yet-wonderful food tour. I’ve realized at this point that pretty much any “food tour” one goes on will invariably involve a dangerous amount of junk food. The fried catfish dinner at JJ’s Fish in Calumet City gave me visions of demons made entirely of deep-fried batter, and my arteries cringed at the sight of it.
Shit was fucking delicious, of course. The catfish was bony and tricky to navigate, though once I found a clear path, the combination of the meat, hot sauce and batter (which was also full of hot sauce) was inspired. But, honestly, what isn’t improved by a hearty deep-frying? Somehow I felt that getting candied sweet potatoes instead of french fries was a much healthier decision, though the gooey brown sugar sauce told me to fuck off and die. The sweet potatoes were intriguingly gloopy and made me feel nostalgic for things I never experienced before. Every meal at JJ’s comes with two slices of white bread on the bottom that soak up the fat — I was dared to eat them but I couldn’t bring myself to torture my body any more than I already had. Maybe on my death bed, while shooting up heroin.