M&M’s Fish & Chicken Express624 E. Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89431
I approach eating with more zeal than I should, but some places get me fired up. On a recent Friday, I had a dinner with my wife, Kat, where plate after plate left me proclaiming, “Damn, this is good!” M&M’s Fish & Chicken Express takes its food very seriously—food so fine a meal is a mood-enhancing experience.
Two months ago, M&M’s opened this second location in what I hope is a long-lived Southern-style cooking empire. The restaurant is tucked away in a strip mall at the northwest corner of East Prater Way and East McCarran Boulevard and looks pretty unassuming. Long and narrow and done completely in browns with fish, shrimp and chicken artwork hung about, I could understand half the customers thinking it drab like the muddy waters where catfish make their home before becoming irresistibly good items on M&M’s menu. The other half might think it clean and calming. I fell somewhere in between.
There’s an incredible energy about the place. That evening customers flooded through the door with most people ordering meals to go. Most customers knew each other, and the owner seemed to know everybody. He occasionally walked through the dining area to chat with people, at one point confirming with us, “Everything’s good, right?”
You’ll have some time to enjoy the atmosphere because M&M’s food doesn’t fly out of the kitchen. “Express” might be a misnomer unless it’s in reference to the menu’s simplicity, which, being pared down, lets them focus on the quality of every single item.
Like the customer who announced, “I love me some fried catfish,” Kat swears that’s the only M&M entrée she’ll order. Between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, M&M’s has an all-you-can-eat fried catfish special for $17.99. Kat wasn’t up for that and instead ordered the catfish dinner with yams and red beans and rice ($9.99). Everything on this plate aside from the little corn muffin was awesome. The breaded catfish was tender and flaky, the yams were oozing sweetness and with some skin still on, you know they were peeled in the back. Now white rice is white rice, but those red beans are spectacular. They’re cooked along with pieces of what I suppose were the hot links that imparts an irresistible spiciness.
I ordered the barbecue chicken dinner with French fries and macaroni and cheese ($7.99). Their mac and cheese is some of the best I’ve eaten. No greasy, soggy elbow noodles there and every forkful I lifted to my mouth pulled out long strands of delicious melted cheese. The only downer was seeing my two chicken legs and a thigh completely drowned in barbecue sauce. I enjoyed the sauce, but would have liked to marvel a bit at the expert barbecuing I’m sure the chicken received.
A meal like that warrants desserts, so we ordered the pound cake and peach cobbler (each $3). The peach cobbler is like a syrupy peach pie and came out of the oven so piping hot you’d swear they just made it. Maybe they did. Equally as admirable was the huge piece of lemon pound cake with sweet powdered sugar frosting and no, your mama has never made one better.
Somewhere I heard M&M’s serves chicken and waffles, a combo that’s always intrigued me. I asked the server, and she told me almost regrettably they weren’t selling and got yanked. However, she did say maybe they could bring them back as a special. I looked a little less sad-faced after that because “maybe” means there’s a chance.