Restaurants & Bars

Oakland, Richmond, etc ... JJ Fish and Chicken ... originally from Chicago – gumbo, gizzards, crab, bubble gum lemonade and 100 chicken wings?

rworange | Aug 14, 200805:57 PM     2

Depending on location, local vendor’s like Cassandra’s Cakes in Richmond store and Marita’s in San Leandro and Vallejo stores, supply the peach cobbler, banana pudding, red velvet cakes and other cake slices.

So this didn’t go on the chains board because along with that, though this is a Chicago chain, we don’t get the full menu here … no gyros, no butter cookies, no grilled chicken fillets, no cat fish tails, no crab salad, no pies. California does have fried soft shell crabs which is missing from the Chicago menu.

Also, it seems like each location can vary wildly in quality. One even started as a BBQ, dropped that and went back to its fishy origins.

Looking on the web for the Bay Area locations, the Vallejo location is almost universally beloved mainly due to the manager (owner?) Ray. The Oakland locations have had almost solid thumbs down.

My favorite quote on the web was “Fried, fried and more fried food... But fried to order!”

Peeking through the window on my visit, the fish and chicken is also fresh and is dredged in cornmeal or flour before frying … no pre-frozen, pre-breaded food dumped into the fryer.

There are over a dozen types of fried fish like whiting and three preps of catfish … fillets, with bone, nuggets

There are various fried veggies like mushrooms and zucchini fries, and onion rings.

Then there’s the chicken that includes gizzards, nuggets, tenders, thighs, legs, breasts, and four type of wings, plain, hot, buffalo, bbq. It is ordered by the piece from a minimum of four thighs to the grand order of 100 wings and legs ($86.99)

And that was the problem for me… price.

They weren’t really clear about what came with the order at the new Richmond location. Reading the website all dinners are served W/fries, coleslaw & bread. I’ve read they put the two slices of white bread under the fish to soak up any grease and the coleslaw has a little horseradish in it. Don’t know how true that is. It seems though, with the exception of the battered fries, the sides are tiny.

Still … a four wing dinner for $6.49 seemed high. Also, those mega orders were confusing and seemed excessively priced … 21 pieces of red snapper for $49.99.

I’ve already tried the desserts from both bakeries. The only thing that might interest me is the pickles – sour, hot or kosher. But I’ve had too many bad pickles in my life. So I didn’t order anything. I just didn’t want to waste a lot of calories and money on the unknown.

Though the menu boasts “The Chicago Sun Times says ‘The best fish in town’, I never found that review. This Chicago blog has a picture that captures the look of this place.

One of the strong points of JJ is that they are open until midnight

Looking at some of the Midwest and California locations, they seem to set up in tough neighborhoods. They just opened in Richmond near the Iron Triangle. Servers and kitchen are separated from customers by bullet-proof plastic.

From what I’ve read on the web the good choices are the wings (mainly for the sauce), oysters, okra, cheesecake bites (which I think are fried), hushpuppies, lemonade (like a slushie with the option of added flavors – strawberry, bubble gum, grape, fruit punch, watermelon)

The negative comments are some locations overcook the fish. The chicken and fish are bland. The opinions on the fries are mixed, depending on location.

This is mainly the menu from the website though ,as mentioned, it had some different things at the Richmond location that I stopped by.
I thought I’d ask and see what Chowhounds thought. Any good? Which location did you try?

JJ Fish & Chicken
588 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612

JJ Fish & Chicken
515 Fairgrounds Dr, Vallejo, CA 94589

JJ Fish & Chicken
699 Lewelling Blvd Ste 112, San Leandro, CA 94579

JJ Fish & Chicken
8035 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94621

JJ Fish & Chicken
10151 1 2 Foothill Blvd, Oakland, CA

JJ Fish & Chicken
3600 MacDonald Ave, Richmond, CA 94805

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