Oh my goodness. Jamie and I just got back from lunch at the 17th Street Grill and I’m STUFFED on the Catfish Po-boy. I could easily just drape myself over the couch and take a nice food-induced nap, but instead I decided to rhapsodize a bit about this great new addition to our lunch repertoire. Okay and the fact that we’re doing a daytime concert there on Saturday is pretty motivating, too. But more on that later.
First, let me show you around this newer aspect of 17th Street Market. This family-owned grocery store not only has great organic produce at cheap prices and an amazing selection of international foods, but it also sports a combination grill and music store. The music store was already here when Jamie and I moved into the neighborhood almost three years ago.
Here’s Jamie chatting with Frank, the lovely caretaker. Frank handles things on this side of the store and is always ready with a joke and a story while you check out the latest wares.
They got guitars, banjos, harmonicas, percussion instruments.
They got a great eclectic selection of new and used CDs as well as DVDs.
And hey, they got a big ole’ listening station stocked full of local artists (hmmm, the photos are a little blurry, but I do believe I see The Modeens, Silver Thread Trio, The Swigs and The Tryst well represented here).
Oooooh, and there’s some nice displays.
I especially like the Beatles/Rickenbacker one here.
But check it out – a stage! And it looks like I imagine the Cavern Club stage would have looked like lo those many years ago. They have afternoon concerts here every Saturday. Which brings me to the promotin’ part of this post:
The Modeens will be playing two sets this Saturday afternoon, Oct 1st, from noon to 2pm – playing a mix of mellow tunes and rock ‘n roll!
There, that’s out of the way. Now on with the tour:
This room has also become an extension of the Tucson Musicians Museum – these are portraits of Tucson musicians who’ve been making music here for 25 or more years.
But, as much as I love browsing through the CDs and checking out the instruments, and chatting with Frank, I have to admit the reason why Jamie and I come here at least once a week is for the Grill.
This is a much newer addition to the 17th Street family. It started a few months ago – maybe even last winter. And it’s a small menu of just sandwiches, though they also have a nice selection of beverages and chips to complement them. But these sandwiches. OH these sandwiches. They are just too damn good!
Especially the Catfish Po’Boy. As you can see from the description, it’s dusted with corn meal, people! Makes a Southern girl’s heart sing. And served with a healthy dosing of pickle, fresh fresh romain lettuce (sliced into strips, which I really like) and then this scrumptious tangy “cajun” sauce. Even with my belly still poking out from lunch, my mouth waters just thinking about it.
And there it is in all its cornmeal-dusted, cajun-sauced glory. I should have added a pencil or a quarter or something to show scale. But this freakin’ fat fillet of catfish is prolly 8 inches long (no related smutty jokes in the comments please – my mother reads this!) The bun is soft and white (I’m partial to more whole-grain breads – but for a sandwich like this it’s juuuust right.) The sauce trickles out the edges and makes this a bit of a mess to eat. But oooooh it’s such a goooooood mess.
And don’t just stick with the Po-boy. They have a Vietnamese pork sandwich called Bahn Mi that’s to die for, small but yummy fish tacos and lots of other savory treats.
Its location may be a bit difficult to find the first time but it’s super close to downtown and really worth the effort. After your bite into that first Catfish, don’t worry, you’ll remember after that. Check out the website for directions and a cute video. And browse through the market while you’re there. It’s a great place to shop, eat and hang.
And remember you can meet me and the rest of the Modeens there this Saturday!