Mad Jack's Fresh Fish | Kansas City, KS
KC is Crazy About Mad Jack's
John Reed opened Mad Jack’s Fresh Fish Market and Restaurant in 1987 in Kansas City, Kansas. (The state line runs through the city, with part in Kansas and part in Missouri.) “I named the operation for a legendary fisherman who used to fish the Missouri River,” Reed said. After 30 years, Mad Jack’s is going stronger than ever. About 80 percent of Reed’s business is carryout, referred to on the menu as D.C.T. – which stands for “Don’t Cook Tonight,” a very appealing proposition for today’s busy seafood lovers. The restaurant has 20 seats for dine-in, for those who can’t wait to savor their seafood and don’t mind standing in line for a table.
“Our biggest seller is Catfish,” said Reed. “Don’t confuse our catfish with river bottom feeders. The only catfish we use are pond-raised and grain-fed in the state of Mississippi, and they are delicious.” Mad Jack’s Catfish are coated with a secret breading and deep-fried, Southern-style. In addition to Catfish, customers can opt for Red Snapper, Buffalo Rib, Whiting, Walleye, Tilapia, Basa, Salmon, Shark, Ocean Perch, Blue Gills and Frog Legs. Dinners come with cole slaw and potato salad, or other side options such as potato wedges, French fries, homemade hushpuppies, okra, collard greens, green beans, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese.
Shrimp lovers can find deep-fried Jumbos, Butterfly and Popcorn as well as Hot-Spiced Boiled Shrimp dinners. The Family Platter is loaded with a pound of Catfish, 16 Shrimp, 8 Chicken Tenders and two large sides. Poor Boy sandwiches here are called “Po Jacks,” and are served on white or wheat bread with mayo, tomato, lettuce, cheese and onion. Fried oysters, catfish and shrimp are all favorites. For those with small appetites or those just looking for a quick bite, Snack Packs are just the ticket. The packs offer four-ounce portions of catfish, basa, whiting or chicken, and include fries and a beverage.
Pies are the name of the game in the dessert category, with varieties including sweet potato, apple, pecan and cherry. Or, sweets seekers can order peach cobbler.
The fresh fish market side of the business caters to customers who wish to cook their own fresh fish at home. There is also a frozen seafood case as well. The secret breading used to prepare entrees on the restaurant side proved to be so popular that John Reed decided to package it for sale in his market under the brands Mad Jack’s Madjic and Mad Jack’s Louisiana Fish Fry. The products are also available through Reinhart.
“I would have to say that getting qualified help is our biggest challenge,” Reed said. Mad Jack’s employs 16 full- and part-time workers, and is open seven days a week.