what: Crabmeat Nachos
where: Catfish Johnny’s, 1925 Johnson Marina Rd., Chapin
contact: 803-749-1555, catfishjohnnys.com
The sun is shining over Lake Murray, and the crowd on the patio at Catfish Johnny’s is singing along as popular Columbia folk-poppers Prettier than Matt breeze through a set of popular covers.
Crunching on these crispy wonton chip nachos as the duo bangs out rock classics like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “99 Red Balloons,” I realize I’m eating the perfect accompaniment for this drum-less duo with each percussive bite. Pop a couple in my mouth and I can supply a Tico Torres fill.
Strangers are stealing jealous glances at my heaping pile of queso, crabmeat and diced mango — they must have skipped over the appetizer list. These marina munchies are big enough to share with the table but taste too good to relinquish choice chip selection, so I nudge the tray towards my dining companions but keep it far enough away that it’ll take a full-on arm extension to reach. Crabby move, I know.
Crabmeat is the key to these nachos. Johnny’s uses real deal crabmeat, none of that pulverized Pollock reshaped into a stick that you get in a California roll. If I have one critique, they could be a little less stingy on the guac. That lone scoop could use a brother. Still, all it takes to put a smile on my face are few chip-fuls of crab and a great view of the lake.
If your nacho crunching Namaste requires more traditional toppings, Catfish Johnny’s chicken nachos with all the usual fixins will accommodate, but dockside, their crab variant just feels more apropos. Catfish Johnny’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday.