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Sharky’s is cookin’ in Sherwood

By Rosemary Boggs

This article was published November 28, 2013 at 2:50 a.m.

the-fried-oyster-dinner-at-sharkys-fish-chicken-in-sherwood-comes-with-fries-slaw-and-bread

The fried oyster dinner at Sharky’s Fish & Chicken in Sherwood comes with fries, slaw and bread.

Shark’s Fish & Chicken is a franchise that has worked its way into central Arkansas over the last few years. (It is incorporated in Chicago.)

My first visit was to the now-closed Jacksonville location. Then I visited the Camp Robinson Road franchise in North Little Rock.

The take-out is always good, even after the trip home to Sherwood. Our favorite to-go item, fried chicken livers (an item that either elicits “yucks” or “yums”) are hard to find, fans of the tasty nuggets will attest.

So when I noticed a “Coming Soon” sign in front of a Sherwood building a couple of months ago it made me happy. The spot is only about a 7-minute drive back to the house, which means fresher and hotter food.

The Sherwood restaurant is called Sharky’s. When I asked the friendly gal behind the counter about the name difference, she said that while the menu and theme for the restaurants are the same, the Sherwood owner did a sort of re-branding with the naming of his location.

Sharky’s is in a long-empty building that once housed barbecue and pizza restaurants. It received a bit of a face-lift, and the awning now sports the familiar blue and yellow Shark’s color scheme.

The insides were made over too, with an open-air kitchen in the back of the building. A clear display case holds desserts and assorted other edibles. There are chairs along the front glass wall for customers waiting on take-out orders, and a small number of tables and chairs in the dining area.

Our first visit was the week after it opened - I wanted to give them time to get their sea legs - on a weekend afternoon for an order to go. Of course we ordered livers (if you prefer gizzards, they have those too).

A small fried liver dinner is $6.39, the large $7.39, and either size is big enough to share if you get a little something to go with it.

The thing I like most about the livers is that they are breaded and fried very crisp. And they are done all the way through. I’ve eaten at places where they’ve come out a bit pink in the middle, and that is a big turn-off. Plus, if you have leftovers, they crisp up nicely in the toaster oven.

Dinners come with fries (which have been good at all the locations we’ve visited), and a small container of standard coleslaw, as well as two slices of white bread.

We also ordered a large catfish filet dinner ($9.49); the menu also lists catfish nuggets and steaks. The catfish was good, but not fried as crisp as I like. Catfish dinners come with lackluster hush puppies as well as the other side items.

Another favorite is the 10 medium shrimp for $3.99.

Be warned that Sharky’s sprinkles almost everything liberally with a seasoning-salt mixture. I’ve started asking them not to use it on my food, which they do.

I took my mother for a dine-in a couple of weekends ago. We got a large liver dinner and a large fried oyster dinner ($8.99). Then I placed an order to go, and asked them to wait about 15 minutes before starting the cooking, and they obliged.

For my carryout, I got a nine-piece order of cheese sticks ($5.59), a 10-piece mixed leg and thigh dinner ($8.99) and a Philly steak sandwich ($4.99).

The large oysters had a nice crunchy breading, but could have been cooked a little longer. The meat was flavorful, but the consistency was a bit soft. They got eaten nonetheless. And there were oysters and livers to take home.

The to-go order was ready by the time we were through eating. The chicken was packaged in a large aluminum pan along with fries, two slices of bread and slaw. Oddly, for all the chicken in the order, only a single little container of slaw was included.

Later that evening, I reheated the leftover livers, oysters and fries, as well as the Philly steak sandwich, which was delicious. The chopped beef was flavorful and tender and the melted cheese finished it off nicely.

I reheated several pieces of the chicken the next day and noticed the trademark seasoning on each piece, but it didn’t overwhelm the chicken. The crisp coating had a nice flavor, and the meat was moist and tender.

Sharky’s menu also lists tilapia, chicken wing, frog leg, hamburger, gyro and shrimp dinners. There are several family-size fish choices, and combo options to pick two ($8.99) or three ($13.99) entrees, from catfish, perch, gizzards, shrimp and oysters. The combos come with bread, fries and slaw too.

Dessert selections I’ve seen are cheesecake, cookies, banana pudding and cake. They usually have butter, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, three for $1.69.

Sharky’s Fish & Chicken

Address: 4207 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood

Hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday

Cuisine: Fish, chicken and sandwiches

Alcoholic beverages: No

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Carryout: Yes

Credit cards: AE, D, MC, V

(501) 833-3500

Weekend, Pages 41 on 11/28/2013

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