Charlie D’s Serves Fish and More Home Style
By Brad Lucht
This time of year many people are looking for a good place to eat fish.
If you like your food cooked to order, not held under a heat lamp or warmed up in a microwave, Charlie D’s Seafood & Chicken might be the place for you.
Located just north of Gomer’s Square off of 99th and Holmes, Charlie D’s has been serving fresh fish, cooked to order, for three years now.
“I knew this area was starving for something like this,” explained owner Gary Hill. “This is my area. I’ve been in this area for a long time.”
The 99th street location was a success from the time it opened.
“It just took off like a rocket,” Hill said. “I got in here and the customers told me, ‘Please don’t go anywhere. We love it. We’ll be here.’ And I’m here, and they’re coming.”
Hill says Charlie D’s was named after his friend’s father. “He worked in the kitchen all his life,” he said. “But he wasn’t a businessman.”
The two opened the first Charlie D’s at 3123 Swope Pkwy. “Financially it was slow at the beginning. He ended up jumping out, recalled Hill. He took over the business nine years ago. “And the rest is history,” He said.
Now Hill owns two Charlie D’s locations and is planning on opening a third, probably in Independence. He eventually hopes to operate five restaurants.
Cooked to order
At Charlie D’s everything is cooked to order.
“It’s home cooking,” said Hill. “Lots of people come in and eat our chicken, because it’s not sitting in our window all day. They wait whatever it takes. It’s finger lickin’ good,” he laughs.
Basa and catfish are the most popular fish on the menu. A unique feature of Charlie D’s is that they offer four different types of breadings: hot and spicy, regular, no salt and light salt.
Fish can be grilled to order as well.
Popular items on the menu include the fish sandwich with coleslaw dressing and the jambalaya.
18 sides are available to accompany the entree. Collard greens and the mac ‘n cheese are popular, as is the spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans, fried mushrooms and okra.
Hill is always looking to update his menu. One new item soon to appear is the shrimp po’ boy, made with white American cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and peppers, topped with a chili aioli sauce.
Also to be added are fish tacos, made with fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, coleslaw, and basa in a flour tortilla shell with cilantro lime rice.
Cook from the heart
Hill started out as a businessman, but he now considers himself a cook.
“When you’re a cook, you just feel it in your heart,” he explains. He enjoys how his cooking affects others.
“I’ve had several people tell me their day was terrible, and now, can’t do no wrong. I get that a lot. You feel that, you know? That makes you want to do good. I think that’s one of the things I get out of cooking, making people feel good.”
Part of that feeling emanates from the family atmosphere found at Charlie D’s.
“Everybody wants somewhere to go quick and get something to eat,” Hill concludes. “You don’t feel like cooking, or something’s going on. You have family in town. You come down here and it’s a nice spot…you know?”
“If you come in, we’ll treat you like family.”
Charlie D’s Seafood and Chicken is located at 600 E 99th St. They are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. They can be reached by calling (816) 942-3000. To order online for speedy pickup go to http://kcmo.charliedsseafood.com/.